Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => "Have you tried the bean dip?" => Topic started by: demetra on October 01, 2007, 01:20:58 PM

Title: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 01, 2007, 01:20:58 PM
Using this tactic can in itself be rude.  I have some examples from another forum I am on.  A friend of mine on there and I often get into debates on heated topics (there are no rules against it on that forum, it is in fact a forum specifically for debates).  More often than not, in real life this friend and I are in full agreement, one of us is just playing devil's advocate.

Inevitably, in spite of the fact that no personal insults are being thrown around and the forum is specifically for debates, someone comes in and says essentially 'why are you guys debating this, I don't want to read this argument'. 

When someone comes in and says 'would you guys like bean dip?' (or that forum's equivalent 'so, read any good books lately?') it comes across as snarky and rude.  In these sort of instances, the polite thing to do is not read the thread if you are uncomfortable with it.  Just as in real life, the polite thing to do is to not join a conversation if you are uncomfortable with the topic.  If tempers aren't getting heated, and the debate, while perhaps intense, is not dissolving into snark and is otherwise allowed by the forum rules, offering bean dip is in itself snarky.

It's along the same lines of ordering someone to 'follow the coke rule' when you disagree with what they are saying.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 01, 2007, 01:25:14 PM
I agree with this, to a point.  I have only "offered the bean dip" when the topic has gone into snarky and rude territory.  If it's a thread you just aren't comfortable with, then I agree that you should stop reading it.  But I rarely find offering bean dip to be rude, and I usually think that it's funny and a way to lighten up the situation.  It is still a public forum, and I think that on this one, the rule is that if it becomes too personal, it's best to take it off the forum.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 01, 2007, 01:36:36 PM
Here, on ehell, if I were to have the sort of debate I normally do with this friend I would absolutely expect to be offered bean dip, if not given a time-out by the admins.  This isn't a forum for serious discussions on the religious situation of green-skinned Saturnians expatriated to Neptune and it's political ramifications on Callisto.  In fact it's specifically against the forum rules, thus offering bean dip when a thread starts headed in that direction is a subtle, amusing way to say 'hey guys, remember the rules?'  But on a forum dedicated to such topics, butting in to 'lighten the debate' comes across as snarky.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: bopper on October 01, 2007, 01:47:31 PM
Around here, (well before their unfortunate disaster), it is:  "How 'bout them Mets?"  which I have used if the conversation gets kind of gross during a meal or what have you.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: LiveLoveLearn on October 01, 2007, 02:22:54 PM
I really think this is a tactic every pregnant woman needs to master.  It worked especially well at all those gatherings I went to when I was pregnant with DS1.  The ones where the well-meaning aquantances overstep boundries, whether it be touching my belly, asking (harrassing) about some controversial (to them) decisions I was making, etc.  Because all these parties I went to were potlucks (church, groups of friends, etc), I made sure to make my 'famous' black bean dip and bring it.  Then, whenever anyone wouldn't back down, I would just "Oh man, I've got to go get more of that bean dip!  Silly cravings!  Have you tried it yet?"

The women who hosted my shower had caught on (actually, I think I learned it from one of them who was also pregnant) and actually made some bean dip!  I was so excited!  Then, when Stepmom asked me for the thousanth time about why I was planning to do something one way and not the other way (ie, her way, which she thought was just the bee's knees), I was able to kindly steer her to the bean dip.

And I wonder now why DS1 loves the stuff ;)
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: mindibrad on October 01, 2007, 02:38:18 PM
I used this just about 3 weeks ago.

We were at a friends house and the husband and wife started arguing about something minor...but we all had enough beer in us that it seemed (to them) to be a BIG MAJOR PROBLEM.

At one point the husband (who I disagreed with, BTW) turned to me and asked my opinion.

I just looked at him and said "Have you tried the dip?".  He said "yes", then asked my opinion again, to which I replied "no seriously - this is really good dip!". 

Everyone laughed and the argument over.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 01, 2007, 02:59:11 PM
It's along the same lines of ordering someone to 'follow the coke rule' when you disagree with what they are saying.

I'm glad you said this, because it's exactly what I've been thinking.  It's very easy for the "bean dip" comment to come across as rude and snarky as well.

I've had the comment made to me, and I have to tell you that it really burned me up.  Instead of cooling things down, it made me angrier.  Because it came across as a real put-down and an extremely snarky way of telling me to "shut up."

Personally, I'm not in favor of this one on the whole.  There are some times when it might help.  But, more often than not, you (the generic you) really come across as being high-handed and rude.  Especially in a written forum where there isn't a way to see the expression on your face that tones this comment down and makes it not so abrupt.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 01, 2007, 03:22:51 PM
When someone comes in and says 'would you guys like bean dip?' (or that forum's equivalent 'so, read any good books lately?') it comes across as snarky and rude. 

I agree with this. IMO, I have rarely seen the "bean dip" line used in which the line did not come across as disingenuously snarky, patronizing, and/or condescending. It strikes me as a passive aggressive dig at the other posters [who are getting themselves worked up over the topic in question]. If the topic in question is really getting out of hand, I would prefer the mods just stepping in and saying the equivalent of, "Cool it," and handing out bans/warnings as necessary (most other forums I go on adopt this latter practice, which I like because it's so straightforward and no-nonsense).

If you really do want to divert the thread from getting out of control, I think it would be a lot better if we didn't just resort to this preplanned line. It doesn't come across as snarky (IMO) if you divert the subject subtly enough that it's still semi-related to the subject at hand, but takes the heat out of the argument. I have read threads that have done this and it works rather well -- at least a lot better than the bean dip line! For example, say that the following exchange occurs:

Poster A: I can't believe you think that all snarfles are floofies! It's so obvious that no snarfles fit the rigorous standards required to be considered a floofie. It's like saying that a snarfle is a dog. I have a dog, and it is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B (who is getting wary of the vitriol): Oh, what kind of dog do you have?

Poster A: Oh, he's a doberman. Named Mr. Cuddles. And he is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B: Wow, a doberman, that sounds cool…Mr. Cuddles is such a funny name, haha!

