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fraidycat
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I started to post this in that thread in response to one poster's comment re: this not being a safe place to share problems and concerns. It sparked a question/general wondering - but one that seems broader than just that one particular thread and context. Now to see if I can put the question(s) into words...

 

If you don't mind indulging my curiosity a bit, to get started:

 

What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I'm still trying to flesh out my thoughts on this, but hopefully this will get the discussion started while my mind munches on the rest.

 

Thanks for playing.

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Hi! I can't sleep, so why not?

 

I don't feel emotionally safe posting here at all, but every time I mention that there's a problem the very offenders jump all over me and accuse me of being over sensitive, though they don't phrase it quite that nicely.

 

I was a stay at home mom for two years before joining so the forum didn't replace human interaction, but it did fill a void.

 

Despite the problems I'm grateful for the knowledge I've gained, most of which has been about homeschooling, but also fitness, cooking, parenting, as well as other things I find important.

 

I can't say it's effected my real relationships.

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I'm curious about why any of us would think that a public message board would be a safe emotional place ?

I should be able to say something about my own personal convictions without being attacked. You can disagree with me, but don't call me stupid, selfish, a bad parent or recently anti-science.

 

I was not called anti-science, but YECers in general were, and that is a HUGE insult.

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I'm curious about why any of us would think that a public message board would be a safe emotional place ?

Exactly.

 

This was going to be my response at first, which in turn sparked this spin-off.

 

I hope to expand on this more later, but I too am off to bed. My eyes are burning.

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WTM Terms of Use:

 

  • Attacks another User personally. This would include, for example, such Posts as “You are clearly a racist,†“â€You are too stupid to educate your children,†“You are a neo-Nazi,†or “You are a bedwetting liberal,†and other personal insults that have nothing to do with the topic under discussion, such as, “Obviously you have nothing better to do than eat Cheetos and think of ways to insult me.â€

 

 

This is exactly what happens here all of the time. This is my problem. Why should I feel that this is a place that I shouldn't be attacked? Because it's board rules.

 

 

 

Ok, I'm really going to bed now. Hasta la pasta.

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I should be able to say something about my own personal convictions without being attacked. You can disagree with me, but don't call me stupid, selfish, a bad parent or recently anti-science.

 

I was not called anti-science, but YECers in general were, and that is a HUGE insult.

Nothing that I have read directed at you is any different (better or worse) than your rather obvious and continuous anti-Catholic and anti-liberal Christian swipes. Which you slip into many threads and put little smilie faces next to. I'm not sure if you even realize the frequency that you post things like that. If you expect people to treat you better than you are willing to treat them, it's a recipe for disappointment. Sometimes you edit this stuff out so I think you are aware of it to at least some degree, sometimes you let your own little insult flag fly on unchecked. I don't think you mean to be insulting but if you are so easily insulted when people say what they think of something like YEC then perhaps be aware that your own statements can be highly insulting to their similar deeply held beliefs. It probably colors how some people interact with you.
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I'm in and out on these boards, but what I have seen is snarkiness on all sides. I've posted threads and been piled on by and attacked by other posters here. Two of whom, in particular, were very rude. One Christian and one secular/ non.

 

Bad behavior has little to do with religion, IMO. It's whether a person has empathy, and cares to employ it.

 

As far as the YEC arguments go, I am tired of the endless circling debates.

 

Here's my suggestion: you make a statement of fact, back it up. Show the math, and cite your evidence. Evidence takes different forms, empirical, philosophical, experiential, etc.

 

Not all form of evidence are equal, in that they are limited in how they may be examined and tested. Recognizing this fact may save angst and confusion over what constitutes scientific evidence versus other forms of evidence.

 

 

So that's my suggestion. If you believe x,y,z, state your evidence. If not, don't get all bent if others consider your belief to be unscientific or unfounded. Or, for secularists here, philosophically unsound and illogical. (Catholics typically present much more cogent philosophical arguments than many atheists, IME.)

 

Basically, put up or shut up, and that goes for all sides.

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In general, I feel this is as safe a place as any other in my life for most things. There are always topics that I avoid like the plague here or on FB. THOSE topics, I have a small circle of friends with whom I can discuss those issues. I have found more friends with whom I can be me with overseas, than I ever had state side. I need to spend more time with them, but life often gets in the way. Lastly, there are always people who will take any opportunity to be an a$$. All I did was write a post on a local FB page looking for help learning Russian, and someone told me to take my son to the prostitutes along the main drag, because they could teach him what he really needed to learn.

 

This board hasn't replaced my friendships, but for awhile it made the world less lonely, because most of my real world friends and family did not believe as I did, so many topics were just off the table. This board made me realize I wasn't alone.

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What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Information, education, entertainment.  The main thing I like about discussion forums (and this one in particular) is getting a glimpse into how other people think.  It's usually fascinating, and I guess it falls under all three of my first categories. ;)

 

 

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I think some of the discussions here have made me realize (and thus be more empathetic to) how vastly different people can view the same issue.  And I don't mean just big, hot topic issues.  We all know people differ on those.  It's often the way people perceive little things that's so fascinating. It's good to have a regular reminder of how people can view even relatively unimportant issues so differently.

