posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 10:41 PM
As a few of you know, I’m just back from a winter vacation. Not from the cold, but from ATS. When I returned, I thought that I had learned nothing
from the break. That turned out to be wrong. I did pick up some impressions, some you've heard before from other sources, but all of them solely my
observations. If they apply to you, wonderful.
1.) It is easy to spend too much time on ATS. Despite what you might think, being on ATS might expose you to new ideas, but it keeps you away from
real life where you would learn that some of those ideas are either goofy, impossible, or irrelevant.
Garden or shovel snow. People watch at the Walmart. Read a book which promises to be beautiful, either poetry or drama. Listen to some classical
music. Go through an art museum via the Internet. Say “hello” to someone standing in line with you. If you show some interest they’ll talk to
you, sometimes telling you amazing things. Walk to the park and back, enjoying hot chocolate when you return.
2.) ATS is like a city in a small way. A city with a population with roughly 300,000 on the books, but only 20,000 have even logged on in the last 6
months. The people who are here really want to be here. But, as with any city, there are portions of town which a wise traveler will avoid, unless
he’s looking for excitement and a brawl or two. There are people like that, in real life and on ATS. You have been warned.
There are also individuals who create worry and apprehension simply by their presence in real life. Yes, on ATS as well.
3.) ATS is also a little like a bar. The bar itself is really inessential. It’s a place, like many places. It’s purpose is to provide people a
place to sit and talk with each other, enjoying some drinks while they do. It employs some bouncers. In the case of ATS, it has a lot of
To some extent, the bar at ATS is a friendly place. Newcomers are welcomed, encouraged, and shown the way things are done. Some of the regulars get
to know each other and the conversation is warm and sparkling. But, the bar allows in a lot of riff-raff. There are various reasons for it, but
almost everyone comes to accept the policy.
The riff-raff are the problem. Sometimes they come in already drunk, and spout words which can only make sense to a very friendly and tolerant ear.
Sometimes, they’re furious and need to let off steam. The bar has a place for that, but upset people can’t be counted on to follow the direction
But the people that the regulars hate to see are the people whose lives have shriveled down to one or two issues, and the only way for those people to
deal with their tiny little lives is to fill their minds with hatred and anger. There is no room for reason, or really any civilized discussion in
their limited, frozen minds. Where the average person can be compared to a sun, open, expanding, and warming, these riff-raff can only be compared to
a small metal ball bearing.
I don’t suppose much of that is new to you, but I would like to offer some counter-measures.
4.) Remember that you are God’s highest creation. As a human being you are entitled to respect and your dignity. If someone doesn't want to give
you what is rightfully yours, react as you would in a bar. Turn away from the boor, put some distance between the two of you and get the attention of
the bouncers. Throwing a punch gets you nowhere, even if you do flatten the jerk. At the same time, it doesn't hurt to be diplomatic. Remember, as
hard as it may be to believe at that moment, the other person is a human also.
5.) As a human you have responsibilities, to yourself, family, others, your community, your God. To fulfill those responsibilities takes some time
and thought. So does ATS. ATS should not interfere with your other responsibilities. So it seems perfectly reasonable to say to one of the vermin,
“It is apparent that we are not going to have a fruitful discussion as long as you continue in this manner. I may correct your errors of fact, but
you don’t seem to be willing to enter into the conversation I had hoped for. Since I have limited time, I’ll address the comments of other
posters.” Or, “I've got better things to do than argue with you.”
6.) Turn to the good things that ATS does offer. The greatest of these, in my mind, is friendship. After you've been around for awhile you’ll
spot the decent people, and from those there will be some you “click” with. Communicate by U2U, or any other method. Lean on each other’s
shoulder, get reassurance, sympathy, or encouragement, and be thankful you have a friend.
7.) Don’t type anything out of anger. The fool on the other side wins when he can throw you off your game. Better to walk away, or go to step 5.
When you sense the anger is creeping into your life, run away from ATS, take as much time away as you want. You are more important than any
As always, I’ll be happy to discuss this.