Author Topic: When a thread goes wrong  (Read 5747 times)

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Ceallach

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #15 on: December 30, 2012, 06:50:54 AM »
I agree with Allyson. Often I have asked how to deal with a situation and suddenly I am getting  a bunch of comments on the state of my marriage.  I didn't ask for marriage counselign, I asked for the best way to deal with the one incident I posted about.  Next thing you know 'interesting assumptions' are flying everywhere.

I deliberately avoid posting about any minor etiquette questions between myself and DH for that very reason - I've seen too many threads where a posters DH is ripped to shreds or their personal relationships slammed based on one tiny out-of-context situation. (And if the person protests that their DH/mother/sister or whomever is actually a great person they get asked "then why are you complaining about something so minor? Get over it!")   My DH is a great guy and we have an enviable relationship, so I won't tolerate him being slandered.  But I recognize that people are well meaning and are basing their responses on the minimal information they have, so I try to avoid going there altogether.

Some threads go off topic in useful ways, others in rude or inappropriate ways. So there really can be no one answer to how to handle it.  I might point out an inaccuracy or similar, but in general if something has gone waaay off base I try not to get involved.  Sometimes more ppl jumping in - however well meaning - just makes the problem worse.  Kind of like a bunch of kids who are supposed to be sleeping making noise by telling each other to be quiet! :-). If I feel a tangent is inappropriate I report, and if I'm not comfortable with the direction of a thread I walk away.
 
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Allyson

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #16 on: December 31, 2012, 03:56:23 AM »


I deliberately avoid posting about any minor etiquette questions between myself and DH for that very reason - I've seen too many threads where a posters DH is ripped to shreds or their personal relationships slammed based on one tiny out-of-context situation.

I'm the same way. I try never to mention my boyfriend in any way that could be interpreted as negative because I've seen how these things can go. I think these things spiral really quickly...not just here, but any forum that discusses personal issues. It happens with friendship or relationship issues. It'll start with "My friend did thing X and I didn't like it" and the first few posts will talk about  how they might solve the issue...then someone will start talking about how unacceptable it is...and by page 5 half the posters will be saying how they would immediately cease all contact with friend, delete their information, cut them dead if they see them...but threads rarely *start off* that way.

ettiquit

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #17 on: December 31, 2012, 10:05:07 AM »
I remember a thread a year or so ago where someone had an issue with her boyfriend deliberately scaring her and she was urged by many posters to break up with him.  She kept saying that she had no desire to do so, but people wouldn't let it go.

I doubt I'll ever post anything that even remotely mentions my son again - I've gotten burned too many times with that.


problemattic

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2012, 04:12:28 PM »
This is so sad.  I do way more lurking than posting, but most of the time it appears folks here are genuinely interested in being helpful, or they identify with the issue at hand and remark on it appropriately.  When I do see things turn bad, it often seems to stem from someone not really reading the original post and making assumptions about the situation and the OP based on that failure to process what was written.  That's easy enough to understand.  I know I've done it.  What isn't easy for me to understand are the out-and-out attacks on character.  Obviously, something posted hit too close to home for someone and they felt the need to lunge at the OP, and I seldom see an apology.  I'd like to think of ehell as a "safe" place, but sometimes people can be hateful, and there is seldom an apology, or an "oops...I jumped the gun!"  Then, there's the fact that there is no face to read, no way to gauge the tone of a post, and that makes it difficult to judge intent.  Were they being sarcastic when they wrote that?  Were they trying to make light of it?  Were they angry?  That can lead to a lot of misunderstandings.  That said, I'm going to end this with a great big  ;D, and wish everyone a Happy New Year, and a kindler, gentler ehell experience!

HyenaInPetticoats

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2012, 05:10:22 PM »


I've posted before, a long time ago. I had to answer the same question 5 times because people would not let something.

In the end I gave up because I got fed up of being nit picked.

Ceallach

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #20 on: December 31, 2012, 08:57:48 PM »
Ehell is a wonderful, supportive forum, I think it's just important to remember that it's hard to get full context from a post.   So it's best to keep it to the bare bones of what the actual etiquette issue is or the waters can get muddied.   We all respond to the information in front of us, so unless a poster is willing to discuss a specific topic or delve into it then it's best to avoid dropping in pieces of information that can be misconstrued.
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


DCGirl

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2013, 11:28:09 AM »
What do you do about the deliberately contrary poster? 

