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Instant anonymous contact causing anger?

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Desertrat56

Thanks for sharing that video.  I agree, you are sometimes a prat on the forum, as am I and almost anyone else (there are a few exceptions both directions - troll & always rational).  I have a cut off, I work on a computer all day so when I am done working I spend a bit of time online and then I shut the computer down.  I can't function with having my phone on me 24 hours a day and some of my habits, like using the phone alarm instead of getting a real alarm clock, are starting to wear on me.  I feel it.  I see my daughter neglecting her youngest because she is on her phone all the time.  He has an iPad and spends a lot of time on it, but he also uses it to look up how to do things on youtube then he turns it off and makes things, draws or what ever he looked up.  He seems more rational about it than most adults my daughter's age.

It is something we need to discuss with our face to face people, family, friends.  At my age, most of my friends do not spend much time on their phone or tablet, but I see people my kids age not knowing what is going on around them often.  And it is obviously an addiction. 

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ExpandMyMind
1 hour ago, and then said:

Are we killing our society and potentially even our civilization because we are losing social skills that humans have always depended on for healthy communities and relationships? 

I think this would be true if our societies existed only online. But as it stands, it only supplements real life for most people. They still interact with other humans.

From the available evidence, it would appear that the benefits to such a society greatly outweigh any negatives.

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and then
55 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I agree, you are sometimes a prat on the forum, as am I and almost anyone else

:) I find myself becoming embarrassed at times when I let small things get under my skin but I try not to let it get too toxic.  The truth is no one here really goes too far overboard for too long.  IMO, anyway.

57 minutes ago, Desertrat56 said:

I can't function with having my phone on me 24 hours a day and some of my habits, like using the phone alarm instead of getting a real alarm clock, are starting to wear on me.  I feel it. 

I keep the phone close most of the day but at 59 and only having had a smartphone for about 4 years, I don't sit around texting when I'm with family members.  In fact the phone is MOSTLY just a phone except when I'm out walking for a few hours each evening.  THEN it's an audiobook platform.  The time on the PC is nearly all spent here on UM.  News and weather are the extent of my surfing other than being here.

 

1 hour ago, Desertrat56 said:

At my age, most of my friends do not spend much time on their phone or tablet, but I see people my kids age not knowing what is going on around them often.  And it is obviously an addiction. 

I agree that it's addictive.  Recent stories about pediatric brain changes due to screen time were scary, frankly.  

Beyond just the excessive time spent away from face to face human contact, I really begin to worry that this near spontaneous worsening of our public discourse that was concurrent with the 2016 election may be a symptom of this social disconnect and the anonymous venting of frustration, even rage, that may not reflect reality.  Let's face it, human beings that live in close proximity have evolved some necessary filters to keep the social experiment viable.  I think the distance and the lack of real contact is causing us to lose those filters and the anger and frustration becomes almost like a feedback loop that spirals up, ever louder and more strident.  

I can almost guarantee that if those of us who argue over politics and religion here were suddenly in the same room, we'd pretty quickly have a better understanding of each other.  We probably wouldn't find total agreement but the nastiness would be reduced and we'd L I S T E N to each other more closely.  

I hope the youth can find a way to modulate these effects and not be consumed in negativity.  Finding solutions to very serious, shared problems isn't easy when people feel free to launch vicious attacks on anonymous others whose only real offense is to disagree.

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Jodie.Lynne
7 hours ago, and then said:

Are we killing our society and potentially even our civilization because we are losing social skills that humans have always depended on for healthy communities and relationships?  

Shouldn't you be thrilled at this development? Won't this hasten the "End Times" that you desire so dearly? Ya know, with you being convinced that you are one of the "chosen" and all.

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and then
12 hours ago, Jodie.Lynne said:

Shouldn't you be thrilled at this development? Won't this hasten the "End Times" that you desire so dearly? Ya know, with you being convinced that you are one of the "chosen" and all.

Just because I believe the recorded predictions in God's word doesn't make me desire the pain and chaos that is going to come.  Also, God's Chosen are the Jews, not followers of Christ.  Those who trust Him will be sanctified and will live on but that doesn't mean we will necessarily escape the chaos, pain and death that is going to cover this world.  That "end times thing" is on schedule and nothing is going to stop it.  

