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Ideas and resources for people practicing and promoting better online behavior?

Discussion in 'The Social World' started by Jim, Mar 21, 2019.

  1. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I’m having trouble finding ideas and resources for people practicing and promoting better online behavior. I remember now that I had a list of ideas that I wanted to practice and promote. I’ll post that later if I find it. Some of my ideas for promoting better behavior are continually improving my own attitudes and behavior; recognizing and appreciating the best behavior in others; participating in discussions about it; learning to be a better friend to more people, and helping with the growth and spread of healthier, happier and more loving communities. Also, what we do offline to improve ourselves and help improve the world might do more to improve online behavior more than what we do online. Also, I would like to find or help build a support network and training program for people who are working on all this.
     
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  2. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Libertarian Capitalist Atheist Bokononist
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    Set a positive example for others.
    (I try to do that every 3rd post.)
     
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  3. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Of course one place to look for ideas is in the rules and guidelines that many online forums have in common. There could be more discussions about their value and how to practice and promote them.
     
  4. Nowhere Man

    Nowhere Man Bompu Zen Man with a little bit of Bushido.

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    I'm not for algorithms that's for sure.

    I mean let's face it. You can use a restrictive online environment with zero tolerance moderation to funnel in 'good' behavior provided you find enough people willing to put up with it.

    On the other hand too lax is not very good either if toxicity levels reach a point where it's just not a place where people want to be except for the most hardcore of the hardcore.

    I kind of like the idea of maintaining a 'Goldilocks zone' where the online environment is not too controlled yet controlled enough where people can exchange ideas and argue over differences and points of discussions and debates.

    Naturally common sense, a friendly demeanor in general with a little bit of Bushido here and there. Shake and stir the pot, reduce the heat and let simmer. Let things cool down, and wallah!!!

    Blueberry pie!
     
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  5. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    That looks good to me, especially the part about a friendly demeanor.
     
  6. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    A good practice is not to quote from one's own scriptures all the time. It tires people.
     
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  7. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I haven’t found my list of ideas that I wanted to practice and promote for better online behavior. For now I’ll just discuss a few practices that I’ve been trying to learn. One is, not to post until I can find a way to post with genuinely friendly feelings. Another is resisting temptations to say or insinuate anything uncomplimenentary about anyone. Another is to resist my impulses to respond in intimidating and incriminating ways.

    I’ve learned that one way to change my behavior is to change my self image. A lot of my behavior that I want to improve on comes from a way of picturing myself, that comes out in my posts in arrogant, insulting, intimidating and incriminating ways. The way I’m trying to learn to picture myself now is hard to describe. Relentlessly friendly and helpful, with nothing to prove. With genuinely friendly interest in everyone around me, and only wanting to be friends and to be helpful. At the same time fearless and immune to intimidation and incrimination. Maybe like Casper the Friendly Ghost, or Dorothy of Oz. Also, exemplifying the Scout Law: Trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, reverent. If I picture myself in those ways, it helps make my attitude and behavior more like I want them to be.
     
  8. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn’t always want people to stop doing something just because it tires people. Would you? I’d like to look deeper and consider *why* it tires people, to see if that leads to any ideas about what kinds of behavior to practice and promote. For example, one reason might be because it sometimes floods conversations and makes them hard to follow. I would like people to respect other people’s conversations, and not be in their face all the time with things that don’t interest them. Another reason for me is because quoting scriptures a lot is associated in my mind with people whose only interest in me is trying to sell their religion to me, or to fulfill some religious obligation, in invasive, intrusive and dishonest ways. There again, I would like people to respect other people’s conversations. It’s also part of the behavior sometimes of people pretending to have some friendly personal interest in me when they really don’t, and all they’re doing is buttering me up for something they want me to do. That doesn’t happen only with religion. I’ve seen people in social justice identity factions doing the same thing. I would like people to be honest with themselves and with me, about their motives and intentions with me. Another reason why people quoting scriptures tires me sometimes is because it’s like they’re trying to use them to bludgeon me into submission to their view. Another reason sometimes is because it’s just preaching at me, and not trying to communicate with me or have a discussion with me, like the person doesn’t have any interest in my thoughts or feelings about the topic of discussion, like my thoughts and feelings have no value or reason to be considered. In my conversations with people I would like them to be genuinely interested in my thoughts and feelings about what we’re discussing.