I post in a forum for visitors to my city (Washington, DC) on a travel board.  There is one poster who frequently posts responses that are contrary to what the OP is asking.  For example, if a poster asks about a great place to have brunch/breakfast near the hotel they'll be saying at, the contrary poster will respond that breakfast and brunch menus are over-priced and over-rated and that travelers would be better off grabbing a bagel at a coffee shop and using the time saved to go sightseeing.  If a poster asks for hotel recommendations, the contrary poster will respond and say that visitors get a better feel for a city by staying in someone's home by using Air BnB or VRBO (she recommends VRBO so often that I sometimes wonder if she's got a rental on their for which she's trying to drum up customers).  Recently, someone posted asking if a traditional Christmas display of a large model railroad would be available this year (it's not, due to construction at the site where it's housed every year), and her response was that model railroads aren't that interesting and that the OP shouldn't bother.  If someone asks about visiting the major tourist sites (i.e., the Smithsonian museums, the White House), she'll respond that they are over-crowded and over-rated and that the OP shouldn't consider wasting their time there and should consider more off-the-beaten path attractions.

None of what she's posting is against the rules of the site, but to take her responses in order:
1.  Many tourists (DH and myself included) like to have a big breakfast and then skip lunch/have a very light lunch, thereby allowing more time to sightsee that way.
2.  Not everyone is comfortable using Air BnB or VRBO for a variety of reasons, and many people prefer the full-service nature of a good hotel.
3.  Model railroads may not be everyone's cup of tea, but there are thousands of railroad enthusiasts out there who love them. Maybe the OP in that case has fond memories of being taken to visit it every year by his parents/grandparents and wants to share the experience with his children/grandchildren.
4.  There are many interesting out-of-the-way places to see in DC and the surrounding area, but people may have a finite amount of time to sightsee and may want to concentrate their time downtown to pack in as much as possible, particularly if traveling by public transportation.

What happens is that she'll respond, for example, and the OP will say "Thanks for the suggestion, but I'd prefer a full breakfast/staying in a full-service hotel/whatever.  Does anyone else have any recommendations?" and she can be a little snippy in the rest of the thread when others post the recommendations that the OP asked for.  I post there so often that I tend to just tune her out, but I don't know if visitors do the same.

Lynn2000

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2013, 12:59:12 PM »
What do you do about the deliberately contrary poster? 

This particular person sounds rather annoying, especially if she gets snippy or is condescending in her replies. I think ignoring her is the best response, and if possible, posting something that does answer the OP's question, so the OP doesn't feel like this one contrary person is the only voice out there.

In general, though, I think sometimes people who post things the OP wasn't expecting can provide useful insight. The whole reason the OP is posting is because they need advice solving a problem, and maybe they think that the solution is along the lines of A, but someone else will be like, "Hey, have you ever considered B instead? It's not rude to do B."

To take an example that might be found on this site, a poster might say, "Help! I'm expected to host a big family gathering and there's so many different dietary restrictions and preferences, what are some dishes I can make that meet XYZ requirements?" So some people will post with recipes, but someone else might say, "You know, have you considered going to a restaurant/having it catered/turning it into a potluck? That could make things a lot easier for you." And the OP might say, "Oh, but isn't it rude/tacky to not cook every single dish myself?" And then people will jump in and say, "No, not at all! As long as you provide plenty of food that your guests can eat, there's no rule that you had to cook it yourself. And if anyone tries to make you feel bad for not cooking, they're the rude ones."

Sometimes the OP comes in with assumptions that are holding them back, and if they're politely challenged, the OP might see a whole new way of doing things. Of course, the assumptions have to be challenged politely; and if the OP says, "No, I really, really want to cook everything myself," other people should respect that and stop suggesting the restaurant etc. as alternatives.
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Sign Of The Times

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Re: When a thread goes wrong
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2013, 04:53:34 PM »
If I'm not the OP? None of my business where the thread goes. I can certainly respond directly to the OP but it may get lost in the weeds. I can also private message the OP if it's really important.

If I *am* the OP, I respond to (read: dignify) only the germane replies.

I will say however, my experience is that some sidetracks are well-earned.
Thread title: "Ice Cream Flavors!"
OP: What's your favorite ice cream? Mine's always been Rocky Road. The creamy marshmallow, smoky chocolate and vanilla all rolling together, it's just so perfect. I love it so much, the way Ralph loved to threaten Alice. It's just all kinds of awesome and reminds me of better days. So anyway what's your favorite flavor?

Edit to add: Yeah ---- that one's getting sidetracked.
The best way out is always through. -- Frost