Thursday, April 18, 2013

Letting go of what 'might' be useful

Some months ago, I joined a Yahoo! group dealing with Scouting in the LDS Church. At first it was refreshing to be in contact with so many who were fighting the same struggles I was, and learn from their successes and failures. I got a lot of good information from this resource.

As time went on, though, I began to realize that there were about three or four individuals who dominated the conversation. Most interchanges eventually turned ugly, and the utility of the site was soon overshadowed by what I saw more and more as personal agendas and rancor. My active participation became less and less, as I mostly just watched, chiming in now and again, sometimes not very charitably myself. Every day I’d get an update in my inbox, and I dutifully read everyone’s responses, hoping for some new tidbit of information. Sometimes, a new Scouter would ask an “I’m just starting out” question, and receive any number of answers from the supportive and helpful to the insulting, but even then, the natural tendency was to go off on an unhelpful rant of a tangent. It got to be too much.

I haven’t left the group, but I did elect to stop receiving automatic daily email updates. Giving myself permission to skip it has been liberating.  It’s amazing how much I don’t miss the daily arguments, personality conflicts and frequent name-calling. The useful tips and ideas were too few and far between, especially in comparison with the unhelpful junk. And I think that ignoring it has helped me think more about working with my boys, instead of reading again and again, and focusing my energy on, how 'the Church is ruining Scouting.' I already have enough ideas of my own on that topic. I don’t need more fuel for the fire.

Prepared. | For Life.™


Brian Reyman said...

Glad I'm not the only one. You just described my EXACT SAME interaction with that same list.

You're not alone or crazy :).

Sounds like there's an opportunity for a very-tightly moderated group that focuses on sharing tips, questions and staying focused on the positive!

Fishgutts said...

LOL! Old school Scouters are soon to die out and hopefully we won't be as grumpy and stuck in the same old same old as they are. I know exactly what you mean with that group. Sometimes I get so frustrated!!!