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  #1  
Old 03-14-2020, 03:31 AM
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Rant: Snowflakes & Snoblords

Did the title catch your attention? Good, cuz I am ******. I seriously don't know where else to go, so I throw myself at the mercy of a crowd including adult nerds with higher than average literacy.

All my life, I have had issues communicating with people. Either the words I say get wildly misconstrued, I completely fail to estimate the way people will react, and in general people have constantly assumed the absolute worst things about me through very quickly made judgement calls that are almost universally false or misguided. I offend people so easily it baffles me, because I have been expected to accept so many terrible judgments, without humor, directed at me. But I'm not looking for pity, I am furious, I just want answers to questions people have refused to give for ages.

Today I was kicked out of both a d&d game as well as a friend circle because I made a joke about President Trump. It wasn't even an offensive joke, but since the punchline was not "Trump is a lying **** **** who deserves to die," they decided I was a full-blown Trumpocrat, and that I was no longer welcome, and they COULDN'T EVEN ARTICULATE WHY THEY WERE OFFENDED. These are people who I have known for years, a few I have grown up around, and today is the day they decide everything I ever was to them turned out to be a lie because of an immensely lightweight joke.

I. DONT. ****ING. GET IT.

How is it fair (or even rational) that people can ghost each other with so little thought, so little effort to understand? How are people so easily offended, so paranoid of acknowledging the differences between us peacefully? I feel like my entire life I have been surrounded by presumptuous crybabies who can't handle anything about their weak little realities, while I have been through SO. ****. MUCH. and my hardships have made me a compassionate soul hungry to spread light in a world that seems desperate to snuff me out forever. Their judgements are so petty, their assumptions are so brain-dead. I have become a worse person simply because I've tried so hard to find friends, and I am losing my faith that the idea of friendship is even real. I'm in my 30's now, and everyone seems to gradually get stupider with time.

I never used to have rage issues like this. It was only after being betrayed and abandoned and forgotten so many times that I've grown a little more bitter with each loss. I go to therapy, but I don't know how to be happy anymore. I have had the same issues on this site. I just want to feel like someone actually hears my side of things for once. I just want to play a game with friends and have fun, but I'm starting to think I don't remember how to have fun anymore. Maybe the real world is winning, and all these boring cynical *******s in Indiana are right, because I'm beginning to feel like giving up on society. Gaming doesn't make me happy, common folk disgust me, the world appears to be going into shambles now... I just wish people had the courage to ASK for a damn change, to attempt to understand instead of blindly assume. Is the world really losing its ability to love and care about one another?

I feel sick to my stomach writing this, but I am so very lost...

I miss my cat Shiva, she liked me no matter what stupid things I said.
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I've decided to end my gaming hobby. Even among introverted fantasy gamers, I feel like an outsider. D&D has come to represent disappointment and rejection for me. I leave this record to remind myself to never come back.

Last edited by Admin Dirk; 03-14-2020 at 11:40 AM. Reason: keeping it PG13 in public
  #2  
Old 03-14-2020, 04:53 AM
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There are several factors, some which I won't go into as they are inexorably linked with politics and political strategy. However, there are a few things that I can:
1. The Echo Chamber effect: people naturally gravitate towards similar and away from different. Get far enough away from the different and people begin losing the ability to empathize with it. Combine this with the internet essentially being the perfect tool for allowing people to find like minded groups, and people start losing touch with even people they actually aren't that different from. Think of it like the one theory as to why allergies are becoming more common: an untested immune system can't always separate the benign different from the destructive difference.
2. Less direct interaction reducing our ability to read body and tonal language. There is some biological aspects to reading these things, but a lot of it is still leaned and people can get rusty at it or never learn in the first place. For example, I am quite introverted and am absolutely awful at reading a room.
3. Greater access to news making problems seem bigger than they are. Go back to even the nineties: how many diseases did you really hear about from other countries? It used to be that if something was national news, it was something big. Now, it could be anything someone wants to talk about from anywhere, but the old scale is still ingrained to an extent. This can put people far more on edge, which doesn't facilitate good long-term decisions.

