Facebook vs Web Forums and Newsgroups

I have been involved in several communities since the early days of electronic communications. I still remember chatting on CompuServe and BBSs way back in the day. 

I have found that the same idiots exist in all of these environments. OK, “idiots” is a bit harsh, but I think it helps to make my point.

Personally, I love having good discussions. I have no issues with people that disagree with me even if they are ignorant fools. Smile

The last few weeks have really helped me understand the people that drive me crazy. It really isn’t because they don’t share my values or my views. It is because:

  • They make statements of fact that are clearly opinions.
  • They make statements of fact that are completely erroneous.
  • When asked to backup their statements with some good links to reliable sources, they say then will and then either back them up with non-reliable sources such as blogs or they say that they will do that later when they have time and then fail to do that.
  • They have clear biases but are not willing to acknowledge their bias.
  • They think that repeating themselves somehow makes their statements more powerful.
  • They think that ignoring direct questions is a great way of debating a topic.
  • They think that directly insulting others is a great way to debate.
  • They use analogies that they can’t explain or that just don’t apply at all to the situation.

What drives me crazy is that even when you point out what they are doing, they still don’t get it because they aren’t used to having discussions with multiple people and multiple ideas. I have noticed that there really are not too many people that are friends that don’t have similar views, and the exposure to friends of friends that have different views is confusing to many people. It is like they are discovering that the rest of the world doesn’t agree with them, and they can’t make blanket statements without being challenged now. They are shocked when people disagree with them.

What is I find funny is that these same behaviors have existed for years and years, but now that Facebook has become so pervasive, we have a bunch of new people that don’t know how to properly discuss issues.

I have to share one that really makes me laugh. A friend that I have known for about 20 years has a real issue with Sarah Palin. I get that. She is a polarizing figure. I have no issues with him disliking her as I really don’t care for her either. However, what I really get a kick out of is one of his friends that insists that we (and thus Palin) should never criticize the President, and we should all cooperate. His belief is that if the party wins the Presidency then it is their turn, and everyone should cooperate with that party. He said that those that speak against the President (such as Palin) are committing treason and are anti-patriotic because they are causing divisions in power. He doesn’t understand that we have the right of free speech and can criticize the President all we want. He states that the President is a leader and everyone should follow his lead. Of course, explaining the rights granted to individuals in our Constitution and explaining the definitions of words like treason just are ignored. He thinks he is winning the discussion.

There are many instances that I can use as examples. However, I really do value good discussions. I have no problem having a discussion regarding where Government should be involved and where Government should not be involved. I have no problem discussing social issues such as marriage and domestic partnerships. I have no problems talking about my view on religion. I have no problems discussing my views regarding different operating systems. I have no problem talking about the value of different Web browsers. The list goes one. All I ask is that there be intelligent discussion with real facts that can be backed up with resources.

Anyways, social networking has been around forever, and it can be very interesting in how it helps build social as well as commercial relationships. I guess that people like me need to realize that there are a great number of people that are new to social networking and having discussions with people that do not share their views.

For the fun of it, I am:

  • Pro-Windows, semi Pro Unix, and anti-Linux
  • Pro-Google for Google Voice, Google mail (Premier level with Outlook sync), and Search
  • Pro-iPhone, semi Pro-Windows Phone 7, and anti Android
  • Pro-Tebow and anti-Orton
  • Pro-National League and anti-American League
  • Pro-Natural Grass and anti-astro turf
  • Pro-Outdoor stadiums and anti-domes
  • Pro-Internet Explorer and anti-Chrome and Firefox
  • Pro-Exchange and anti-Notes
  • Pro-minimal Government, anti-big Government and entitlements

I have tons of opinions, but you need to be prepared before engaging me via social media to discuss my opinions.

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