Rant: Why ask for help if you're not looking for any?
I swear, 20% of time time, when someone asks for help here, they argue against or are offended by the advice people offer them.
If you are so sure what you are doing is right, and the LFS is right, why are you here asking for help when really all you want is some sort of weird affirmation that even though you're having problems, everything you're doing is right.
This is not aimed at any one person, rather a disturbingly large number of people. If you think it applies to you, than it probably does.
Edit: Reading over this, it is a little harsh, lol. But everyone knows what I'm talking about,
Weird affirmation. Yup.
Human nature. We cannot accept that what we believe to be true, may not be true, and attempt to justify even irrational decisions by hopefully finding others who believe the same as we do. Oh, right, this is the basis for most religions...
Certainty is an emotion that is void of right or wrong, just like anger, love etc... only it's the most dangerous of all.
When you are certain of something, count ten deep slow breaths, and rethink your position.
It just seems to happen more and more frequently, where someone asks for advice and either the thread turns into an argument (more argument than debate), or the op resists all advice.
You're right though, it is a touchy subject. Only, I think, because it is so rampant right now, and people don't like being called on it.
I totally understand what your saying, believe me.
I've been on many forums over the years and it persists everywhere in varying degrees... I've even been guilty of it myself.
While I do enjoy a good flaming (yes, there are good ones), I also appreciate that sometimes the party guilty of tunnel vision just doesn't know what they don't know and refuses to do any independent research to confirm or refute their, or anyone else's, opinions or theories.
This just makes it hard on the moderators as they need to balance between agreeing with the responders and their often good advice while letting a dead horse beating continue to it's gory end, or shutting down the conversation. It usually turns out the neither is good for the OP.
Of course this is the first forum that I have been on that the lives of living things may be on the line at the time of posting, in which case there may only be one opportunity to rectify the situation and save the fish so it is understandable that emotions may run high.
Honestly, the success or lack of it, I think all boils down to relationships. If you are going to flame somebody, best that you know them because chances are they will still love you in the end regardless of the differences in opinions. I have made a lot of mistakes on this forum by publicly calling someone out, once trying to take up for myself and again trying to take up for someone else. And then, in the mix of all of that, other people are taking up for the people I am upset with, and on and on...etc.
Maybe it would be a good idea to have a - advanced fish keepers section - to keep it simple for the new folks, without bogging them down with things that they are in no way ready to understand and deal with. That is what caused my first riff.
And, maybe it would be a good idea to have a - specialist section - this would be a hidden section for the really difficult situations where emotions are overcharged and people are going to be easily offended. Mods can determine which ones are getting out of hand and assign it over to the "specialist" who is most qualified for assisting. That way the forum member feels like they are getting special attention... and they are... and it is a nicer way of closing a thread that is getting way out of hand. This is what caused my second riff.
Well, as has been said, it's human nature and it's stronger in some folks than others. Have a read and move on if it bothers you. Our site is a microcosm of society and to expect anything more will cause some angst. I'm not above the fray; however, I have learned to take a breath and go to the next post. This should be fun, not infuriating. So let's all try to work to that end. It is possible to be helpful and informative while being friendly.
I am quickly learning if you are not one of three or four people, there is no reason to even try and help, as my advice will just be overridden, or rebuked. Maybe I just give crappy advice, but this is turning into the "Ask the Three Wise Men" forum, just in time for Christmas.
If only the wise men could agree on anything.
When I started asking for help setting up the 220, I didn't know what I was doing. I have gotten HUNDREDS of bits of advice in that thread, and have not immediately discounted any of it. Actually, I took various advice in all aspects of setting up the aquarium, stocking it, dealing with problems, etc. See, I asked for advice because I wanted advice, not just an affirmation of what I already believed.
The bickering doesn't bother me nearly as much (it is inevitable) as when people ask for advice and help but don't want to deviate from anything they are already doing. And I am certainly not just talking about advice I have given, most times I don't bother chipping in because you can already see where the thread is going.
This is the least productive thread of all. And got even worse when it went totally off topic. It wasn't originally about all the arguing, but about Why People Ask For Help When They Don't Want It. It could have been called, "If You're Already Doing Everything Right, There's Nothing We Can Help You With"
That would make a great signature.
Stupid 20 minute edit rule.
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