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Thread: The definition of your character

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default The definition of your character

    I have noticed recently and in the past that "debates" get out of hand, to the point of name calling, insinuations, character defamation, and general mouthing off. A lot of the time this gets moderated and removed, however it still is childish, and should be intolerable. I have been a part of this forum, and a member of ERAS for about a year and half. A drop in the bucket compared to some, however I think the negativity in the past few months has gone completely offside.

    Passion & morality is good, it is how you represent yourself while communicating this and it defines you & your character, thus garnering you self respect, and the respect from your peers.

    I for one think the bickering and snivelling detracts from a cause and a forum that I hold in high regard. Opinions are everyone's entitlement - however your word, ESPECIALLY when written should be impeccable to the best of your abilities. In the cyber world this should be, above anything the most important thing a person can do. Whether you bring your point across with a strong hand or with a light touch, you can manage it in a fashion that does not make you look like a pompous ***. I donít think there is anything wrong with being blunt, but in saying that, there is no need to be complete jerk about it either. Itís a lot of fun to joke around, and have a good time. This is not what I am targeting. It is the representation of this society on this forum by members and non members that is in question, and quite frankly is shameful.

    I am guilty of it, I think we all have been at one time or another. It should be something that we are all cognisant of, every time we type.

    Some people on this and some other forums are very young and/or very immature (this is easy to determine by the lack of spelling, grammar and the fact they treat these forums as their personal message board for drivel that has nothing to do with anything), or believe that there is no consequence when you are able to hide behind a keyboard and monitor. It is grossly apparent that some people like to incite problems, almost to the point where they get personal enjoyment. I find this extremely irritating.

    I am far from perfect, and realize this everyday. I have a lot to learn, and the more I do, the more I realize how much I truly love my hobby. It is work, very hard work to care for the critters I have, and I take pride in what I do. To have a valuable resource like this forum spiral out of control all to often takes away from the pride that I hold within my hobby. Too see my peers that I know have so much to contribute, end up being so jaded with others and the totalitarian views that are rampant really does make me sad.

    Canít we all get along to some degree ? There is no shame in agreeing to disagree. For one person to think that their opinion is so infallible is ridiculous, but seems to be the norm.

    These are the four agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I think we all could take something from these, and if you feel you canít, then you are in fact the one who needs to pay attention to this the most.

    BE IMPECCABLE WITH YOUR WORD
    Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

    DON'T TAKE ANYTHING PERSONALLY
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

    DON'T MAKE ASSUMPTIONS
    Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

    ALWAYS DO YOUR BEST
    Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgement, self-abuse, and regret.


    Best regards to you all,

    Kelley Jensen

  2. #2
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    Default Re: The definition of your charcter

    VERY well spoken Kelley! Thank you so much for reminding us why we are here. We are here for the Herps, the Hobby and for the purpose of educating and not ridiculing.


  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: The definition of your charcter

    I would like to add... possibly... talk to the person you intend to speak to.

    I am trying to avoid wide-reaching cart-blanche statements about my opinion. If I'm responding to a specific poster, rather than the thread, I am attempting to do more PM's and make my business with the person, rather than with the forum in general. I hope that this allows me to be more rational and realize that I am communicating with another person, and not standing on a soapbox. Also, this makes it so that the only judge of my actions are myself and the person I am communicating to, rather than others who are not involved able to pass judgement.

    I must remember that on the other end of the internet there is a person, staring at a screen, wondering who, or what exactly, I am speaking about. If I have something to say to someone, I want to say it to them. Preferably to their face. Secondly over the phone. And lastly using the internet.

    From another pov -- have you ever been broken up with? Given bad news? Gossip and back-stabbing and bickering feel the same way as bad news. I would rather someone told me in person that my cat got run over, I would rather be broken up with in person or over the phone, then receive some message in facebook. I would hate to discover my status changed to "not in a relationship" overnight, or have a friend come up to me and say "I'm just saying this as a friend... but so-and-so doesn't like you." Or receive in a txt from a phone number I don't recognise... "by the way, everyone thinks you're doing a bad job."

    (FYI: not all of these have happened to me, and certainly not the last one, but I wouldn't be surprised if it did.)

    Seriously? Have some guts. Say it to me. I'm going to do my best to say it to whoever I'm speaking about. If I can't say it to their face, then I don't have the right to say it. Although I may sound preachy.... I am finding it difficult, but at least the effort is there.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: The definition of your charcter

    Excellent post Kelley, I have been thinking this very same thing and I think it's a recurring issue that has myself (among others) somewhat uncomfortable in this forum. At some point we need to reflect back on some basics... some manners to start with. As you stated, it's one thing to be concise with your wording, it's another thing to be outright rude and demeaning in your commentary. I often wonder if anyone is having any FUN anymore? I mean, we're all here because we have a passion for this hobby, but it seems like some people have forgotten how to enjoy it. A couple really common observations I've made are as follows:

    1. A member is proud of their specimen, takes pictures, and posts them on a thread. Instead of people commenting on the reptile, and experience, a memory, a relation, etc. the originator often gets slammed with insults. I understand the purpose of constructive criticism, but that's not often what I see. I see people's husbandry questioned over some rather insignificant practices that in many cases, are a matter of preference. I think the very fact that we are on this forum posting, seeking advice, etc. speaks to our desire to ensure the well-being of our pets. Surely there are exceptions where neglect is an issue that requires commentary, but this is rarely the case from what I've seen.

