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Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388799 11/09/09 02:04 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
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PDM Offline
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Originally Posted By: Carl
Where I have disagreed with you has been over a question of what constitutes discourtesy ... But people can and do make harsh remarks....

I think that we are all capable of upsetting other members ~ often unwittingly. We are all just human & we may become frustrated, angry, over-enthusiastic, etc.

I also think that upset can be the result of misunderstanding, or of taking things personally, where they were not meant as personal insults, etc.

If people go too far, then they may be told ~ but not always publicly.

If I am seen to go too far, then people usually tell me.

And what one person sees as too far, another may see as quite moderate.

Discourtesy certainly isn't encouraged.

But I have had people complaining that someone is being rude, while they are being equally discourteous, themselves, and they simply cannot see it.

I have to make the best judgement a flawed human mind can make, based on the information available. But it doesn't always go down well with the person in question, or their friends.

Sometimes I have spent, quite literally, hours ~ going through threads, and evaluating posts, to see who said what and when, in order to respond, fairly, to complaints and criticisms.

I try to act as a fair and objective mediator ~ even where people have been extremely negative with me ~ but I still get the blame for whatever goes wrong.

And I try not to make a fuss, but, at times, it can be hurtful and annoying ~ which is why I have come very close to leaving on a number of occasions.

Maybe it's good to vent, once in a while, though, so maybe threads like this are a good thing. smile


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Lisa Shea] #388800 11/09/09 02:08 AM
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jilly Offline
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I think that learning to speak respectfully to people, even when we may disagree or dislike them even, is a valuable life skill. I was not really taught this in life. Not by my parents, school, TV, or anywhere, really. We "hear" we are supposed to treat people with respect, but are not actually given practice in actual life skills with doing it. Actual tools. It take a LOT of practice, and certainly to me, does not come naturally.

At this point though, it's become habit to try to be as loving in my posts as possible, while still getting my thoughts across.

I have been talking on forums for more than a decade now and I think I have learned, through trial and error, many things about how I come across. How to think before I write, and how to not take something badly that was meant neutrally or even in a positive light.

Even as of last week, I took something meant in caring as a dig against me. Different cultures, ages and backgrounds can make one thing written taken completely wrong. So I am always learning. smile

For people that speak rudely, or are perhaps out to have 'fun' at another's expense....well, it is my challenge to still present a role model to the best of my skills. Maybe by being courteous to rudeness there will be a positive result. Maybe some of their walls will come down. Maybe they can find a safe place to learn better behaviors.

I know this is possible in real life, so why not in forums? I used to be an Outward Bound instructor, and i worked with adjudicated youth in extremely serious wilderness situations. Sometimes being respectful of someone who is acting out becomes a new experience for them. People are often used to getting negative attention as a result of their actions.

Showing that you can dislike someone's behavior, but still treat them like they are a worthwhile being, is often an extremely new and exciting experience for them. It can change many things for them going forward.

Last edited by jilly; 11/09/09 02:12 AM.

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Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388801 11/09/09 02:11 AM
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BLR Offline
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I probably should not say anything but here goes. The members that are gone are some of my favorite people. But I think that sometimes people get into a mind set that renders them “spring loaded to the xxxxxx off position.” I think that is part of what has been going on for quite a little while on the forum, particularly the parakeet forum. There were cliques that lead to people taking sides at the drop of a hat. It began feeling like that some of the “older members” took themselves and their advisory position way too seriously. There were statements made that clearly indicated that the feelings of any newcomer was secondary to reprimanding them for actions deemed unsafe or unhealthy for their parakeets. If confronted with this attitude when I first joined the forum I would not have stayed around.

Last edited by PDM; 11/09/09 02:24 AM.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: BLR] #388808 11/09/09 02:37 AM
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Hi Barbara,

I think that you have hit the nail on the head.

It is wrong to treat an animal badly ~ I think that we can all agree on that ~ but if people don't realise that something is bad, or if they have been given poor advice, then it is a good thing that they should be given the benefit of the knowledge available here on the site.