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I started to post this in that thread in response to one poster's comment re: this not being a safe place to share problems and concerns. It sparked a question/general wondering - but one that seems broader than just that one particular thread and context. 

 

Can you please link to the thread you are referring to? 

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What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

 

1)  Information about the wider world and/or subjects I don't know as much about.  I consider the Hive to be worth a ton for this.  It's not just facts I can learn, but also a bit about personalities, subtleties, thoughts & experiences.  Google can be decent for (most) facts if one looks hard enough.  The Hive is better in presenting personal experience advice.  I will use Google when I want facts (though if in a hurry and it's a safe topic, I'll also check with the Hive).  I use the Hive when I want to see what people suggest based upon experience or deeper/wider knowledge.

 

2)  No, but they give me a completely different circle than I have IRL.  It's a wider circle and one that can be far more open in sharing their thoughts, but it's definitely NOT ok to share any question or thought on the Hive if one doesn't have a really thick skin.  I can share more deeply with a couple of my IRL friends.  They actually "care" more.

 

The Hive also gives me hope for the world when I see what many of our kids are going on to do (High School and College forums mostly).  There's such diversity in talent and paths.  Even though I've retired from homeschooling, I stick around due to having made too many connections (friends) and wanting to see where their kids go (NOT limited to college).

 

ETA:  There are definitely things I will not share with the general Hive.  I have a thick skin, but knowing what some of the responses will be like keeps me from sharing - and I'm not referring at all about YEC.  I can share some of these with a couple of IRL friends, so I'm not deprived.

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I'm curious about why any of us would think that a public message board would be a safe emotional place ?

It is these types of responses, those which belittle the original posters, which make a board an "unsafe" place emotionally. And I apologize in advance for using your post as an example, it was just the first one I saw.

 

I have been addicted to chat sites since the very first one came out, Palace, when the internet became available to the public. Each site is the same in regards to poster's being condescending at times.

 

For one, posters have a limited space. Sugar coating every response is not always possible. Two, anonymity brings out the worst in people. Three, without the ability to show a wink, pat on the back, or other physical cues, what gets posted is easily misinterpreted.

 

Yes, chat sites have filled a social void for me. There is never time to meet friends in real life. I see them in passing like when I drop off kiddos, or rarely for some time out. I do not talk on the phone anymore as people just like to text. Whether this has been a primary change in me or a reaction to society change, I do not know. Yet, I feel in tune with friends via Facebook or text.

 

This weekend is another dance convention for us, so luckily, I will have some real life interaction. But, when DD leaves the dance world, I do not see these friendships continuing.

 

Bottom line, all chat sites and forums are the same with the same kind of issues.

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I started to post this in that thread in response to one poster's comment re: this not being a safe place to share problems and concerns. It sparked a question/general wondering - but one that seems broader than just that one particular thread and context. Now to see if I can put the question(s) into words...

 

If you don't mind indulging my curiosity a bit, to get started:

 

What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I'm still trying to flesh out my thoughts on this, but hopefully this will get the discussion started while my mind munches on the rest.

 

Thanks for playing.

Well, I love this forum. I did almost quit this forum very recently, due to the large tatooed model thread. I have concluded (again) that obesity is a topic I simply cannot discuss. I don't know if the fault rests solely on myself; that I just despise obesity so fiercly that I don't recognize how hurtful I am being, or if some posters just personalize what I say in an unbalenced way, or some mash-up of the two. It reminds me, though, that I need to police myself.

 

I have gotten priceless value from these forums over the years. It has made me a far more tolerant person. There are people and situations here that I'm very unlikely to interact with IRL. Furthermore, there is a frankness possible on the internet that is less accessible IRL. A member here helped me, partially thru PM, partially thru posts, to much better understand transgender realities. This is not very accessible to me IRL and I could have just lived on thinking, " I can't understand that weirdness."

 

Other than debate topics, I love the practical information, too. I love learning some clever thing or a recipe. I love seeing what people's kids are planning to do after high school; reading on the college board is delightful. IRL, you don't want to be that mom who can talk about nothing else but your child's college decisions, but on the college board, you can! Everyone there is ready to talk about post-high kids. It's marvelous!

 

I have IRL friends, too, but the great thing about this forum is that it's like having a little room where some of your friends are gathered any time, any day. Plus, you can zero in on the exact thing you want to discuss, which is not necessaily true IRL. To gather five friends IRL, it often takes weeks of notice. Once you finally do get together, who knows what topics are going to be discussed? Maybe one of the five friends has a major problem and that will be the focus. Which is fine - for sure, we all need that, too - but it's nice to be able to go to my little friend room, give a shout out on any topic, and momentarily have a big group of "friends" who are happy to talk about this subject right now.

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What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I'm not a part of the big bruhaha I think may be going on, so I can only answer this question exactly as I read it without any context behind it. Currently, this board is the only group I frequent and my only social opportunity. I do not have any IRL friends. When I stopped doing group homeschooling things with my kids in middle school, I no longer had homeschoolers to talk to except online. I've been a part of this community for 13 years and it's been the best.