I can only offer my personal experience and say there are still people who can be friends despite major differences. I've been friends with people I don't think I could disagree more with on issues, but I know would have my back when I'm in a difficult spot. And yes, some people will be shallow and dumb and petty, but there are also those who are good and honest (even if they can be a pain in the rear sometimes).
  #3  
Old 03-14-2020, 05:14 AM
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Thanks for the reply! I'm not interested in getting into politics here either, I accept people for their differing views as long as theyre respectful to each other. This stuff makes sense, I blame the internet for really messing certain people up, and I don't even like using a smartphone.

I used to be pretty good with people, but its the world that seems to be changing around me, and I haven't adapted. I dont feel like anyone has ever had my back.
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I've decided to end my gaming hobby. Even among introverted fantasy gamers, I feel like an outsider. D&D has come to represent disappointment and rejection for me. I leave this record to remind myself to never come back.
  #4  
Old 03-14-2020, 07:24 AM
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I feel you OO...

I am always torn between my beliefs that people are, and always have been, people, and that there is nothing new under the sun when it comes to behaviors. And yet, my experiences often times tell me that X is becoming unique, or different, or that this or that is because of new conditions or technology.

Like you say: ghosting... Is that truly a new thing, or is it something people have been doing for thousands of years, and it just feels new to us. Has it always been done, just feels different now because of technology?

I really don't know, I have no data to objectively compare.

I can agree that the feeling sucks, though.

Stick in there with your therapy. This post can be a relief valve, but it can't replace an honest exploration of your feelings with someone qualified to guide you on that path. Don't give up on professional help. Keep at it. It saved my life twenty years ago, when I had some similar emotions and feelings as you.
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2020, 01:11 PM
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I think ghosting is a little more recent, and more deliberate, in an age where we're always connected. It feels like people are constantly testing and grading each other in secret, waiting for the 'last straw' moment before ditching someone out of the blue. I used to think the length of time you knew a person had some impact on this process, but nobody has the attention span/long term memory to put people into a cohesive context. It's easier to ditch people than to cope with accepting others, so they do it. Laziness beats compassion, I guess?

Thank you though, you're the man, Dirkus. I believe everyone should go to therapy every so often. No one can make it on this marble alone, no matter what they say. I was so mad last night I forgot my medications, which led to worse anger... But I'm fine now. I've always liked this place, even when I run into people I cant stand, there is always someone else to tell me that I'm not crazy.
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I've decided to end my gaming hobby. Even among introverted fantasy gamers, I feel like an outsider. D&D has come to represent disappointment and rejection for me. I leave this record to remind myself to never come back.
  #6  
Old 03-14-2020, 02:47 PM
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You're definitely not crazy, OrianaOleander. I can relate to accidental medication blips affecting everything. Not fun.

You've probably seen the "Oath of Sangus" floating around, either here in General Discussion or in different people's signatures. Digorig posted it in an attempt to modify exactly the behavior you're talking about, ghosting on people and/or not acting like a mature human being. I don't think it's a sure way to solve it, sometimes life happens. But I like that so many people have picked up on the fact that there are social niceties, even online. Hopefully most of our community is pretty well behaved, but it's a sad fact of life in lots of areas of the internet that there are more trolls than friends.
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Old 03-14-2020, 03:43 PM
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Reasonable people can debate.. take ghosting....

Of course, we would need to define exactly what that is, and then try to get data (which we couldn't), but anecdotally, at least, I would say that for much of human history, people did some things similar...

Sure, it wasn't with digital phones, but I used to have a lot of penpals, and almost to a T, every one of them just stopped writing. Perhaps I did too, to a couple... I always tried not to be the one, but heck, it might have been me too.

Is that ghosting, albeit from 40 years ago? Or how about that favorite meme from the 50's to now, where the girl sits and waits, and waits, for the guy to call her, after he promised to... Is that ghosting? Maybe not.