If they are frightened away by accusations of 'trollism' or 'shouted at' for being silly, then neither they nor their pets will benefit.

Long-term, knowledgable members may PM me to complain, and may wonder why these 'trolls' are not banned, for wasting time and space, but surely they have as much right to post as anyone else ~ and probably more need.

And maybe they won't simply take the advice given immediately ~ but why should they? How do they know who is telling them the right thing and who isn't ~ especially if they have been given contradictory information by their vet, or by different forum members?

People can sometimes ~ not always, but sometimes ~ jump on people as trolls with no good reason at all.

And people will get upset, or complain, or leave the site over such issues ~ and their friends will be upset ~ but they and their friends must realise that there are two sides to every story and that, while some people support them, others may be complaining about them. Often a compromise is the only answer.


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388809 11/09/09 02:42 AM
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Originally Posted By: Carl
...
But maybe there IS no spirit of the rules here. And that is what bothers me about the board, PDM & Lisa. ....

I truly do not understand why you should think this ~ or why you think that I would be happy with this, or even what it relates to.

Are you talking about the recent bruhaha or about 'the seeds of the distrust [which] have been going on for some time? confused

Last edited by PDM; 11/09/09 02:44 AM.

"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: PDM] #388811 11/09/09 02:55 AM
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Carl Offline
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I know that you simply cannot read every post, let alone every thread, PDM. What I meant was that it has seemed like you don't notice even in threads that have been discussed by you.

Recently I noticed references that you and Lisa have talked, and acted, privately. This I had not thought of to a certain extent.

That is, I know that people complained and you discussed, but I had not considered that you may have been talking to people about discourtesy all along. I did see some instances where an edit was done by you on a post - sometimes a phrase or word, and so I assumed that you would have taken action in similar fashion, with like a gentle warning, "Be nicer, please" or "Reword for courtesy, please."

I think where I began to get that idea was in some of the cases where I felt hurt and you cautioned me that the rules say that I'm NOT to take things personally, and if fact you saw nothing that would suggest someone meant to hurt my feelings.

It only takes two or three of these before one begins to see that either I have no idea what courtesy means, or I take things way too seriously, or I'm too defensive and irritable, or you're more used to "discussion" language than I am. And I admit it could well be the latter. I guess what I look for in a board might not be at all what one would expect to find here.


Marge is the love of my life.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388815 11/09/09 03:15 AM
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Carl, I do honestly think that some people are more sensitive to 'harsh' words than are others.

Whatever I have said to you, I have meant, but that doesn't mean that I may never change my mind ~ and I cannot remember specifics at the moment, but maybe you can.

Certainly I have never intended to be harsh or rude to you ~ or to anyone else, for that matter.

I do think that there are frequent misunderstandings on the board and I also think that some people may interpret jokes as serious comments.

And yes, I think that some people don't enjoy debates, and many of the discussions on religion have taken the form of debate ~ which can get heated and to the point, but should still never break the rules.

When you say 'it has seemed like you don't notice even in threads that have been discussed by you', you are completely correct. I don't always notice things ~ even in the threads that I post in. Sometimes things simply don't register, or I read them differently from others, perhaps. And I know that, if they break the rules, and someone else has noticed & been upset, then they will click on 'notify' and I can respond accordingly.

But I cannot be blamed for not responding to a rule break, if no-one has sent a moderator alert.

And yes, private messages are often used, to gently remind someone of a better way to word something. Sometimes I just comment on the forum. Sometimes I do both ~ whatever seems appropriate at the time.


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: PDM] #388816 11/09/09 03:16 AM
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It's 3.15 am. I'm off to bed now. smile


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: PDM] #388821 11/09/09 04:41 AM
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Carl Offline
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Sorry about the delay, PDM. I had dinner, clean-up, & an e-card to get out to a great-nephew.

Yes, I understand about the actions not always being seen. I kind of think it is good for the whole board to see it, though. Not as punishment nor ridicule for the person spoken to, but as instruction for everyone. I have seen you say something like this: "I read what you said, and it was not very kind."