 

I am not an outgoing person. I don't have many interests so going out IRL to find a group of like-minded people is just not my cuppa. It was wonderful to belong to a couple of homeschool groups that did play dates, field trips, and park days. Being online never replaced those opportunities to have others to talk to.

 

I believe my experiences online have mostly been positive. I wish I could say I've made at least one good friend online, but I haven't. I've still felt I contribute and that makes me feel happy. So yes, forums and newsgroups have had a positive effect in my life.

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Not replaced, but probably expanded.  I'm very introverted.  It has allowed me to get to know a lot more people than I would have otherwise probably gotten to know.  But I think overall it's "company' and entertainment (something to do).  I don't get a lot of time to pursue friendships that would lead to having people to talk to regularly because at this point in my life I'm busy and I am doing something that not a lot of other people around me are doing nor can relate to in any way.  Sometimes I just want to blah blah with people.  Maybe back in the day when stay at home moms were more common they'd blah blah with a neighbor over coffee.  I don't have any neighbors like that.  Then I also like the fact I can discuss deeper things with people than I'd probably get to discuss with them face to face.  I have never been with a group of adults who say hey let's discuss what we think about YECs (or whatever).  I can't fathom this happening in a million years really.  Topics like that are difficult to discuss without offending a lot of people, but still I'm curious what people think about some things. 

 

 

 

 

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I'd be interested in seeing the thread that sparked this one.  I looked at the chat board and it wasn't obvious to me as I scanned subject lines.

 

Now to answer:

 

1. What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

In general, they enhance my life by giving me a place to seek information.  Also, though, they provide conversation at a time in my life when I have few IRL sources for that.

2.  Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I would say they have filled a void, rather than replaced people.  My family moved across the US 7 years ago.  Prior to the move I had a lot of good, "real life" friends with whom I could talk on almost any subject.  I had a large homeschool support group.  Since moving, I have not found good friends and certainly not a good homeschool support group.     It hasn't changed my relationships but it has replaced relationships changed by moving (if that make sense).   I'd say it has both positive and negative implications.  It is good to have a place for some conversation, but it would be better if people could come to my house for coffee. 

 

Not a question in the OP, but something that has come up - I also would not consider that a huge public message board would be a safe place emotionally for discussing controversial topics.  There are too many "us vs them" topics/postings.  And the level of snark bothers me at times.  I go on the assumption that people are posting their questions and opinions in good faith, and I try to respond in kind.    It may not technically be a personal attack to call people who hold a certain opinion or belief "nutjobs," but it's going to feel personal to a person who holds that opinion or belief.   I stay away from topics that appear to be posted purely to stir things up.

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I think it is this thread...there was a small comment about finding a safe place on page 4.

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/545742-is-there-a-christian-board-anywhere/page-4

 

Thankyou. 

 

If that is the case..... Fraidycat, why did you use the phrase "mass exodus" in your title if you were spinning off the "Is there a Christian board anywhere" thread?

 

Why did you use the phrase "mass exodus" in your title anyway? Did anyone say they were actually leaving the boards?  

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I'd be interested in seeing the thread that sparked this one. I looked at the chat board and it wasn't obvious to me as I scanned subject lines.

 

Now to answer:

 

1. What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

In general, they enhance my life by giving me a place to seek information. Also, though, they provide conversation at a time in my life when I have few IRL sources for that.

 

2. Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I would say they have filled a void, rather than replaced people. My family moved across the US 7 years ago. Prior to the move I had a lot of good, "real life" friends with whom I could talk on almost any subject. I had a large homeschool support group. Since moving, I have not found good friends and certainly not a good homeschool support group. It hasn't changed my relationships but it has replaced relationships changed by moving (if that make sense). I'd say it has both positive and negative implications. It is good to have a place for some conversation, but it would be better if people could come to my house for coffee.

 

Not a question in the OP, but something that has come up - I also would not consider that a huge public message board would be a safe place emotionally for discussing controversial topics. There are too many "us vs them" topics/postings. And the level of snark bothers me at times. I go on the assumption that people are posting their questions and opinions in good faith, and I try to respond in kind. It may not technically be a personal attack to call people who hold a certain opinion or belief "nutjobs," but it's going to feel personal to a person who holds that opinion or belief. I stay away from topics that appear to be posted purely to stir things up.

It's this thread I think...

 

http://forums.welltrainedmind.com/topic/545742-is-there-a-christian-board-anywhere/page-4

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What role? Information. A place to discuss things I am unwilling or unable to discuss with my IRL circle. Like all my questions/complaining about my ds's girlfriend (she broke up with him a week before his birthday. I am sure he is glad I said no to those concert tickets now).

 

An Internet forum is not where I would post my deepest secrets thinking it is a safe harbor. I might post something extremely personal because I want to know what a variety of people think about a topic.

 

I have learned alot from the chat board about many topics. I have had to expand my thoughts, reevaluate, change, and grow.

