Honestly, now that we can all be connected with strangers on the internet in facebook groups and on message boards it seems like the ones that have been in the peaches are getting more prevalent. Probably not, but in the old days we just didn't seem to run into them as often.
I've been using this quote a lot...
"Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted."~~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Now, I love social media. I don't get out of the house much, and the computer gives me the means to interact with people every day. In fact, the computer has been to the repair shop recently, and we are hoping to be able to save up money to replace it as its days are definitely numbered. One of the main problems with being poor is not being able to replace things when they break. :(
But, I digress.
Where did all the crazy people come from?
A weight loss group I belong to on facebook got a new member yesterday. She's a bit overeager, and apparently if you have a different opinion than her you are picking on her. She messaged me this morning to tell me that since she once weighed 500 pounds she was more of an expert on being overweight than the rest of the group. I messaged back that she wasn't more of an expert on being overweight, she was just an expert on her experience-that from what she wrote my experience of weighing 500 pounds was totally different than hers, but that's OK. Her response was "P*ss the f*ck off."
Seriously. Made me laugh, then made me sad.I belong to several different groups in order to get more than one viewpoint on a subject. Different opinions are just that, different, and I like thinking about things from different angles.
So, as one who depends on online communities, let me give some advice. I am not an expert on anything-just my opinion.
When you join a group or community, hang around a bit and get a feel for the way the community talks to each other. One of the boards I participate on is full of amazing wit, sarcasm, and tough love. Another is very spiritual. If i jumped in without seeing that it would probably not be conducive to becoming part of the community.
Don't complain about another community in this one. Honestly, it just makes you look petty and childish.
Participate. Sharing your experience of life is what community is all about. Common interests can be great fun. Holding yourself out as an expert however, doesn't usually end well. If my experience is different than yours that in no way invalidates yours.
Stop trying to impress. If you only join a community in order to impress people, you might need to look at why you feel the need for validation from complete strangers. In every community I participate in there are people from all walks of life. It may be difficult to impress a community that contains some very accomplished people. Usually there are posters from SAHM to CEO, teachers, retail clerks, doctors, lawyers-GED to PhD. That is one of the beauties of online communities. The opportunity to interact with a diverse group of people.
Don't engage. Once you have determined that you are dealing with someone who gets in the peaches, step away. Engaging will just take your time,and will unfortunately fuel their narcissistic personalities. You can't support or encourage them in anyway that won't fuel that, and that is sad because most of us who participate in online communities really do want to help.
Cyber friends are some of the best friends I have ever had. I have met many people via online communities. I am nurtured, supported, encouraged on a daily basis online.
But, every now and then I still have to step back and chuckle as I think "What the heck is wrong with you. Step away from the peaches!"
Peace and Blessings,