One theme I've found repeatedly in profiles is atheists living among the religious, feeling excluded. People come to Atheist Nexus seeking connection and community, and it's my impression that the vast majority don't find it. I looked at every public profile from new members now back through those who joined Feb 1st. It seems to me at least 80% become inactive. My impression is that they feel as if they've walked into a convention of 22,000 strangers, and everybody ignores them (excepting for one or two welcome comments). Some people are extroverted enough to join groups of strangers and talk up, but most of us need somebody to reach out. I felt so sad looking at page after page of dead end experience profiles.
I think this article on the pain of ostracism is relevant to "the newby Atheist Nexus experience." ""How can it be that such a brief experience, even when being ignored and excluded by strangers with whom the individual will never have any face-to-face interaction, can have such a powerful effect?" he [Kipling D. Williams] said. "The effect is consistent even though individuals' personalities vary." [Emphasis mine]
"Again and again research has found that strong, harmful reactions are possible even when ostracized by a stranger or for a short amount of time."
What was your first experience like here?
I think a lot of atheists know the feeling of being ostracized, not from "the newby Atheist Nexus experience" but from living among xtians. I was welcomed kindly when I joined AN, and I don´t feel left out here.
The best reaction on ostracism I worked out is `Living well is the best revenge.´ What does living well mean to me? To build the world I need myself: one that allows me to connect with people and one that emphasizes the best things in life: love, understanding and care.
English is only a second language for me, and I always feel I make the most horrible mistakes. Please feel free to correct me!
I'm kind of biased because I've being chatting with people online since I was a member of the local BBS connected with a 1200 baud modem. It took me years to start chatting though, thinking I was too ignorant to chat with all those "professionals". Yea, right.
Oh wait, that's not answering your question! I came here because of so many "dead" forums around the Internet. Ya, I can comment on blogs, but there's hardly ever any conversation. This has been the only place I've really gotten much feedback from others. Now I read every email alert I get, and I'll try to find out how to read those new profiles as they come up, and send them a comment.
I'm liken' it here!
I don't know how to blog. Never really tried it. I am not sure I would feel comfortable doing that, what with all the "professionals" who do that(like my teenage kids...lol).
I was facebooked out when I came in here, and it is good in here, because no one in my family ever comes in here. My mom would have a cow. She would try to reconvert me if she saw the conversations in here.
I kind of just read things in here to begin with. I wasn't really too sure of things at first. I mean, a lot of other social networking sites say they are friendly, and so, I was not sure this would really be any different.
I posted a few things the first day or so, and then didn't come back on here for a week or more. That was about the time you sent the invitation to this group. I have been posting a lot in here ever since. I really enjoy it in here. The discussions are friendly, and non threatening. I feel like I can say something even if everyone else doesn't feel exactly the same, and it will be respected. By the same token, I expect to treat others in here with respect, and read posts. I learn a lot from all of the posts.
Having heard of this place via a misspelled comment on Youtube, I came in, poked my head into a few discussions, and once I felt I had the feel of the place ("Lurk and learn.") I decided to join so I could respond to a discussion. I was prolific, producing a veritable essay whenever I cared to produce anything.
I didn't join for socialization; I joined for intellectual interaction (something in which the military town I was basically in at the time was necessarily lacking) and to finally have a place where I knew I could compare something to religion negatively.