Poster A: Yeah, my mom named him that as a joke…lol.

Basically, Poster B focuses on the non-controversial aspects of Poster A's comments and manages to calm A down a little. It doesn't come across as snarky because Poster B's remarks are still related to whatever Poster A says.

This is just my opinion of course. YMMV, and I realize that Ehell is a private forum that can implement whatever tools it wants to use. Just saying that I am not a particular fan of this one line.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: goblue2539 on October 01, 2007, 04:01:07 PM
Sticking my nose in, because I'm curious and because I have an opinion on this one. 

I'm reminded of what my mother used to tell me when I was growing up.  "Watch your tone of voice!"  Obviously, in written form, we can't watch our tone.  The bean dip line can be a godsend and incredibly useful in real life.  But, it doesn't translate well. 

Which was a really longwinded way of me saying I agree with you guys. :D
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 01, 2007, 04:22:09 PM
When someone comes in and says 'would you guys like bean dip?' (or that forum's equivalent 'so, read any good books lately?') it comes across as snarky and rude. 

I agree with this. IMO, I have rarely seen the "bean dip" line used in which the line did not come across as disingenuously snarky, patronizing, and/or condescending. It strikes me as a passive aggressive dig at the other posters [who are getting themselves worked up over the topic in question]. If the topic in question is really getting out of hand, I would prefer the mods just stepping in and saying the equivalent of, "Cool it," and handing out bans/warnings as necessary (most other forums I go on adopt this latter practice, which I like because it's so straightforward and no-nonsense).

If you really do want to divert the thread from getting out of control, I think it would be a lot better if we didn't just resort to this preplanned line. It doesn't come across as snarky (IMO) if you divert the subject subtly enough that it's still semi-related to the subject at hand, but takes the heat out of the argument. I have read threads that have done this and it works rather well -- at least a lot better than the bean dip line! For example, say that the following exchange occurs:

Poster A: I can't believe you think that all snarfles are floofies! It's so obvious that no snarfles fit the rigorous standards required to be considered a floofie. It's like saying that a snarfle is a dog. I have a dog, and it is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B (who is getting wary of the vitriol): Oh, what kind of dog do you have?

Poster A: Oh, he's a doberman. Named Mr. Cuddles. And he is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B: Wow, a doberman, that sounds cool…Mr. Cuddles is such a funny name, haha!

Poster A: Yeah, my mom named him that as a joke…lol.

Basically, Poster B focuses on the non-controversial aspects of Poster A's comments and manages to calm A down a little. It doesn't come across as snarky because Poster B's remarks are still related to whatever Poster A says.

This is just my opinion of course. YMMV, and I realize that Ehell is a private forum that can implement whatever tools it wants to use. Just saying that I am not a particular fan of this one line.

I understand what you're saying completely.  And, I agree.  This is a much more useful (and less rude) way of accomplishing it.  This way doesn't risk hurting someone - OR making things even worse.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: aline on October 01, 2007, 04:25:50 PM
When someone comes in and says 'would you guys like bean dip?' (or that forum's equivalent 'so, read any good books lately?') it comes across as snarky and rude. 

I agree with this. IMO, I have rarely seen the "bean dip" line used in which the line did not come across as disingenuously snarky, patronizing, and/or condescending. It strikes me as a passive aggressive dig at the other posters [who are getting themselves worked up over the topic in question]. If the topic in question is really getting out of hand, I would prefer the mods just stepping in and saying the equivalent of, "Cool it," and handing out bans/warnings as necessary (most other forums I go on adopt this latter practice, which I like because it's so straightforward and no-nonsense).

If you really do want to divert the thread from getting out of control, I think it would be a lot better if we didn't just resort to this preplanned line. It doesn't come across as snarky (IMO) if you divert the subject subtly enough that it's still semi-related to the subject at hand, but takes the heat out of the argument. I have read threads that have done this and it works rather well -- at least a lot better than the bean dip line! For example, say that the following exchange occurs:

Poster A: I can't believe you think that all snarfles are floofies! It's so obvious that no snarfles fit the rigorous standards required to be considered a floofie. It's like saying that a snarfle is a dog. I have a dog, and it is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B (who is getting wary of the vitriol): Oh, what kind of dog do you have?

Poster A: Oh, he's a doberman. Named Mr. Cuddles. And he is in no way a snarfle!

Poster B: Wow, a doberman, that sounds cool…Mr. Cuddles is such a funny name, haha!

Poster A: Yeah, my mom named him that as a joke…lol.

Basically, Poster B focuses on the non-controversial aspects of Poster A's comments and manages to calm A down a little. It doesn't come across as snarky because Poster B's remarks are still related to whatever Poster A says.

This is just my opinion of course. YMMV, and I realize that Ehell is a private forum that can implement whatever tools it wants to use. Just saying that I am not a particular fan of this one line.

I understand what you're saying completely.  And, I agree.  This is a much more useful (and less rude) way of accomplishing it.  This way doesn't risk hurting someone - OR making things even worse.



I agree as well. Personally, I think the "bean dip" line works much better in person, when you can use a playful and lighthearted tone of voice to get it across nicely. On the 'net, tone doesn't always come across the way the poster intended, and regardless of intent, it often comes across a bit condescending.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 01, 2007, 04:36:35 PM
I guess I've never thought about this line coming across rude or condescending.  Farfalla explained how I see the line, perfectly.  I always think of it as being playful and lighthearted and I think that is how it's intended to be used. 

I also agree that tone is difficult to read over the Internet.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 01, 2007, 04:50:29 PM
I always think of it as being playful and lighthearted and I think that is how it's intended to be used.

The problem is that when (the generic) you say it in the forum, you're already saying it to someone who's upset and not really in a frame of mind to have you treat them "playful and lighthearted."  As such, (the generic) you come across as acting as if you're patting the person on the head and "playfully" telling them that the opinion that they're expressing is, in some way, silly or not of consequence.

