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“Doesn’t play well with others”

15 Jul

It might as well be tattooed onto my forehead.

In an effort to meet people my age who might have the same interests, I joined a Facebook group. I lurked for awhile to get a feel for the group and it seemed fine. The people are of both sexes and the only requirements are that they live in Oregon and be over 40. Sounds good, right?

And it was until a woman posted that her divorce was final that day, and while she left with her children because of his substance abuse, she still felt sad about the end of her marriage. She left when she realized that she had “stopped living” and his constant demands for money (she worked, he, of course, did not) meant that her kids were going hungry.

I was in the middle of composing a, “Way to go! Congratulations! You did the right thing for you and your children,” response when someone else (a woman, surprisingly) jumped in with a caustic paragraph condemning the newly-liberated woman for leaving her man when he was at his lowest. “You wouldn’t leave if he had cancer, would you? Alcoholism is the same thing. You’re a horrible person who will burn in hell.” or words to that effect.

Red flag in front of a bull! To compare substance abuse to cancer is not only ignorant, but cruel to a person who is still raw from being a victim of it at the hands of the man she meant to spend the rest of her life with.

I fired off an “I call bullshit on your comparison and here’s why…” reply and sat back to see what would happen. Several others joined in to tell Sarah Sunshine (yes, that’s her name) she was wrong to abuse another member of the group and that she needed to back off. She kept on, berating everyone who disagreed with her in rapidly escalating language. And then she started throwing around the c-word. Yep. She called three women posting to the thread cunts and said that she would rather shoot up a speed ball and follow it with a shot of vodka than be in a relationship with any of us narrow-minded, judgmental cunts.

That’s when the moderator of the group deleted the post.

Okay, fine. It did get out of control and name calling is the lowest form of debate. But then he posted (twice) telling everyone that he wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior and blah, blah, blah. Okay, I get it, but he was rather condescending, and to post twice? Really? He posted again this morning saying that he had some new moderators and there would be a crackdown on “inappropriate content.” Several people started asking in the comments what exactly that meant (as if he hadn’t already outlined his New Rules in the previous posts.) It got silly very quickly and I commented that I would never post anything I wouldn’t say to anyone’s face and couldn’t we all just act like adults?

My comment was deleted about ten minutes later. No warning, no questions asked, just gone. The new moderator posted an apology to another member for deleting his comment before reading it thoroughly. What? Someone else chimed in, asking WTF was going on with the comment deleting and I asked why my comment had been deleted as it was a harmless eye-roll.

I was told, with a shout out for all to see, that I was welcome to leave if I didn’t like my comments being deleted for no reason.

And so I left the group. This always happens. I’m also a thread killer – if I comment on something, very soon everyone quits posting. I dunno. I don’t think I’m especially combative online – I really don’t type anything I wouldn’t say to your face and I don’t mean to piss people off or whatever it is I do, but there ya go.

What say you? Did I do the right thing? Am I just being paranoid and/or crazy?

 

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17 responses to ““Doesn’t play well with others”

  1. 1jaded1

    July 15, 2015 at 6:51 pm

    Sometimes the truth hurts, and you needed to tell it. While I have my own thoughts on substance abuse, I would never degrade to using the c word on someone who disagreed with me. Regarding deleting a comment that didn’t threaten anyone, that is just childish. Another instance where age does not equal maturity, I guess.

     
    • Sofia Leo

      July 16, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Yeah, name calling just reduced the debate to its lowest form and did not at all address the woman’s sadness at the end of her marriage, even though she did what was best for her and her children.

       
  2. JackieP

    July 15, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    I think you were right to leave the group. First you get attacked from someone who is not very nice then your harmless comment gets deleted. People are strange creatures. That’s probably why I generally am not a joiner.

     
    • 1jaded1

      July 16, 2015 at 4:44 am

      I hope you don’t mind, Sophia. I second Jackie’s emotion.

