Why? A Netiquette Ponder

This does relate to something that happened today but it is a much broader ponder … why do human beings feel safe to be a diva, a drama llama, or have a meltdown in public on the internet?  I do not mean those people we occasionally come across in life who are just plain rude and grumpy to everyone that crosses their path – I mean the ordinary everyday folk who are normally well mannered and wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

Years ago I was on a professional forum where there was a particular DIVA who was bitchy to everyone – a serious attention seeker who regularly argued back was white and then a blueish shade of grey!  I was asked to moderate on that forum but then found we were not allowed to moderate that person because the site owner thought her Diva strops brought in new readers.  Sure it did – but it also alienated and then lost long standing community members … including me because I voted with my feet – I moved anything I wanted to keep elsewhere, posted a message saying exactly why I was going ie that I would not be part of the systematic bullying that was allowed to continue, wished everyone that had made the place a good community and left. I have never looked at that site again.  I did make a good friend there and we are still friends today.  The individual did it because she had no filters and no self esteem; she got away with it because the site allowed it- yet penalised other drama llamas.

It is one of the reasons I am not a fan of Facebook – that is a drama llamas paradise.  I think it proliferates there because it is so vast and people don’t like to ‘rock the boat’.  What really amuses me about this online presence is the numbers of people who apply no security whatsoever to their accounts and then wonder how the world knows so much about them!

I have been fortunate to belong on sites where there is excellent moderation and any dramas are stopped before they get out of hand – at the end of the day part of the benefit of a forum is to be able to agree to disagree having listened to all points of view.  I have also been on sites where there has been overly punitive moderation in the past and none now and so gradually all sorts of behaviours come out of the woodwork.

I know I sometimes have a drama here in my blog; generally I keep the drama as impersonal as possible and it is usually about criticising systems rather than individuals – I try to be constructive and not divisive.  A blog is a little different too in that it is normal to present one’s personal viewpoint and readers are generally aware of that.

Here are my approaches to being a positive contributor to online communities:

  1. Manners cost nothing;
  2. Understand the medium – can posts be edited or deleted? is there moderation?
  3. Everything can be misunderstood – read it over three times before posting a response (which you will also have read over three times BEFORE you post it);
  4. Do not ignore new members who ask for help; if we do not share our community knowledge we leave ourselves open to misunderstandings;
  5. Ask if something isn’t clear BEFORE responding;
  6. If in doubt sleep on it (no not on your computer monitor! get a good nights sleep and then reconsider it afresh);
  7. If in doubt ask others – but avoid the trap of becoming part of a clique;
  8. (To quote Eeyore) A little consideration. a little thought for others, makes all the difference …
  9. Be patient – patience is not the ability to wait but the ability to keep a good attitude whilst waiting …
  10. What goes around comes around – are you prepared to get it thrown back at you?

Most of today has been in and out of the garden whilst Pup played at making his own snowballs – sharing them with me and then rolling them to start his own snowman.  Then he broke off some more nettle stems and tayberry stems – I have nearly run out if these now so if anyone needs this sort of weeding done I could arrange to loan him out for a small fee?

I have not taken many photographs and I haven’t done much which involves physical effort since I have a sore shoulder/neck.  I will be popping a heat patch on that over night because it is irritating me, making me hold my back twisted and I am so uncomfortable.  I am going to leave you with another picture of my wee yellowhammer in the garden … and the thought that we are due another 48 hours of snow starting anytime about now …


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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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