Can't We All Just Get Along?

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    Not everyone thinks alike, nor does everyone share the same views and opinions. We can learn a lot from each other as well as have interesting discussions based on our own unique perspectives. We just have to realize our differences don't rank us as better or best. They are simply our differences.

    I'll start out by saying I'm a pretty open-minded person, but there are many things I do not and will not ever understand. There's a small part of me that thinks I might have been born in the wrong place and time because I just don't get certain things most people do. It honest to goodness doesn't make one bit of sense to me. One example of what I'm talking about is a person's need to put another down.

    What is the purpose of insulting someone else? Bashing their opinions doesn't make yours any better. Disagreeing with someone doesn't make them wrong. What do you gain by attacking and criticizing someone on a public forum? If you don't like or agree with something, why bother with insults? It doesn't change anything except the opinion others have of you. It showcases your immaturity and lack of respect for others, which isn't exactly a positive thing.

    Despite popular belief and proof of the contrary, it is possible to respectfully disagree with someone and voice your side. There is an appropriate approach to express your differing thoughts and opinions in a way that equates discussion rather than argument. However, the problem for most people, in my opinion, comes from the fact that everyone tends to believe they're right and everyone else is wrong, therefore needing to be set straight. It's easy to become defensive and/or offended with this manner of thinking. Anything resembling the slightest bit of dissonance is taken offensively, which is the perfect foundation for starting an argument.

    Just because somebody disagrees with you or has an alternative way of thinking doesn't mean they should be judged based off of that alone. Let me say that again, because this is important: People should not be judged negatively because they have a different opinion. Calling someone stupid, idiotic, clueless, etc, etc, because of that is wrong, plain and simple. It does not make them any less intelligent, nor should they be treated as such.

    I've seen this kind of blatant disregard for other's opinions on a couple of different threads now, and it makes me both sad and confused. This is a site for nurses. We aren't all the same, but that doesn't mean we don't all have something to offer. We learn from each other. We express our thoughts and ideas, share our experiences, ask and give advice, and most importantly, we support each other, or at least we should. If you disagree or have another idea, by all means share it, but you can accomplish that without putting everyone else down.
    Last edit by Joe V on Nov 9, '12
    nkochrn, cardiacrocks, Ejakait, and 20 others like this.

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  2. About MusicalCoffee

    From 'Chicago, IL, US'; Joined Nov '12; Posts: 47; Likes: 103.

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    20 Comments so far...

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    Well said, and I hope people will take it to heart.
    MusicalCoffee and Sinman like this.
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    I agree, as individuals we have different beliefs and opinion. I believe in sharing things and hearing what other people will say about it. I just hope that they say it in a nice way and stop putting down others.
    MusicalCoffee and Sinman like this.
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    Sometimes it's not what we say, but how we say it that matters the most.

    Also, we can disagree with someone's views without being disagreeable. Attitude is everything!
    Ms.MayaRN, echoRNC711, MusicalCoffee, and 1 other like this.
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    Wonderful post...I shamefully admit that I have on occasion allowed my temper to get the better of me and made a rude comment on a forum. I try very hard not to and to simply move onto another post if I cannot state my opinion in a respectful manner. Being human that doesn't work 100% of the time. Thank you for the reminder

    Also in answer to your question of why? My personal opinion is that it is easier to be rude on the internet where you have anonymity and don't have to risk a "real" face to face confrontation with someone
    jporte16, echoRNC711, MusicalCoffee, and 1 other like this.
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    It's the anonymity. People can hide behind their computers and say things they would NEVER say to someone's face because there is no immediate retaliation. Same reasoning behind road rage--you can flip someone the bird in your car and go about your merry little way, but if you did that walking through the mall you'd get punched.
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    Quote from Sinman
    My personal opinion is that it is easier to be rude on the internet where you have anonymity and don't have to risk a "real" face to face confrontation with someone
    Quote from TracyE78
    It's the anonymity. People can hide behind their computers and say things they would NEVER say to someone's face because there is no immediate retaliation.
    Exactly. People who would normally be reasonable in a face-to-face encounter can flip the switch and make objectionable statements when cloaked by the anonymity of the vast world wide web.

    The person who calls someone an 'idiot' on an internet message board might be the meek coworker who would never say such a thing in person. The online political junkie who makes trolling posts such as "Death to liberals!" or "Conservatives are stupid!" is probably the friendliest guy in real life. However, the anonymity of the internet provides a sense of safety that leads some people to lose their civility.
    echoRNC711, MusicalCoffee, and Esme12 like this.
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    Being able to speak your mind more freely is one of the virtues of online message boards. Nobody should be rude.... but people should be prepared for their views/opinions to be challenged when they post here. Otherwise, what's the point?
    nursel56, BuckyBadgerRN, VICEDRN, and 3 others like this.
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    I, too, have had my share of outbursts fueled by anger, frustration, stress, etc, and have found myself coming off as rude and more than a little unreasonable. We are human, and in that sense we have our flaws and sometimes act against what we know is right or fair. I do believe there is a difference between that and someone who consciously just likes to belittle others, though.

    I definitely see how the lack of face-to-face contact can promote that and cause the passive person to become more aggressive. I agree that how you say something plays a big part, as well. This being an online forum, we only get typed words, and not being able to see the person's expression or hear their voice, we can take it in a negative and demeaning way, which was not at all what that person intended. It is, at times, a slippery semantics slope, but I think if we're all more aware of that, we can catch ourseves before flying off the handle and spitting pea soup
    TheCommuter, Sinman, and echoRNC711 like this.

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