That isn't what this topic is about, though.  It's intended to get people to think about the viciousness in our discourse and where it might be coming from.  I happen to believe a lot of it stems from the ability to be anonymous and to project an image of oneself that isn't necessarily real.  

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Alchopwn
19 hours ago, and then said:

So... what do you think?  Would an electronic "grid-down" be a positive for humanity?

I am feeling a bit cantankerous, so humor my contrarianism please, as I help put the case for the negative.

"and then" I worry that you are catastrophizing.  You are one among many people who looks on with some trepidation as the world comes to terms with this new communications paradigm, and asks "is it all worth it"?  Now as a person born at the end of the 60s, I had to develop a memory palace in order to have ready access to the multitude of facts about the world I had learned.  Do I resent having a mobile phone that allows me to instantly use the internet to check my information?  No, I love it, as now I can focus on quality over quantity in terms of the information I am able to recall.  Our new technologies are fantastically useful, and we let them dominate our lives for that very reason.

There are always going to be good and bad sides to any new technology.  I worry that you are focussing on one slightly bad thing about the new technology "and then", and it isn't even the worst thing.  Not by a long shot.  Now I am a Gen Xer, and the fact is that I am not some soyboy millennial cuck who sobs into his starbucks because some troll is "cyberbullying" him.  We weren't raised to be so spineless.  In fact I often think that trolls are something of an emetic for constipated world views, and an encouragement for people to seriously engage in a heated argument with ways of thinking that are not part of their immediate peer group's mindset.  This might even be a good thing, and not evidence that society is falling apart.

It is part of human nature that if you meet thirty people today, and 29 of them are nice to you, but one person is mean, you are more likely to remember that one bad egg than all your pleasant interactions that day.  If you are properly neurotic, you will dwell on it, and even lose sleep.  Don't be neurotic.  As the Khaggavisana Sutta says be like a rhinoceros and develop a thick skin.

The fact is, historically speaking, and as Marshall McLuhan said in Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, humanity has gone thru similar changes every time we have improved our communications technology.  Consider the social changes that movable type caused...the European Wars of Religion, for example.  That was basically a flame war that got out of hand, as a result of people actually being able to read a printed Bible in their own language.  Consider the effects of newspapers, telegraph, telephone, etc.  What you are seeing is that humanity is still at work, and that we are still learning and evolving.  Do you seriously think that there has ever being a period in history when everyone was lovely and went out of their way to communicate civilly?  Well there wasn't.  There was a time when smart people learned to be diplomatic and polite in order to minimize conflict, but that conflict had the possibility of turning into homicide.  So, when you see the latest generation of beta-cuck millennials living their atomized lives that minimize human contact, I know you aren't feeling threatened (how could you be?), so are you actually feeling sorry for them and their social ineptness? Is this the question you are really asking?

If so, let me put it to you that perhaps mobile phone addiction is merely a symptom of the problem, and not the cause... Perhaps the real problem is the GenX hover-mothers that completely disempowered their children are to blame?  Yeah, I'm trollin' a bit now.  Anyone wanna vent?:tu:

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and then
2 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

I worry that you are catastrophizing.  You are one among many people who looks on with some trepidation as the world comes to terms with this new communications paradigm,

Perhaps that description fits me at times but I really don't live in fear of the future. I was simply interested in the perspectives of others where this toxic discourse is concerned.  I was born in 1960 so, very near the tail end of the Boomer generation.  

What I'm concerned with is the rapid decline of civility among online communities and the effects that can have on mood and perception in individuals.  I've really tried to assess this change as I look back over my life and any way you cut it, since about 2015 the bottom has just dropped out.  2016 seems to have been the threshold and I see no improvement going forward.  

The saving grace seems to be that it's happening primarily in the digital world.  While some of the anger is finding its way onto our streets, most of the vitriol is reserved for the anonymous interactions.  I'm not feeling sorry for the situations that rude individuals create for themselves I'm more concerned that this anger and refusal to consider compromise is going to Balkanize the country at some point.

2 hours ago, Alchopwn said:

Do you seriously think that there has ever being a period in history when everyone was lovely and went out of their way to communicate civilly?  Well there wasn't.  There was a time when smart people learned to be diplomatic and polite in order to minimize conflict, but that conflict had the possibility of turning into homicide.

