Wednesday, February 21, 2018

There is the Messenger, and then there is the Message

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."   George Orwell  

Sorry, I guess this is just one of my pet peeves, but I really dislike the attempt to shut down a conversation of mine about issues by focusing on personalities. I can tolerate a tiny bit of that, just because I realize that this is human nature and I tend to be forgiving, but my patience is wearing thin. 

I am grateful for the "blocking" option of Facebook, but fortunately, I resort to using it extremely rarely-- I will note here some of the criteria that I use for blocking people, since it seems to have been a topic of conversation.   

First, however, I will tell you behavior that I never block-- 

I never block people who engage in polite and respectful disagreement with me or anyone else,   

I never block someone because of the so-called reputation of anyone responding, or anything to do with who their friends are, or who their relatives are. I certainly never want to be judged by any of those things. 

I never block people who exhibit adult behavior. I don't expect perfection in this, as we can all get a bit childish at times when goaded.

I welcome my ideas being held up to scrutiny. I am certainly not always right, and make mistakes like everyone else. I enjoy hearing other opinions as long as they are expressed in an adult fashion. 

Now, why have I had to block just a very few people?

A person has to exhibit certain behavior patterns to meet my criteria to block.   

1) When answering one of *my* posts, making an idea all about the person expressing the opinion (ME) is a big one. I am all about ideas, not personalities. Again, I never even point out who supports who, who is related to who, who is friends with who, etc. I don't even care. I always respond to ideas, not "allegiances", and, when responding to me, I expect the same thing from other posters. 

 2) Anyone who publicly states that they do not like seeing my posts. I block them because I like to think of myself as a problem solver. That solves their problem.  

3) Anyone who is too zany for me to figure out what they are saying, or why, and spouts off untruths regularly.  Now, anyone, including me, can be mistaken about things. That is fine. I am speaking of a repetitive pattern of behavior. This is just a waste of my and everyone else's time. 

4) Diverting attention by creating "straw man" arguments on a regular basis. That too, is diversionary.

5) Bullying behavior, including regularly posting rude GIFs or other images in response to normal posts of mine.  

6) Attacks on me in any form, including bringing up extraneous information that is unrelated to the ideas I express.  

7) Anyone who insists that I judge some other person by their behavior, online or otherwise. I refuse to do that.  All of us are different, and have different personalities. I only judge responses to my posts not anyone else's.

At this point in time, only three people have met my strict criteria for blocking, I am happy to say.

By the way, I do not block people because they hurt my feelings or because I have an emotional reaction to them. This is strictly a matter of transparency. Diversionary tactics obstruct meaningful conversation. Focusing on personalities rather than issues is non-productive.

I feel it is a great compliment to the Facebook groups I belong to, and the moderators that so generously give their time, that I have had to resort to blocking so few people.  

I suggest that if anyone brings up the subject of my blocking them, perhaps just post this. It could save a lot of wasted effort. It may or may not work. I have no control over it, obviously, since I cannot see the conversation.

Carry on!  A big thanks to almost everyone here that engages in polite disagreement. 

Sincerely, Pauline

1 comment:

  1. Keep up the good work Pauline. I read your posts regularly and appreciate all that you do, to keep us informed!