One theme I've found repeatedly in profiles is atheists living among the religious, feeling excluded. People come to Atheist Nexus seeking connection and community, and it's my impression that the vast majority don't find it. I looked at every public profile from new members now back through those who joined Feb 1st. It seems to me at least 80% become inactive. My impression is that they feel as if they've walked into a convention of 22,000 strangers, and everybody ignores them (excepting for one or two welcome comments). Some people are extroverted enough to join groups of strangers and talk up, but most of us need somebody to reach out. I felt so sad looking at page after page of dead end experience profiles.
I think this article on the pain of ostracism is relevant to "the newby Atheist Nexus experience." ""How can it be that such a brief experience, even when being ignored and excluded by strangers with whom the individual will never have any face-to-face interaction, can have such a powerful effect?" he [Kipling D. Williams] said. "The effect is consistent even though individuals' personalities vary." [Emphasis mine]
"Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time."
What was your first experience like here?
Sometimes in the older profiles if a person wasn't active at all, you'll see a note that they joined on this date, please welcome them. Otherwise the best guide is at the bottom of their comment wall. Look for the dates of initial greetings from Dr. Terence Meaden, Ken, sunshine, or Brent Feeney.
The newest members are easy to find. Just go to "members" and look at the top of page 1.
Hi! Rosenberg here... I have a new notion, need advice from all parties concerned? I've noticed that "non-Theists" tend, simply, to be anti-Judeo-Xtian. I have an alternative. "Naturalism" has been mentioned before. But it really doesn't dig deeply. I suspect that I have stumbled upon the core, the "quick" that separates this perverse, lewd, unseemly "Western Judeo-Xtian" mass from natural, healthy, normal humanity. Should I start a discussion group about this topic - namely "Guilt versus Responsibility"? It digs down to the core of "morality" versus "ethics". What do you think? Thanks, Dr. Rosenberg
This sounds like a good topic for discussion here. There are also groups closer to your interest, Pantheism Naturalistic Spirituality comes to mind.
I'm a little curious why you see the Western Judeo-Xtian culture as more lewd than other religious cultures. Such a condemnation implies that you're not sex positive, and that when you say "natural, healthy, normal humanity" you're not comparing Xians to, for example, Pagans who are sex positive.
Did they attack what you said, or was it personal? If you called them names like "jackasses" or "nimbly pin heads" then name calling behavior warrants attack. If they called you names, then they were stepping over the line and you should have reported their behavior to the administrators.
"Early flame out" implies that the reason you left after a while was anger, possibly even rage. I get angry when people attack me too, and withdrew from a few MySpace groups for that reason.
I'd like to avoid that kind of escalation here, which only hurts all parties in the end. Verbal violence also is an indirect assault on uninvolved members who just read the postings. It makes everybody feel bad.
It's more helpful to say "It makes me angry when you ... (specifying the objectionable behavior)." You can share your feelings by telling us about them instead of acting out the anger. Anger isn't taboo. Sharing it is an act of opening up and reaching out to connect. You can describe the physical symptoms these strong feelings cause. When we share bad feelings in a non-confrontational way it builds bonds with uninvolved members, instead of making them angry at us too. It's also better problem solving, because neither of the people in an argument can see the other side when they're flooded with adrenaline. Escalating anger actually reduces our ability to think. This isn't something secular humanists want. We cherish our capacity to think. Consider "It makes me angry when you ... do X" as a tool to protect yourself from the corrosive effects of anger, to protect your brain.
Atheist Nexus is the most troll free social network I've found. The rules and such go so far to prevent troll behavior that, I think, they stifle ordinary discourse too. In particular I found onerous the rule that you can only post something in a group that's directly related to that group's purpose. That's why I made Hang With Friends, to ameliorate that deficiency.
To be honest, because I don't like the feeling of being ignored--great article btw, really validates my response as not simply being oversensitive--I choose to lurk. However, your (Ruth) friendly invitation and seemingly very caring and interested personality made AN a whole lot less intimidating and open.
I check in every day, read all sorts of things I agree or disagree with, but I reserve my input for the relaxed and comfortable atmosphere of here.
Hopefully this doesn't make me sound like a weirdo or creepy. >.>
That doesn't sound creepy, or weird. There are many things in here to read and see. There are days when I don't say anything either.
I really don't have tons of scientific knowledge, so I am reading a lot, and learning more. I don't have as much to contribute in those areas.
I feel like everyone is welcome to speak around here.