I seriously think that face to face interactions in the past involved filters and without them there was a good chance of violence.  I'm having trouble with painting the picture of where my concerns lie.  Sorry.  I guess I believe that social media has no etiquette or even basic rules of behavior and when you turn people loose in the "wild west" so to speak, what you'll get is ugly or uglier.  

People who engage in this kind of anger and vindictiveness may well lash out in their communities at some point.  TBH, I'm a bit surprised that we haven't had a nutter take a shot at Trump, yet.  God forbid but there are a lot of unstable and angry folks out there.  If we try to censor the net then things will only get worse because no one will agree with all those decisions and more animosity will build.

Okay, I'm rambling now ;)   One last thought... my concerns have been with the medium, primarily, but what if this sudden spike in anger and mistrust is not organic?  I wonder just how far social engineering can be accomplished by stealth, using these platforms?  At 59, when I look at the world around me, I see what appears to be an irrational rush to disassemble what has been, by and large, a damned good country.  Even worse, the people who are fighting to do this cannot be so ignorant of history that they don't realize where their chosen path ends.  Yet they still fight relentlessly to accomplish their goal.  It appears that they want every necessity of life to be provided by the collective and they want no personal responsibility for their actions but LOTS of control over the actions of others who think differently than they.

 

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LightAngel
On 11/15/2019 at 7:50 PM, and then said:

 

So... what do you think?  Would an electronic grid down be a positive for humanity?

 

I already discussed this here, but it's an important topic, so I don't mind doing it again.

The negative consequences of technology are something that we can change through education and common sense. We have to take control of our behaviors and find balance in everything we do.

Let me give a straightforward example of our easy it is.

It's essential to find healthy alternatives to technologies - I love paper books, for example. :)
 

My husband and I never use our phones as alarm clocks - we use real alarm clocks. We close our phones most of the time we spend together - so we control technology; it doesn't control us.

This isn't any different than the fact that some people can enjoy a few beers while others can't stop drinking before they get sick.

People who have underlying problems that they are running away from are more likely to get addicted to technology and other things.

 

 

Edited by LightAngel
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Farmer77
On 11/15/2019 at 2:50 PM, and then said:

So... what do you think?  Would an electronic grid down be a positive for humanity?

This site is the only social media I use and I actually come here to help successfully deal with anger and angst. Despite my hippie stances I really only have two states mellow and enraged and im constantly fighting to keep the ragey part in check.  Talking out the issues of the day anonymously on here enables me to release steam by engaging in a heightened and challenging manner, most of the time steam built up by sources that have zero to do with the stuff we talk about, while being able to be honest without fear of personal or career repercussions. 

IMO the key to life is balance in all things. The grid going down would only lead to death disease and a religious almost dark ages like repression of technology and new and horrible physical strife and conflict.

Edited by Farmer77
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RAyMO
47 minutes ago, LightAngel said:

My husband and I never use our phones as alarm clocks - we use real alarm clocks. We close our phones most of the time we spend together - so we control technology; it doesn't control us.

^ this. Its sad to see otherwise intelligent adults check their phone every 2 minutes - just in case something happened and they missed the usual phone prompt.

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RAyMO

I have a love hate relationship with my smartphone. I like  reading - I love it, that I can from anywhere, 'command' a book to appear on my phone and read. But I still like paper books too. But in paper books I tend to shop for certain authors - those I trust and will spend £10 reading. With Ebooks on the other hand I will happily for very little cost try out new (to me) authors. Often this has led to reading a full catalogue of said authors writings, so surprisingly good have some been.  

On the other hand I am not so pleased in the phones ability to keep other people in contact with me no matter where I am. In otherwords the downside of smartphones is that people will phone you. ^_^

But as to the question re Grid down. No I would be against - its up to us as adults to learn how best to live with, and in the environment we find ourselves.

Edited by RAyMO
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Alchopwn
14 hours ago, and then said:

What I'm concerned with is the rapid decline of civility among online communities and the effects that can have on mood and perception in individuals.  I've really tried to assess this change as I look back over my life and any way you cut it, since about 2015 the bottom has just dropped out.  2016 seems to have been the threshold and I see no improvement going forward.  