 

Some topics I just don't open for my own sanity. I do,however, like knowing that I could talk about something controversial if I want to participate.

 

I wouldn't say it has replaced my IRL circle but I definitely say things here that I don't or won't say to my IRL friends.

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I appreciate the range of viewpoints. I super appreciate folks who can share with a tone of civility and patience.
I have often wished I could press a magic button and install a "tone-checker meter" app so a person could see when he/she is posting hot.
If I never saw the word "bestiality" come up in a thread ever ever ever again, that would be great. Except I just mentioned it. Hmmmm.
I got a new device, thus encountering the forum user agreement after having not seen it for quite some time and was surprised by at least one of the forum rules. what? No insulting people and calling names? 
Learning to be a positive member of a forum isn't automatic. Honestly, it takes practice and sometimes people have to learn the hard way. It isn't necessarily bad if I or someone else gets her feelings hurt, not if we learn better ways to communicate or get wise enough to stop participating in inflammatory threads.





Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Internet forums fill in the gap for me.  I have some good IRL friends but we live far apart and our lives are busy.  Like Quill said, we can't always get together in group.  Plus, I find that people IRL are not as ready to be honest or to politely disagree with others.  I like honesty (when it's relatively polite please )

 

When I think about this not being a safe place my thought is that we don't know who is listening in.  Not everyone posts who visits...and this place is searchable via Google, etc.  There were those instances a few years ago when 2 regulars here had been stalked here by people unrelated to WTM.  Their posts were copied and then shown or shared with even more people (someone had it happen with family members or something).  Anyway. that made me stand up and pay attention to what I say and share here.  I'm often amazed at the amount of private information people are willing to share on WTM....it seems risky to me, IMHO. 

 

While I don't always like being challenged when I write/say something... I really *do* like being challenged when I write/say something.  It makes me think, it makes me ponder, and I hope it makes me a better communicator in the long run.  Yeah, I'd *love* to be the smartest person in the room and everyone will just bow at my smartness ;)   But that's not going to happen and I think that's really a good thing.  I love that there's such a diverse level of opinion here... it makes me think critically.   

 

Sometimes I really do wish we could have political discussions here.  There are times when I'm wrestling with a topic and I would love to bounce it around here because I *know* I can get a variety of thoughtful and diverse opinions from people here.  This is a place I know I can trust you guys to be honest.  If that makes sense. 

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Thankyou.

 

If that is the case..... Fraidycat, why did you use the phrase "mass exodus" in your title if you were spinning off the "Is there a Christian board anywhere" thread?

 

Why did you use the phrase "mass exodus" in your title anyway? Did anyone say they were actually leaving the boards?

I'm not fraidycat and I'm sure she'll chime in, but that other thread feels distressing to me. It looks like a mass exodus. I have seen board splits and I have seen IRL group splits and it looks just like that. It feel sad to see a large number of posters I view as "friends" in that thread asking for PMs. It's super weird to me because the overall make-up of this forum is Christian. That makes it feel even more like a church split - "Well, we may all be Christians, but I can't hang with folks who don't _________, or don't believe in ______________."

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I'm not fraidycat and I'm sure she'll chime in, but that other thread feels distressing to me. It looks like a mass exodus. I have seen board splits and I have seen IRL group splits and it looks just like that. It feel sad to see a large number of posters I view as "friends" in that thread asking for PMs. It's super weird to me because the overall make-up of this forum is Christian. That makes it feel even more like a church split - "Well, we may all be Christians, but I can't hang with folks who don't _________, or don't believe in ______________."

 

I don't see that thread as threat of a mass exodus.  I think it's quite possible people want an additional place to go, not a replacement for this board.  I also don't necessarily see it as a split between different types of Christians (the bolded). 

 

The fact that this board is overwhelmingly populated by people who identify as Christian does not make it a "safe" place for people to post Christian content.  If people don't feel that they can post certain types of content here, then, well, they should find a place where they do.  It's nothing against these boards. I have some questions percolating in my brain that I know I can't ask here, because I could not phrase them so perfectly that someone wouldn't misinterpret, be offended, and jump all over me.  Again, it's nothing against these boards.  I think everywhere there are people who are ready to be offended, and people ready to set up "us vs them" scenarios.

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I'm not fraidycat and I'm sure she'll chime in, but that other thread feels distressing to me. It looks like a mass exodus. I have seen board splits and I have seen IRL group splits and it looks just like that. It feel sad to see a large number of posters I view as "friends" in that thread asking for PMs. It's super weird to me because the overall make-up of this forum is Christian. That makes it feel even more like a church split - "Well, we may all be Christians, but I can't hang with folks who don't _________, or don't believe in ______________."

 

well, I read the other thread and it didn't feel like a mass exodus to me or even any kind of exodus at all. But if you know the posters and their background you probably understand more than I do.

 

I would prefer to see people pair "S/O" with the actual title of the original thread rather than retitle it with their own subject line. Not doing this could lead to misinterpretation of the original poster's question/ statement. 

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To answer the OP's questions:

 

What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

 

A surprisingly large one.  When I was homeschooling on a classical track, there was no one in my real life community doing anything similar.  I found great ideas and support here on the WTM forum.