I've seen this line said in the forum several times.  And, I don't think I've seen it used yet in such a way that didn't make the person saying it come across as being frankly condescending and (for lack of better word) a jerk.

Even in person, I think it's something to use extremely carefully. YOU think you're being "playful and lighthearted" but it's very hard to pull off in such a way that you don't really look like you're patronizing - even with a tone and an expression to go with it.

I am much more in favor of the alternative method expressed above.  Accomplishes the same goal without belittling the person at the same time.



Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 01, 2007, 05:00:58 PM
I guess this is one of those phrases where it comes down to perception, just like everything else regarding phrasing and wording that we debate, just like "ma'am", "young lady", and "nazi."

I don't find this phrase rude or belittling, and I know many other posters do not.  I will take note to not use this towards you, but I will not stop using it all together.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 01, 2007, 05:07:53 PM
but I will not stop using it all together.

I didn't ask you to.  Just stating my point of view. :)


Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 01, 2007, 05:52:47 PM
I always think of it as being playful and lighthearted and I think that is how it's intended to be used.

The problem is that when (the generic) you say it in the forum, you're already saying it to someone who's upset and not really in a frame of mind to have you treat them "playful and lighthearted."  As such, (the generic) you come across as acting as if you're patting the person on the head and "playfully" telling them that the opinion that they're expressing is, in some way, silly or not of consequence.

I've seen this line said in the forum several times.  And, I don't think I've seen it used yet in such a way that didn't make the person saying it come across as being frankly condescending and (for lack of better word) a jerk.

Even in person, I think it's something to use extremely carefully. YOU think you're being "playful and lighthearted" but it's very hard to pull off in such a way that you don't really look like you're patronizing - even with a tone and an expression to go with it.

I am much more in favor of the alternative method expressed above.  Accomplishes the same goal without belittling the person at the same time.

The other problem that I found was that if you don't understand the meaning of what they are saying, it can be confusing.  And when I asked for clarification, I was still somewhat confused as to why someone would say this.  Frankly, I have never been at a party where someone has used this as a method to end debate.
 
So, I asked for further clarification and was told by a mod "I also think that you know perfectly well what the spirit of the "bean dip" suggestion was" and that I was just trying to be argumentative.
 
It was KeenReader who posted:
Things like the Coke Rule and the "bean dip" technique are means for bringing discussions that have turned into very heated debates that are nudging posters toward breaking the rules of etiquette themselves by being snarky and aggressive toward each other to a stop and letting people take a breath and calm down.

The bean dip technique is another way of saying, "Let's agree to disagree because this discussion is not going to lead to either of us changing our minds."
 
That made sense to me.  The key is to make sense within the context of the rules.  Because there are many times when people get lectured on "rules" that don't exactly exist.  I have seen newbies get lectured by people who bring up threads that were on the old board.
 
Little things like "Um, no" and "I am sorry that you feel that way."  Apparently these were considered to be rude to use on some thread on the old boards.  So, someone uses them here and someone else will ding them for it on that basis.  I don't think that is fair.
 
But, I don't know that there is anything one can do about it.  People are people and electronic communication takes away some very basic cues that humans for thousands of years have used--and even with those, people can come to blows, just not over silly things I guess.
 
Another reason the snarkiness spills over into exchanges is because for some posts snarkiness is an element of telling the story.  Some unknown person commits a violation and are pilloried with a celebration of snarkiness and it makes for juicy reading.
 
But, then since that spirit is there, it does spill over into other conversations.

I think it is good to have these folder that deal with some of the phrases that have evolved so that everyone understands the reasons and intent behind them.  Then, there is no confusion.
 
As far as bean dip, I would like to offer a challenge:  Maybe instead of simply an offer of bean dip someone could come up with a visual of some sort or graphic to go along with it--something that would elicit a smile or laugh, ie. something ridiculous.  It would be immediately obvious that others are uncomfortable with the tenor of the conversation and do so in a lighthearted way.
 
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 01, 2007, 05:57:02 PM

As far as bean dip, I would like to offer a challenge:  Maybe instead of simply an offer of bean dip someone could come up with a visual of some sort or graphic to go along with it--something that would elicit a smile or laugh, ie. something ridiculous.  It would be immediately obvious that others are uncomfortable with the tenor of the conversation and do so in a lighthearted way.
 

And for me, offering someone bean dip does just that.  I think of a visual of someone at a party thrusting some bean dip in between two people to lighten up the mood, and it makes me laugh.  Again, YMMV.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Brentwood on October 01, 2007, 07:27:00 PM
It's along the same lines of ordering someone to 'follow the coke rule' when you disagree with what they are saying.

I'm glad you said this, because it's exactly what I've been thinking.  It's very easy for the "bean dip" comment to come across as rude and snarky as well.

I've had the comment made to me, and I have to tell you that it really burned me up.  Instead of cooling things down, it made me angrier.  Because it came across as a real put-down and an extremely snarky way of telling me to "shut up."

Personally, I'm not in favor of this one on the whole.  There are some times when it might help.  But, more often than not, you (the generic you) really come across as being high-handed and rude.  Especially in a written forum where there isn't a way to see the expression on your face that tones this comment down and makes it not so abrupt.



I agree.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Dindrane on October 02, 2007, 12:14:53 AM
I've always been under the impression that the "bean dip" comment was a way of changing the subject, in a way that is abrupt enough that the other person int he discussion understands you're done with the previous topic.

As an example, I'd think that this phrase would be useful and appropriate if a particular person was always harping on you about the same thing, and you had politely told them several times that you were going to consult your own opinions on the matter, rather than theirs.  At the fifth meeting and the hundredth time that person said "well, I can't understand why you don't just..." you could then politely and with a smile, ask about something completely unrelated ("would you like some bean dip?  It's particularly good today").  But you can't do that online.

A much more clear way of ending a heated discussion online is to simply say "I don't think we'll be able to see eye-to-eye on this topic, so let's just agree to disagree.  I'm going to bow out of the discussion now."  I can't see how anyone could really take offense at something like that, but I can see how someone could take offense to "have you tried the bean dip?" if there was no clue that it was supposed to be lighthearted.

