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Bri_L's avatar

Did you ever wonder if, under different circumstances, you might have gotten along better?

Asked by Bri_L (12176points) September 14th, 2008

There are volatile and polarizing topics such as politics, religion and computer operating systems brought up here that, even if they don’t bring out the boxing gloves, probably leave an imprint.

I myself have gotten into several heated debates where I have gone to leave a private message apologizing if I went to far or for being a buttface and being amazed at how many things we had in common in our profiles.

And if this is indeed the case here on Fluther, and I believe it is, I surely must be on grander scales. And don’t call me Surely.

Curious as to your thoughts

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36 Answers

wildflower's avatar

It rarely affects me beyond the one thread. I’ve had heated debates with people on here, but I’ve also agreed whole-heartedly with the same people on other threads…..I can’t think of a single Flutherite that I’ve only disagreed with, and very few that I’ve disagreed more than agreed with….
I guess, on the whole, I don’t see one heated debate as a reason not to get along.

wundayatta's avatar

I tend not to take offense when people say hot-headed things at me. So maybe I’m oblivious to those kinds of fooferaws.

Harp's avatar

I couldn’t agree more, Bri_L. We do have an unfortunate tendency to zero in on differences. I guess that’s been hardwired in by natural selection; back when our ancestors were slugging it out with sharp stones, difference and danger often went hand-in-hand. So, like the tongue that can’t stop fiddling with that sore in the mouth, we sometimes just can’t see beyond those little points of conflict.

Luckily for civilization (and Fluther), we’ve also acquired the ability to override that primitive aversion to difference and appreciate that our greater interests are best served by cultivating our commonalities. That doesn’t rule out debate and divergence of opinion, but it helps keep anger and hatred out of the mix.

hammer43's avatar

If someone says anything that I find rude, I don’t respond to them, I’m here to have fun there’s too much going on in my life outside of the computer that I need to worry about to let anyone on the computer bother me.

AstroChuck's avatar

Wait, I know this one.
Uh, no.

8lightminutesaway's avatar

well sure, but you cant be friends with the whole world. and even so, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t defend your beliefs just to be nice, or not to be offensive.

Bri_L's avatar

So you point is, you can’t be friends with the whole world so don’t try, and you can’t defend your beliefs and be nice about it?

sarapnsc's avatar

No, I’m not curious if I would get along better with someone off the web than on the web. I have never given it a second thought. I personally, have never had anyone to say anything harsh to me, to were it bothered me. I have read where it has been said to other people here, I just make a mental note of this person’s character, and avoid any questions they ask. I put them on my poop list and go on and have fun on Fluther.

Bri_L's avatar

@ sarapnsc – “No, I’m not curious if I would get along better with someone off the web than on the web” I am not saying specifically on vs off the web.

An example would be I got in a heated debate about something silly (to show how silly I don’t even remember) and went to pm an apology after apologizing in public and saw we had a ton of things in common that, were I not to pm a private apology I never would have known.

To further that, had I run into that person on a question about those, I may have had a different attitude regarding the aforementioned discussion.

sarapnsc's avatar

@Bri, yeah but your mature enough to apologize and discuss the situation, most aren’t. That is why it has worked out for you.

marinelife's avatar

I don’t think you can treat “relationships” on Fluther the same as real relationships, Bri_L. This is an artificial construct. Even the heated debates are artificial in the sense that people would probably not talk like that in person or in a group. They would be contrained by social mores to some extent.

Also, it appears you may have thing sin common with people on here, but who knows if people are writing the truth about their interests and expertise.

I have found the best approach is to remain true to myself and my own standards.

Bri_L's avatar

so we should read the questions and answer as true as can be, but take the profiles as well as all the answers of the other with a grain of salt?

What would be my incentive to stay with Fluther if I did that? If I didn’t feel that people were like you and being honest and true why would I want to stick around or waste my time.

wildflower's avatar

Because the dialog is intriguing…....truthful or not! :)
and for what it’s worth, you can trust my profile to be true ;)

Bri_L's avatar

@ Wldflower – of course. and marina and others. that was for the point.

cyndyh's avatar

I think there’s a big difference between disagreeing with someone and being downright nasty. That’s both on my side of things and on their side. Just because I’m stating an opinion that’s disagreeing with theirs and backing my point doesn’t mean I’m not friendly. If they react in a way that suggests they don’t get the difference I might try to explain myself further or I might just write them off as immature. On the other side, if someone’s said something that could sound nasty but there’s a friendlier way to take their words I’ll take them that way until I see evidence to the contrary.

On being genuine: I’m not a different person online than I am in person. I know there are some people who are like me in this respect and some who aren’t. Sometimes that’s really obvious and sometimes it’s more subtle. I will say that every time I’ve met someone that I first got to know online I wasn’t surprised by anything major, and we still got along like I thought we would. When I see someone that’s not being genuine because there are usually clues all over the place, I might avoid them or I might call “bullshit”. I’m more likely to write off the constant bullshitters than the folks who just disagree with me.

