It was in the wee hours of the morning today, that I was perusing the cyber-grounds of Gather, seeking some interesting posts to read. These days, sleeping doesn't seem to be an option any more, even though I do think it would do me good if my head and my pillow found a way to become more intimate with each other. LOL
As mentioned in previous posts, I am really wanting to engage myself in conversations that have more depth, than the normal..."thanks for posting" comments that seem to be running rampant throughout the cyber-grounds of Gather.
I mean... Where does the conversation go from there? I have actually gotten a little more creative with my answers to those comments. Rather than just saying "thanks" and/or ignoring the response altogether, I am learning to at least leave a comment such as..."thanks for reading." LOL Hey... It has even actually on many occasions, generated another response back of "you're welcome." At least I can call it a "mini-conversation" between myself and my Gathermates. LOL
Anyway... Back to the story... I came across this one post that was of a political/religious nature that appeared to be quite interesting and made it more of an interest when I saw that were almost 300 comments contributed by the time I had arrived. I figured... This post has got to be good, to have this many comments already. Right???
So...as I began to read the responses, it started off with Gather members basically giving their opinions, which I thought...let me go ahead and give my "two-cents" worth and then I will come back and read the rest of the comments. I figured it would take me some time to get through all these, so by the time I get to my comment, I will probably get a response back and can go from there.
Well... All I could say was... Eeeeeeeeeek!!!! Oh my... As the conversations began to immerse, they went from healthy debates to severe personal attacks against each other!
Then as the conversations began to evolve even further, they broke up into little groups. Kind of like what you would see in a bible study, where the pastor would share the main topic of the study and then later everyone would separate into 5-6 discussion groups. But in this case, there were no discussions.
They were spittin' and clawin' and rippin' each other to shreds!!! There wasn't a whole lot of cussing going on. Just a few words slipped out every now and then. But mainly... It was the connotations of what those curse words might "imply" that threw me for a loop!
At first, I felt bad for the author of this post, because I was sure that they were just as shocked as I was, at what was taking place. But at the time, I had not yet noticed any of the icons, because I was too busy reading all the comments. Well... Low and behold... When I finally did take a peek at who these members were, I was astonished to noticed that most of the backlashing and mudslinging was coming directly from the author who made the post!
I mean... This individual was calling people all kinds of names and innuenndos. It was very shocking to say the least! I don't know. Maybe they planned it that way? But then again... Maybe...like a lot of other debates, it just got outta hand.
Just to give you a little idea of what types of things that were said; I will give examples of similar statements that were mentioned. None of these comments were actually said to my knowledge, unless it happened after I left; but it will give you an idea of what took place.
Examples: Member 1: So... You callin' me a "ho" are you??? ~ Member 2: I never said that! ~ Member 1: Yes you did! You are claiming to be a Christian and you callin' me a ho!!! Or... Something like this would be said: Yo momma is so fat that she would need a refrigerator just to order from the dessert menu! (LOL ~ I made this one up! ~ LOL)
I mean... It was crazy! It was like the topic just didn't exist any more. Even though there were a few members that did try to say something that made some kind of sense concerning the original post; basically, even some of them would from time to time, take their own turn at taking a "pot shot" at another member.
All you saw was: Jab, jab, jab! Punch, punch, punch! Scratch, scratch, scratch! Claw, claw, claw!!! Hiss, hiss, hiss! They were so busy criticizing each other and ripping each other to shreds, I am not even certain they realized how bad it got!
Most of them stayed in their little groups of 4 or 5. But every now and then, one of them would wander off and jump into another argument and put their "two-cents" into that screaming match as well.
However, right as I was coming to the end of this fiasco... There was this one lonely Gather member, almost as if they were sitting on the sidelines like I was, taking it all in...when suddenly they decided to make a comment and I will paraphrase: "Well... From what I have read so far, no one has actually answered the question, so I guess I will..." (end quote) Then they proceeded to give their comments. LOL I kinda got a chuckle out of it. LOL
It kind of reminded me of a cartoon where you would see these cats hissing, clawing, scratching and pulling each other's hair out, and then all of a sudden the picture would fade into the background and a bubble would pop with another cartoon character giving an intellectual, satiric statement to the situation that we just saw. LOL
The whole incident got to be quite comical. Probably not to those involved, but if you were sitting where I was, it was kinda funny to watch. If this had been a "real life" scenario, it would probably closely resemble a cartoon where two cats were fighting, clawing, hissing and ripping each other to shreds; to have it end with some bodily bruises, scratch marks, a broken bone or two, a couple of eyes thrown over here, some teeth thrown over there, with hairballs slung all over the place! LOL
I used to think my little run-ins with folks were difficult to deal with... Not even close! The three people that I actually had a rough experience with here on Gather, was extremely mild compared to what I saw this morning. In fact... What I saw this morning would have made dealing with the devil himself seem like a Sunday picnic! LOL
Nevertheless, about half way down the conversation, I decided to quickly remove my comment. I didn't think I had said anything wrong, but the way the screaming matches were going, I sure didn't want to get caught up in all that stuff! LOL
Ya know... I have heard about things like this happening off and on, over the last couple of years. But would always picture them the way my scenarios with other members evolved. A little heated, with a couple of mild scratches and that's it. However, I had forgotten how rough things could get on Gather. I guess I have been away too long. LOL
The last time I remember something similar like this happening, was when a very popular Gather member ended up being removed, because he took it to an extreme. I don't think that this post went that far, but it was close!
Even though this claw fight ended up being kinda comical to watch, it was very sad too. Because the topic of this post was very interesting and could have evolved into a nice healthy debate, but somehow some feelings got hurt and out came the mudslinging!
I think it finally ended with about 400 comments all and all. Uh... Make that almost 700. At least, that's were it was at when I last checked. I am uncertain that I will want to go back to see how it finally ended. But then again... I might. LOL