Asperger's Syndrome v Neurotypicals on internet forums

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Rainmanonrockwiz
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28 Apr 2016, 8:58 pm

I don't know if many on the spectrum experience this, but maybe it's either the way we or I myself communicate. I often took part in internet discussions, often about the news, current affairs, and other issues.

Having a number of friends with disabilities, my viewpoints often reflect a disability advocacy role. Also being into 70s and 80s chart music, one can get deeply immersed into a discussion about pop music, the artists, how it's produced, what formats it's available on (I take lossless and CD, nothing less), and the general technology in which music has been available on.

I'll say now that I don't set out to be a troll, but often think it is more of a moderator's smoke screen to silence any opinion they oppose to. This is CERTAINLY not the case with all internet forums, but mainly seems to be a chronic problem with the Australian discussion board; Whirlpool, the moderators there are very, very trigger happy.

For example, one of the last discussions I took part in was about the global warming effect. I simply said that global warming is debatable, and is perpetuated by organisations and people who are to a degree somewhat alarmists. I don't say these things in black and white, and say that global warming is completely wrong, but the discussion I took part in kind of predicted that the oceans were going to swallow up all the countries by 2050 from the ice at the poles melting.

I met my fate with my post deleted, and banned for a few days, when I simply posted a link that proved an alternative point of view from another climatologist.

The reason why my post was deleted and my ban was....... wait for it........ trolling!

In my case, I believe the moderator had a problem with global warming skeptics, and chose to go on a power trip.

In the end, I didn't get too hung up about it. Because I've had this experience a number of times, I'm just wondering if other Aspies have had their comments or accounts removed from a forum, because of a different view point, or just not agreeing with the mob?



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28 Apr 2016, 9:34 pm

Are you complaining on this website about what happened to you on another website?


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29 Apr 2016, 12:04 am

No Fnord he's not. He's commenting on the fact that on many NT-based sites he's visited, he's been met with an overly-emotional response to what he considers a neutral opposition or friendly debate, and asking if this has anything to do with the NTs which populate the forum.

I really don't frequent any forums other than this one, so I can't really say whether your experience is typical or not, Rainman, but I do know NT's get way more hung up on the perceived emotional content of social exchanges than we do, so they might have misinterpreted you as being aggressive or hostile when you weren't.


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29 Apr 2016, 1:03 am

In real life (I don't spend time on other forums), I have been seen as being argumentative when I point out alternative ideas. I also am seen as being argumentative when I just want to discuss things. People often seem to take any kind of differing view as a threat, rather than as an opportunity for discussion.

I seriously have been told that I'm "arguing" when all I think I'm doing is debating facts. It's frustrating. I guess most people don't discuss things in the way that I do, or think in the same way. I like logic; it makes sense. So if something doesn't make sense, I want to figure it out. That is seen as being argumentative :?



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29 Apr 2016, 1:59 am

Based on having been on this forum a long time and also several "NT" forums, I have not really seen autism playing much of a factor in posting styles and abilities. I don't feel like I am in two different worlds between this forum and others.

Although I imagine having autism does have a negative impact on some people who post on forums or other websites. Then again, there are plenty of NT people who are bad at it as well.

On the current other forum I am on and still somewhat new to, I have acted a lot differently. I have not put restraints on myself and carefully thought out the possible reaction to what I post or taken time to listen to that "little voice" telling me maybe I should not say that, or maybe I should try wording it differently.

Some people have seen me as a troll. Others have seen me as clever. Some people who did not like me at first, seem to now that they have gotten to know me better. Barring writing something that would actually get me infracted or banned, and certainly writing anything truly offensive, I am fairly unconcerned about how I come off. I can always just log out and never come back if it starts becoming a problem for me.



animalcrackers
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29 Apr 2016, 3:20 am

Yigeren wrote:
I seriously have been told that I'm "arguing" when all I think I'm doing is debating facts.


I don't understand what the difference is between arguing and debating (and I don't think it's a bad thing to argue/debate).


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Yigeren
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29 Apr 2016, 6:51 am

animalcrackers wrote:
Yigeren wrote:
I seriously have been told that I'm "arguing" when all I think I'm doing is debating facts.


I don't understand what the difference is between arguing and debating (and I don't think it's a bad thing to argue/debate).


"Arguing" in the sense of being argumentative, trying to start a verbal altercation. Debating to me is more like a rational discussion.

argument
noun
1.
an oral disagreement; verbal opposition; contention; altercation:
a violent argument.

2.
a discussion involving differing points of view; debate:
They were deeply involved in an argument about inflation.

So I have been accused of arguing in the sense of the first definition, when I'm trying to argue only in the sense of the second definition.



josh338
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29 Apr 2016, 7:45 am

Yigeren wrote:
I also am seen as being argumentative when I just want to discuss things. People often seem to take any kind of differing view as a threat, rather than as an opportunity for discussion.

I seriously have been told that I'm "arguing" when all I think I'm doing is debating facts.


I sometimes have exactly the same problem on Internet forums. I'll be polite, friendly, and respectful, but people sometimes freak out because I insist on disagreeing with them. And then they make some kind of personal attack. It happened to me just a couple of days ago -- a woman had posted a long rant, and I happened to disagree with one very minor point that she made. And she went ape----. Just batty. Responded with a rant that made no sense whatsoever. I was going huh?