It's just so important to make sure that what you say online is clear, because it's so easy to read in a tone that isn't what the poster intended at all.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 02, 2007, 06:36:42 AM
I also think 'Have you tried the bean dip' should be reserved only for a conversation you are involved in.

Example -

You are at a party with two members of political party X.  You are a member of political party Y.  They are discussing who to vote for in the primary, and the conversation is serious with a touch of heat.

Walking up between them and stating 'have you tried the bean dip'? is rude.  You are better off being frank, 'hey guys, no politics at the party'.  If the conversation is polite, you've just been very rude butting in.  If it's not, all you've done is make the other people annoyed at you.

If one turns to you and says 'And what do you think?', responding 'This is excellent bean dip', is acceptable. 

If you are already involved in the conversation, stating 'I'm going to go try the bean dip' as a way of breaking the conversation is acceptable as well. 
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: ShadesOfGrey on October 02, 2007, 07:24:30 AM
Wow - I had no idea that this line would start this kind of controversy when I suggested it for the title of this thread...

Like everything else, this line is about how you deliver it. 

While I dont think that this line is snarky in general, I can see where on the forum, where tone is difficult to convey, it can come across as such (especially if someone not involved in the conversation tries to use it - but it would be snarky in real life if someone not involved tried to use it, so that's not necessarily a unique situation).


I think mindibrand had the best example of how this is to be used in real life - as a conversation diverter and a clear way to break the tension. 

Quote
We were at a friends house and the husband and wife started arguing about something minor...but we all had enough beer in us that it seemed (to them) to be a BIG MAJOR PROBLEM.

At one point the husband (who I disagreed with, BTW) turned to me and asked my opinion.

I just looked at him and said "Have you tried the dip?".  He said "yes", then asked my opinion again, to which I replied "no seriously - this is really good dip!". 

Everyone laughed and the argument [was] over.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Shores on October 02, 2007, 10:22:21 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 02, 2007, 10:24:04 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

Exactly what I was trying to say.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 10:34:39 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Shores on October 02, 2007, 10:35:15 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Shores on October 02, 2007, 10:39:04 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?
For instance, a few weeks ago, there was a Kayne West thread that got pretty heated and insulting. At one point, you finally just stepped in and said "ya know, this is getting bad. Why don't you take this to PM?" I thought that was perfect and fine. And to be honest, being on the receiving end of that thread's nonsense and feeling like I needed to defend myself, I would felt very... slapped down and looked down upon if instead you had randomly said "So, have ya'll tried the bean dip?" In some cases, its just not appropriate and there are more direct, less hostile ways to say things.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 10:41:31 AM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.
So why not just say that?

I've stated my opinion on this already, so I hope I'm not belaboring the point, but I truly see it as a funny, lighthearted thing to say. Other's have made different suggestions to use as humorous ways to interject, and for me, the bean dip line is the same thing.  I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 10:44:23 AM
For instance, a few weeks ago, there was a Kayne West thread that got pretty heated and insulting. At one point, you finally just stepped in and said "ya know, this is getting bad. Why don't you take this to PM?" I thought that was perfect and fine. And to be honest, being on the receiving end of that thread's nonsense and feeling like I needed to defend myself, I would felt very... slapped down and looked down upon if instead you had randomly said "So, have ya'll tried the bean dip?" In some cases, its just not appropriate and there are more direct, less hostile ways to say things.

Good point.  In that specific instance, my comment wasn't even directed at you.  You were being perfectly civil and polite.  It was directed at the instigator, who made a comment that she really wanted to get your opinion on something, that was clearly said in order to get a rise out of you.

I guess that I will have to think about how it can come across to people who are in the middle of the heated discussion, because I honestly had no idea that this many people felt this way about it, and I wouldn't personally be offended by someone else using it.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 02, 2007, 10:52:40 AM
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 10:53:37 AM
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D

Gonna agree with you on that one.  Both come across as snarky and (as another poster said above) "superior to you" sounding.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 10:55:43 AM
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D

Me, too, in just the opposite direction!  :D
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 02, 2007, 11:07:54 AM
Me, too, in just the opposite direction!  :D

This can only mean one thing, then.

Steel cage death match!
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 11:09:30 AM
Me, too, in just the opposite direction!  :D

This can only mean one thing, then.

Steel cage death match!

LOL!  You're on!
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 02, 2007, 11:13:56 AM
I'll bring the bean dip!
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: RubyTuesday on October 02, 2007, 11:14:07 AM
Quote
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.


Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way.


I agree. Any abrupt conversation change meant to signal to one or more people, "You're out of line," is not cool. I would hear/see this and think, since when did you become the referee?

Politely and subtlely changing the topic in real life can be very effective, and, if done right, it doesn't treat the other party in a condescending way. Or, if a person really won't let up, I think you could be more obvious about it, like a previous poster mentioned she did with a friend's husband, and people will sometimes think it's funny. On a forum, though, I agree it comes across as high-handed.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 11:20:26 AM
I guess that again, this is one of those situations where no matter what you say, someone will be offended and not take it the way it was intended.  The example Shores gave where I asked them to please take the conversation to a PM, someone could have been offended by that request.  Someone is going to be offended by offering bean dip, or changing the subject like in the dog example.  It's inevitable.  I don't think that we're all going to be able to agree on the right way to do this.

I do report threads to the mods when they get out of control.  The mods are great, but they have lives too, and aren't always able to address the situation immediately.  Going back to the OP's suggestion of just not reading the thread, that's fine if it's clear that the thread is going to be a hot topic.  But when the conversation was about Kanye West, Big Brother, eating out of a jar, etc., these are conversations that I want to participate in, and were going fine until someone comes along and creates drama. 

As a member of this forum, I think that it's fine to interject and ask people if they would mind breaking it up so that we can go back to the conversation, and to do that in whatever way they feel comfortable, as long as it's not intended to be rude or snarky.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 02, 2007, 11:25:29 AM
I'll bring the bean dip!

