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"Screw it!" - A goodbye to all online debating

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by forgiven10, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. forgiven10

    forgiven10 Silver IL'ite

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    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I was just sitting outside in the warm sun and hearing the beautiful chirping of birds. Each one was different- it had a unique tone, length, volume, and mood. “Birds are such wonderful creatures”, I thought to myself. Closing my eyes, I leaned my head against the wall behind me while meditating. Some of you might have read my most recent blog post titled, “The only baggage we all like to carry...” In case you haven't read it, in it I draw a parallel between emotional baggage and physical baggage. Any sane traveler will never continue to carry physical luggage of the past, will he? No, its absurd. If today I travel to Delhi, and three days later I return home, the luggage used in this short trip vanishes soon after the trip comes to an end. Why the heck then, (excuse my not-so-polished vocabulary) do humans carry emotional baggage from like, 10 years ago??? Okay, so that was the blanket topic of that blog. When I was sitting there meditating, I suddenly remembered one experience I had here at IL. Oh, it must have been a month ago- I don't even remember but I was so hurt that I even blogged about it. (hurt at IL- so blog about it on IL; I'm keeping up with my philosophy about discarding baggage, eh?) Well strangely, I STILL feel hurt when I think about this. (Okay evidently, I didn't discard the [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]entire [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]baggage..) Oh, it was nothing new; just a discussion about clothing standards and preferences of women. What started out as a benign discussion ended up as a heated debate! Soon there were two parties arguing for two opposite views on femininity. I was in the minority and hence received a surplus amount of brickbats for emphatically announcing my views. Like any human then, I was hurt. And I left. And I blogged about it. And I forgot about it. So why is it that, when I am calmly enjoying sweet chirping in my backyard, those nasty memories gatecrash into my party? [/FONT]


    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I can't go on like this. I have to do something about these online debates. For a few years, ever since I became interested in intellectualism, I engaged in “friendly” debates where hostile is a more apt title. Often as I would feel the “ouches”, I would push myself to continue because I [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]thought [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]that this was ultimately beneficial. Like, it hurts now but good will come out of it later- so just keep persisting. Well, I was unpleasantly surprised when I started developing a sinister resentment towards people. People in general. Lesson 1: If you let your guard down, your prejudice will take control of you. People are this, people are that. People suck. People are bad. It corrupted my thinking. So back in my backyard, I remembered the little debates I had as a kid with my parents. These were over petty things sure, but they help me make my point, which is, debate is productive in [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]only[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]one setting. And that is, when both parties trust each other. This trust should be so high that ALL prejudice should stoop down below it. I trusted that my parents ultimately meant all things for [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]my[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] good. And my parents trusted that I would obey them. Though for a short time I disliked the disagreement, eventually my trust in their benevolence overcame my stubborn thinking. And though for a short time they were unhappy with my opinions, eventually they were happy that I made the right choices in obedience. That worked! I am thankful for the things they taught me. Well how does that compare to online debating? Here we go- 1. we're complete strangers, 2. we have no higher benevolence towards each other, 3. have no deeper purpose for the debate, and 4. know no contextual background about each other and here's the worst one, 5. we [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]don't care [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]about how the other person feels because we don't know them. Laying aside these factors, we engage in debates with strangers to prove our own little points. Who cares about what led this stranger to hold the view that we so aggressively dislike? Is she coming from an unfortunate past history? Is that why she holds this view? Was she abused as a child? Was she never exposed to education?.....there are many unanswered questions and rightly so because they are, [/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif]unanswerable.[/FONT][FONT=Times New Roman, serif] Knowing this then, I began to ask myself - “is it really worth it to engage strangers in debate?” (And it doesn't help that these are controversial topics). So here's my answer to myself- NO. Lucrative as it may appear, winning a debate is not more important than touching a heart. If I win a debate but my opponent feels cheated or lost, then I too have lost. There is no reason why I should hold my head up high. After all, as a fellow human being, I desire the best for even my opponents. So here's bidding you- online debates- a final goodbye! What you have taught me, I will not forget. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]Ironically, my undernourished love for intellectualism grew through debates. So, I will give them credit for that. And I learnt a lot. I feel like I took a crash course in those topics I debated on. Because, when you read books, articles and magazines you develop a bookish knowledge. But when you talk to people, you put your bookish knowledge to work and get to see the outcome- and learn a whole lot more! So, I did get to experience that aspect of it for which I will always be thankful. But as I weigh the risks now, it just doesn't seem worth it. Instead, I'd prefer to just write about things I know. That way neither will I be risking more than gaining, nor be afraid of getting hurt by strangers. Writing does come with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. But that is a whole different story which is not for now......[/FONT]






