What is happening to our Community?
I hope this doesn't turn into a rant... I just want to express my concern with some of the things I've seen happening on this site as of late. What spurred this on today was finding out about a new group that was created listing and talking about people that you blocked and that have blocked you and naming names. I can't see anything good coming from this.
I've been here a long time since last November and the "feel" of the community is changing. Perhaps because it has grown quite a bit and the increased numbers reflect a more representative profile of the general public. I don't know.
When I first came to the site (before there were groups) if someone was out of line or disrespectful they would be called out on it by the members but the discussion was always respectful and intelligent. But today there seems to be more and more divisiveness and arguments and disrespect.
So some of you know me and that I tend to be a positive and optimistic kind of person. Maybe that skews my perspective on this. Maybe that's not reality, again, I don't know. I have to be honest, I've had my doubts about whether I should stay on this site. I'm not sure that I am getting any benefit from the site like I use to.
I would like to get some feedback from you, the community and especially those that have been here long enough to see the changes.
Am I being unrealistic in how people should interact with each other? Are we changing for the good? Have we lost respect for each other's individual opinions and for each other? I would really like to hear your opinions, even those of you who may not agree. I'm open to listening to all points of view.
I have blocked several. I'm here for community; not here to argue, ridicule, demean, or in any way participate in rancor-its not my style. I will discuss and may disagree with another's pov, but am not into belittling or name-calling; unless the other person starts something. Then, I'll say my piece and either quit the conversation, or block that person. As far as I'm concerned, this site should be a positive experience. I'm not here to change anybody's mind about anything, either. My postings and comments represent my pov, and are there for any comment anyone wants to make; but if you attack me, directly or indirectly, you disappear from my content. Just the way it is.
With the growth of the site, a wider array of individuals will appear; some for positive reasons, some for negative. It seems to be how social media works. You can be sure there will be those who will come here intent on disruption, perhaps even destruction, of this site. I hope to stay on here for sometime to come, but I will not take abuse of any kind. I was on here close to the inception of this site, and because of personal attacks, left for several months. A couple of those individuals are still on this site, one I simply blocked, the other is now in my following, and vice versa. It's funny how things evolve.
I think when you joined, the site had a certain feel about it. Perhaps the Zeitgeist was of a community that was literally akin to a village community..where everyone got to know everyone and everybody new and respected the rules of polite and intelligent discourse in a spirit of goodwill. Blocking was withheld for rare threats like incoming Trolls or pests.
Now that village has been annexed into an evolving city..with a less friendly atmosphere..people are hostile and more aggressive.. others have become suspicious and defensive..a lot of trigger happy blocking happening like it's a trophy sport to be celebrated and bragged about..not realising that blocking is a good example of a failure to communicate by both parties.
This site is evolving while a political storm rages outside..this phenomenon I believe is polarizing beliefs and attitudes too..making all of us jittery and we discourse with one hand on our block holster..that is unfortunate.
Bee...you are one of the great ameliorating calming pillars of this community..members have love for you..they trust you..they listen to you..they are listening now. It would be a terrible loss not just to me..but those who choose to remain to keep the backbone of this community grounded in what we are supposed to stand for...which is each other is it not?
These nuances of change..may be unavoidable..but..the pendulum may swing the other way as those that don't fit in to the community take their badass attitudes and leave for greener pastures.
But when gentle kind intelligent humorous members leave it so diminishes the balance so as to only make things worse.
In short..PLEASE DON'T GO!
Somewhere....there are people saying that "The Facebook" was better when it only had students from Ivy League schools as members....
Communities change and grow.
I think of blocking this way --- on Facebook -- with 1 BILLION profiles, I am friends with 185 people.
On Facebook, we get to choose our friends/tribe/community.
Here? Well we automatically have 42,318 "friends" when we join and we have to NARROW it down from there. Blocking is the tool by which we trim out the ones with whom we have no desire to interact ever again.
HOWEVER, that doesn't mean we should publically try to "shame and name" the people we block (exception: perverts and scammers) nor should we start groups to talk about the people we have blocked (how dull and boorish are those conversations?).
Just because people all share agnosticism/atheism does NOT mean that they will get along in all aspects or even be able to summon up respect for each other's differences and opinions (do you respect someone's blind support of a politician you don't like?).
Let it go.
Find a few groups with people who you like, in general, and participate as much or a little as you like overall. But, this group is not real life and shouldn't be the be all, end all of your existence.
I think that just because this is an agostic site, there is the unrealistic assumption that the people here are incapable of stupidity, pettiness, "opposing" ideas, and having ridiculous beliefs or opinions outside of said atheism or agnosticism: that assumption is incorrect.
Iv'e only joined about a month ago ish. But I have found this community that Iv'e ever been involved with. Sure there are some negative posts here and there. But mostly I have had the pleasure to get to know have been very kind towards me and my opinions, and I have of theirs.
To me, (with the exeption of one or two people) the people that Iv'e met here, even if we dissagree on something, we both are civil about our comments rather than get into a flame troll war.
I've been a member of many blog sites, some were good, some bad. But the time Iv'e i've spent here has given some of the best conversations I've ever had on a blog site.
