When I was banned from Fish Eaters, I was sad at first but I got over it fairly quickly because I had a sense that I did not really belong there any more. Also most of the people I wanted to associate with were on Suscipe Domine anyhow. I think you are right that the harm from being banned comes from the disruption of relationships. A lot of people say that online actions and relationships don't really count but I disagree. They are real and important.
It seems that you hold me at least partially responsible for your getting banned from Suscipe Domine and I never really took that seriously before because I never explicitly asked for you to be banned. But I have been reflecting lately and understanding that I did contribute to it. My constant interfering and scolding played a role in you being banned and I am sorry. As I was thinking over my six years on trad forums, I could see I had a pattern of wrong and damaging behavior.
I thought about what you wrote a couple of months ago, that I needed to apologize with both words and actions. And I remembered your even earlier comment that I ought to be limited to 3 posts a day. So I decided to spend 2016 doing penance for my online errors and bad behaviour by limiting myself to 3 posts a day (not including prayers).
You have talked about the seriousness of banning from forums a few times, but it has only lately been making sense to me. Lately Te Deum has become a forum that I wish I could particiate in. There are subjects that I would like to discuss and posters with whom I would like to interact. I am really regretting getting myself banned. It's my own fault and I deserve it so I just have to live with consequences of my actions. It is the feeling of being cut off from people that is so hard, just as you have been saying.It is good that you are trying to limit yourself to 3 posts a day. I'm actually now wondering if that'd be a good idea for me, as well. Also, kudos to you for dealing with that liberal Catholic blogger a few months ago. I won't mention her name, as at this point I want nothing to do with her. At this point, she's been confronted by two Trads (us), and in each instance she has demonstrated her irrationality and inability to focus. If that doesn't prove she's a lost cause, I don't know what does. That little online episode with her has shown us a taste of things to come from liberal Catholics, I believe.
Real quick, about Fisheaters, I'll say that like everyone else, I sort of lost interest in Fisheaters--long before I got banned from there. But the manner of getting banned by Tracy is a ridiculous personal and public insult, demonstrating Tracy's hypocrisy, among other things. I've openly talked about these kinds of problems as a warning beacon, but I'm becoming convinced it's all wasted energy. I'm uncertain that the online Traditional Catholic community is going to go anywhere, as people are perfectly comfortable to continue to do what they've been doing--which is talk in circles and eat each other alive.
Yes, I hold you somewhat responsible for me getting banned from SD. But on the bright side, it's only accelerated my latest conclusions about the online Trad community. So, there's always that.
But yes, you're also right when you bring up the pain of being kept from other Catholics. I feel that such ostracization is a terrible thing to do to a person. We presume that Catholic forum owners who claim to be, well, Catholic--we presume them to believe and practice Catholic behavior. This includes an endorsement for the communion of saints, as well as the ability to "forgive" seventy times seven. (Not that I have anything to be forgiven for; I've done nothing wrong to FE or SD. If anything, KK and Tracy owe me apologies.)
Perma-banning someone works against the idea of ever being "forgiven," and it works against that idea of keeping Catholics in communion with one another.
Heck, Pope Francis is out there embracing Muslims, Jews, and transvestites. And yet, in our quarter, people cannot withstand the temptation to snipe their ally in the back of the head. Case in point: the most recent Cathinfo thread where everyone, including the moderator, chimes in and throws stones at VoxPop. That was one of the most malicious threads I've seen in a while. It appears that a fellow named ranlare created a brand new CI account for the sole purpose of dumping his hate and arrogance into that thread.
This brings me to the final point: that I am starting to think that these forums and this community is too much of an opportunity to stir up hate and enmity. I see a great deal of calumny, detraction, backbiting, and talebearing in this community.
I am no janitor. It is not my life's mission to clean up these messes.
My participation in forums evolved from being #1 just a guy trying to get some information about Catholicism and meeting people, to #2 happily considering the forums as a religious/political outlet, to #3 an explorer of new concepts, and a more activist approach where I've tried calling out bad behavior, and where I try to rally people for one cause or another. #3 has obviously failed, and it's gotten me shunned because, again, it's all going nowhere. People are content to be stuck in their cycles.
Perhaps I've failed on this before, but whenever I'm talking about something, I try to be objective and cover a matter in detail. I try to publicly talk about the public statements made by public people, reducing my observations to only their public words and actions. Heck, I try to be objective and careful in a lot of the threads I've started. But if it's one thing I've learned, it's all for nothing. Most people do not know how to be objective, non-emotional, or how to just stick with the facts. And this frustrates me a lot.
So, I'm clearly now operating on some sort of level no one else wants to deal with. Ultimately, I ask myself "What is all of this for? Does anyone get anything out of what I put out there?" I do not think so.
I recall the story of St. Philip Neri's penance that he gave to a woman who confessed to gossiping. It's the story of how she was to rip open a pillow at the top of a church bell tower, and then go out throughout the village to gather all of the feathers that went everywhere. I look at some of what I've pointed out about different people on the internet, or perhaps public figures--and all I do is attract snide comments. I could simply be sowing enmity.
For that reason, I've been considering taking down either a large portion--if not all--of my blog posts. Doing so would prevent my words from being taken and used wrongly, and it would help me to catapult my way into a better hobby and away from this strange echo chamber microcosm I've found myself in.
I heartily endorse a limit of three posts per day. It is a good step in the right direction.