Is this a good time to point out that I really hate bean dip? (I'm not a huge fan of any sort of beans that don't have the words "Boston" and "baked" in front of them.)

I think we need to change this line to "sour cream."
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: demetra on October 02, 2007, 12:11:09 PM
I hate sour cream ;)

Except when you mix about 12 oz of melted bittersweet chocolate with 1 2/3 cups sour cream and use it to frost a chocolate cake.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 02, 2007, 12:22:36 PM
I guess that again, this is one of those situations where no matter what you say, someone will be offended and not take it the way it was intended.

I don't think that's true at all.
 
The problem is clarity.  While the bean dip thing means that to you, unless it is something common (which until this folder it has not bean), it is nonesense to someone else and that confusion adds to the problem rather than resolving it.
 
Certainly some people will be offended by anything you say.  But the clearer you are in what you say, the better the chance another person has of knowing just what your intent is.
 
In the heat of debate it might be better to be clear than cute.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 12:41:29 PM
I guess that again, this is one of those situations where no matter what you say, someone will be offended and not take it the way it was intended.

I don't think that's true at all.
 
The problem is clarity.  While the bean dip thing means that to you, unless it is something common (which until this folder it has not bean), it is nonesense to someone else and that confusion adds to the problem rather than resolving it.
 
Certainly some people will be offended by anything you say.  But the clearer you are in what you say, the better the chance another person has of knowing just what your intent is.
 
In the heat of debate it might be better to be clear than cute.

I agree completely with this.  There are times when being cute (especially when it's been pointed out that it's really not being taken that way by the people you're saying it to) fuels the fire rather than helps solve the problem.  This phrase, as it's been pointed out several times now by several people ISN'T helping and is, actually, making things worse.

And, I love your little Freudian slip above. ;)

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blue2000 on October 02, 2007, 01:43:50 PM
I don't find the 'bean dip' comment personally offensive. To me it is more of a way of saying 'we ALL need to cool it'. The poster is not IMO, pointing out any one offender, just mentioning that it has gotten a little too warm in the thread. And agreeing to disagree does not work unless the other person agrees to it. ;D

Mentioning the 'coke rule' is more irritating to me because it is meant for one person. If you have a problem with just one person in the discussion, you should quietly report it to the mods, not insult them by telling them they need a coke (or you need one after talking to them). That is just not going to help.

Redirecting the conversation (What kind of dog do you have?) is OK most of the time, but I've been mildly offended by that one too. If I am trying to answer a poster or make a point in a valid thread, and someone keeps redirecting things right from the beginning, I'm going to want to smack them. At least wait until the topic has been thoroughly discussed!

My vote (if we are voting) goes for someone who is not in any of the arguments saying 'OK, lets all keep it civil, guys'. Short and to the point, no translation necessary.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 02:01:33 PM
My vote (if we are voting) goes for someone who is not in any of the arguments saying 'OK, lets all keep it civil, guys'. Short and to the point, no translation necessary.

I'm of the thinkin' that I might vote for this one.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Shoo on October 02, 2007, 02:02:34 PM
My vote (if we are voting) goes for someone who is not in any of the arguments saying 'OK, lets all keep it civil, guys'. Short and to the point, no translation necessary.

I'm of the thinkin' that I might vote for this one.



This would be better coming from a moderator, I think.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 02:06:15 PM
My vote (if we are voting) goes for someone who is not in any of the arguments saying 'OK, lets all keep it civil, guys'. Short and to the point, no translation necessary.

I'm of the thinkin' that I might vote for this one.



This would be better coming from a moderator, I think.

Hmmmm...you might have a point, too.  Partially retract my "agree" then. :D

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Vegemite Girl on October 02, 2007, 02:16:53 PM
I may have the wrong end of the stick, but I thought - IRL conversations, anyway - the bean dip comment wasn't a way of saying "let's all cool down" but rather putting a definate end to a line of enquiry, such as:

Inquisitive A: "Why haven't you lost weight/put your child in daycare/gotten married?"
Harrassed B: "Sorry, I don't want to discuss this."
Inquisitive A: "But you really should... (etc etc)"
Harrassed B: 'No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to discuss that with you."
Inquisitive A: "But you have to lose weight/put your child in daycare/get married!"
Harrassed B: "I don't want to discuss this. Here - have you tried the bean dip?"

In other words, I always thought it was simply deflection onto another topic, rather than an actual word-for-word line to be used. (As someone else said, it sounds silly when there actually is no bean dip...)
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Bob Ducca on October 02, 2007, 02:24:57 PM
Vegemite girl is right- that is how it is intended to be used.

FWIW, it always annoys me when people in threads are employing PA tactics to shut the thread down or stop a branch-off discussion. 

The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

The "I wonder when the mods will finally close this" posts also bother me- if you think it should be shut down, why are you still posting in it?  Report it to the mods if it is a problem, stay away if it isn't...

I think when people actually misuse the bean dip phrase it can come across as rude or snarky, but it can be done in a good way.  I remember a thread last year in which we were discussing some unusual spelling choices for baby names.  One poster mentioned that she had chosen a name for her child with an unusual spelling, and she was instantly inundated with posts berating her for her choice, etc.  She responded completely graciously at first, but then it got to be too much.  The "bean dip" phrase there would have been totally appropriate, because people repeating the same point again and again, without bothering to read the whole thread or look at other responses, becomes very tiresome and the bean dip phrase works well.

As in life, you have to judge what is going on.  Personally, I would be very careful about using the bean dip line unless I was the one under attack, but if it was a discussion involving two or three different posters then I could see any one of them throwing it out to defuse the situation.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 02:31:13 PM
I may have the wrong end of the stick, but I thought - IRL conversations, anyway - the bean dip comment wasn't a way of saying "let's all cool down" but rather putting a definate end to a line of enquiry, such as:

Inquisitive A: "Why haven't you lost weight/put your child in daycare/gotten married?"
Harrassed B: "Sorry, I don't want to discuss this."
Inquisitive A: "But you really should... (etc etc)"
Harrassed B: 'No, I'm sorry, I'm not going to discuss that with you."
Inquisitive A: "But you have to lose weight/put your child in daycare/get married!"
Harrassed B: "I don't want to discuss this. Here - have you tried the bean dip?"

