Blog Entry 49: A group is not for all.

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Just as the title says, a group is not for all. Be that a facebook group, yahoo, forums or other wise, some people should not be part of a group. These people I am talking about are the type that derail posts by talking about something unrelated, starting fights and just being a pain in the arse for their own pleasure.

Here is a list of things one should not do on a group:

  • Never join a conversation that never ask for an opinion to express your opinion. Yes, the original poster may have posted something about that topic but if they are not asking for advice than you are probably making am inappropriate post. It could in turn make the person feel attacked because they are doing/saying something wrong.
  • Stick to the topic at hand. This means just that. If a post is about, for example, a dog, posting about your cat would be a derailment of the original post. This makes the original poster feel ignored and that their post is not a valid post.
  • Never post an attacking post about someone because of your personal feeling towards that person or organization. This makes you look like an idiot and don’t be surprised if people get upset with you. It may also cause more damage than intended for the person you are attacking. Organizations usually have an area (google, yelp or testimonial page) that you can write your comments about on.
  • Keep things private. Time and time again I see people posting their personal “dirty laundry” about a person, people, or other group. First off, if its not a group or section dedicated to postings like this, then it is unlikely people give too poops about it. This can also lead to upset from the person you are posting about.

If any of these sound like you, then dear reader you may want to either rethink your approach on groups or not post on them anymore.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a fluffy, everyone loves everyone, kind of group (though I am sure if you want one there is one out there). What I am trying to show in this blog entry is that;

A. There are some things people do not realize about groups (forums, what ever) that they should know.

and

B. That behind every post there is a real human being with real issues. Calling someone a flaming moron after they posted a question may in fact upset the poster, who may be going threw a divorce, or had a family member die. The possibilities are endless, the fact is, you don’t know that person or their life.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), someone around the globe commits suicide every 40 seconds (link). How would you feel if you found out that a friend of yours or family member committed suicide because they could not longer bare their life. Now take that and think about how you would feel if the “straw the broke the camels back” so to speak, was someone being a jerk on the net. I know, it seems far fetched, but let me explain.

When a person starts to with draw from their life, they end up using the internet instead of socialising face-to-face. Now thinking about how you react when talking to someone face to face. How would you feel if someone did any of the above listed things? Well you would be upset, feel ignored and even hurt. Add in the factor of having a bad day, week or month. This can all add up and for a person using the internet instead of socialising face-to-face, could in fact cause more depression.

Is this something you feel comfortable helping? I sure as heck don’t.

Depression is one of the leading causes to suicide as we all very well know. So you can see that your comments on a group (forum, what ever) could in fact cause things to become worse for someone.

I know what your thinking, well if they have issues why even bother post or join a group that may in fact cause such issues. Well this boils down to the fact that the person is using the internet as their way of socializing. It does not make it right or fair, but is what happening to them in their real life fair or right, who knows. Life is not fair but if you all have a little more compassion about our fellow man (or woman) things would not be so bad.

This also leaves open a whole new argument as to why moderators and admins are not doing their jobs right. I will leave that for another day though.

The bottom line is, read what you write. If you are in a heated discussion, walk away until you have a clear head, this is what you would do in real face-to-face interactions, why not use that method online.

For all you people reading this who use the internet for socializing, think about why you are doing this, maybe you need some help. Talk to your family, friends or doctor about what’s going on in your life and try not to take what people say online to heart, there will always be a jerk out there who wont be bothered to think about your feelings or what they are saying.

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