 

Then came college apps.  I don't know if I would have gotten through the counselor experience without the aid of fellow posters.  What a generous community this is!

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

I have had the great pleasure to meet several WTM posters in real life; in fact, I seem to have a standing date to meet up with one at a museum every summer.  There are posters with whom I have corresponded privately, some to whom I send books and from whom I receive books.  It is really quite lovely to have this larger global village as my home.

 

Now, about that "mass exodus" or whatever:  Some people, whether in real life or virtual, derive great comfort when surrounded by the like minded.  Frankly it has baffled me that those who choose to participate in a Well Trained home and self education community would feel threatened by new ideas--but maybe that is not what this purported exodus is about.

 

This has happened before. People leave the community for various reasons and often return because the Hive is just so irresistible.   ;)   Those who feel threatened by certain posters or ideas simply need to employ the "ignore" button or avoid threads that they know are difficult for them.  I spent years on the high school/college boards without looking at the chat board since I had neither the time nor the emotional energy for it (back before politics was banned).  A little self restraint can do wonders.

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I don't have the impression there's going to be a mass exodus. If I hear about another restaurant or coffee place, I might want to ask someone about it and go try it myself, but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning the place where I usually hang out.

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<snip>

 

Now, about that "mass exodus" or whatever:  Some people, whether in real life or virtual, derive great comfort when surrounded by the like minded.  Frankly it has baffled me that those who choose to participate in a Well Trained home and self education community would feel threatened by new ideas--but maybe that is not what this purported exodus is about.

 

<snip>

 

But how do you know that people feel threatened by new ideas?  Perhaps they simply disagree with certain ideas and want to be able to discuss things with other like-minded people without others coming and and telling them they are wrong.   People don't always want or need controversy.   They don't always want or need to be defending their ideas; sometimes people just want to talk.   And ignoring certain posters is fine, but when someone quotes me and asks a direct question, it feels a bit rude not to respond in some way.  Certainly when I quote someone and ask a direct question, I would like not to be ignored. 

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I'm not a part of the big bruhaha I think may be going on, so I can only answer this question exactly as I read it without any context behind it. Currently, this board is the only group I frequent and my only social opportunity. I do not have any IRL friends. When I stopped doing group homeschooling things with my kids in middle school, I no longer had homeschoolers to talk to except online. I've been a part of this community for 13 years and it's been the best.

 

I am not an outgoing person. I don't have many interests so going out IRL to find a group of like-minded people is just not my cuppa. It was wonderful to belong to a couple of homeschool groups that did play dates, field trips, and park days. Being online never replaced those opportunities to have others to talk to.

 

I believe my experiences online have mostly been positive. I wish I could say I've made at least one good friend online, but I haven't. I've still felt I contribute and that makes me feel happy. So yes, forums and newsgroups have had a positive effect in my life.

 

 

My respone: Quote function didn't work right. Sorry.

I see myself in this exact situation in a couple of years. I go on outings with our homeschool group but outside of that, they are not real "friends".  When dd graduates in two year, that will be gone.  As an introvert with few interests, I will be in an interesting situation. Not one that I dislike, just different. I plan to try to find at least one outside interest and get a bit of a social life of my own IRL. But it will be difficult and I am not sure how much success I will have.

 

TWTM boards will still be a haven for me. I enjoy all the discussions and it fits some sort in intellectual need for me. I learn so many things here and have benefited from that.

 

So online forums fill a social, intellectual, and entertainment role for me.

 

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But how do you know that people feel threatened by new ideas?  Perhaps they simply disagree with certain ideas and want to be able to discuss things with other like-minded people without others coming and and telling them they are wrong.   People don't always want or need controversy.   They don't always want or need to be defending their ideas; sometimes people just want to talk.   And ignoring certain posters is fine, but when someone quotes me and asks a direct question, it feels a bit rude not to respond in some way.  Certainly when I quote someone and ask a direct question, I would like not to be ignored. 

 

Clearly I don't know if another is threatened.  Perhaps that is my interpretation based on response.

 

The use of JAWM may prevent others from joining the discussion if a poster does not wish to see other viewpoints. 

 

Are posters who regularly bring up certain contentious issues and then cry that they are being picked upon gluttons for punishment?  Maybe.  Or perhaps just not wise.  It is very easy to send private messages to like minded souls on this board if one needs a hug or a nod.  Or start a social group.

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I'm a stay at home Mom for very young children, so I don't get much adult interaction.  I come here throughout the day to connect with "people."  I self-censor A LOT because there seem to be folks who relish running down every opinion but their own.  It doesn't change my opinions, but  I stick to mostly frivolous topics, JAWM posts and folks who need a virtual hug.  My deeply held beliefs aren't going to be changed by overly aggressive arguers on the internet.  I rarely engage in really deep discussion because I just don't have the time nor the interest in being endlessly hounded about my opinions and beliefs.  

 

If a certain topic starts up, I can say with fairly close certainty who is going to join the pile on.

