Social media, in this case example Facebook, is a rather interesting beast — yes, I’ll use the word beast — with often very creature-like instincts and responses.
I’m not a big commenter on Facebook or social media. In fact, I don’t always comment very strenuously even on my blog, where I am supposed to be a straight shooter (swift and precise, after all). When I am commenting fully in public, I find myself wanting to make strong statements of fact, but always tempering them with a call of “come, let us reason together”. Certain views might be unnecessarily distracting or disrupting in a public forum, so I don’t always press those as hard as I might in a more private forum.
I am sure this is true for many other people as well. People we know in one social group might not appreciate the views in another social group we are part of, so we refrain from certain comments where the two might come into conflict. It is a natural part of regular social intercourse.
Which is also why we have more private groups or circles. I have been invited to various ones on Facebook, private groups, even “secret groups”. I have my notification settings to get a short note everytime something posts, but I rarely look at or follow up on most of them. So when one of my secret groups suddenly went BOOM and deleted itself, I was totally blindsided.
The purpose of these private groups is to have a forum where people of “like minds” can talk freely without being trolled and bombed by other people. To have these “like minds” so at odds with each other to lead to the death of a group doesn’t on the outside of it, make sense.
I think a reference back to my Saturday post on “It Takes a Village” might be insightful here. A village, even of like thinkers, is still quite prone to its own forms of role assignments and minor or major tyrannies and rebellions.
In this particular case, the similarity was that of people discussing unpopular and non-politically correct political and social positions — so the group was quite diverse in perspective but open in allowing freewheeling discussion.
But from the limited after report I was able to get, the actual discussion of perspectives had nothing to do with the death. It was all elements of personality and courtesy (or lack thereof) that led to the blow-up.
Civility can be a way to prevent people from having their voice, but without some sort of civility no one gets a voice. As I can recall from my own extended family, it was small things that caused the biggest separations. Allowing oneself to be offended is always a dangerous thing. Being afraid to offend someone else is another dangerous thing.
Somewhere in there is a conclusion.