As I said.. we could debate for a long time, but we can't ever have any data that would solve the question objectively. I think Humans are Humans, always have been, and always will be. Some are trolls. I certainly FEEL like we see and interact with more trolls now than ever, but I am not sure there ARE more trolls. I feel like they just have an easier time getting a platform for their stupidity (for at least a few minutes).

Now that's something I could agree on... in the old days, if you wanted to be a world famous idiot, it took a lot of work. Write a book, maybe self publish it, take it around, sell it, become famous as "that idiot with a book", etc... Hard work, took a long time. Probably took effort, maybe even a lot of money.

Now, you can just take a picture or click some buttons, and instantly, part of the world can see you are an idiot. Or a troll, or an "influencer" or a "trendsetter" or a pundit, analyst, spokeperson, etc..

So, being a troll (or a ghost) might be much easier... we've lowered the bar, so now anyone can be a jerk. And why not? It's easy, and there's no real repercussions.


I've said a lot that if we could figure out a way to charge people $1, or 10 cents, or something tangible in order for them to make a comment, tweet, "like", repost, etc., we could solve a lot of this world's troll problem. If people had actual skin in the game, had to make an actual decision on what they say, what they post, I bet the world would be a lot different.


Okay, off my soapbox now.
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  #8  
Old 03-15-2020, 10:29 AM
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Like Admin Dirk, I go back and forth on how much current "social problems" (e.g. ghosting, being easily-offended, etc) are common human traits throughout history versus being a problem of new technologies. Like many things, it's a mixture, IMO, but which one is the bigger factor. Historically speaking, in societies that placed a higher emphasis on things like honor and reputation, you could suffer major social and physical consequences for misspeaking. I think, on that front, it's the higher emphasis on communication that's relatively new in our society.

I don't have extensive experience in other cultures, but I've spent some time in rural Ethiopia. It could have been that I was just a ferenji, but folks had no problems ghosting me there. Communication systems were closer to the U.S. 80s and 90s where I was at. So it seems like that's at the very least a cross-cultural issue that's partially independent of technology.

But as other have brought up (Aureon, Dirk, Aeth), I think that current technologies can exacerbate social problems sometimes, or at least make them more obvious. It's much easier to ghost on a game where you never see people in person than it is to just snub a friend that you'll have to see again. It's much easier to get offended through text where there's little social nuance and no immediate chance for clarification. It's much easier to think that world problems are way worse when the media can blast issues at you 24/7 through multiple channels. It's much easier to restrict your friend-group when you can quickly connect with people that think just like you in a matter of seconds, thanks to the WWW.

I don't really have a solution for you. I don't know you as a person, I don't know your friends, I don't know the details of the situation or the specific joke you made or why they got pissy about it. But I did want to comment on something you said (emphasis mine):
Quote:
Originally Posted by OrianaOleander
Gaming doesn't make me happy, common folk disgust me, the world appears to be going into shambles now...
I think that you wrote this in a moment of passion. I don't know if this is how you really feel all the time. But if you generally had this kind of disdain for people all the time, I probably wouldn't want to hang out with you either. I used to feel that way a lot. And I couldn't understand why people got shitty with me when, from my perspective, I just wanted common people and society to be better. But it's an inherently arrogant, dehumanizing position to take. I don't think there's such thing as a common person. Each person has their own struggles, their own passions, their own deep story that's compelling and meaningful to them. And they, each and every one, are deserving of respect and love until they specifically and individually prove they aren't. Saying "common folk disgust me" as a blanket rule is something that screams "snoblord."

If you're concerned about people being snowflakes and snoblords, the answer seems to be more open communication and less immediate judgment. If you want that to be possible, it starts with empathy. And that highlighted bit belies-- at least at the very moment you wrote it-- a lack of empathy.
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Last edited by Unko Talok; 03-15-2020 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:37 AM
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I'm lucky to be an 80's baby. Lucky to have come up in a time before the advent of social media. I generally don't care about Facebook, Instagram, etc, beyond their use as event trackers and messengers. My theory about it is similar to others...that despite the connectivity that social media brings, people are using it to form groupthink bubbles more often than not. People are generally a bit more desperate for attention these days, so many of them live to gain points for taking down the "other".