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I don't have the impression there's going to be a mass exodus. If I hear about another restaurant or coffee place, I might want to ask someone about it and go try it myself, but that doesn't mean I'm abandoning the place I usually hang out.

This!! I find the education boards here to be invaluable!! Every year at this time I peruse them endlessly as I make decisions for our next school year. They are where I found out about Andrew Kern, for goodness sakes. Lol I can live with or without the chat board.

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What role(s) do internet discussion forums play in your life?

 

Have these forums (and the people) replaced in full, or in part, a real live human(s) in your life? Or changed the relationship(s) in some way? If so, is this positive or negative in your opinion?

 

Thanks for playing.

There are some other places I hang out online, but this is the main place I spend my time. This is unquestionably my homeschooling support group because I've almost never interacted with other homeschoolers in eleven years for homeschooling. I have no one IRL to ask about anything regarding homeschooling. I do now have a couple of other homeschooling groups on Facebook now but neither provides anything like what I get here. Not even close.

 

I don't ask any questions here that are related to parenting in any way, or really any family issues, because this isn't, and probably shouldn't be, a safe emotional place for that. I think people should be kind, but there are strong differences of opinions about a lot of topics because of the incredible diversity of this board and there are things I won't have batted around here. But there are still a bazillion things that I'm not emotionally attached to that are safe to talk about here.

 

I don't expect people to care about or respect my religious beliefs, but that's part of being Mormon and certainly not unique to this place. I'm always a little surprised when people feel that their religious beliefs aren't respected because I don't think anyone deserves that. And I certainly don't like hanging out with just Mormons to make sure my beliefs are respected. It doesn't work anyway because I'm way more liberal than most Mormons. :)

 

I suppose you could say this has replaced relationships in my life, but that's not really accurate because those relationships wouldn't be there if the boards weren't here. Instead, it's filled in gaps. I have online friends who've been around for 12 years. I've lived in 12 different places in those years and I need the stability of online friendships. A few real-life ones have translated into good online ones, but that's rare.

 

Also, it's not just the chat board I need. I'd be lonely without it, but I could find other place to socialize. The other boards have helped me so much with homeschooling and I honestly don't think there is any other place, either IRL or online where I could get the homeschooling support I get here.

 

Finally, I don't think there's going to be a mass exodus here. The makeup of the boards has certainly evolved in the 12 years I've been here and it is far more diverse now, certainly, but I think that very diversity will keep it strong and growing.

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I'm not fraidycat and I'm sure she'll chime in, but that other thread feels distressing to me. It looks like a mass exodus. I have seen board splits and I have seen IRL group splits and it looks just like that. It feel sad to see a large number of posters I view as "friends" in that thread asking for PMs. It's super weird to me because the overall make-up of this forum is Christian. That makes it feel even more like a church split - "Well, we may all be Christians, but I can't hang with folks who don't _________, or don't believe in ______________."

 

I don't think it's a mass exodus.  I think folks are interested in seeing what is out there and divide their topics/time according to "best fit" scenarios.

 

I'm on College Confidential daily too and post a few things there that I don't post here, not to mention, answering questions others post.  It, in no way, shape, or form, means I'm leaving here.

 

As I said on the other forum, love expands.  It doesn't abandon.

 

And if someone doesn't feel this is the right forum for them, that's just life and happens all the time.

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I should be able to say something about my own personal convictions without being attacked. You can disagree with me, but don't call me stupid, selfish, a bad parent or recently anti-science.

 

I was not called anti-science, but YECers in general were, and that is a HUGE insult.

 

 

What does "safety" on the internet mean to you? What does it look like? I see very little direct name calling on this forum. I see indirect name calling often - from all perspectives.

The homeschooling community was represented for many years by conservative Christians. It is still populated, percentage wise, by Christians. Being Christian is safe.

 

http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/

 

In a week, when "He is Risen" threads appear, I promise you no one will come in those threads and introduce a hostile element.

 

However, if you post a link supporting "Protecting Traditional Marriage", you can expect a discussion.

 

 

I'm a stay at home Mom for very young children, so I don't get much adult interaction.  I come here throughout the day to connect with "people."  I self-censor A LOT because there seem to be folks who relish running down every opinion but their own.  It doesn't change my opinions, but  I stick to mostly frivolous topics, JAWM posts and folks who need a virtual hug.  My deeply held beliefs aren't going to be changed by overly aggressive arguers on the internet.  I rarely engage in really deep discussion because I just don't have the time nor the interest in being endlessly hounded about my opinions and beliefs.  

 

If a certain topic starts up, I can say with fairly close certainty who is going to join the pile on.

 

 

I think this must be a matter of a different ideas about internet discussion forums. I am not chatty. I don't "bother" with superficial, fun, or fluffy topics (mostly). I enjoy discussion of ideas, and I only invest my posting energy in the topics that interest me. "Pile on" may be regarding people who have similar viewpoints on discussion.

 

I have been on this board for over 15 years. For over 10 of them, I was a Christian. Being Christian didn't change the fact that perception altered my relative feelings of "safety." During that time, I (and others) were  told "the Bible says what it says" and "to pray about it" and to read the thought that if I don't believe, it is because I don't have enough faith (circular and ignores that faith is either a gift or will/works.)  It's the nature of internet discussion forums.

