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Aflower

Real life Introverts = Cyber Bullies?

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I appreciate that I am generalising in this topic based on my personal experience/observations - and I am beginning this topic by making this disclaimer.

Also, this is of course not always strictly true - however, in some instances I have observed that people who claim to be the biggest introverts in 'real' life tend to be the most callous and rude individuals online. They tend to be at loggerheads with, and, actively pick fights with individuals who (1) don't agree with their world view and/or (2) refuse to continue a debate with them. Thereon they 'mark their card' and hold grudges against that person perennially - waiting for any opportunity to try to catch them out or belittle them. What they fail to see of course is that via these actions they are merely serving to lose their own dignity. 

Most sensible online users understand, (irrespective of if they are introverts or extroverts in real life), that it is perfectly acceptable to (1) agree to disagree, (2) be undecided or conflicted on a subject, (3) not have an opinion, (4) have a very strong opinion, (5) change one's opinion based on another users narrative or (6) any other combination, (7) choose not to continue the debate altogether or with a certain individual/individuals.

However, what shocks me is when people who claim to be introverts in real life are so overtly crude online.  I am not singling out introverts per se, as I do appreciate that everyone can have a bad day irrespective of if they are introverts or extroverts. Also, I am sure that extroverts are as guilty (if not more guilty of this) than introverts. However, one would naturally expect introverts to be more controlled in their speech than extroverts. At least that is my take on this. 

To cite an example of such a person on this site, today I narrated a very personal incident that has been troubling me.  A certain user who claims to be an introvert in real life has had my 'card marked' as we don't tend to agree on discussed topics. Quite simply out of the blue this user began making a personal and unwarranted verbal attack on me. It doesn't bother me in the least but it got me wondering that this same person wouldn't have the audacity to hurl such comments to a person in real life so why do it online?

I acknowledge that I am on a slippery slope here and the tide is against me, as my understanding is that most people who tend to use online forums are typically introverts. In which case I appreciate that this post may appear to be a generic attack to all online users, but that is not my intention. I hope that people can respond with an open mind without taking it personally.

Here are some topics relating to this that I'd appreciate feedback on:

(1) Why do certain people (introvert or otherwise) think that it is acceptable to leave comments online that that they would never contemplate saying face to face (especially as this is ShiaChat and one would expect certain etiquette to be observed)?

(2) Given that this is ShiaChat - a religious site - should one not be more aware of their akhlaq?

(3) Do certain (not all) introverts feel more empowered online as they are not interacting with someone face to face and hence, do they feel more liberated, which in turn causes them to write loathsome/insensitive/hurtful things online?

(4) The above scenario of course applies to all online users and not just introverts.

(5) Do people genuinely believe that if they've had the last word they've won the debate? This is something that always makes me chuckle!

(6) Why do some people insist on debating things to death? Why can't people just agree to disagree or choose not continue the debate?

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I suppose it makes sense- like why bullies in school are bullies. They have their own problems and low self esteem that makes them want to hurt others. I think it’s also the anonymity factor that makes people “meaner” online. You can say virtually anything to anyone without worrying about any real world repurcussions. I think it also gives some people some kind of warped sense of power(like the real world bullies).

It's also important to consider that in most online communities, a vocal minority is responsible for most of the conversation that is going on. People with more moderate opinions on a certain topic will have less incentive to actually. In real life, radical, offensive, ignorant, etc. opinions get shut down pretty quickly. The internet also gives you a much wider radius in which to find people with similar ideas. 

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I'm very introverted.... 

Introverted is not the same thing as quiet, shy, or socially inept. Introverted people tend to keep their feelings and inner thoughts to themselves. They find socialization exhausting and need time alone. 

Perhaps what you've observed is that people who are hateful tend to keep quiet in face to face interaction where they are likely to be called out and identified, but openly themselves online where they are anonymous. 

Edited by notme

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I think nearly everyone (if not everyone) is a introvert on Shiachat including me. It doesn't mean we are all bullies lol. Maybe some of us want attention and a reaction from others. I think introverts are more likely not to have developed social skills than extroverts. We are very sensitive people.

Edited by Murtaza1

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I don't get the impression we are all introverts or that there is a connection between being an introvert and poor behaviour.  I think people can be aggressive and rude with poor akhlaq regardless of introvert or extrovert personalities.

The anonymity of online, of course, emboldens people, at times, to be not their best.  It is something that we need to constantly self-monitor. We also need to recognize the first signs of aggressive behaviour in others... and then clearly step away from it.