People are so desperate for a way to feel superior and good that they'll irrationally respond to anything that offends their circle's echoes, just for bragging rights, or because they've sort of indoctrinated themselves into an "us vs them" mentality. Personally, I tend to get curious about people's reasonings and motivations. I'm a natural mediator and social butterfly, so I'm open to speaking to people with controversial opinions. Of course, that has limitations, too. When someone is irredeemably stupid and combative, I file them off under the "waste of time" category and move on.

Many have lost the ability to remember that we've all ****ed up at one point or another and that mistakes are a part of learning. If twitter existed when I was a teenager, I probably would have shot myself in the foot enough times to last me two decades. Time has lost meaning because words are preserved indefinitely. Even if they're said in ignorance...before a person has learned valuable lessons in empathy.

These days, people waste time swatting at flies when buses are flying right at them. They sweat the little things and hold people to completely unrealistic standards, only to get disappointed and lash out when that person slips up.
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:50 AM
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Groupthink bubbles used to be called "high school cliques".

Cool kids, nerds, jocks, stoners, chess club, gearheads, etc..
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Old 03-15-2020, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Admin Dirk View Post
Groupthink bubbles used to be called "high school cliques".

Cool kids, nerds, jocks, stoners, chess club, gearheads, etc..
You forgot to say "Back in my day..." and shake your cane. Kidding!

But yes. I think those cliques still exist in the physical world. But the online versions are a bit more insidious as they tend to isolate people from everything else. And then, when folks throw politics in the mix? Hooboy...
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Old 03-15-2020, 06:27 PM
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Back in my day, we'd cane switch a young whippersnapper talk back to their elders like that.

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Old 03-15-2020, 06:33 PM
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On the topic of social issues and kids these days and people being general jerks nowadays...

The Coronavirus panic going on in my city right now, it's brought communities together in some ways. We live near a fain number of retirees, and have offered to do their shopping /errands for them to avoid putting them in dangerous situations. We've met them briefly in the past, but it's helped us get to know them a lot more. And that's been really nice.

Society isn't completely terrible yet!
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  #14  
Old 04-10-2020, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrianaOleander View Post
How is it fair....
It's not. There's nothing to understand. I don't say that to be nihilistic in anyway.....

I wrote a lot more and it all seemed salient but these days, I write my thoughts and then delete. I haven't figured the reason for that just yet. The take away was, everything in its season and seasons come and go.

Last edited by Securis; 04-11-2020 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 04-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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If it bleeds, it leads.

My grandmother used to refuse to watch the local news. She would say that when she watched it she would feel like the city she lived in (New York) was nothing but murders and muggings. She preferred the city she saw every day in her regular life, which was far, far less violent and bleak than an out-of-towner just going by the local news would believe.

The internet has magnified this effect exponentially. Anyone looking at it too long is bound to feel like things are falling apart because the focus is always going to be on conflict and drama. And when you make the general public active participants in content (something the local news couldn't do), the behavior is going to seem even more ubiquitous. I have seen or read about hundreds of horrible people on the internet... but consider the fact that this is out of millions of people on there. I would also point out that most of the horrible people you see on the internet might not be as horrible as you think. You see snapshots of people and have your attention drawn to the ugly snapshots. We all have bad moments and we can all change for the better. You are not the person you were on your worst day... and neither is anyone else.

As for the OP, I sympathize with your situation. To me it looks like you might have a bit of a blindspot about how you treat people and come across to them. I'm not justifying ALL the treatment you've received or denying that you have any legitimate grievances or saying you should pander to terrible people to get them to like you... but surely not everyone who has reacted badly to your personality is a terrible and unreasonable person. Consider how you might be able to change things in your life to get different results. The only person you can really change is you. All the best.
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