This is a very interesting subject, and one I have thought about so many times, not just in regard to CF, but other online sites I frequent. I often find the online world difficult to function in for a variety of reasons, but bottom line is that, for me, it combines so many elements that I truly enjoy; communicating with people from diverse backgrounds, writing, learning
new information, being exposed to different viewpoints; so I carry on and try to navigate it all without getting run over. (Not easy sometimes.)
For me, I often have to monitor
my comments because in real life I have a rather dry and sarcastic sense of humor
, which people who know me totally get, but it doesn't always translate well into the written word, especially if you forget to attach your little smiley faces. I think over time I have identified most of the others here and on other forums
who share my acerbic wit and appreciate them for having the skill to get it out there without getting clobbered.
The thing that absolutely confounds me....that, being a people person, I honestly do not understand, are why there are so many people on a SOCIAL forum who seem to have the most unsocial tendancies. They say they are just here to "learn," and don't care about being social. There are so many informational sources out there that require no personal interaction with others, you can read to your hearts content, watch videos, download tutorials, and gather any and all kind of information you could ever want, without ever having the need to be rude to another person. So why do they? Why are there some people on this forum (and most others) who I can honestly say I don't think have ever seen make a single
comment of a positive nature, even though they post frequently. If they followed my Mama's advice
and "didn't say anything if they couldn't say anything nice," they wouldn't have a single post on here anywhere.
I understand that we all come from different life experiences and viewpoints, and I find that to be so very interesting, but there are so many who turn that into a basis of being mean. Instead of just saying "this is what I do" or "this is how I do it," they have to extend that to say, "this is what I do and you are all idiots who do it or see it differently." They either don't understand that by making sweeping, generalized, insulting comments there are going to be actual, real people here who are going to be saying, "wtf??"
On the thread where we were talking about Facebook. One poster, rather than just saying they don't use Facebook and don't like it had to extend those comments to say that anyone who does has "frustrated adolescent tendancies." Or the thread where we were talking about sailing boats with simple systems and someone had to say, "the only reason people sail simple boats is because they can't afford boats with the good stuff on them." Or the ongoing, never friggin ending, posts where there are a couple of posters who take every opportunity to say that people who spend time restoring boats do so because they don't know how to sail, or don't really want to sail. And of course I don't even need to go into the gun threads, anchor
threads, production boat threads, health care
debate, composting head
From politics, to religion, to diet, to type of boat, there is nothing that can't be criticized in the most insulting of ways. I guess it's just human nature, but not a part of human nature that I find particularly attractive, and it is truly a stumbling block to being "social."
So, I find that I'll initially find a thread interesting and try to get involved, and then a couple of the rude posters will come skidding into it with their forked tongue (keyboard) ablazing, and rather than get my Irish up and take the chance of getting moderated I just check out again and move onto the next thing, because once you get one of them in there the only people that remain after awhile are those who enjoy arguing with them. To me that thread is dead after that.
Tbere are a couple of threads going over on Sailnet started by people who used to be on this form who want to have everyone believe that it's better there. Their reasoning is that this forum is over moderated. I for one think it's unfortunate that we as reasonable, intelligent adults need that amount of moderation.
Boatie likened it to a sailor's bar. I think that is a good analogy. So the question is, why don't we talk to each other here the way we would actually talk to each other if we were sitting face to face across that bar. I venture that a lot of these rude posters would never in a million years talk to another sailor in person they way they do here on the forum. If they did, I dare say some here would find themselves drinking alone.