In other words, I always thought it was simply deflection onto another topic, rather than an actual word-for-word line to be used. (As someone else said, it sounds silly when there actually is no bean dip...)

In that way, I agree that it's a useful tool.

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 02, 2007, 02:39:02 PM
The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

I agree that the majority of "I'm bowing out" posts are annoying (they are a milder form of the flouncing "goodbye cruel world" posts, only not as melodramatic, IMO). However, I have read a few heated threads where a poster just stopped responding for whatever reason, no explanation given. Other posters would then say things like, "Hey, so-and-so hasn't responded to our rebuttals for several days," and they would insinuate that so-and-so was upset that the thread wasn't going in her favor and more stuff along those lines. In that case, I can't blame a poster for wanting to say definitively, "You all keep talking if you want to, but I'm out." It keeps people from making bad assumptions about why the poster is no longer writing in that thread.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Bob Ducca on October 02, 2007, 02:44:09 PM
The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

I agree that the majority of "I'm bowing out" posts are annoying (they are a milder form of the flouncing "goodbye cruel world" posts, only not as melodramatic, IMO). However, I have read a few heated threads where a poster just stopped responding for whatever reason, no explanation given. Other posters would then say things like, "Hey, so-and-so hasn't responded to our rebuttals for several days," and they would insinuate that so-and-so was upset that the thread wasn't going in her favor and more stuff along those lines. In that case, I can't blame a poster for wanting to say definitively, "You all keep talking if you want to, but I'm out." It keeps people from making bad assumptions about why the poster is no longer writing in that thread.

I agree with you there- in that case, I might post a brief, "We'll never agree, so I have stopped responding" response, but without denigrating the other posters.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: DottyG on October 02, 2007, 03:08:29 PM
The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

I agree that the majority of "I'm bowing out" posts are annoying (they are a milder form of the flouncing "goodbye cruel world" posts, only not as melodramatic, IMO). However, I have read a few heated threads where a poster just stopped responding for whatever reason, no explanation given. Other posters would then say things like, "Hey, so-and-so hasn't responded to our rebuttals for several days," and they would insinuate that so-and-so was upset that the thread wasn't going in her favor and more stuff along those lines. In that case, I can't blame a poster for wanting to say definitively, "You all keep talking if you want to, but I'm out." It keeps people from making bad assumptions about why the poster is no longer writing in that thread.

I agree with you there- in that case, I might post a brief, "We'll never agree, so I have stopped responding" response, but without denigrating the other posters.

As a quick explanation of something that might fit into the "I'm leaving" category....A few days ago, I was involved in a thread and did say that I was going home.  It wasn't a commentary on the person I was talking to but was just an explanation that I wasn't going to be able to post again that evening, as I was going home.

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being seen as a "flouncer"! :D

Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 02, 2007, 03:14:59 PM
A few days ago, I was involved in a thread and did say that I was going home.  It wasn't a commentary on the person I was talking to but was just an explanation that I wasn't going to be able to post again that evening, as I was going home.

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being seen as a "flouncer"! :D

LOL…I don't think you have to worry. Most people can probably tell the difference between a legit "hey, everyone, I'm going home so I can't post anymore right now" and…the other kind. The attitude usually bleeds through in the latter.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: jimithing on October 02, 2007, 03:19:43 PM
The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

I agree that the majority of "I'm bowing out" posts are annoying (they are a milder form of the flouncing "goodbye cruel world" posts, only not as melodramatic, IMO). However, I have read a few heated threads where a poster just stopped responding for whatever reason, no explanation given. Other posters would then say things like, "Hey, so-and-so hasn't responded to our rebuttals for several days," and they would insinuate that so-and-so was upset that the thread wasn't going in her favor and more stuff along those lines. In that case, I can't blame a poster for wanting to say definitively, "You all keep talking if you want to, but I'm out." It keeps people from making bad assumptions about why the poster is no longer writing in that thread.

I agree with you there- in that case, I might post a brief, "We'll never agree, so I have stopped responding" response, but without denigrating the other posters.

As a quick explanation of something that might fit into the "I'm leaving" category....A few days ago, I was involved in a thread and did say that I was going home.  It wasn't a commentary on the person I was talking to but was just an explanation that I wasn't going to be able to post again that evening, as I was going home.

Just wanted to make sure I wasn't being seen as a "flouncer"! :D



Dotty, I completely saw you as a flouncer when you did that to me! I am completely kidding.  :)

I have sometimes chosen not to respond when threads have gotten particularly heated.  There is a difference between not agreeing with me, as is evidenced on this thread, and being rude and demanding.  If I have said my piece, and feel like we are going around in circles, I will bow out.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: mindibrad on October 02, 2007, 06:27:52 PM
I guess i don't understand how offering bean dip is any different than saying, "So, how 'bout those Mets?"  For me, they are one and the same.

Actually, I think that that line often comes across as condescending/patronizing as well. I'm equal opportunity that way. ;D

Gonna agree with you on that one.  Both come across as snarky and (as another poster said above) "superior to you" sounding.



Does it help if I mention that, when I said "have you tried the dip?" to my friend who was trying to draw me in to an argument....that I WAS actually shovelling carrots & dip in to my mouth?

Is it a little less snarky in that instance?
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: freakyfemme on October 02, 2007, 11:22:16 PM
What if you're ACTUALLY at a party, where there REALLY IS bean dip, and, fascinating as you find the political debate, you just want to let everyone know that they should really try the bean dip before it's all gone? ;)
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Issa on October 03, 2007, 01:09:34 AM
Vegemite girl is right- that is how it is intended to be used.

FWIW, it always annoys me when people in threads are employing PA tactics to shut the thread down or stop a branch-off discussion. 

