Updated on October 12, 2020
The challenges of diversity
Online platforms bring together a great lot of people. Like-minded in some ways, but often very different. In a world of bubbles and echo chambers, this is often a breath of fresh air. But it leads to the occasional mortally embarrassing misunderstanding.
About half of the energy of the Support Team goes into handling those moments. Some individualities are very synergetic, others stay away from each other, and some are quite contradictory.
We know about the struggles for equality and sometimes even recognition of many social groups in our society. These groups might be religious, ethnic, based on their sexual preferences, gender expression, political opinion, and more. A *lot* more. Sometimes they are only loosely tied through shared needs.
Between these groups or individuals tension can arise. The Support Team Volunteers are often those who moderate these conflicts. A social structure needs and lives on conflicts. They shine a light on deeper issues that require attention. We all make mistakes and we are all socialized differently so a welcoming approach to conflict is very healthy.
Still, we are all volunteers. Solving conflicts is a lot of work, and not every member is happy with conflicting situations.
Let’s bring in some imaginary hosts that show the problem:
- Fred has a vegan diet. Fred doesn’t want anyone to consume meat/dairy products in their kitchen.
- Claudia eats only meat. Claudia doesn’t want anyone to eat vegetables in their kitchen.
- Noel has a bad experience with creepy men. Noel doesn’t want anyone to be naked in their apartment.
- Nika lives a nudist lifestyle. They don’t want anyone to wear clothes in their home.
Now how do we handle a conflict between Fred and Claudia or between Noel and Nika?
We think that the most important thing is that every host and guest knows what they are getting into when meeting a member formerly unknown to them. I am not a big fan of bad surprises myself and I don’t wish for any member to run into a situation where they are pressed into doing something that they are uncomfortable with, especially if they already have bad experiences in the past regarding that situation.
On Trustroots one has several options to not get into a situation where you are surprised to be in a flat of paleo-nudists who asks you to be naked and only eat meat:
- Join a bunch of Circles.
- It positions you on a spectrum and gives them insight into how you live your life.
- Be clear and honest about your boundaries and especially those towards your guests in your profile
- Maybe mention your triggers in an initial message so that you are sure that the other user is aware of them
If you have red lines, please make sure they are visible to others.
Note that being transparent is not a blank check to violate the rules. Don’t be shy with the Report button. We never ban first and ask questions later. We’ll always approach conflict with open ears and hearts.