Discussion in 'The Undercity' started by seebs, Mar 16, 2017.
Anon has been around long enough to not get a buy on "didn't know it would be upsetting".
I is being taked away from the puter for a few hours (again!). I is not mad at @ASPD Anon - I find their position difficult, but I is not mad.
I think some of the confusion may be that there are cases where an instigation doesn't lead to a negative response. Friendly needling between friends is something I brought up already, and it's something I tend to do, but let me find an example that's closer to the case on here.
Hmm hm. Okay. So let's go straight back to anonymous. Some of their posts have been pretty directly hurtful to people. But some of them.... it's still trolling, and I'm not a huge fan and totally understand why it bothers some people, but in terms of the direct action, I'd call it more of a victimless crime? If I write up a thoughtful thing speculating about why they're interacting the way they are, try to extend a bit of a bridge for them to move into less dickish behavior. And they cherry pick just one little barely-relevant part of it and respond with a silly reaction image. My knee-jerk emotion is 'augh, you ass, I'm trying to communicate!'
But that anger poofs out very quickly, it's not the kind of anger that sticks with me, or even hurts me. It's a pretty run-of-the-mill emotion for me to be feeling. I don't act on it because 1) I'm lazy, and 2) they want me to react in a noisy, angry way, which will be funny to them, and I am powered by 200% spite and the desire to thwart other people. If I did respond with something angry about 'why are you doing this? you're reading these words, so I assume you're able to type them too! why are you even around if you don't want to communicate with the people you're interacting with???', that's exactly what they're after. That's the... original(?) nature of trolling, where you do something that is pretty darn harmless and get a disproportionate response to it that you can laugh at.
And it would be easy to let myself slip into a very sincere argument about that if I wasn't used to using my inertia to derail negative emotions. It's a tactic that would work on me if I wasn't used to dodging that first emotional response. If someone is trolling in a benign way, most folks aren't going to take harmful anger away from the situation. They'll be irritated for a moment and it will pass, and maybe someone will let themselves get sucked into a disproportionately emotional, overblown fight. Which isn't really what's happening on here, especially when you look at their actions as a whole. But instigation in and of itself doesn't have to be a bad thing.
(though also, given the nature of your emotional responses, it may be something that's especially difficult for you to handle, even in its more benign forms)
(also, this is speculation, but since text communication takes serious effort for Lissa to parse and participate in, I'd guess that missing pieces of a conversation will be pretty hard for her, especially since anonymous frequently gets a long series of responses to their posts, and she'll be missing the initial context for what everyone is saying)
Ah! This is what I was trying to get at. The line where 'ability to cope' lies varies a lot from person to person, and yours is a pretty major outlier. Short of knowing you on a personal level, most people from the outside wouldn't be calibrated for your limits at all.
Which isn't definitely isn't your fault, and you take lots of precautions for how you deal with things. But, example. When that one guy grabbed you and you laid into him, you'd been medically evaluated to confirm that yes, she CAN'T cope past X point. And you'd laid out legal precautions with the signs and people being told how to deal with you and such. So when you beat that guy up pretty good, he had the legal responsibility for what you did.
If a guy grabbed me from behind in the office, and I hit him even once, even lightly, maybe not even hard enough to bruise... I don't know if I'd get away with that, or if I'd be in trouble. I'd be expected to cope with that level of input. His actions still wouldn't be okay, but my response would be beyond allowable bounds, in terms of what they'd expect me to control. At the very least, if I hit him after I'd gotten him to let go, I'd definitely be in trouble, more trouble than he'd be in for grabbing me. And if I kept hitting him, especially enough if it needed medical treatment... I don't know how bad it would be, but I'd be in some deep, deep shit. And I have a VERY strong negative reaction to being unexpectedly touched, or touched by the wrong people, but without major outside confirmation that I'm a special case, I'll be in trouble for my actions, even if I'd actually be super upset over being grabbed for days and days. That's just the default social settings people will assume apply to me, and which they'll hold me to.
So anonymous's trolling has hit in some not-okay places for sure. This is a forum that's already going to be a bit of a minefield for that stuff. And you're especially vulnerable to that kind of thing. But on the other hand, placing them on ignore can potentially cause you some serious stress/distress down the line, as they chime in on future discussions. And I think you're saying that by telling you to put them on ignore, people are blaming you for anonymous pushing beyond your ability to cope. I'm not sure exactly what a solution would be, but I think that might be what you're trying to get at.