Well, I admit I could have done a better job of disagreeing, in that I could have buttered her up first (that's a really interesting post and I agree with most of what you say, but are you sure that . . . ). But I think there are some people who will just go nuts no matter what.



spinelli
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29 Apr 2016, 8:38 am

It happens offline too. Even with that share similar opinions aren't interested in small deviations. This one person in particular takes it all personally and thinks friends should all have exact same opinions. HIS



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29 Apr 2016, 12:11 pm

josh338 wrote:
Well, I admit I could have done a better job of disagreeing, in that I could have buttered her up first (that's a really interesting post and I agree with most of what you say, but are you sure that . . . ). But I think there are some people who will just go nuts no matter what.


I really hate having to "butter people up." I like to just state my opinion. If I have to go out of my way to ensure that someone won't get angry, it's like having to "handle" someone. It's like manipulation to me.

If I know that my words could be taken the wrong way, I make sure to phrase them differently so that there will be no confusion. I can read through my posts and usually recognize when something may be interpreted the wrong way, so I then fix it. That I don't mind doing, because it's allowing for clearer communication.

Or I'll try to be more diplomatic, especially when discussing sensitive topics. But I still try to be as straightforward as possible. Anything else feels like lying.



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29 Apr 2016, 5:20 pm

You know....maybe I'm generalizing here, but I think there is an "autistic" way of thinking. Not that we think this way 100% of the time, and not that NTs can't think this way. But it's our dominant mode of thinking.

This is seeing variations in issues that most folks see as black and white. Seeing the errors in others' thinking and feeling like we are doing them (and the world) a favor in pointing it out. Seeing multiple possible ways of viewing something at once. Wanting to be honest and also to be scrupulously fair to both sides (at our best).

And this thread: Internal thought process and Asperger's https://wrongplanet.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=151119

While NTs seems to (generalizing here, which I know is unfair) have one general view and get their egos intertwined with how others accept that view. So a debate on the argument turns into a perceived attack on the person.

But I could be wrong. What do you all think?


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29 Apr 2016, 6:33 pm

You need to be careful about what you post in some of those forums. If you posted something about the merits of global warming, then some people might consider it trolling since they often do get trolled by climate change deniers. The consensus in the scientific community is that global warming is true, by the way.



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29 Apr 2016, 6:44 pm

^It's not just true. It's a reality that people have to face and heal and reconcile with the Earth.

Even when I try to pose alternate ways of doing things or alternate ways of thinking, I often get shut down at school for not following the curriculum or lesson plan. It's so frustrating, but I don't know what to do about it because a lot of the people I try to explain things to are all 'well, that's the way it is. Absolutely nothing can be changed. So sorry.' But everything is always changing; nothing stays the same. Argh! I wish people would wake up.


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spinelli
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29 Apr 2016, 7:05 pm

Happens here too and probably from people that borderline nt or as.



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29 Apr 2016, 8:00 pm

I honestly don't think it has much to do with being NT or ASD. Some people just overreact emotionally to points of view which they disagree with, and are too stubborn to be open to other ideas.

Now, the part about my seeming argumentative may have something to do with ASD vs NT thinking. Perhaps NTs usually assume that when another disagrees it's to start a verbal altercation, or is an attack. Perhaps it's also my approach. I have been known to give the wrong impression, many times.

I don't think that people with ASD are necessarily more logical thinkers, either. While I rely on logic and reason for most of my decisions and opinions, I've noticed that some people here only think that they are being perfectly logical, and then use faulty reasoning which is obvious to just about everyone except them.



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29 Apr 2016, 10:38 pm

In my experience, whenever people discuss things in groups (internet or otherwise) there will be an apparently popular opinion or viewpoint that gets articulated most frequently, and most people will either support it, vaguely appear to support it, or simply decline to comment on that topic, so it will seem as though almost everyone agrees. Any open disagreement tends to get quickly smoothed over or ignored and most people will take the hint that they should just go along with the crowd. People may express strongly dissenting opinions off to the side in private conversations, but most will refrain from doing so within the group. The few who do dissent openly are usually regarded as outsiders or troublemakers. The more authoritarian the group is, the more they will silence dissenters, thus a moderator given free reign over a forum may ban anyone they disagree with purely because they can.

Neurotypicals tend to go along with authority, whether they genuinely agree with it or not, because they don't want to stand out as dissenters and thus bring negative consequences on themselves. It's a game and they may not always win but most NTs instinctively how to play it. People who are not NT are one way or another impaired in playing that game, or don't even know if/when there is a game going on. If we state our views plainly, we either reveal ourselves as being oblivious to the game (and therefore vulnerable to it, like fresh blood to sharks), or else other people may read ulterior motives into our comments where there are none intended.

Please see: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=87241

On other forums, when I expressed a differing opinion, people have often reacted as if I was being sarcastic or facetious. They automatically assumed I was playing a game with them, when I was being totally sincere. That usually does not happen here. People here tend to assume sincerity by default, even when a really obvious troll is trolling.

However on this forum as well as others, I've found that people often react to challenging or dissenting opinions with lots of thread derailing, for instance going off topic with lots of chit-chat, or posting irrelevant jokes or photos or generally childish behavior, adding one inane post after another to dominate the thread and keep it alive, while simultaneously complaining that they don't want to see any more discussion about it, and ridiculing or insulting people who write sincere posts about their real views on the topic.

The mob mentality may happen less frequently here than on other forums, but it does happen, the only major difference is I think NTs tend to form stronger social alliances in a mob. In other words NTs will form fast friendships or cliques out of ganging up on other people, or from taking sides in a disagreement, with much more long-lasting and far-reaching effects. On the other hand, I think autists are less likely to feel or perceive themselves as being part of a mob, more like it's just a coincidence that they happen to share similar views on a given topic, rather than intending to show any sort of alliance with a group. But the mobbing can be just as intense either way, actually I think it can be a bit worse here because that element of real social connection is so often missing.