    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]What do you think, agree or disagree? (just kidding)[/FONT]




    Alber Einstein was right when he said,


    “[FONT=Times New Roman, serif]It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom.”[/FONT]


    [FONT=Times New Roman, serif]I'm not interested in nuclear physics and, if Einstein thinks debating is harder than that, then I'm not interested in it either so....... SCREW IT!!![/FONT]
     
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  2. zipzipzoomzoom

    zipzipzoomzoom Gold IL'ite

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    I've seen online debates get so nasty and personal. What's the point of reasoning with someone, or expressing your point of view if the other side wants to stoop so low?
     
  3. sreemanavaneeth

    sreemanavaneeth Gold IL'ite

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    Hai for,
    First of all on line debate you cannot say which will fully agreed by the others. So many questions and answers will popup. As you have mentioned share your feelings and views. You cannot fully achive results in the debate area. The argument will continue and ended up with no result sometimes. You are very patiently narrated. Keep it up:thumbsup
     
  4. forgiven10

    forgiven10 Silver IL'ite

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    Thanks for your comments, :thumbsup:
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear forgiven

    Online arguments are as unproductive as swimming on a dry floor. We waste a lot of energy trying to win over detractors who may not be existent. You aim a strong kick at someone only to find that it hits nobody. And that hurts us. Most of the online debaters say things only to provoke us and not to arrive at a meaningful conclusion. Provoking others is the main hobby for many online acquaintances. It gives them a false sense of importance and power which they may be lacking woefully in real life. They recharge themselves by provoking and hurting as many gullible folks online as possible so that they can be ready to face another miserable day of gutless existence. Sane people will avoid getting into arguments with faceless online friends as such arguments are totally counterproductive and sheer waste of time.
    I strongly believe that arguments are merely an antidote to prop up sagging self-esteem. They hardly contribute to a feeling of well being even when we seemingly win an argument. The pleasure of it will just be momentary and then we feel empty again. I always quote the story of a senior sales executive who visits a five star hotel to sell tea cups manufactured by his company. His eloquence wins him the order, a big one at that, and they adjourn for tea after the deal is struck. At the tea table, the sales executive gets into an argument with the hotel manager over which handle suits a tea cup better, oval or circular. After a lot of bitter argument, the sales executive wins the argument but loses the huge order that he had just successfully negotiated!
    Sri
     
  6. forgiven10

    forgiven10 Silver IL'ite

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    Cheeniya Sir, :bowdown Honored to have you respond to my blog, Sir. I am a fan of your "Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings" writings and today, to interact with you is a pleasant surprise. Thank you for reading and taking the time to provide your comments, Sir.

    Wisdom speaks. This is what I have experienced 95% of the time.


    True indeed. During the process of debate, I did not recognize this as a very important cause of outrage. Instead, I used to blame everything on the controversiality of the topic at hand. But now as you say, I realized that the issue goes much deeper...


    Very apt analogy, Sir.

    I guess the only positive thing I carried coming out of this is the people interactive skills I learnt during the process. For which I am thankful. Other than that, it has been a bitter journey and I am ready to leave it and pursue higher avenues of expression like, literature.

    Thank you for your valuable comments. I appreciate it.
     

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