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44 minutes ago, Murtaza1 said:

I think nearly everyone (if not everyone) is a introvert on Shiachat including me. It doesn't mean we are all bullies lol. Maybe some of us want attention and a reaction from others. I think introverts are more likely not to have developed social skills than extroverts. We are very sensitive people.

I am not an introvert and I hope that I made it abundantly clear in my original post that I am by no means implying that ALL introverts are cyber bullies. I am not insinuating that being an introvert is synonymous with being a cyber bully. Of course even extroverts have the capacity to be cyber bullies.

Most people would agree, as do you, that most introverts are rather sensitive. You yourself stated that "nearly everyone (if not everyone) is a introvert on Shiachat". It therefore surprises me that 'certain' (not all) individuals with this personality trait can be so antagonising on line - which is of course far from displaying sensitivity. 

I came across an article online which specified the following:

Researchers have conducted studies to determine some of the common characteristics of cyberbullies (Heaton):

  • Tend to be introverts, underachievers and underdogs
  • May suffer from low self esteem
  • May feel like they are victims themselves
  • Can have difficulty expressing anger appropriately
  • Would tend to not say to a person’s face what they can say anonymously online
  • Uses the Internet as a means to get even with others
  • Doesn’t tend to take responsibility for his actions

(Reference: http://psydprograms.org/what-is-cyberbullying/)

I want to reiterate that I was NOT stating that all introverts are cyber bullies. But independent studies do reflect that most cyberbullies tend to be introverts. These two statements do not mean the same thing. 

I do concur about certain people trying to get a reaction from others.

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12 minutes ago, Aflower said:

I am not an introvert and I hope that I made it abundantly clear in my original post that I am by no means implying that ALL introverts are cyber bullies. I am not insinuating that being an introvert is synonymous with being a cyber bully. Of course even extroverts have the capacity to be cyber bullies.

You're not understanding the word "introvert" and what it means:    A person characterized by interest in or preoccupation with oneself or one's own thoughts as opposed to others or the environment; shy or reserved.

2 hours ago, notme said:

Introverted is not the same thing as quiet, shy, or socially inept. Introverted people tend to keep their feelings and inner thoughts to themselves. They find socialization exhausting and need time alone. 

^ Does this sound like a bully to you @Aflower

Edited by Gaius I. Caesar

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56 minutes ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

You're not understanding the word "introvert" and what it means:

^ Does this sound like a bully to you @Aflower

Thank you for your response. This post is strictly about online chat room/forum communication (such as on ShiaChat). Namely regarding conduct and bullying. It is not about any other forms of bullying such as that which occurs face-to-face.  Needless to say, all forms of bullying are reprehensible and abhorrent.

@notme

I believe/hope that I do understand the difference between introverted and extroverted people. This of course would be a whole other topic - but IMHO, when it comes to communicating on a face-to-face basis, I don't believe that most introverted people would wish to be confrontational if avoidable, or to to arouse hostility unnecessarily. Please understand that I am not saying that introverted people don't know how to assert themselves or that they can't, or won't, take a stand. I know that they can, and indeed do, when warranted.

I am tempted to continue writing but I don't want to go 'off topic'. 

It's almost 5 in the morning here and I haven't slept a wink yet... I hope I'm making sense. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------

Edit

@notme states: "Introverted is not the same thing as quiet, shy, or socially inept".

@Gaius I. Caesar defines introverts as "..... shy or reserved".

Bit of a contradiction?

Edited by Aflower

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1 hour ago, Aflower said:

 

@notme states: "Introverted is not the same thing as quiet, shy, or socially inept".

@Gaius I. Caesar defines introverts as "..... shy or reserved".

Bit of a contradiction?

Being shy or reserved is simply one aspect of being introverted, it can be true for some introverts, not all  but where I wanted to bring your attention to is here: 

 

2 hours ago, Gaius I. Caesar said:

    A person characterized by interest in or preoccupation with oneself or one's own thoughts as opposed to others or the environment;

 ^ This is what I define an introvert e.g. I don't feel a need to fit with the "in" crowd or keep with the Jones family because I am focused on my personal needs/problems/thoughts. 

Now why am I bringing this up and  how does it pertain to your question? Well, a bully bullies people for control over them, how they perceive him/her and give them a sense of security and/or power.. Again, this is also true for cyber bullies, especially the perception part. A bully will try to silence others or ideas that make him/her uncomfortable, they are very preoccupied with others and their environment. They seek to validate themselves in the approval/fear of others. They want to be approved of or feared by their family/friends, community, forum and they thrive off the attention. This is why they gang up on people, power. They simply love it, because it justifies their beliefs or behavior and gives them a reason to continue. Introverts don't care for it, attention can make them physically ill from stress or exhausted because they don't like being put on the spot, that's why there is no real need to actively seek out attention for the point of view of an introvert.