 

Being free to express opinion comes with the responsibility that if you engage in the dicussion of ideas, people bring THEIRS to the table. Posting about personal issues means that people will respond out of their own wisdom and experience and their understanding of the poster's context and history.

 

Tolerant (the lowest form of love, IMO) does not mean "no expressed disagreement."

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yup.. if I want to be private here I use PM.  It limits who I can discuss things with, but that's okay considering the alternative.

 

 

But when I ask a question, I have no idea who might know the answer.

 

UGH.

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I'm curious about why any of us would think that a public message board would be a safe emotional place ?

I think because in a lot of ways this has been that way, and for me it has shifted.

 

It's not that common to know a lot of classical-ish homeschoolers IRL, and we have something important in common here that was a relief when I found the boards.  

 

I'm seeing a level of contempt now that used to be contained, and it's made me pull back quite a bit.  I don't believe I'm alone in that.

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But when I ask a question, I have no idea who might know the answer.

 

 

Same here.  With thick skin one can gloss over posts that aren't helpful while getting gold from those that are.

 

But still, there are things I won't bring up on public forums.  

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But I don't necessarily care if you don't think what I do, but I don't want you to think I'm intellectually inferior, bigoted or abused which is what I feel like sometimes.... 

 

This. I've been here for 15 years. This has definitely become a problem here recently.

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I post on the internet b/c of the nature of my dh's job.  I am far away from family and irl friends, and I cannot get too personal with irl people here.  I can't tell anyone here about the HSing sruggles really...and sarcasm is not advised.  The Forum Game here is a sanity saver for me.

 

 

Plus, I like to see the world from different POVs.  I don't get that irl...and it makes my irl role richer to get to know you all.

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Role: Deeper discussions. Learning new things. Extending community.

 

Vs IRL: I value those thing IRL too. Internet does not replace them. It is far more accessible for me tho. I can have a "discussion" online in between driving all over town, waiting in dr offices, or whatever. My real life severely limits my ability to sit and chat in depth in person. But I almost always choose in person over online if I can. I have also met board members IRL.

 

There are about 3-4 boarders I do think are hostile and whose posting tends to be geared to silencing others. Either thru belittling, antagonizing or getting threads closed.

 

I have noticed many members who I really enjoyed even if I disagreed with them don't bother posting anymore. I miss them but understand. I go through phases of walking away myself when I think or feel people aren't really interested in a genuine discussion anymore. Or that it's hitting the replay cycle. I've been home schooling for a while now and some topics just keep recycling.

 

I suspect many looking for another board won't necessarily leave this one. Or not totally abandon it. But I also think the bigger issue is some of those people don't feel comfortable sharing in discussions here. I understand why they might feel that way. It isn't necessarily about seeking like-minded people. It's wanting to have open discussion without feeling harassed and ridiculed.

 

And honestly I don't think anyone cares about a mass exodus anyways. Not enough to change anything anyways. So it's good to have multiple community options and guard against emotional attachment to any of them. I too have seen many long time boards and groups (online & IRL) implode or divide or just go silent as people quietly left. It's made me jaded about how much people actually care about it and instead view it as a natural cycle of life of thing. Sad but inevitable and not the end, but a start of something else.

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This. I've been here for 15 years. This has definitely become a problem here recently.

I joined 4 years ago.

 

I have not found this board any more hostile in the past few months than it was in the first few months after I joined or in the year I lurked before joining.

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I've flitted in and out over the years here.  No, it is not a safe emotional place.  I'm not sure it was intended to be, as it IS an education board.  

 

However, I do avoid a LOT of posts because of the tendency for threads to become heated and personal.  You have to develop a thick skin and the ability to skim if you want to be comfortable here, especially if you have beliefs even slightly out of the norm/mainstream.  

 

I've typed out more posts than I can count, and hit delete before I posted them simply because I didn't want to become emotionally involved in something that was going to turn sour.

 

 

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The most hostile thread I have ever participated in was the Starbucks thread. There was a whole lotta hostility from both pro and anti- baby changing in eatary camps.

 

That was also the awesome thread that ended with Bill in a lampshade, IIRC.

 

People may get their knickers more tightly twisted over threads where ideological differences are discussed, but there is much more respect given opposing views in those than threads about less consequential matters.

 

I mean seriously, if cupcakes, crockpots, likes, aliens, bathing suits, k-cups, etc. can turn into threads requiring moderation.......

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Is it ?  Yes, it is.

 

I agree, sometimes people here say insulting things to others. I think that's a function of anonymity, large numbers of people interacting and lack of visual and auditory cues that another person is out there listening to what you type.

 

I also think that's relatively normal for a message board, and why I'm not surprised that it isn't 'safe' ie free from critique and judgement.

 

There are zillions of things I would never have an expectation of safely sharing on a message board. Indeed, anything I post here I post in awareness that someone will disagree and won't hesitate to tell me so - sometimes nicely, sometimes horribly.

