I make this announcement NOT because I arrogantly believe that my participation on this board is “essential” (in fact, I’m sure there will be those here that think, “So what, Jamieson? Big deal, we did just fine without you”) but rather because I had announced with some finality that I was withdrawing, and I gave a reason for that. Now I want to give the reason for returning.
To reiterate my reason for leaving, I was developing a negative attitude from participating . . . basically because I felt compelled to offer counter-opinions AND some of those threads where I had done so got extremely abrasive. And so did I sometimes. THAT was what was bothering me. And most importantly, the negative attitude I was developing was counter to my need to care for my Alzheimer ridden wife . . . where there is a need to remain positive in approach.
Don’t misunderstand . . . I’m not saying it was “RO’s fault”. The reaction was ENTIRELY mine.
However, while I withdrew from participation, I continued to lurk. And I continued to view a lot of abrasive threads. (Which, BTW, I EXPECT on a political/religious board, where emotions run high and some perceive benign challenges as personal attacks . . . plus I have the requisite thick skin to function on the Internet. Turning negative is just not my style, though, and I WAS getting that way.)
As I viewed these negative threads/posts, I started thinking to myself, “THAT’S one that if I WERE participating, the “new me” would have stayed away from.” And the old Jamieson 1.0 would likely have jumped into the fray anyway.
While there’s sometimes a fine line between lively civil debate and hostile antagonism going under the guise of “civil debate” (I do have a particular thread in mind there . . . not being coy, but I’d rather not expand), the new Jamieson 2.0, because of the valuable “That’s one that if I WERE participating . . .” lesson learned during lurking, is likely better equipped to identify those threads earlier and stay away from them.
That’s not to say I won’t from time to time get down in the mud and tumble with the fools that are only here to deliver negative posts. However, if I find myself getting too negative again, I’ll withdraw in self-defense again. I HAVE noticed that the board now seems to be taking a “kinder and gentler” approach. Don’t misunderstand . . . I enjoy a rough and tumble debate just as much as the next guy/gal, but it MUST be civil.
I think the mods have been instrumental in giving the board this more positive flavor lately . . . by perhaps discouraging participation by our less than civil members. My compliments, Mods.
In any case, I’m going to try to be less knee-jerk this time around, and more discriminating.
And one more thing. I’ve been reluctant to reverse my position on participation. BUT, Jack H. has been after me, in PM’s, to return. His persistence in that effort has been a heavy influence in my decision to give it another try. So, if there are those that are moaning and groaning because of my return . . . blame Jack!!!