The "I'm bowing out" posts bother me a bit- if you're so disgusted with the thread, stop reading or posting, but don't detail in your post why the rest of us are so rude/disgusting/unfit to breathe and then pronounce that you are leaving...it comes off kind of badly. 

The "I wonder when the mods will finally close this" posts also bother me- if you think it should be shut down, why are you still posting in it?  Report it to the mods if it is a problem, stay away if it isn't...

I think when people actually misuse the bean dip phrase it can come across as rude or snarky, but it can be done in a good way.  I remember a thread last year in which we were discussing some unusual spelling choices for baby names.  One poster mentioned that she had chosen a name for her child with an unusual spelling, and she was instantly inundated with posts berating her for her choice, etc.  She responded completely graciously at first, but then it got to be too much.  The "bean dip" phrase there would have been totally appropriate, because people repeating the same point again and again, without bothering to read the whole thread or look at other responses, becomes very tiresome and the bean dip phrase works well.

As in life, you have to judge what is going on.  Personally, I would be very careful about using the bean dip line unless I was the one under attack, but if it was a discussion involving two or three different posters then I could see any one of them throwing it out to defuse the situation.

The "I'm out of this discussion" thing doesn't bother me too much, because I don't see it as a way of saying "Goodbye Cruel Forum", I see it along the lines of "Ok, we'll have to agree to disagree, and I don't see any point in continuing because we're going in circles." Sometimes a discussion gets too tense, or a little too personal, it can also be a way of saying "Ok, I'm not going to be able to handle this politely, so I'm stepping out."

I agree with the bean-dip thing potentially becoming snarky, but that it can also be quite useful. I also agree with the posters who have said maybe it's better to be more straightforward. I do remember the thread you mention, and it did bother me quite a bit. I think when a thread gets that long, posters don't read all the pages, and repeat themselves. In that situation though, I don't recall if a mod was notified, but I do remember some posters saying something along the lines of "Let's lay off guys."

IRL I think the bean-dip thing is a way of humorously chilling out a tense situation. Sometimes it may backfire, sometimes it's better to be straightforward, but sometimes I think it works. I remember using it once myself - some close friends and I were having a political discussion, and things got very heated up and tense between two of them. I remember saying something that had NOTHING to do with the subject at hand, like "Sooo guys, read any good books lately." It was an obvious way of implying "Ok, this is getting too tense, maybe we need to relax a little and possibly change the subject." As I remember, after a moment, saying that made them stop for a second, and laugh at themselves, and then try to continue the discussion, albeit in a less angry way.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Bob Ducca on October 03, 2007, 07:28:52 AM
Quote
The "I'm out of this discussion" thing doesn't bother me too much, because I don't see it as a way of saying "Goodbye Cruel Forum", I see it along the lines of "Ok, we'll have to agree to disagree, and I don't see any point in continuing because we're going in circles." Sometimes a discussion gets too tense, or a little too personal, it can also be a way of saying "Ok, I'm not going to be able to handle this politely, so I'm stepping out."

If all the poster said was, "I'm out of this discussion," or, "I'm bowing out, since we'll never agree," that would be fine.  What bothers me is when something like this is posted (made up/paraphrased by me):

"I'm out.  I can't believe all of you don't agree with me!  It is completely clear that purple dinosaurs were, in fact, the dominant species of life on our planet until 1833, and anyone who thinks differently should be sterilized and have their children taken away.  All of you who are advocating that they never existed are placing the OP in grave harm when the dinosaurs come back and rule as our masters."

Okay, that one was over the top, but some of the "I'm out" posts seem to be more a way to try and shame other posters rather than stop a heated turn, and those are the ones I was referring to.  ;)
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Tagy on October 04, 2007, 12:04:03 PM
Personally, I'm not in favor of this one on the whole.  There are some times when it might help.  But, more often than not, you (the generic you) really come across as being high-handed and rude.  Especially in a written forum where there isn't a way to see the expression on your face that tones this comment down and makes it not so abrupt.

I agree with this.  While the bean dip comment can be a great diffuser, it can also come off as quite highhanded.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Austin Annie on October 04, 2007, 03:14:51 PM
Here's my 2 cents (as a longtime lurker but only occasional poster, I'm less of a "newbie" than my description implies):
If you're actually at a party and someone is asking you questions that you're uncomfortable answering, "have you tried the [food being served at party]?" is far more polite than "for the last time, I am not pregnant yet, mind your dang business."  Just as previous posters have said.
It might be infuriating if you use the line on someone you were voluntarily engaging in debate with, or to two people who are voluntarily debating in a manner that makes you uncomfortable--so, indeed have "a little care with this one."
Now, goodbye cruel thread, I'm off to read other posts. flounces off
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Elle on October 04, 2007, 04:15:27 PM
I'm a little worried now . . .  :-[

A little while back I posted a topic and after the matter was resolved (IRL not on the board) I basically said I was bowing out of the discussion. I said something along the lines of 'I was feeling snarky and didn't want to antagonize anyone. I considered the matter resolved but the forum was free to continue debating amongst themselves.'

Was I rude or melodramatic or flouncy? Honestly I don't know! I was trying to bow out of the conversation gracefully before I DID say something snarky or rude.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: artk2002 on October 04, 2007, 07:49:56 PM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.

Because it's what we call a "polite fiction."  It's a way of redirecting without being confrontational.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: JoieGirl7 on October 04, 2007, 09:34:54 PM
I really can't stand the random "have you tried the bean dip?" in the middle of a debate because its so blantantly OBVIOUS and smacks of superiority. Why do you get to determine that this conversation needs to stop? In real life, no one would randomly say "Have you tried the bean dip" unless there was.... bean dip. What started out as a suggestion and a TACTIC has become this trite response that personally, I just roll my eyes at and ignore. In real life, you would gently steer conversation based on what is actually at hand. The above scenario with the dogs was perfect. You nuetralize the situation without coming across as condescending.

I don't take it as a way to get the conversation to stop, completely.  Just as a reminder to breathe and that it's just a topic of discussion, not a life or death matter.

Because it's what we call a "polite fiction."  It's a way of redirecting without being confrontational.

