Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

How defensive do you get online? How quickly do you feel attacked if someone makes a generalizing statement?

Asked by Demosthenes (14903points) June 16th, 2021
12 responses
“Great Question” (2points)

I assure you, this post is not about you. ;)

On another site, I complained about a specific user whose entire shtick is a lame form of meme-humor that I didn’t find funny. But when I posted about this, many other users became defensive and said things like “well I’m sorry not everyone is serious all the time, some people just like have fun!” or “you better block me then because I’m not serious all the time!” and it’s like, well, I wasn’t saying you need to be serious all the time or that fun is bad. I just didn’t find that particularly user funny. It just kind of amazes me the way people get so freaking defensive immediately and assume something is about them when it really isn’t.

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elbanditoroso's avatar

Depends on the person.

If the person criticizing me is someone who has proven themselves to be a thinker and reasonable person, I’ll them and their criticism seriously.

If the person is a known and proven asshole, I’ll either completely ignore the person or do some sort of a retort that puts the issue back on them and shows their assholeishness.

If it is someone totally new with no history, I usually won’t respond until the person has proven himself one way or another.

Demosthenes's avatar

@elbanditoroso True. I certainly value the opinions of certain people more if they were to criticize me. My natural reaction may be defensiveness if they are directly targeting me, but sometimes they have a point and I need to listen rather than lash out.

But I’m also wondering what happens if they aren’t specifically targeting you. If they’re criticizing something only slightly related to you, would you take it as a slight?

Nomore_lockout's avatar

Screw ‘em. I mean, you have to be thick skinned to post online anyway. I only get angry when people start defending right wing politics on line. Otherwise no worries.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@Demosthenes to your question about tangential slights – usually I’ll let the conversation develop and see whether it’s worth responding to. No hard rules.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I do get defensive about some thing’s, sure.

In the case you listed, likely some thought you were being demeaning to another user when you could just not comment and go on with your life. We’ve told people that here many many times. Several jellies are not my cup of tea, so I just ignore them and scroll on. :)

JLeslie's avatar

Really depends on the person. Someone who continually comes after and also is a hypocrite and I’ve asked them to please stop being so mean to me, and they never apologize, that person I will react to to try to get them to stop or open their eyes. Although, recently I’ve realized they never look in the mirror so probably better to ignore them. Usually, that person doesn’t only come after me, they pick on several people and are generally very sarcastic and snide.

Someone who I’ve known a long time and think of them as usually being fair, I have a ton of patience for and would assume it’s a one off or just not let it bother me and forget it.

snowberry's avatar

It’s impossible to convey intonation, inflection, pitch, volume, facial expression, body language, mood, and intent just through text! Instead, it’s much easier (and feeds our selfish desire for drama) to take offense where none is intended.

It wasn’t long after I got here that I had acquired a considerable pile of insults and unattractive labels. I took a long look at that list, and it suddenly occurred to me that nobody could have all those qualities! That’s when I saw the humor in it! Now I collect them, and I stick them in my profile. If you insult me, you’d better check there first. If it’s already been said, I’ll hand it back to you and ask you to be more original next time!

No Plaigarizing When It Comes to Insulting Snowberry! (By the way, my favorite insult of all time is that I’m “naïeve”, because it’s Evian spelled backwards!) ROFL!

rebbel's avatar

I used to get defensive, in the past, when I felt personally attacked, or when I felt others were unjustly attacked.
Nowadays I shower the person who says something negative about me with love.
It’s so wholesome.

I still sometimes get defensive when I feel others get attacked, but I try to approach it the same way like above, but also try to shine a light on my opposing view.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I don’t get involved in the kind of people you mentioned in the first place.

Those kind of people make up a large proportion of my country’s FB users. And I learned very early on that they can get offended at anything, and no matter what you say, they just. Won’t. Back. Down. I’ve seen a long thread of insult just because someone didn’t mention where they got a particularly joke from.

I choose to engage with people who can respectfully do debating, not some random assholes on the Internet whose world revolves around them.

jca2's avatar

For me, it depends on the circumstances (who, what, when, etc.). It’s not a black or white yes or no. Sometimes I look the other way, sometimes I have to say something. If it’s someone who constantly is making comments like “you’re not critical thinkers” or “people on this site have reading comprehension problems” then it wears on my patience after a while.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@jca2 Yes, good example. We can say our family is a little crazy but not someone here five minutes. Haha!

SABOTEUR's avatar

Well…I recently became defensive and I’m not particularly proud of it. I think I became frustrated that someone appeared to aggressively promote an ideology I find aggregious.

What upset me more was the suspicion this person didn’t seem hateful…he was just incapable of considering another perspective.

I’ve been around long enough to know everybody won’t always agree with me. I’ve had my share of “we agree to disagree”. The fact that I became defensive revealed I cared more about the subject than I thought I did.

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