Bullies are emotionally/mentally stunted people, very socially inept as well. They react inappropriately to life's inconveniences, instead of calming down or finding a different alternative/solution to the problem. In life, they will punch, berate, threaten or scream until you give them what they want (e.g. attention, reaction). Cyber bullies will also harass you until you give them what they want namely, attention. When our attention is given, the cycle will continue.

Quote

The trouble is, bullying behavior is something that is developed over years and years of difficult circumstances, threatening parenting styles, and a lack of healthy social interactions – it could take years to correct, and indeed, there may be no rehabilitating a bully.

http://aplatformforgood.org/the-mind-behind-the-bully-the-psychology-of-bullying/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compulsive-acts/201501/cyberbullying

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/ucla-psychology-study-explains-when-and-why-bystanders-intervene-in-cyberbullying

^ Some relevant links to check out and read,

 

 

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9 hours ago, Aflower said:

They tend to be at loggerheads with, and, actively pick fights with individuals who (1) don't agree with their world view and/or (2) refuse to continue a debate with them. Thereon they 'mark their card' and hold grudges against that person perennially - waiting for any opportunity to try to catch them out or belittle them.

Or perhaps they are simply stating their point of view and you are taking offence at some perceived slight when they're just speaking their mind? If you perceive another individual's attempt's to convince you as the result of some sort of perennial grudge, are you not disregarding your own advice:

9 hours ago, Aflower said:

...it is perfectly acceptable to...(4) have a very strong opinion...

Maybe these individuals just have strong opinions on a matter like you do, and are unable to let go of a topic if they feel that the correct conclusion has not been reached? By creating a thread to berate such individuals, are you, yourself, not choosing to hold a grudge and not letting things go?

I'm not that emotional in general so I don't take people's words to heart or assume that people have evil emotions if they disagree with me or argue with me continuously. Perhaps they are just misunderstanding me or I'm not explaining my point properly. @Asghar Ali Karbalai referred to me or the people on my side of an argument as honourless and shameless on the thread about a woman showing her body before marriage to a suitor. Since his position was so illogical to me, I continued to debate him on the matter and even got quite a bit aggressive and sanctimonious in my posts.

After a few more posts, I decided to change tacks and wrote a loooong essay with a fictional story that took the largely abstract nature of the legal discussion at hand and related it to its practical implementation in reality. Once I had done that, I had possibly one of the most satisfying moments on ShiaChat ever where he liked my post and said he agreed with what I said. He just couldn't relate the abstraction of the law to its practice in reality. Once I showed him the link, he was okay with it. I was just not speaking his language. Once I did, the problem was resolved. And the person I had been sanctimonious to just a few hours ago gained my respect for being able to admit when he misunderstood something.

I didn't assume he was a bully who just wanted to be rude to me for no reason because I could see how he would have thought the law may be seen as insulting and degrading to women, and I don't think I was a bully, even if I did get a little aggressive out of my frustration, for staying on his case until he finally understood where I was coming from. I don't think we should assume negative intentions on other peoples' parts in most cases, not unless we can read their minds. We should make our point, counter their rebuttals a few times and then let it go. Don't assume why a person is or isn't saying what they are. If you feel they're getting really out of line, then advise them gently because, maybe, they are thinking tough love is needed in a particular case or being nice and agreeable is not possible since the subject under debate is too important. If we just assumed that people meant what they said, life would be much easier for all of us, instead of us spending so much time and energy assuming who is or isn't a troll, who holds a grudge and doesn't, who should be reprimanded for being rude and who shouldn't. Let them do what they want, you do what you want. Let life go on. Even if the other person is holding a grudge and is a bully, why waste your time feeling bad about a bully? Isn't that what the other person wants? Assume the best of the other person you can; and if you really can't, then leave them to their devices. It is, in my opinion, the best means of attaining happiness and peace of mind in a debate.

@Asghar Ali Karbalai Sorry for bringing you into this. It was just one of the best examples I could give, and one of the very few instances I've seen on ShiaChat where two people agreed after a spirited disagreement, at least in recent times.

Edited by Khadim uz Zahra

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@Aflower Do you start a thread attacking people every time you get offended? I am seeing a pattern here. Why not reply to them in the thread and get it over with OR of it's really not worth your time, or not bothering you then why waste even 10 secs over it? If you feel someone is attacking you unjustly you can always use the report function.

You have indirectly called another member a 'loggerhead', 'callous', 'rude' 'someone who holds grudges' and attacks people. For now, that member has displayed more self control than you. If he/she started replying here this could turn into a mess.

Edited by starlight

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