I think that sort of comment is good. It asks for more responsibility toward courtesy.

As for some people being more sensitive, I know this is true. I think there is a trade-off, though. I think these are the ones who are most likely to be the supporters for people who have problems, whose pets have died, or ....

You know, I'm about over all of this.

In that romance thread where I answered the person "seriously," I still stand behind what I said. It matters not whether the kids laughed over me (people taking the thread seriously). Fear & hate are things that need to be talked down, IMO.

But as to what happened, I guess it's all history now.

As for notify, actually the only times I've done that was when someone else was involved. When I've had my feelings hurt, I try to speak as openly as I can, but I admit that I can get a bit sarcastic and/or hostile if I feel attacked. In my defense, I usually apologize to the board as it settles down - even if I think that nobody understood my points.

Anyway, thanks for the reply, PDM. I have tried to pick areas that would be less "debate" oriented. But it has seemed to me that this last year has been more caustic even in the "gentler" areas of the forum. But maybe I'm the only person who thinks that.


Marge is the love of my life.
Re: Flood of New Members [Re: Carl] #388842 11/09/09 09:04 AM
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Hello Carl

It is impossible to be sure when someone is inventing stories on an Internet site, so I cannot guarantee that no-one has ever lied to the forum. That's just the way the Internet is. But I didn't perceive lies in that thread, and I see no reason to believe that the poster, or anyone else, should have laughed at your post.

It is important that 'notify' be used, if someone breaks a rule ~ otherwise I / we cannot know that needs to be looked at ~ and, possibly, dealt with.

I have noticed that there is less and less debate on the forum, yet you see a forum that has become more caustic ~ so maybe the two don't actually go together.

I don't really know what you mean about 'gentler' areas becoming caustic. I moderate all areas ~ when notified ~ but my personal discussions tend to be mostly in the 'general' area. However, I have seen the displeasure generated amongst some long-term members, about the behaviour of some new members, and, while I think that genuine bad behaviour has to be dealt with, I also think that, sometimes, innocent people may be blamed.

That's my opinion ~ I may be wrong ~ but I don't think that someone should be punished, simply because someone else is assuming that s/he is 'a troll'. Furthermore, there are times when I, too, suspect that 'something is up', but I feel that I have to give people the benefit of the doubt, until I am sure one way or the other ~ that seems fair to me. I don't want to make false accusations. I feel that it is wrong to ban people, simply because they irritate a certain group of members. There is an 'ignore' facility if they want to use it.

As I said, when there are camps with each 'side' complaining about the other, it is impossible to satisfy everyone. I try to do what is right ~ or best ~ and to explain my actions as best I can. No-one is perfect, especially in unwinnable situations.

If someone breaks a rule, or behaves inappropriately, and I am made aware of it, then I will respond accordingly. Sometimes people simply need the chance to settle down and learn how things work.

Regarding harsh words, I am wondering if, perhaps, I seem to be more accepting of them than others are, simply because I receive so many of them and I try to just put up with them. (Thankfully, I also receive many kind words!) If I do get upset, then my family will say that it is what everyone should expect on a world-wide Internet forum, and that we are lucky that things are generally so friendly.

My advice to everyone is that they should read through their posts, before submitting, to check that they haven't unwittingly said anything, which could be interpreted as rude or unpleasant in any way. And, if they are angry, and the harsh words are deliberate, then they should go and calm down before posting.

Similarly, if someone thinks that a post, which seems harsh in some way, has been directed at them, then I feel that they should double-check, to be certain that their suspicions are correct, before assuming that they have been insulted. As I said, I truly believe that some upset is caused simply by misunderstanding ~ and also as a result of jokes which may go wrong, because they are not taken as intended.

And, of course, people don't know what is going on behind the scenes ~ not just in my private messages, or Lisa's, but in everyone's ~ because there is the public side of the forum and the private side.

Anyway, I try to do my best. smile


"The secret of success is constancy to purpose" - Benjamin Disraeli.
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