Thanks, this clarifies a lot.  I think I can explain what you describe in this paragraph pretty easily.  But firstly, please note the comparative civility of these exchanges on this topic, despite my half hearted attempt to troll up an intergenerational flame war; a challenge that nobody has yet accepted btw (Pussies! *glares at other posters* :lol:).

I will offer you this example of human behavior...   People when they meet each other in the street, or accidentally bump one another accidentally are generally quick to apologise and forgive.  Now once they are in a car, things change.  With the barrier of steel and glass, and the noise of the traffic, and the raised danger of the speeds that people are travelling at, many people come down with a severe case of abusive potty mouth towards other drivers.  The shell of the car lends people a measure of anonymity and protection.  Now occasionally an act of life threatening incompetence or a severe lack of consideration for other drivers will cause one to snap and there is a road rage incident, but in a city of a million people, the number of such incidents where blows are thrown is tiny, and often makes local news.  Now when you see this reported in the news, with relative frequency, and there is editorial about how unacceptable this behavior is becoming, it begins to sound like a far bigger problem than it actually is, (and that is where the analogy ends).

The fact is the web provides an opportunity for similar anonymity, and that promotes similar bad behavior among people who feel so inclined.  All that snarling at people with different opinions is allowed to come to a head online.  Now provided this doesn't drive people to scurry off to an internet ghetto which will serve as an echo chamber for their opinions, there would be no problem.  In fact getting into arguments online can be good for the health of democracy, as it serves as a forum for debate, as well as a vent for emotional frustrations that doesn't involve bloodshed.  Now if you want to see truly awful behavior online, you should try playing an online shooter game.  It is part and parcel of the same thing.

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littlebrowndragon
On 11/15/2019 at 6:50 PM, and then said:

I almost skipped this and I'm very happy that I didn't.  I found it to be extremely powerful and a catalyst for some self-reflection.

 

I too am glad you didn’t skip it.  Very interesting.

 

Quote

Are we killing our society and potentially even our civilization because we are losing social skills that humans have always depended on for healthy communities and relationships?

 

In a word: Yes.  (A fuller account of my opinion is below which is based on personal experience.) 

Quote

I'm an example of this problem, I admit it freely.  People who know me in the analog world of face to face interactions like commitments, job, neighborhood events and so on, never see the side of me that becomes unruly and even insulting on this site.  It really isn't part of my daily nature.  I can't say that it ONLY happens here but the instances in daily life and face to face interactions is miniscule compared to here.

 

I recognise that behaviour, only mine was much more extreme, this because I had a very serious anger problem.  (This extreme of emotion was, quite literally, killing me.)  I would express anger/rage to relatives but not generally to other people face-to-face.  This because I was fearful of consequences, especially for my job.  When I started using forums, I was definitely more ready to express anger than when face-to-face. 

My anger problem is no more.  I have cured it.  In the process of curing it, I discovered what made me angry.  Much of what I saw on that video I identify as a source of my former anger.

First, as to anger with respect to interactions with people on forums or face-to-face: some people generate anger.  For example, I remember a staff meeting at one school I worked at where the chairman, our headteacher, was 30 minutes late for a meeting scheduled to last an hour.  When he finally arrived, not even having had the courtesy to send a message that the meeting was delayed, he excused his appalling behaviour by saying that he had been held up playing football with some other staff members.  The length of the meeting was not curtailed, however.  In fact, as they always did, it lasted much longer than timetabled.  Not surprisingly, that casual, high-handed, extremely inconsiderate treatment made me livid. However, I did nothing.  I bottle up my anger which made it all the worse.  So, two sources of anger: inability, for whatever reason, to express one’s anger and being faced with deliberate provocation.

After a year or two working on my anger, this headteacher’s successor arrived at the school.  His timekeeping was worse.  At a meeting for which he turned up late, when he began to over-run it, I did express my irritation.  I did not challenge him outright, but I looked at my watch ostentatiously, sighed audibly etc, etc.  My boss said nothing but his second in command called me to her office next day to explain myself.  I did explain myself (without anger), and described the detrimental effect my headteacher’s bad timekeeping was having on my ability to meet deadlines etc, etc.  I heard no more about the affair.  My new found ability to deal with that sort of incident eased my anger to such an extent that it was gradually subsiding. 