Yes I confronted them and was told it was my nasty mind that had a problem with them listing who they blocked and who had blocked them.
They're both blocked now. I reported them as well.
These are not community people.
And one is directly responsible for a young member leaving and proudly puts the name on the list.
Really fried my cookies.
I think your comments are interesting and I'm going to reflect on them and about how the site is evolving. But for now, I'm going to say two things which might not be popular:
I don't think the groups function has been a great success, with the best of intentions. I think they have fractured the community. I remember back in 2017 when it was just one communal discussion place. I know that omelette can't be unscrambled now, but it's how I feel.
The blocking function, which I think was meant as a last resort, has become too much of a focus, when ignoring in most cases would suffice. Some thickening of skins around here wouldn't go astray.
Also, it feels less like a truly global non religious community than it seemed back then.
These are some initial impressions anyway.
I think it was better prior to the formation of groups. I also think that in the early times no one knew each other, and that fostered a different environment that what is seen today. Now, members have had a chance to overcome that situation, even though new members are still filing in. Absolutely, it is different, but at least I’ve never said dangerdave is a dick.
I often wonder if its really worth the time to remain. This doesn't seem like the same site I joined last November. I don't think the atmosphere is as pleasant or friendly as it once was, and a lot of the people I looked forward to hearing from, have left the site, curtailed their activity here, or hang it in groups that I didn't join.
It's discouraging, but if you look at my profile, it says I'm here for community, and I am beginning to wonder if that is still possible here.
Our community has definitely grown, but I think that the positive far outweighs the negative and most members here engage in civil discourse, which may sometimes get intense, but that's the nature of discourse. I'm not one to block. With that said, I have no interest in joining a group that talks about other members publicly. If a member won't behave, they don't belong here, and that's Admin's/Site Support's job to sort that out.
I hope you stick around Bee, but I understand if you need to part ways. You'd be missed.
Well the group here where people get social credit for getting others to block them seems like nothing more than a troll factory to me. Has @Admin had a look at what they're encouraging? I've seen multiple members of that group starting fights with people. I suspect they're playing a not very pleasant game at the expense of the community.
I'm fairly new here and have been enjoying the site. It's easy to discover the folks with whom I want to interact and I just ignore the others. As far as the groups, they're probably necessary due to the growth of the sites population. I like having specific groups to join for various interests of mine (books and a local group). I hope those of you who are concerned will stay and help keep the site positive.
I don't remember when I joined, but I have been haunting this site for a little while. I have also noticed more aggressive and better-than-thou types showing up. I simply do not respond to them. If enough do that, the ones with the attitude will start to get bored with a 'site where no one types to me'. It has become so easy to scroll past comments from people that are only concerned with how sophisticated they are, and enjoy comments from people who are here for community.
I don't know how it used to be because iv'e only been here for about two months.
But with the exception of one person, every one I've met here has been kind and respectful.
Even if we disagree we still are civil in our discussions. And sometimes I've even learned things from others, I try to keep an open mind.
Even though i've only been here a short while I feel like I've made some new friends already.
I am really happy I found this site, it's the first place I've really felt welcomed in a long time.
Hmmm. A week or so ago I received a very sharp rude response from you to something I had written in reply to your comment or post. I thought "this is weird, BeeHappy has not been like this in the six months that we have interacted". Perhaps you had been under attack all day and at the end of your tether. Then yesterday I gave my opinion on a post that was asking for site change to allow for rewarding members for doing similar to what you are now mentioning. I ran a poll months ago with my group's members and there was virtually no interest in what yesterday's proposal was wanting to be rewarded for. It eventually was claimed by the 'Bear' baiters that I had deleted replies or edited some that they had complained about - I hadn't. However it started me wondering if in fact we have a troll who has hacked the site and is writing comments and replies to actually create friction or was it simply my baiters now trying to gaslight me having deleted their posts to thus remove mine but then are so guilty at their dishonest behaviour are now projecting their behaviour on to me? Perhaps I should have enquired as to their medication regime and its efficacy?
To a certain degree @BeeHappy I agree with you that the site is not what it was six months ago. My first conclusion would be to say the godbotherers are taking notice and like little children and the American government are being ugly around the world to anyone they do not agree with or perceive to be the slightest threat to their power base.
Some of us outside of the USA look on in amazement at how many of our American fellow non believers waste their lives discussing something that they claim to have eschewed or simply are refusing to look as to how to fill the other half of their glass in order to make their own and everyone else's lives more fulfilling.
No, I don't think that you are ranting. You are simply rationally identifying some current site problems and member's stupidity.
I have thoroughly enjoyed some of your posts that you have shared and yet again thank you for them. Only you can decide when your satisfaction level falls below acceptable. I can only point out that in more than 20 years of broadcasting music that is not only actively discouraged by godbotherers, ruling classes and embarassed governments I have always applied the Never Ending Story rule - so long as there is one person still believing and listening I will continue to broadcast.
I think as it grows it is as you say... I may have gotten here as it was changing? Change is going to happen anyplace we go. I think it’s better to state your concerns and be selective about what posts you engage in. I have seen the occasional friction and sometimes been the target and I can be terse on a topic I’m passionate about... I’ll try and do better. If everyone increase the kindness a little it will drown out the hate allot