    Can you think of any other reasons why it tires people to see people posting a lot from their scriptures?
     
  9. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I found my list of ideas that I wanted to practice and promote.

    1. Pray about whatever I want to write about.
    2. Search in my scriptures for ideas and inspiration.
    3. Make sure that I'm working to improve my practice of whatever I'm promoting.
    4. Never depreciate anyone, or anyone's ideas, and free myself from all ill will.
    5. Find something to love in people whose ideas and behavior alarm me.
    6. Look for all the good I can find in other people's ideas, and in what they're doing.
    7. Wait to post, until I can do it with friendly feelings towards everyone.
    8. Express my views, as Abdu'l-Baha said, "with the utmost devotion, courtesy, dignity, care and moderation"
    9. Not be distracted and diverted from any of that, by any of the turmoil that I see, or imagine, on the Internet or anywhere else in the world.
    10. Welcome my antagonistic thoughts and feelings, and everyone else's.
    11. Remember my priorities, which are mostly offline.
     
  10. Aupmanyav

    Aupmanyav Be your own guru

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    What Abdu'l-Baha said has been said by umpteen other people in history and people still continue to say that, to the extent that it becomes tiresome; especially for those who do not consider it to be the truth.
     
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  11. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    @loverofhumanity @Revoltingest @Nowhere Man @Aupmanyav @Amanaki
    I tagged you because I thought you might still be interested in this. If not, let me know, and I won’t tag you next time.

    I have some thoughts about why people sometimes malign, scold and hound other people in Internet discussions. Not the only reasons, just some possible reasons. One reason might be that it’s the easiest way they’ve learned, to get some social Interaction. Social interaction might be part of my reasons too, sometimes, for posting in Internet discussions. Not my only reason, but part of my reasons. Endless, aimless, fruitless, acrimonious debate might be a way for people to get to know each other better, and eventually become friends if they aren’t slready. Even so, I think we could all be doing all that in ways that would do all of us, and all people everywhere, a lot more good.

    I have an all-purpose strategy for working for social change:
    - Continual, systematic efforts to improve my own practice of what I want to promote.
    - Learning to be a better friend to more people.
    - Storytelling.
    - Helping with the growth and spread of healthier, happier, more loving communities, online and offline.

    I’ve been trying to practice all that. I also started a thread for people to tell their stories about experiences with friendships across ideological divides.
     
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  12. Amanaki

    Amanaki sotāpanna

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    A lot of good points :)
    The main reason i am online in forums like this is not to share my view, but to learn about what others think and believe. The part where my understanding come forth has sometimes been bearing fruits but sometimes it is like hitting the head in a wall.
    When we come across people who do not want to have fruitful discussion or no interest in topics in discussion, then i find it difficult to continue, because the discussion often get out of hand and change topics
     
    #12 Amanaki, Mar 30, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
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  13. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    This is an update on my ideas and experiences in practicing and promoting better online behavior. One idea on my list that I’ve always been forgetting most of the time has been praying. Another has been searching in my scriptures for ideas and inspiration for what I’m doing. I’ve been practicing both of those a lot since yesterday, and I’ve been very happy with what it’s done for me and for my behavior, in the face of daunting challenges that might have otherwise driven me into a rage, and possibly saying a lot of things that I would have regretted. I also saw some wonderful things happening that I might have missed if I had said all the things that I was tempted to say.
     