So, as to the OP, my gaining better social skills reduced my anger.  Poor social skills enhanced my anger.

 

 

Another source of my anger was fear, as it also was, I now realise, for my father amongst others.  Isolation breeds fear, fear breeds anger.  In the OPs video, a man was claiming that technology is addictive.  I agree.  It is designed to be addictive.  Technology also isolates people from the real world.  So, addiction to technology results in increased isolation.  Such isolation breeds fear which in turn breeds anger.

 

 

I think it was Denzel Washington who talked in the video about information overload.  That too was a source of anger for me.  First there was simply the consequent confusion.  What information do I focus on?  What is relevant to me?  What information do I act on, what do I ignore?  For example, the endless scientific reports, the latest contradicting the previous, about whether tea/coffee/alcohol/sugar/salt/fat is good for you were confusing, not to say worrying.  Then there were the endless discussion programmes on the radio e.g. BBC’s Today programme, which aired countless different opinions on the same issue from countless different people.  Whose opinion do I go with?  That confusion, that plethora of opinions and lack of answers drove me nuts.  One cure for this is personal experience.  At the simplest of levels, I have suffered a bad back from time to time.  As a result, I know when someone is faking a bad back or really does have a bad back – and I’ve seen both.  I have also experienced a prolonged period of poverty.  This experience has taught me that most, if not all, of the people who appear on the Today programme haven’t a clue about poverty.  They may sound convincing to the inexperienced, but not to me because I have experienced poverty.        

Quote

So... what do you think?  Would an electronic grid down be a positive for humanity?

 

 

No, not necessarily.  I think the stronger position lies in understanding what is going on i.e. that technology is designed to be addictive, that it is isolating people, that this isolation creates anger and also destroys communities etc, etc,  The stronger position also lies in knowing how to deal with e.g. anger and isolation, and taking action oneself to counteract these e.g. gain as much personal experience as possible, speak out, call those who design addictive products to account etc, etc.  That, I believe is the cure for the problem.  That, I believe, will be a real positive for humanity.

 

 

On the other hand, an electronic grid down is a preventative measure rather than a cure.  It is therefore the weaker of the two options.  

Edited by littlebrowndragon

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ThereWeAreThen
On 11/16/2019 at 2:23 PM, and then said:

Just because I believe the recorded predictions in God's word doesn't make me desire the pain and chaos that is going to come.  Also, God's Chosen are the Jews, not followers of Christ.  Those who trust Him will be sanctified and will live on but that doesn't mean we will necessarily escape the chaos, pain and death that is going to cover this world.  That "end times thing" is on schedule and nothing is going to stop it.  

That isn't what this topic is about, though.  It's intended to get people to think about the viciousness in our discourse and where it might be coming from.  I happen to believe a lot of it stems from the ability to be anonymous and to project an image of oneself that isn't necessarily real.  

I just imagined you on a street corner with a sign saying, "the end is nigh". Bloody hell mun. :lol::lol::lol:

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LightAngel
On 11/17/2019 at 6:55 AM, RAyMO said:

^ this. Its sad to see otherwise intelligent adults check their phone every 2 minutes - just in case something happened and they missed the usual phone prompt.

Yes.

And it's even worse when their children have to pay the price also.

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joc
On 11/15/2019 at 12:50 PM, and then said:

People who know me in the analog world of face to face interactions like commitments, job, neighborhood events and so on, never see the side of me that becomes unruly and even insulting on this site.  It really isn't part of my daily nature. 

I would suggest that 'people who know you'  be it analog world or cyber world in 'face to face' interactions experience the same  'you'.   Anonymity doesn't cause anger.  Anonymity gives an opportunity to express suppressed anger.  If your mother or sister pulled out in front of you on the highway...you would not flip them off or curse them for the next 5 miles.  But if a stranger does....       

If I have time later I'll watch the video.

Edited by joc

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LightAngel
On 11/17/2019 at 6:05 AM, LightAngel said:

Let me give a straightforward example of how easy it is.

Sorry to quote myself here, but I had to correct a mistake.

I'm not online all the time, so sometimes it takes days for me to notice that I made a mistake! :rofl:

Anyway.

I don't have so much more to say here.

Except for the fact that love is all that will matter on our last day.

and....

........ please........... don't ever forget that.

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