Do you have a firm strategy on how to control your online environment?

There's a misconception in public forums like this that we have some sort of obligation to include and invite complete and total strangers into our space online despite how intolerable, dramatic, or exhausting they may be. As if we have a duty to patiently, kindly listen to them, invest energy into them, put effort towards their presence, and give them our valuable, limited time alive. Personally, I don't agree with that concept at all. I think that controlling your online environment is a crucial part in maintaining your spiritual health and managing your sense of peace. When you get on the internet and willingly choose to deal with the public, you have to remember that dealing with the universal public also means exposing yourself to a large amount of various personalities. Some personalities which may genuinely be dominated by a social disorder or mental illness. Or some people who are simply so immature that speaking to them will ultimately feel like speaking with an annoying, bratty kid. Some people who are just outright TOXIC because they're carrying so much anger and pain but they don't know how to operate without making others deal with a problem they didn't cause.

Considering all of this, I think it's very important to set boundaries and decide what you are willing and unwilling to invest your energy and time into online. Every single ounce of our time, energy, and effort matters. If you die at the end of the night (knock on wood!), you don't want to feel like you wasted an hour or so dealing with an unsavory, toxic, pointless conversation/presence on the internet. The information and occurences we allow to drop into our brains matter. I think we should strive not to waste time being unsettled for no legitimate reason. So, do you have a firm strategy on how to control your online environment? If so, what is it? Do you feel it's necessary to have one?

Updates:
If someone is persistently dramatic, acts entitled to my attention and thoughts, or generally exudes an unproductive toxic presence then I won't give them the time of day. I'm at a point in my life where I do not like wasting my time on unsavory individuals who are making more of a mental withdrawal than a mental deposit.
I am very serious about how I distribute my energy and how much focus I give so I tend to either utilize the block feature or straight up treat the person like air; I know they're there but I don't see or hear them ultimately forgetting about their existence. This is because I just think my goal of being happy at the end of the day and maintaining my inner peace is more of a priority than some stranger's lack of communication skills, desire to debate, or internet tantrum, etc.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • I have a very simple rule on GaG - I am here to enjoy myself - I will interact with anyone who I feel will maintain or increase my enjoyment on this site - I will block, walk away from and ignore anyone who decreases my enjoyment of this site in a nanosecond.

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What Guys Said 2

  • Well, I only talk to people here who answer my questions or I find friendly, so I don't start a fight with anyone. I love GAG and I hope to meet more new people here, but I agree that there must be some sort of boundary set in the online environment.

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  • Just don't talk to assholes if bothers you. Duh. I sometimes get the feeling that people are crazy but even if they are it's like testing my own ideas. Always coming through and just declaring I'm right then moving on because don't want to deal with anyone who has the stupidity to challenge me when I'm obviously right 100% of the time sounds dumb. If I decide to not deal with someone I know it's because I would just feel better not dealing with it, it's ok to do that. But getting in the habit of dismissing people and their arguments on the basis that they are abrasive is so dangerous. Being a horrible person doesn't someone wrong and I think it's important to remember that when ignoring assholes. Really I think we "waste" a lot of time online, we could be doing something productive but no. Depends on your meaning of wasted I suppose.

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    • Meh, I don't think it's necessarily "dangerous" to be dismissive of people who are not only abrasive, but serve no purpose besides seemingly fueling their own ego with a debate, being rude, lacking proper social etiquette, being dramatic, or just overall spreading bad vibes. I guess I'm just different lol because if someone approaches me acting a certain way, speaking a certain way, yet demanding or requesting MORE of my attention, focus, time, and energy... I am going to be dismissive of them immediately. I don't care how right they are or what insight they have to offer: I am nobody's mother, therapist, psychiatrist, or bestie on here so I'm not going to sit through a shit storm of rain to get to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. This world is big enough and offers enough for me to find my "intellectual pot of gold" elsewhere and I won't have to patiently sit through an unbearable personality to get to it :P lol

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    • I'll also put up with that when it comes to friends TO AN EXTENT but even then I have my limits lol I think it's a lot to request for some random stranger online to muster the patience to deal with your personality after approaching them *not you, whoever in general*

    • To be clear, I wasn't trying to put words in your mouth, it was meant to be sarcasm. It was santo be the words of a hypothetical asshole used to make a point. But I suppose sarcasm is hard to convey over the internet when I can't do that little jazz hands motion and voice change people do when they want to be sarcastic.

      There is something to be said for manners in an argument but my concern is the pitfalls that come with dismissing people because of it. People get "I don't like their ideas" mixed up with "I don't like this person" and suddenly we start calling people who want to talk about hard truths assholes.

      I don't feel like I need a strategy. I just do it, it's not something I have to think about too hard. But I don't really feel like anyone ever demands my attention. In what way are people "demanding" your attention? That would concern me, because are they really an abrasive person "demanding" more or is it rather a persons views which you find abrasive?

What Girls Said 1

  • I usually let people dig as a general rule. They like to say bad things? Okay, they can say them to me. We'll either come to an understanding or it gets to the point where someone can flag them. It's pretty effective, but it does take time and energy. But revenge so... XD

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    • I don't know how you do it girl! I will never commit my time to patiently giving some toxic, negative, dramatic stranger online excessive time and energy. The only time I'm willing to give all that time and energy is if someone truly needs HELP or advice, not to stroke someone's ego on the internet or cater to an experience they wish to have on GAG. And I CAN'T STAND people, who have not proved to be worthy of my time, expressing pushy entitlement or trying to bark orders at me. I'm not going to sit there and put up with that. I feel very strongly about this. Prolly comes from the seriousness of respect that I was raised with in my culture

      How do you do it though? lol Why do you do it? Just curious

      "But revenge so... XD" ?

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    • I think it boils down to I don't like seeing people being mean to other people for no reason. I do this even on sites where I don't mod. Though being a mod makes it easier. I don't block people as a general rule.

      Like around the time I first joined there was this guy who started out normal at the beginning of a question and by the end was cussing me out. I could have blocked him when he started being a jerk, but then he would go away thinking he "won" and feel vindicated. Instead he got banned for harassment. I can deal with those results. I found out later he was a horrible sexist to other girls too so I'm really glad I went to the effort of dealing with him.

    • I think people can use the block feature however they want. There's a guy who always makes rape and suicide jokes and a girl who lies about molesation that I have blocked. Are either of them harassing me? No. Do they detract from my experience unnecessarily? Yes.

      I understand the frustration people have at not being able to comment on certain posts, but that's life. Maybe that frustration will encourage them to become more personable so people won't block them. They complain that they're not being allowed to exercise their "freedom of speech" but their being unable to comment on a post does hurt them. It might hurt the blocker since they're cutting themselves off from what might be a useful opinion, but once again it doesn't hurt the blockee.

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