Some time ago, I came across a post on Facebook which read something like this: One guy comments: Yellow is my favourite colour, the second guy replied to his comment: How dare you choose Yellow colour? What wrong did red, blue, green and other colours have done that you chose yellow?
Let’s face it, Facebook is not the place what it used to be. It is not Facebook in itself to be blamed completely but the people who do not know how to respect differences and choices. This gets even worst when people with little or no knowledge assume to know about the subject. It gets even worst when it comes to your religion.
I have had my share of such replies. I do not know how serious is the matter in other countries but here in India, it is not good.
Religion, as I have realised, is a complicated and personal thing. The general population does not overtly care much about it. However, there are sections in the social media who ruthlessly gloat in unfamiliar territory.
It gets difficult on religious lines. I am a Catholic, but I am a proud Indian first. Unity in diversity they say, it is non-existent in Facebook.
The division that exists, although are politically created, people and most educated people are not able to make educated comments particularly when they do not know the big picture. Religion is one of the core aspects that are uniquely attributed to a country like India. Little do people know that religion is just one factor.
Politics is another wedge that has created cracks. The driving factor for the cracks to widen further is the fake news and incomplete news perpetuated by vested interests. It also defies logic. Replies to comments are stretched out of proportion and most of the time it deviates from the main topic. This is also the case on Quora. This is the core reasons for my absence on that Q&A platform.
My answers to questions or replies to some wrong assumptions get trolled by idiots not knowing the subject. Explaining your point of view to idiots is akin to punching the wall. It is useless! The wall feels nothing! The words you speak bounces on the wall.
My question to such people doesn’t religion teach you morality? Do you not know what is right and wrong that despite knowing the truth your support is to the contrary? Why? What pleasure does it give supporting false assumptions? You can see, you can feel and understand and deep inside you know it is wrong and despite that fact you ignore it.
I guess I will never get the answers to these questions.
Personal Experience and how I dealt with it:
I have defended Catholicism/Christianity on Quora and Facebook. I realised people do not mean to ask questions. They mean to question your beliefs and assume things which they don’t know.
There is a difference between asking and questioning.
When you see such questions directed at you, your emotions run high and you lose your composure. Anger takes root and your sanity manages to almost leave the periphery of your consciousness.
When was the last time you were angry at someone or something or even on yourself? Feel what that anger put you through?
When anger takes hold, you are no longer conscious. You have no control over your actions and most importantly your thoughts. I bet some of you reading this has been through a similar experience. It is not only taxing but mentally exhausting. For a guy like me who is super slow to anger, imagine what I may have gone through! Imagine what it would have taken to cause my anger to rise significantly. Furthermore, I am similar to the Italian Mafia boss – it is not easy for me to forget nor forgive.
I started to stop commenting to any innocently religious provoking questions and comments. This greatly reduced the emotional stress that came with it. It did not help in the long run as the temptation to reply unjust comments and questions grew stronger.
Later, I unfollowed all the political affiliations and other pages when my previous ignorance did not help much.
Not getting too much involved in Facebook:
I remember one newly married couple regularly posting their outings online. They have kids now and suddenly after several posts, they stopped. What they did was their call – I respect that. But, what was the need to post the pics in the first place? What was the need? I fail to understand the idea to post your important life moments online. Please enlighten me in the comments if I have missed something.
The last pic I posted was an update to my profile pic. My other uses of Facebook is to promote my website Xyneohphoenyx.com and my gaming channel GamerPhoenyx.
Facebook is a good place to keep in touch with friends and family. If you are an introvert like me, then it matters little.
I check out some videos on Facebook from time to time and read some credible news. Other than these, I don’t even bother to post stories or statuses online. Doing so for my other channel pages is a different thing and I am not that active on them either.
Getting my Peace back and how you can do the same:
I wanted my peace back and could not let any such questions or comments lose my composure or distract me from my productive tasks be it official or personal. I did not want to lose the peace that meditation brought to my mind. Most importantly, I like to be in control rather than my emotions controlling me.
What do you do during your free time? When I am free and not attending to my chores, wife, mom, my pet fishes, driving my car or biking I spend some time playing games, understanding games, blogging as I do now.
I have three things that I keep busy with off work: my blog, my YouTube Channel and music-making.
When I had introduced the first EDM song I made to my office colleague, I had told him that my sole purpose was not just to make money. I wanted to keep myself busy rather than waste my time watching porn and the ‘activity’ that comes with it, not idle my time daydreaming or thinking impractical things. These are the things I wanted to start with much earlier life but due to time constraints, I was unable to put in the efforts to realise it.
By unfollowing the pages I previously used to follow, I have done my part by not being a direct or an indirect contributor to the least productive thing. That has reduced any page updates to appear on my news feed. It has also diverted my energies towards other things. You cannot begin to imagine the peace you will get.
Of course, you can pick and end a fight on your terms, then, by all means, continue what you are doing. A non-conflict oriented person like me hates fighting and needless arguments. I will go to that extent of taking the blame on myself if the argument turns sour or even to the length of affecting our professional or personal relation.
I used to come online on Facebook only to check out videos and updates on my news feed. I am not the person to post anything personal, share pics, events or important life moments on my posts. I hate making my personal life public. I don’t even post my travel photos!
If you find your peace getting disturbed, do as I do. Ignore and stop commenting on anything unless and until you are good at ending a fight. I am not. I consider myself as a non-conflict person. I do not seek conflict, I do not have a huge ego nor am I small-minded. I love my peace and respect others. Their lack of knowledge in the subject they comment about is their loss. I will not justify their loss to them.
Facebook is not the place to debate neither is Quora. Debates are not supposed to turn ugly and opinions are respected. This is what makes demating mutually insightful. When debates lose their core aspects then it is not a debate but a ruckus!
Face-to-face discussion is a good thing for debates. Unfortunately, a forum like this does not exist. A healthy discussion does not exist either. So also respecting one’s opinion is non-existent online.
Here are my points to keep you away from losing your cool on Facebook:
1) Unfollow posts which first caused you to exhibit negative emotions.
2) You will come across provocative comments and helpless to control their visibility. Resist the constant urge to reply to them. If they will not reply, someone else who agrees to it will reply on their behalf. You don’t want that, trust me.
3) No matter how sensible your points are, it is hard for the senseless person to agree to your sense.
4) Understand the implications on yourself before replying or making a comment. This is critical because like they say if there are actions then there will be consequences no matter what your intentions.
5) Gauge your own emotions. This can be an excellent way to avoid commenting or replying to a comment. If your emotions are doing the talking for you, you better do not comment or reply.
6) Understand Facebook has members who have brains to those who are half-brained, doubtful on those who have brains, those you may suspect have brains to those who can convince you they have no brains at all. This does not require common sense to identify but it is a given.
Measure how important is peace of mind to you. Ultimately if you find yourself losing your cool often you must do the things that I do. It is only that ignoring Facebook questions and comments and unfollowing detrimental pages and groups that will be a boon to your mind.