If I took a completely random forum member and suicide-baited them via PM, not knowing whether they'd be affected by it, just tell me to fuck off, or make fun of me, I don't think they'd be responsible if they took it badly.
I think part of the disconnect is coming from how different people interpret feeling things and acting on things? Like, "getting angry" can mean two things: feeling the emotion of anger or having an outward expression of anger. It can also mean both simultaneously! But if one person is using definition B and someone else is using definition A, the idea of 'responsibility' and 'control' mean very different things?
Anonymous is a papercut. Annoying, sort of there, shows up in the weirdest places and irritates you until you realize that the problem is a paper cut. But just because they're an annoying, inconsequential, mostly easy to avoid irritation doesn't mean that the physical nerve response of PAIN is completely under your (general you) control.
So definition B says: "This is a papercut; it's annoying, but at most I have to slap a bandaid on it, it's not worth kicking a fuss up over. I don't have to go to the hospital for this."
Definition A says: "This is a papercut; it's caused me physical pain. The physical pain is mostly insignificant, and I can safeguard against it happening in the future by [using nonpaper books/putting the paper on ignore/wearing those funny book gloves in the future] but the reality is that my nervous system sent a pain signal, and I cannot stop my nervous system from doing this."
And for someone who maybe gets papercuts pretty often, it gets to the point where you don't even notice the sting, but for someone else who has fibromyalgia and deals with extremely sensitive skin already, the pain is excruciating. And either way, the action that isn't worth doing (going to the hospital in this case, Feeding The Troll in Anonymous's case) is the same, but the internal feeling isn't under the complete control of the person feeling it.
(And you could say that maybe someone who goes to pain therapy will have better ways of dealing with it, or someone who uses painkillers for chronic pain won't be affected, or maybe you're a dumbass and you killed your nerve endings in your fingers so you don't feel the pain at all-- but that doesn't mean that someone else is going to stop feeling pain from the really fucking annoying papercut?)
... I think I see the thing, when I see "only you are responsible for your emotions", I interpret it as "no one else can ever be culpable for anything to do with your emotions", because if they were, they'd be in some way at least partially responsible for them.
I think the flavor might supposed to be something closer to that, like... you may be able to control your immediate emotional knee-jerk reaction. That's the most difficult piece of control to actually figure out, I'd say. So you may or may not be able to do that. But in most cases, especially over the internet, there's still a period of emotions without actions where things are still in the land of feelings, but you've got more ability to dig in and hack your brain. Which I would say is still not necessarily a thing everyone can do, so i'm not quite with Khan on it being only you who are responsible, but lemme try to hit this from a different angle.
I've mentioned inertia and apathy a couple times as being things that keep me from acting. Some of that is natural, some of it is deliberate, but I also use some of it on purpose to stop myself from feeling emotions that are unpleasant to experience. I use this more often for sadness-flavored emotions, less often for anger, but anger is easier to talk about, so let's see. If someone reblogs something of mine and says nasty things about me on tumblr, I hate fights, I hate being dragged into fights, I'm on high alert because AAA WHAT HAPPENED, also they're WRONG, and I just also tend to run angry. I don't really enjoy being angry, but that hits me in my weak spots pretty good. I'm not going to be able to do anything about that immediate response. And if I let myself keep feeling the anger, even if I don't actually engage, I'm going to stress myself out, give myself a headache, I won't get anything done, nothing about the experience will be pleasant.
So I make a deliberate effort drag my attention over something else, something engaging and distracting that inspires positive reactions from me. Once I've gotten myself established over there, hey. I'm in this spot. I have inertia. I already made the effort to drag myself over into this emotional zone, I could drag myself back into anger, but... guhhhhhh. Too much work.
If I didn't distract myself, I'd still be feeling that anger for... a while. That's the kind of anger that would stay with me for a long, long time if I didn't do something about it. So I did something about it. I didn't have control over my knee-jerk reaction, but I was able to exert control over my emotional state after that first instantaneous response. Which isn't always 100% successful, if I don't distract myself well enough, I'll slide back into anger and have a hard time getting free. And some people will have more trouble pulling themselves away, or won't be able to do it at all. And there are multiple ways you can try to regain control. Like in Khan's trolling example, realizing why the person is doing the thing can give your brain an opening to escape the emotional reaction that the trolling is trying to inspire.