I can understand redirecting in real life.  But on a thread the topic is what the topic is.
 
In cases where things become heated, the direct approach would really work the best because it is clear and it doesn't have a vibe of "stop talking about that."
 
Using it in real life is fine.  Heated debate is not appropriate for a party or other casual gathering.  And using it to deflect someone who is keeping after you about one particular topic is another good use.
 
But, these are discussion boards and they are organized according to topic.  So, it doens't make sense to say in effect, stop talking about that, talk about something esle.  Better to say, this is getting a little heated, maybe we should all step back a bit.
 
Plus, if one doesn't want to be part of the debate, they don't have to be; if one doesn't like the discussion, they don't have to read it.  If one would like to participate but is uncomfortable with the tone of the discussion, they could include that in their post.
 
The great advantage we have in this being an online endeavor is that we are not in the same room with everyone and can instantly do something else.
 
The great disadvantage is that not being able to read body language or hear a tone of voice leads to misunderstandings.
 
Clarity really is more important than trying to be cute.  In real life, that is not the case.  You can walk up to someone and say something like the bean dip line to defuse things and instantly see if your line has done its job or made it worse.  On the forum it is not so instantaneous.
 
Frankly, I could do without this particular line on the boards.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Bob Ducca on October 05, 2007, 07:41:50 AM
I'm a little worried now . . .  :-[

A little while back I posted a topic and after the matter was resolved (IRL not on the board) I basically said I was bowing out of the discussion. I said something along the lines of 'I was feeling snarky and didn't want to antagonize anyone. I considered the matter resolved but the forum was free to continue debating amongst themselves.'

Was I rude or melodramatic or flouncy? Honestly I don't know! I was trying to bow out of the conversation gracefully before I DID say something snarky or rude.

Really, it is all in how you do it.  If it is, "You guys are all idiots for not agreeing with me, so I'm not going to grace you with my presence anymore," then that is (in my opinion) unacceptable.  If it is, "We're not going to agree on this, so I'm out, but good luck!" then that is different.  I know that there are many different ways to handle the "I'm out" posts, and I guess I keep seeing the former posts, but those are mostly in the threads that have become the most heated.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blahblahblah on October 05, 2007, 04:30:22 PM
I really hate this line...
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Twik on October 05, 2007, 11:16:05 PM
I'm a little worried now . . .  :-[

A little while back I posted a topic and after the matter was resolved (IRL not on the board) I basically said I was bowing out of the discussion. I said something along the lines of 'I was feeling snarky and didn't want to antagonize anyone. I considered the matter resolved but the forum was free to continue debating amongst themselves.'

Was I rude or melodramatic or flouncy? Honestly I don't know! I was trying to bow out of the conversation gracefully before I DID say something snarky or rude.

Really, it is all in how you do it.  If it is, "You guys are all idiots for not agreeing with me, so I'm not going to grace you with my presence anymore," then that is (in my opinion) unacceptable.  If it is, "We're not going to agree on this, so I'm out, but good luck!" then that is different.  I know that there are many different ways to handle the "I'm out" posts, and I guess I keep seeing the former posts, but those are mostly in the threads that have become the most heated.

There comes a point, particularly on internet threads, when one has said all one has to say. It's usually best to stop talking then.

The trouble with announcing that you're through with a thread is that, 9 times out of 10, someone will later on add something that you just HAVE to comment on, and you will look rather foolish coming back in after a "goodbye, cruel thread" announcement. (Twik says, blushing slightly with the memories...)
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: blue2000 on October 06, 2007, 01:30:02 PM
There comes a point, particularly on internet threads, when one has said all one has to say. It's usually best to stop talking then.

The trouble with announcing that you're through with a thread is that, 9 times out of 10, someone will later on add something that you just HAVE to comment on, and you will look rather foolish coming back in after a "goodbye, cruel thread" announcement. (Twik says, blushing slightly with the memories...)

Or the person you are arguing with can't let it go, and has to comment on your goodbye comment. ::)

That is one of the unfortunate things about the internet. I'm used to walking away from people who won't stop arguing. If there is no one there to talk to, they shut up (they might still disagree with me, but at least they keep it to themselves). On here, I can 'walk away' and they still keep going!

Now I try to stay away from the thread if it looks like the arguments are going to start going around in circles. Much better for the ol' blood pressure.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Venovel on October 06, 2007, 09:48:25 PM
The version of "okay, that was awkward/irritating, let's change the subject now" that I use is "So, how about that Lakers game?"

When spoken around the group of friends that the phrase was born of, as it were, it tends to cause uncontrollable laughter and instantly defuses any tension.  When the phrase was first uttered in that group, there wasn't actually any kind of argument or disagreement going on at all . . . it just was one of those very long pauses in conversation where nobody could apparently think of anything to say.  The random silliness of the phrase lingers on.  :D

To this day, I still use the phrase solely to cover awkward pauses in the conversation.  If I want to actually change the subject, I'll usually say so pretty directly.
Title: Re: A little care with this one
Post by: Elle on October 07, 2007, 10:09:24 AM
There comes a point, particularly on internet threads, when one has said all one has to say. It's usually best to stop talking then.

The trouble with announcing that you're through with a thread is that, 9 times out of 10, someone will later on add something that you just HAVE to comment on, and you will look rather foolish coming back in after a "goodbye, cruel thread" announcement. (Twik says, blushing slightly with the memories...)

Or the person you are arguing with can't let it go, and has to comment on your goodbye comment. ::)

That is one of the unfortunate things about the internet. I'm used to walking away from people who won't stop arguing. If there is no one there to talk to, they shut up (they might still disagree with me, but at least they keep it to themselves). On here, I can 'walk away' and they still keep going!

Now I try to stay away from the thread if it looks like the arguments are going to start going around in circles. Much better for the ol' blood pressure.

Yeah I never actually went back to the thread to see if anyone ever responded to my 'goodbye' post. It was hard.

At any rate, lest *I* cause this to become further off topic I'll simply close with:
"How 'bout them Steelers?"  :)