       
      • Sofia Leo

        July 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

        Great minds think alike! 🙂

         
    • 1jaded1

      July 16, 2015 at 5:06 am

      Sofia….I mean.

       
    • Sofia Leo

      July 16, 2015 at 8:58 am

      I’m not usually a joiner, either, but I thought this group might offer something different and productive. Sadly, it’s nothing more than another high school clique with an agenda.

       
  3. NotAPunkRocker

    July 16, 2015 at 10:21 am

    It sounds like a group I would not have gotten along with if I had met outside of FB, so yeah, I would move on. Sorry it didn’t work out.

     
    • Sofia Leo

      July 16, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Meh. Live and learn. I thought I should step outside my comfort zone a little and once again my faith in humanity was stomped into the ground.

       
  4. awana

    July 16, 2015 at 11:50 am

    No. I think you usually sound very adult and well-experienced on the subject. People don’t want educators, adults or professionals. They want drama. And they would never have the guts to talk to anyone the way they do online, unless they live a Jerry Springer life, then, all is lost to them. You won’t find many serious blogs on these subjects out there…but an awful lot of ridiculous comments. I feel that woman was forced to make a choice; glad she chose the ones who could turn into productive citizens…the other child is lost.

     
    • Sofia Leo

      July 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      Drama is all anyone wants these days, it seems. I just don’t get it. To leave a bad situation to save yourself and your children seems like such a brave thing to do – you’re stepping out into the void with (likely) no safety net, and to have everyone berate you for “abandoning” your abuser is so cruel. As Kasey Musgraves says, “Pissing on my lawn won’t make yours any greener…”

       
  5. El Guapo

    July 16, 2015 at 12:12 pm

    (Just leaving a comment here so I can get in before the whole post is deleted.)

     
    • Sofia Leo

      July 16, 2015 at 12:59 pm

      LOL! I fired the moderator 😀

       
  6. Carrie Reimer

    July 16, 2015 at 1:37 pm

    I would have done what you did. I have done what you did. I really hate it when people judge others when they don’t have a flippin clue what their full story is. Alcoholic is NOT like cancer. A person generally can not help getting cancer whereas an alcoholic does have free will and really it is none of anyone else’s business. That woman doesn’t know what that husband was like drunk or what that woman went through. Usually when someone attacks someone else like that it is because they have their own issues. She is probably with a drunk and the high from the martyrdom isn’t working any more. how many times have we heard the Alcoholic has to reach rock bottom before they will quit? I was married to an alcoholic who I loved to death but he was not going to quit drinking no matter how long I begged cajoled, or how many hangovers I nursed or how many accidents he had while drinking. One year after we split, on my birthday, he took his last drink and he has been sober for close to 30 years. I am convinced he would not have quit if I would have stayed. He has been with the same woman for almost 25 years. I am happy for him.
    Anyway, I would have defended the woman’s choice to leave and save herself and her children.
    I would have also asked why my comment got deleted and I also would have quit the forum just like you did.
    But I can be a bit of a shit disturber and tend to get on my soap box a lot. Guess that’s why I like you! 🙂

     
  7. Jana

    July 19, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    It’s difficult enough to get along in person – but online, where tone and expression cannot be heard or seen – it makes it that much worse. However, why stay in a group where there is volatility and where you do not feel respected? Life is hard enough – no one needs additional drama. If you are wanting to meet others with shared interests, why not try MeetUp? If you’re not in the US, I know they have similar groups in other countries. I joined a book club, board game group, and a hiking group. The board game group was full of gossiping, bossy women – I gave them a few chances and then after a night where I was shown zero respect, I left – never to return. However, the other two groups are fabulous! I have met several people I enjoy seeing and a couple that I now see outside of the group.

     
    • Sofia Leo

      July 22, 2015 at 12:42 pm

      I am on Meet-up and did in fact go on a 5k walk with a group. I should do more of that…

       

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