 

If it wasn't mostly fun, then I wouldn't play. 

 

I don't agree it happens all the time.

 

People have many options for avoiding topics and posters they know will offend them, up to and including reporting posts.  

 

I think it's unrealistic to expect to be able to post about education topics on a homeschooling board - and the age of the earth is certainly an education topic - and not hear the view that a YE approach is not scientific, given that is the consensus of the scientific community.

 

If you do expect that, you probably need a YEC forum.

I'm not talking about critique, but insults. The examples I gave were real ones; stupid (YEC thread), selfish (parenting thread on privileges) and a bad parent (discipline). All of those are old examples and I'm not searching for the links so please don't ask me to find them.

 

Nothing that I have read directed at you is any different (better or worse) than your rather obvious and continuous anti-Catholic and anti-liberal Christian swipes. Which you slip into many threads and put little smilie faces next to. I'm not sure if you even realize the frequency that you post things like that. If you expect people to treat you better than you are willing to treat them, it's a recipe for disappointment. Sometimes you edit this stuff out so I think you are aware of it to at least some degree, sometimes you let your own little insult flag fly on unchecked. I don't think you mean to be insulting but if you are so easily insulted when people say what they think of something like YEC then perhaps be aware that your own statements can be highly insulting to their similar deeply held beliefs. It probably colors how some people interact with you.

I've never intentionally said anything nasty to someone who disagrees with me. I do tend to word myself poorly and when I get called out on that I apologize because I truly am sorry, hence the editing. My smiley faces are a way of indicating that I'm trying to be friendly on a sensitive topic. There are a lot of people on this board who disagree with me. Do I think they're wrong? Yes, but I don't think they're foolish. I respect them.

 

I'm not fraidycat and I'm sure she'll chime in, but that other thread feels distressing to me. It looks like a mass exodus. I have seen board splits and I have seen IRL group splits and it looks just like that. It feel sad to see a large number of posters I view as "friends" in that thread asking for PMs. It's super weird to me because the overall make-up of this forum is Christian. That makes it feel even more like a church split - "Well, we may all be Christians, but I can't hang with folks who don't _________, or don't believe in ______________."

There is a lot more conversation going on there than you can see. We want a safe place to discuss certain things, but as someone pointed out, this place is invaluable. I recently posted a topic on Miquon. I'm familiar with some of the people who responded and I take comfort in knowing that I understand where the person is coming from. I've learned how people here think about their particular schools and I know how to translate that into my own home. I'm just a baby homeschooler and I have so much to learn. I don't think any of us are going anywhere.

 

What does "safety" on the internet mean to you? What does it look like? I see very little direct name calling on this forum. I see indirect name calling often - from all perspectives.

The homeschooling community was represented for many years by conservative Christians. It is still populated, percentage wise, by Christians. Being Christian is safe.

 

http://itspronouncedmetrosexual.com/2012/05/list-of-examples-of-christian-privileg/

 

In a week, when "He is Risen" threads appear, I promise you no one will come in those threads and introduce a hostile element.

 

However, if you post a link supporting "Protecting Traditional Marriage", you can expect a discussion.

 

 

 

 

I think this must be a matter of a different ideas about internet discussion forums. I am not chatty. I don't "bother" with superficial, fun, or fluffy topics (mostly). I enjoy discussion of ideas, and I only invest my posting energy in the topics that interest me. "Pile on" may be regarding people who have similar viewpoints on discussion.

 

I have been on this board for over 15 years. For over 10 of them, I was a Christian. Being Christian didn't change the fact that perception altered my relative feelings of "safety." During that time, I (and others) were  told "the Bible says what it says" and "to pray about it" and to read the thought that if I don't believe, it is because I don't have enough faith (circular and ignores that faith is either a gift or will/works.)  It's the nature of internet discussion forums.

 

Being free to express opinion comes with the responsibility that if you engage in the dicussion of ideas, people bring THEIRS to the table. Posting about personal issues means that people will respond out of their own wisdom and experience and their understanding of the poster's context and history.

 

Tolerant (the lowest form of love, IMO) does not mean "no expressed disagreement."

I just want people to follow the board rules. I've been called quite a few names, and completely disrespected on more than one occasion. I've seen many unnecessary comments on "He is risen" style threads and people seem to think that CC is code for lets go in and question everything about the church.

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I have many IRL friends that I share problems with, pray with, laugh with, and cry with. Some have children and homeschool, and some don't. 

 

I come here to find help with homeschooling, find out about curriculum, and even medical help :p

 

I try to avoid the controversial topics because I am very sensitive in my nature. I am a pleaser and would hate to hurt anyone, even if I do not agree with them. Just my personality, that is all. 

 

Saying all this, I do have a few posters/ ladies here I have a great fondness for in my heart, and smile when I see their posts, pray for them, cry for them, or just appreciate their kind words to my posts or to other posts. There are other posters here that I have great respect for because they take such a stand for their beliefs. Very few on here, I feel so sad when I see how others are being treated by them.

 

Life is short, Love. 

 

 

 

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