  14. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I would like to see people who are practicing and promoting online behavior all over the Internet, in forums, social networks and everywhere else on the Internet, talking to each other about what they’re doing, getting ideas from each other, and encouraging and supporting each other I really don’t have any idea how that might happen. There might not be enough to talk about to keep a thread like this alive. There might need to be other ways for people who are networking with each other. It might be different for different people, like it is with my brothers, sisters and cousins. With some it’s Facebook messenger, with some it’s WhatsApp, with some it’s text messaging, with some it’s email.

    What I’m picturing is people all over the Internet who are practicing and promoting better online behavior communicating continually or periodically with each other somewhere, somehow, getting ideas from each other, and encouraging and supporting each other. It could actually already be happening, without me knowing anything about it.

    It might have gone as far as it can in this thread, for now. I don’t have any better idea than to post an update here sometimes, until I get a better idea.
     
  15. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    It looks to me like there are people in every online forum who are using it as a safe space, and that maybe part of the reason for my adversities sometimes is because I'm violating people's safe spaces, just by being who I am. That doesn't mean that I should stop being who I am, but it might help me sympathize better, and find ways to help reduce the amount of grief on all sides.
     
  16. Amanaki

    Amanaki sotāpanna

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    In what way do you see forum as safe space? Maybe many see forums as the only place to share spirituality
     
  17. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    By "safe" I mean that a person rarely if ever has any experiences in the forum that demoralize them or make them feel threatened. I was thinking that if they feel threatened by a new person in the forum, that person might feel like he stirred up a bees nest. Now I've thought of another possible explanation for what happened to me, and I'm not sure I want to go there any more, trying to find analogies for it, at least not in public. Maybe I'll just say that when I feel wronged by someone, I want to try to find a way to sympathize with how they might be feeling, and with their temptation to treat me that way. Now I remember, I can just picture myself wanting to do to someone what I see them doing to me. That's always possible for me. Whatever I think I see someone doing to me, I can picture myself wanting to do that to someone else. That always helps me somehow, like we're in the same boat together. Thanks for asking that question.
     
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  18. Amanaki

    Amanaki sotāpanna

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    Thank you for your answer too :)
     
  19. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning to keep posting here sometimes, about my ideas and experiences in practicing and promoting better behavior in online discussions. I'm still hoping that others will do the same sometimes.

    I've thought some more about what happened to me. Now I think it might be that some people in my religion think that I'm breaking our agreement between us as members of our religion, and turning away from what they thought was common ground between us. I've felt the same way sometimes about other people in our religion, including them! They might also be stereotyping me as part of a faction that has been campaigning against the leadership of our religion, and be so blinded by that, that it's impossible for them to see what I'm actually saying, or maybe they think that I'm lying about my thoughts and feelings. Another part of it might be that part of what it means to them to be a member of our religion is having some beliefs that are the same for all of us, like a creed, and they think that I"m disagreeing with part of that creed. One of them explains it by thinking that I'm not really qualified for membership, and another one explains it by thinking that I'm not agreeing to follow the laws of the religion. I'm still not sure I understand what it's all about. It's been very traumatic for me, and a very good test of the ideas I'm trying to practice for Internet discussions. After trying a few times to help them better understand my views, and seeing that their only response the last few times was to vilify me, I decided not to respond any more to their posts.

    I had prayer, and study of my scriptures, on my list of ideas to practice, and until now I've mostly always forgotten to do that. This time, I practiced that intensely, and it did me a *lot* of good. I stopped to pray every few minutes, and to recite to myself an idea from my scriptures that has always been at the heart and center of what I do on the Internet.
     
  20. Jim

    Jim Well-Known Member

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    Now I remember that besides learning to welcome all my hostile thoughts, feelings and impulses, as friends, and learn to use them in healthy ways, I want to learn to do the same with other people's thoughts, feelings and impulses. Not to welcome their hostile actions, but only to welcome their hostile thoughts, feelings and impulses. That helps me a lot.
     
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