Meanwhile fb also provides some interesting insights into how people think and feel. A recent thread on a friends wall explored the topic of pornography. It started out as a discussion about pornographic images on t-shirts and the implications of that for young children. It soon turned into a debate over the perceived perils and/or pros of porn. Veeeery interesting reading. I have copied and pasted the 80 comments (minus names) into a document w/ I will edit further for names in the comments and then add a link here. The thread started on 01 March 2011 and the last comment (so far) was made on the 10th March 2011. What I want to talk about are some of the phrases that stick out to me as common things that Mormons seem to say when they feel attacked. Having read quite a number of ex-Mo friends fb threads I'd say that there seems to be some common themes.
One that really sticks out to me are the statements of 'being done with the conversation'. This sentiment seems to be expressed quite regularly by active Mormons (sometimes more than once by the same person). The ex-Mo's and non-Mo's seem to feel no need to announce their departure.
Anti-Porn Commenter 1 - "I've stated my views and heard yours, so thankyou everyone, i'm done."
APC1 - (1 comment later) "i need a shower and life beyond this facebook discussion must go on :) please respect that."
APC2 - "I agree _______. I need a shower too."
APC3 - "Anyway people im pretty busy today, so im out. im hanging around my computer... and i really have too many other things to get done. im sure we're not going to sort out this discussion anytime soon, and i already know how i feel and how everyone else feels. Please don't see my leaving the discussion as my opinion having no credability, or back up, but i dont want my day to be filled with conversations or pornography. I hope you all have a nice weekend. :) enjoy"
APC4 - "Anyway clearly there is a massive difference of opinion here so I'm out now, this is getting too personal. I'll agree to disagree and leave it at that."
APC4 - "I agree _______ - this discussion has gone around in a circle so this will be my last post.......(rest of TBM4 comment here).......Anyway that's all from me."
APC5 - "that is all :-)"
Why the need to announce your departure from a conversation? The other commenters (non-Mo's and ex-Mo's) simply took breaks when life got busy and returned to the conversation when they had time for it. Why all the drama? It makes the commenter sound pretty full of themselves IMO.
The next thing I noticed was a lovely term - 'you people' began to be used as a shorthand for referring to the pro-porn brigade. It was used several times before being questioned by 2 of these 'you people'. The question was ignored until brought up for a third time - "My earlier question - "you people" - what was that about? What kind of person am I?"
The response(s) -
APC4 - "As for the 'you people' comment, I was merely commenting to a group of people - same as if you would use 'hey guys' as a greeting to a group of people. I didn't mean it as an offense."
APC6 - "Yeah that's what I meant by "you people" too I just couldn't be bothered saying all the pro porn peoples names."
The final thing that I want to point out are the Hi-5's. This time both the pro-porn and anti-porn brigades engaged in this hand slapping but I think you may also note the differences...
Anti-porn Hi-5's (all from anti-porn commenters to anti-porn commenters)
"Great points _____ "
"________, I support you 100%!"
"And ________ I thought your comments were friggen fantastic :)"
"I've just read all the above comments and, like _______, _______ I support your opinion 100%."
"Yeaaaah ______ Dawg! Represent! Haha"
"Good comment _______ Dawg!"
"I'd just like to congratulate ________ and the Mum quoted in the above article for the courage and determination they have in striving to make this world a better place."
Pro-Porn Hi-5's (all from pro-porn commenters to pro-porn commenters)
"_________, you write eloquently and with great humanity.
"I'm with _______ and her comments on this one."
Look, having been in that environment myself I know where the (religious) anti-porn party is coming from. It hurts to discuss these things. The mental gymnastics that must be done in order to continue to believe are just HUGE. I personally have a lot of time for the friend who posted the link that sparked the debate. She has had many long and intense discussions with me and I think that she tries really hard to hear everyones view. The other commenters are a little newer to the confrontation and I certainly don't want to throw them under the bus for responding in perfectly natural ways to a discussion that gets to the very core of who they are. I just wanted to analyse the discussion a little and hopefully highlight some of the cultural barriers?? between people who have a set of religious beliefs to up-hold and those who don't.