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?

Tags: ostracism

Views: 100

Replies to This Discussion

Tara, you identified what attracted you and what you do. I'm persuaded that you are as unweird and uncreepy as anyone can be.

 

I don't have anyone to talk to where I live. Boo & Hoo!

So I come here, read and blather, read and blather.

BTW: Speaking of blathering: There is a guy who's totally God smitten that's asking readers on his blog in a poll what he should do a series on. I voted for "The failure of Atheism:Why Atheism just doesn't work"

If he chooses that topic it should be interesting.

Blather away, we will leave the light on for you!!!  Reading first is important too.  I like reading. 

I think that would be a most interesting topic for someone who is God centered.  You think he might do some research, and interview disgruntled former atheists to find out why they decided to believe in god or gods again?

Ruth, I too am new to this site. A traumatic experience in the late 1950s led to my leaving Catholicism, learning about the available options and choosing agnosticism. That was years before there were any support groups and it was like a leap into a void. After fifty years of hearing no evidence for belief or for continuing my neutrality, I climbed down off the fence and started taking advantage of opportunities to say I'm an atheist. My doing so disconcerts some who know me but, borrowing from MLK Jr., I'm free at last.

 

About A/N, I appreciated the two welcomes, one of them Dr. M's, but felt overwhelmed by the many groups here. Dr. M's Origins group appealed to my liking for serious talk so I joined it. Your Hang with Friends group appealed to my desire for chat and your (I've forgotten its name) sitting at a table with food and drink group persuaded me to join it. I will soon figure out how to find those groups again.

 

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