Honestly, that's probably why I've been debugging so aggressively for the last week or two :P Conflict gives me all KINDS of negative emotions, I get too anxious to look away, and I just tend to get more upset and more stressed with time. But if I can dig in and understand exactly what people are trying to say, I can derail the upset feelings because my main attention is on analysis, not on fighting. If I can fix communication disconnects, I have Solved A Problem, and I've been helpful, and I can pull myself over into positive happy feelings instead.
I do hesitate to say that your emotions are entirely your responsibility. In cases like trolling, where if a person is trying to inspire an emotion and they inspire the emotion... I'd say they're kinda responsible for the emotion. I'm maybe somewhat responsible, but I'm more and more responsible as I pull away from that initial input. To use a shitty example, if someone shoved me down into a puddle, they're responsible for the way I'm sitting in a puddle. If I just stay there and don't get up for hours, and I'm still sitting there saying it's their fault I'm in this puddle, that's... more of a stretch. But, comma, there are special cases where a person might not be able to get up like I could. Maybe they're physically disabled, maybe they were hurt in the fall and can't move, etc. When trolling shoves Lissa into an angry puddle, she can't get out by herself. Hopefully, Ancient Guardian is there to help her up, but anyone watching just Lissa sit in the puddle might be like 'um. you can solve this. it isn't that hard.' And maybe most people could solve the problem, but she personally can't. So while most people are thinking of being shoved into puddles as a fairly minor annoyance, Lissa is getting upset that it's tolerated at all, because it can do a lot more damage than people would expect. Ahh, shitty examples! Metaphors stretched too-too far! My native tongue :')
So that's not exactly a complete picture, and I'm sure there are nuances and exceptions I'm forgetting, but I have already typed so very many words today, and my fingers are weary.
I am responsible for my own emotions, even if it is someone else's fault that I'm having these emotions in the first place.
It occurs to me: The word "responsible" can be used to mean either "the one obliged to deal with" or "the one who caused".
I've been interpreting "the one responsible for X" to mean "the one who caused X and who could choose not to cause X". It sounds like you mean "the one who has an obligation to resolve or deal with X and its implications".
... And from that I infer that you didn't mean "control emotions" but "control how you act in response to your emotions".
That mostly, but I do think there is some element of, "No, I'm not going to get mad about this today." Like Spock said, you can channel your feelings into something else, or practice mindfulness, or use DBT techniques. That's not all of it, but it is part of it.
There's some, but the amount varies widely between people and circumstances.
I think a lot of the conflicts on this forum come from people not having any sense of how easy or hard things are for other people. And I include myself in that; I absolutely get upset about people behaving badly and then think "hang on this is exactly how triggered people behave, maybe i should give them some space instead of poking". But it can take hours to days for me to notice that, and before that I just think they're being assholes.
All good kINGSOCtsugijin must be well-trained in the use of crimestop. Only then will thoughtcrime and the deviations of Goldsteinism be purged from this board!
@seebs I wasn't going to get into it any further tonight but I still don't get it.
I don't think it's victim blaming (or at all new or revolutionary) to say "You control your own browsing experience." I'm not talking about feelings anymore.
When antis complain that some content X is bad and personally victimizes them, we don't really give that much of a fuck. Why is it any different when there are complaints on here that some content Y is bad and personally victimizes kintsugijin A? Put them on ignore*. Move on.
*Keep them on ignore.
Special circumstances sometimes make it a little more complicated. Alix is having to navigate their personal problem-solving around the fact that knowing there's content they can't see makes their anxiety shoot up to unmanageable levels (which puts them and other people in a risky spot), so they need to find a way to not hurt people without ignore being an option that's really viable. I guessed (still speculation, I could be wrong) that since text communication takes a lot of work for Lissa to understand, if anonymous posts in a thread and people start responding/reacting to that post, it'll be harder for her than for the average human to track the conversation when it has missing pieces, and when the missing pieces are likely to upset her. So she'd pretty much have to choose between frustration spiral or anger spiral :P
And the setting for the discussion makes stuff a bit complicated too. The anti stuff specifically, let me narrow in there. The conversations I've seen tend to revolve around tumblr, which has a lot of tools for tailoring your blogging experience, you pick who you follow and unfollow, you have the power to blacklist, you're the one to choose to go into tags, you can block posts, etc. A lot of the antis will ignore their blacklist options and seek out content to be angry over, or they'll bypass tumblr's sfw browsing for minors, and they're talking about being personally victimized by content that they CAN largely prevent from reaching them. Tumblr-specific content complaints I'm more inclined to be sympathetic to are unexpected nsfw thumbnails popping up when you hover over a sfw post, tumblr ads plopped in the middle of your dashboard for 50 shades of grey, that kind of thing. But aside from those (which I've never really seen antis discussing), your tumblr experience is pretty easy to customize.
