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Etiquette on the etiquette board

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Marleigh:
Hi everyone!  I hope I can express myself correctly and open the door for discussion without causing this thread to be locked, but here goes: I'm wondering if, being an etiquette board, there is room for us to pay closer attention to the etiquette we're using in our responses/posts.  I realize that some people are very wordy and might go overboard in very carefully expressing their viewpoint, while others are not so wordy and post their responses a little more abruptly.  But since it's so difficult to guage tone in written form, I think it would be worthwhile to read and reread our posts before clicking "post".  I know I myself have been stung a few times, to the extent that I considered never posting again, by words that seemed a little too sharp to me.  I do want to clarify up front that I do not have a problem with a specific person here, nor do I even remember who wrote the posts that I felt were less than polite.  So this is definitely not directed at any one person.  But, here are some examples (and I'm paraphrasing and intentionally leaving out names - one is a specific example and one is a more general type of example, if that makes sense):

A poster asks if the person who called her on her cell phone for a non-emergency reason was rude, and without even commenting on her question, other posters responded quite abruptly, "Why are you answering your phone while driving anyway?"  Time and time again we've pointed out that this is not a legal forum, and that we are to stay on topic, so I just feel like this kind of scolding is a little harsh and outside the scope of the forum.  Especially when we know that laws vary in different areas, and people have different views about what is safe and what is not.

Another example: you might strongly disagree with someone's suggestion that something is rude.  It's just as quick to type, "That doesn't seem rude to me" as it is to type, "You're being too sensitive/SS", so why wouldn't we opt for the wording that is least likely to cause offense?

I guess the bottom line is, would we truly say the things to a person's face that we are typing here?  Since we're all strangers, I think we should act as if we're meeting strangers in person, with no background about what might offend them, and handle them all with "kid gloves", so to speak.

Mods, I hope I'm not out of line - it's just something I've observed on occasion and I wonder if I'm being too sensitive ;) or if others share my POV.

hyzenthlay:

--- Quote from: MissyMa'am on December 16, 2010, 10:40:39 AM ---I guess the bottom line is, would we truly say the things to a person's face that we are typing here? 

--- End quote ---

No, because to correct another person's rudeness or point out their etiquette flaws is against etiquette.

No, because I don't have to work or interact with the people on this board and so can be more honest and less 'nice.'

No, because many of the people I know face to face wouldn't care in the slightest about getting answers to some the questions that are asked.

And in some cases, yes, what I say on the board is exactly what I would say in real life, and many of the threads are entirely about 'How do I handle this situation in real life?'

Yes people can get over sensitive, and be overly harsh on the board, but in real life you'd probably never talk in detail with people with such a wide range of opinions on a subject. You talk with your circle of friends, who are friends, because you share similar opinions.

I think occasional ruffled feathers are to be expected, and are an inevitable result of being faced with position totally opposite to your own, and in some cases being challenged to support what you think is 'right.'  If the board was 'nice' all the time, I don't think it would have any depth.

Marleigh:

--- Quote from: hyzenthlay on December 16, 2010, 10:49:20 AM ---
--- Quote from: MissyMa'am on December 16, 2010, 10:40:39 AM ---I guess the bottom line is, would we truly say the things to a person's face that we are typing here? 

--- End quote ---
If the board was 'nice' all the time, I don't think it would have any depth.

--- End quote ---

But isn't this like saying that in order to be "real", we sometimes have to disregard someone's feelings?  I'm not trying to argue with you, I just think that's the opposite of etiquette.

Hanna:
I agree with you completely, yet, eHell is just a microcosm of society. Though it is an etiquette forum, not everyone here is always going to be polite or kind.

There are many reasons for it, some times it's just a bad day, sometimes it's someone that is miserable in general and takes it out on people here. 

I don't think there is much that can be done about it, other than to self-moderate, tell people when you think they are being unpleasant, and report particularly egregious posts.

hyzenthlay:

--- Quote from: MissyMa'am on December 16, 2010, 10:55:51 AM ---But isn't this like saying that in order to be "real", we sometimes have to disregard someone's feelings?  I'm not trying to argue with you, I just think that's the opposite of etiquette.

--- End quote ---

If someone's 'feelings' are extreme or even harmful, then yes, you have to disregard them. And we give people advice to that effect on a regular basis.

If someone's feelings are hurt merely because you disagree with them, then yes you disregard their feelings. If their feelings keep you locked in a toxic or unpleasant interactions, the yes, you disregard them.

And yes, sometimes the discussions on the board verge on, or turn into arguments. I think to avoid those you'd have to limit the board to the wedding folder and a list of approved wedding etiquette reference books. Edited to add: the arguments are not a good result, I just think that if you don't want to fetter the board they are an unfortunate side effect. It is possible to politely disagree and that is the preferred behavior.

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