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What I Learned on My Winter Vacation

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posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 10:41 PM
Dear ATSers,

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 bouncers.

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 signs.

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 discussion site.

As always, I’ll be happy to discuss this.

With respect,

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:06 PM
Man, I guess I am doing Ats wrong. Been here for 5 years or so and have never reached a point where it becomes such an all consuming life altering mega deal. I stop by read for a bit, look for new news, see if anything cool is being discussed and move on. I really don't get all the talk of how this becomes some kind of all absorbing major life style choice.

Hey though, if this place is your life then, all power to ya people.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:14 PM
reply to post by caterpillage

Dear caterpillage,

You're doing it very well. There are others who take a different approach to this place and the people in it. Many complaints have been posted, even the owner, SkepticOverlord, issued an appeal recently to tone things down in the religion fora (or forums, you're choice). His appeal was not heeded, so they were closed for any new writing until Friday.

Some have been hurt by insults and attacks. I'm glad you are not in that category.

With respect,

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:24 PM
I read along with most of those issues, and agree with the outcome of how things went down.

Also, to add, I enjoy your posts, and find your attitude very pleasant. You are I believe one of the assets of this community.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:34 PM
reply to post by caterpillage

Dear caterpillage,

You've put me in a tough spot. (I like your avatar by the way. Classic but not worshipful.) Do I recommend that you post more often so we can share your level-headedness? Or do I scare you away, so that you're not sucked in as some others have been?

As I say, tough call, but I do hope to see more of you.

With respect,

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:44 PM
Ah, the avatar comes from the recent issue regarding Elvis on ATS, at times I like to be a little bit contentious. But not enough to get a ban hammer.

posted on Jan, 14 2014 @ 11:51 PM
reply to post by charles1952

Hi Charles and welcome back. I didn't hop on your "timeout from ATS" thread as it seemed to be overflowing. However you're back and we're better for it.

So the first thing I thought when you said riff-raff was "Oh my gosh is that me?" but then quickly subdued the thought.

While we don't agree on all things your posts and threads are always pleasant and respectful. It's a quality you have I deeply admire. So thanks for that. Most of the steps you outlined are logical but perhaps some us are no longer able to take part in the things you mention. Hopefully most are.


posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:07 AM
reply to post by Bassago

Dear Bassago,

I'm sorry that you felt identified, even for a second. I have no problems at all with disagreement, and only an inexperienced, naive person would think that all disagreements occur with no passion whatsoever. There was someone on my "Going on Vacation" thread with whom I rarely agree, but I know her heart is good and she is sincere in her beliefs. There is nothing crazy about her, or you. I'm glad you're around.

Besides, who will keep me on the straight and narrow, if not for the people who point out my frequent mistakes? You're not a problem, you're a blessing. Strength to you, and don't surrender.

With respect,

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by charles1952

Dear Charles1952,

Although I generally tend to be more of a lurker than a poster, I have always enjoyed following your threads. I just wanted to take this opportunity to welcome you back into the ATS fold, and to tell you that your presence and voice of reason were sorely missed in your absence. From your OP, it would seem that the time away has given you fresh perspective on how to deal with the challenges we all face here on ATS. As always, your wisdom and wit are truly appreciated. I found your OP so insightful and full of wisdom, that I would even go so far as to recommend that it be incorporated into the "welcome new members" thread package that the Mods give to new posters. I also wanted to say that you are great contributor to the ATS Live Radio program. So glad that you've returned!

edit on 1/15/2014 by 1yearning2bfree because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 08:31 AM
reply to post by charles1952

Welcome home Charles! You have been sorely missed my friend!

I am so glad you were able to take a short break- it seems to have done worlds of good! I have also taken short breaks here and there, normally just because RL gets too busy, but at times I become so aggravated with the bad manners and ignorance occasionally stumbled upon here that I have to walk away lest I be tempted to stoop to similar levels. A line I remember from a movie that holds some relevance in this: "Dance with the Devil and the Devil don't change- the Devil changes you." Sometimes you just have to fold up your dance card and go home early for your own peace of mind. There will always be another ball!

Once again- welcome back! Now go ask somebody to Tango.......STAT!!!!

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 11:47 AM
I took a vacation once.

I was much happier, and I got a lot accomplished,

I would like someone to psychoanalyze me.

WB, I did notice you were missing in action.

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 11:54 AM
Well played indeed Charles.

Have a good day!

posted on Jan, 15 2014 @ 12:01 PM
Im totally the riff-raff.

I even look and smell funny

posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 01:36 AM
reply to post by charles1952

My good friend, it's really good to see you made it.
Yes, you took your vacation and did a little ATS Detox program.
I'm Proud of You
I can imagine the first day or two was hard.
Like a Smoker walking by the Smoke Shop with out a Pack in their pocket or
walking pass a bar with out going in for that Cold One After Work
YUP! I know, it was HARD!

Like I said, I'm Proud Of You and I Damn Glad To See You Back.
Now, Don't Be Leaving Us Alone With These Idiots AGAIN!

Next Time You Want To Take A Vacation, we Want a Two Week Notice, In Writing and Wen Get To Come ALONG!

Missed Ya, My friend!

My husband say's Hi, I told him you're Back, He want's his Lap top in the Hospital, Put I've Forced A Vacation On Him

Sh&t He'd never get any sleep and drive the Staff Even More Crazy if He Had Access to ATS!

edit on 16-1-2014 by guohua because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 16 2014 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by guohua

Dear guohua,

I'm glad to see you're accepting your responsibilities. Everyone knows it's the wife's responsibility to take care of her husband (whether he wants it or not). Don't give him an inch. Besides, if he's in a hospital, there are probably nurses all over the place (female, I mean). Certainly he's got better things to be looking at than a laptop.

If he has spare time, he can tell all the staff about how the Reptillians, who came from the planet Nibaru, have been the secret leaders of the NWO. Their wishes are sometimes carried out by the Rockefellers, the royal houses of Europe, and even the Reptillians themselves wearing human disguises.

He can reassure the staff that they needn't worry about the future, because almost all of us will die soon due to the effects of HAARP, Fukushima, GMO foods, Flouridated water, Chemical and biological attacks and accidents, the death of all bees in the world, and something else which I can't remember right off hand.

Rather than go into politics, which includes Obama serving four terms, I'll simply say that if your husband tells all of this ATS approved information to the hospital staff, he'll probably have a nice long stay in one of their sunny, happy wards. Maybe he should take a vacation, too.

With respect,

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