(and similarly, real life is a playing field where you have some ability to control what you encounter, and some limits for what you're able to anticipate and/or control. If you're triggered by, I dunno, bdsm, if you stay away from kink clubs you're being responsible and taking care of yourself. If you get hit with a surprise 50 shades of grey ad on a youtube video, that's something that's difficult to predict was coming, and it's difficult to control short of doing full adblock-- and even then there are still ads offline that you'll encounter. Some controls, some limits to your controls)
The forum is less easy to tailor than tumblr. I think that mmmmainly the only usable tools are ignore user (which I've guessed makes Lissa's socializing experience risky in different ways, still not 100% sure I got that right), and ignore thread/forum (less relevant since anonymous is liable to pop up all over the place). There might be a little more that could be done with external tools, but I'm not sure that can reach very far. So for Lissa to avoid the upsetting content, she'd pretty much have to leave. And you might say that okay, that sucks for her, but sometimes that's just the way life goes. Her counterargument is that anonymous's posts might be especially harmful to her, but they aren't harmful to just her, and they've tended to cause a good amount of harm in general. And that asking her to be 100% in control of what she encounters on here, up to and including leaving entirely, has the flavor of victim-blaming. With some extra stuff about how their posting history and the pattern of reactions to their posts mean that they should have a good idea by now that the trolling DOES hurt people, and they're still choosing to do it even though they know it's likely they'll hurt someone. So someone is acting in ways they (theoretically) know to be harmful, and you're saying it's on her to leave instead of it being on anonymous to stop being an ass. That's where the victim-blaming thing is coming in. Your mileage may vary on whether you agree with that or how to respond to that issue. I don't personally quite agree with Lissa, but I'm also not coming at this issue from Lissa's perspective with her specific difficulties.
(even if it doesn't extend to Lissa needing to leave the site entirely, I'm taking from her words that she's feeling there's a similar victim-blaming flavor when people put it 100% on her to avoid anonymous, just not as strong. And ymmv on whether you agree again. I'm pretty sure you don't, at that level of inconvenience for her, but she disagrees because of how anonymous's responsibility for their actions plays into this. Complicated! I am talking in circles now, I'm going to stop)
(eta: and I think Lissa is feeling that there's some active malice in anonymous's actions, that flavor her reaction to how she's being told to deal with this)
So many words! I am a word machine. I'm Mei throwing up text walls instead of ice walls to disrupt things. Feel free to poke me if there are points you want me to break down further/differently. I might not get to it until tomorrow, but I'm game.
Bonus observation: knowing someone is trying to make you angry can, in and of itself, make some people angry. I'm less prone to getting angry at the contents of a trolling response, I'm more likely to get angry over the fact that they're trying to provoke me. Knowing their goal can give some people, like Khan, a window out of the anger, but for other people, like me, the goal is a big part of what causes the anger. I'm guessing there are people following along with the conversation who fall into both of those categories, which makes it hard to understand the other point of view. Just a little I'm-not-sure-this-is-an-actual-point-of-confusion-but-it-might-be that I thought I'd try to preemptively clear up.
(and getting angry over the fact that someone is trying to make me angry.... gives them exactly what they want. not my favorite. but i'm prone to flaring up when people try to screw with me, and especially depending on the surrounding conversation and my emotions involved with that, the knee-jerk emotional part of my reaction may be out of my control. i don't act on it, because i don't like being angry, and also because of fuk u. but i do feel the emotion.)
I'm pretty much out of the conversation now - the points of view have been stated and I don't think there is any chance of anyone changing their mind. Some is simply ignoring what the other peoples are saying and some have no choice in how they are.
Just wanted to say this last point of yours, @spockandawe, is a lot like me. Knowing they are trying to make me angry makes it worse even though I know it should be the opposite.
That was uncharitable of me and I apologize. A better thing would be to say they are not understanding and I don't seem to have the words to improve their understanding.
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