Author Topic: A little care with this one  (Read 16400 times)

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demetra

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A little care with this one
« on: October 01, 2007, 02:20:58 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.

jimithing

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2007, 02:25:14 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.

demetra

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2007, 02:36:36 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.

bopper

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2007, 02:47:31 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.

LiveLoveLearn

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2007, 03:22:54 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 ;)

mindibrad

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2007, 03:38:18 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.


DottyG

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2007, 03:59:11 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.


blahblahblah

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #7 on: October 01, 2007, 04:22:51 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.

goblue2539

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #8 on: October 01, 2007, 05:01:07 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

DottyG

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #9 on: October 01, 2007, 05:22:09 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.


aline

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #10 on: October 01, 2007, 05:25:50 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.

jimithing

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2007, 05:36:35 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.

DottyG

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #12 on: October 01, 2007, 05:50:29 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.




jimithing

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #13 on: October 01, 2007, 06:00:58 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.

DottyG

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Re: A little care with this one
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2007, 06:07:53 PM »
but I will not stop using it all together.

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