Sunday, March 20, 2011

Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it... Proverbs 23:9

Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it... Proverbs 23:9

When I grew up every Sunday, at my family's breakfast table, we all had to recite a Bible Verse. Most of the time, when I was young, I would say, "Jesus Wept" or "God is Love". As I got older and started to read the Bible more with studies, I learned of this verse, Proverbs 23:9. I guess I was ~14-15 years old and growing into myself, with my own ideas. And felt the oppression of being a teen, a woman, and Black all at one time. This was in the early-1980's - BC - Before Cosby, Before Computers.

What struck me about this verse was the fact that there is no reason why we need to argue about our beliefs other than to announce them and provide clarification. People do not need to sway our thoughts one way or another if we have faith in God, shown in Jesus Christ. Why do I need to convince anyone of my convictions? But when I was a young person, I did not see it that. I saw it as alienating the group that I wanted to like me. And more often than not, that group was living life on the edge - doing drugs, carousing, skipping school, etc.

Fortunately, I had my Sunday breakfast Bible Verse recitation, that was more afraid of failing than those young people in the "fast lane" in Southern California. Having those kids hate me and spread vicious rumors about me at school was less fearing than not having my Bible Verse ready. It was not so much the admonishment I got from my folks, it was more disrespectful I showed to God that I feared.

I have been on Social Media for quite a while. And these days the civility of conversation, no matter how inane it can be is degenerated by disrespectful and unmindful people. Basically, their parents did not teach these young people basic social manners and etiquette. Some of the statements that are made are so severe it attacks people at their core being. Having read an article on Newsweek about how inundated we are with information, the multi-tasking is exacerbating our brain inability for effective decision making. We humans have never been this barraged with information at our finger tips and our prefrontal cortex is unable to keep up with the demands, so it decides the quickest and quantified route versus the creatively thought out, planned and qualified route to the best decision. It is that age-old "instant gratification, microwave thinking".

Then, after we make our decisions, we are uncomfortable with it and commiserate with our "social groups" online about how we could have chosen "better". And sometimes, there is a "troll" who like to be the fly in the ointment mentality and harasses to dominate and usually, it feels I am the target, but I know I am not the only one. That which I describe is called cyberbullying.

How to minimize interacting with cyberbullying is by:


It is not so much them asking me challenging questions, but the Ad Hominem logical fallacies or "name calling" are a "dead giveaway". The descriptive terms about my "avatar" or who and what I say I am. My avatar could be a pile of cow dung and I would get called "shit head"... I say I am Black Woman and I get called a "nigger bitch"... The minute name calling happens, any logical discussion has ended.

Another one is domination of direction of the conversation. Maybe just talking about the weather and it is one thing to not how it is horrific or nice it is in various places. But the conversation ends for me when someone unknown to me tells me I "should" be _______________ (fill in the blank). There are several logic fallacies that are in play here. Psychologically, this "should" conversation is about "power and control" ant the person doling out the domination is usually out of control and seeking to take power from whomever will give him or her a chance. The minute "shoulds" start happening, I say "bless your heart" and walk away, which is very difficult to do.

Over the years, my memory has started to fade and I had forgotten that lone Bible Verse of my youth. Then one day, I was cyberbullyed on Facebook and the verse just popped into my mind. Now, we have "Google" search engines and immediately it appeared with cross references of all the Christian denominational Bible texts. I like the present one the most because it is very simple and easy for all to understand.

The minute the following was shared, the person was harassed. Some of the comments have been deleted and the identities have been redacted.

The point is for this mundane non-critical amount of silliness, is that the commentators need say nothing if they disagree with the statement. Afterward there were several posts made about the verse not on the feed and the person who posted the verse was "unfriended" by quite a few people, which Facebook tracks.

Why were they offended to unfriend someone sharing some information, regardless of its source?

I think it is because they never knew the Christian Bible had that information and if they kept their uncivilized behavior, they would be seen as unappreciative and the speaker who is being nice, by choice, finds them a waste of time...

But there is another facet here: pleasant dinner table conversations with sociality or a deipnosophist, would keep the lively nature of the conversation and would not waste people's time, lest they would be seen as a fool... Usually for someone to keep the attentions of court there were stories that were told, rather than argumentative emotional behaviors.

These kinds of casual conversations often did make political policy in high court. That is why it was called etiquette. But a whole generation has not been reared with that mentality and it shows on Social Media. Moreover, the neurological effects caused by social media are just been completed and what is found has mixed results. It is a good way to maintain sociality until addiction sets in, then the communication deficits come in at play without common human face to face interactions.

What to do about that? I no longer have private personal conversations in chat or instant message rooms unless I have seen an interaction on my public feed for a month without altercations. I also have a "tire kicker" rule that I set for myself. If I say the sky is blue and some disagrees with me and challenges me, they have 5-10 posts to get to the validity of their point, then I cease interaction, either by unfriending them or block.

Belligerent and hurtful posts have immediate screenshots and posted on a blog indicating the offense, especially if the person is unknown.

It works sometimes. I makes me feel better in the long run to keep myself in control and make my social media experience positive. I keep my social media strategies for myself and my business and the interesting part is, I have been praying to God to grab a hold of me...

When I least expected it, He was right there... And this time it was a reminder...

Don't try to talk sense to a fool; he can't appreciate it...