Bri_L's avatar

@ cyndyh – I totally agree. With you.

Usually when I look back and I start saying things with a little edge to them i can tell I needed sleep or have not eaten or something. That is my trigger. Otherwise there are usually always ways to put things so someone who is truly open to listening and discussing will at least hear and understand even if they don’t agree.

allengreen's avatar

Bri—don’t apolgize for being on the right side of issues. You are a sincere and right on person from what I see, and I appreciate your ideas even when we disagree. Stay strong.

Bri_L's avatar

Allengree – thank you. I appreciate your comment. I sometimes disagree with things but am not as adept at debate as those engaged in the discussion. but I still enjoy the activity. I will always be ready to whip out the nyuh-uh! ;-)

allengreen's avatar

walk softly and carry a big stick….

marinelife's avatar

Sorry, Bri, I certainly did not mean any specific person. My profile is really me. I am sure that you are really you.

The reality, though, is that studies show people lie on the Internet on social sites all the time so one has to take a lot of what one reads with a grain of salt.

Bri_L's avatar

Marina – point definitely taken!

I confess to being a 3 year old howler monkey.

heres poo at all of you!

cyndyh's avatar

Bri: I think the key to what you said above is the “someone who is truly opened to listening and discussing”. I whole-heartedly agree.

<dunking what the howler threw>
Um, but the question is “Is that poo art?” :^>

Bri_L's avatar


I couldn’t find that art question again. I really wanted in. I haven’t argued art since college.

cyndyh's avatar

Ha! I meant “ducking” and not “dunking”. Yikes!

The question in question. That’s the one I was referring to anyway.


Bri_L's avatar

game on !


Nimis's avatar

I think people are so multi-faceted, that if things were to line up ideally enemies could get along. On the flip side, if things lined up not-so-ideally friends could easily clash as well.

I don’t think about whether we would get along under different circumstances or not. (I kind of assume that’s a given.) I think about whether or not my imaginary construct of this person (from my limited knowledge of them) is worth me trying to change said circumstances. If I do, I give it another go. If not, I move along. I assume the internet is big enough for both of us?

As for being pleasantly surprised about someone’s profile and interests being similar to my own…I don’t particularly care. I mean, they’re peripherally interesting to know. But they don’t really affect what I think of the person. I don’t necessarily like the people whose interests are similar to mine. (Or dislike the people whose interests are not.) For that matter, I don’t necessarily like people whose opinions agree with mine. (Or dislike the people whose opinions contradict mine.) I’m more likely to form an opinion about you from how you present your opinion.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Nimis – excellent points thanks!

Snoopy's avatar

I don’t mind if someone has a contrary opinion to my own. However, I think that there are some unsophisticated dolts on here who are incapable of communicating their thoughts in any other way besides being rude. It just shows that they aren’t intelligent enough to communicate their thoughts effectively in any other way….I presume that they have to push someone down to make them feel better about themselves. It is kind of pathetic, really.

I generally avoid hot button topics like politics and religion b/c that tends to bring out the most strident sides of people. I come on fluther to have fun and learn. Not to get into a battle of the words w/ idiots.

In all likelihood we do have things in common on other topics w/ lots of people that we might occasionally disagree w/...... However, I avoid strident people in general, even if we have similar views.

Bri_L's avatar

@well that brings up a good point to.

We all come from different back grounds, levels of education and experience. That means the way we communicate our opinion can vary greatly.

Setting aside the extremists (swearing, rude, attacking etc.) can people set aside those types of differences to communicate?

Snoopy's avatar

@Bri I can communicate w/ anyone, no matter how divergent our views, educational or experience levels might be… long as they are civil.

Bri_L's avatar

@ Snoopy – me to. Yesterday, I was given a hard time by a doctor (not as a patient or in a hospital setting, social setting) who was really condescending. I asked a few questions about what he was saying and he right out said “you don’t know much do you, why don’t we change the subject to cartoons”.

Snoopy's avatar

Just another example of what I was saying…..anyone who cannot communicate their views, no matter how bright they are, w/out being insulting, is the real idiot.

cyndyh's avatar

Bri, I try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but damn with that comment there’s not much room to spin that into anything friendly. Is there?

I think I’d tell a person like that if I’ve offended them by asking a question, they’re likely to be offended by what I have to say about cartoons, too.

Bri_L's avatar

I said

” I’m sorry I wasn’t asking the questions because i didn’t understand, I was asking them because I was pretending to care about what you were saying.”

I didn’t want to say that because i didn’t want anyone here to think I was an ass.

cyndyh's avatar

LOL! Under some circumstances saying that would make you seem like an ass. Under the circumstances you described, it was entirely appropriate. :^>

amurican's avatar

As I’ve become older and shrivled, I have come to honor the sincerety of others over their personal belief systems.

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