    2. A member generates a post seeking information on a reptile... I'm sure they're well aware of the fact that you can Google care sheets up to the high-heavens. Often these people are looking for a little discussion from those present on this forum, and are hoping to hear from those who have had hands-on experience with a certain species. In particular, it seems the information they're looking for is beyond that of a basic care-sheet, or in other cases, even some insight that might validate what was read on a care sheet. Instead of getting advice, encouragement, best-practices, things to look out for, etc. they get hit with one of these:
    "You shouldn't be buying Reptile X if you haven't researched this"
    ...or one of many other comments that really offer nothing to the inquiry. Isn't a request on a forum in itself evidence that the person is looking to gain a thorough understanding of their impending addition? Let's offer the help their looking for and live up to the many statements made to the effect of "Welcome to the forums, there is lots of good information here and wonderful people"

    3. Someone would like to add to their collection and is open to suggestions as to what might fit their lifestyle, budget, handling preferences, spacial allowances, etc. Instead of suggestions with pros/cons and whatnot, they get something along the lines of:
    "If you don't know what type of reptile you want, then you shouldn't be buying one"
    Isn't this type of request geared directly towards ensuring that your next addition is something new to you but fits your preferences? Here's someone who is trying to avoid ending up with a reptile that they're going to flip or drop at the rescue a year later, so why aren't we providing the information they need?

    4. The example I hate the most. Good samaritan John Smith genuinely rescues a specimen from a careless friend, a jobsite, a relative, etc. and did not actively seek out possession of this critter. Having no clue how to care for it, they jump online and arrive at our forum. A moment later they're registered and create a post looking for information. What do they get? everything but information!! They get lectured and often times the thread gets abondoned becuase in his/her mind, we aren't interested in providing support. They didn't rescue the creature only to get yelled at by the very society they have looked to for assistance on the road to recovery.

    While there are a great many more examples, I have not the time to list them all!! LoL I'm not here to point fingers or start debates (I think another debate is the last thing we need at the moment), but I hope that your dictation is read by everyone on this forum and perhaps in the future we can act in a more positive and humane manner so that our society continues to grow along with the hobby we've chosen.

    Cheers Kelley, very well said.

    Steve

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The definition of your charcter

    thanks for those four wonderful points kelley... i think its true, everyone needs to relax a little, laugh! and learn to appreciate that there might be differences between all of us... that's what makes life interesting. that's what makes the society a cool place to be, so many different people from all kinds of different walks of life with each something to contribute.

    all valuable!

    you don't learn anything or grow from everything and everyone being the exact same right?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: The definition of your charcter

    I was wondering if you'd noticed that But I would assume you were referring to the gross destruction of the human language that occasionally appears 'round these parts as opposed to minor human error. And as to the rest.......AMEN!!!! I would rant and reiterate everything said because I agree with it so thoroughly, but those above me have already worded the posts perfectly and I am just happy that it's been said and I'm not the only one reading the forums and shaking my head (and occassionally shaking my fist in frustration, espessially when I don't know the answer and those who do are ignoring the question) Thank you for your excellent posts.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: The definition of your character

    Great post Kelley!

    There isn't one of us who can't learn something from your comments.

    Why people have to be mean, degrading and spiteful to each other is always a puzzle to me. I'm sure that 'one on one' or 'face to face', many of these those people who seem to like to 'gang up' on other people or posters on line, would be just a little less abrasive.

    It's my own experience that many of these individuals won't even make eye contact when they are without 'their support group', but can be really brave when putting 'pen to paper', or 'placing words on screen'. In particular they are lost when not surrounded by their cohorts.

    Don't we each share a common interest in reptiles, amphibians or whatever, otherwise we wouldn't be reading or posting on these forums or attending shows?

    Why then don't we share our common bonds in a more positive way rather than promote this 'hatred and dislike' of certain individuals? Individuals that maybe we haven't bothered to get to know or understand, or have probably never even spoken too.

    There is more to most of us than just this hobby we are involved in - at least I hope there is. Lets try and get to know each other a little better. Some of the rumours we hear simply may not be true.

    Not everyone, even within certain 'cliques', can agree all the time, but with individuals from outside those cliques, one wrong word and it's the cold shoulder from here on.

    There are many times that as individuals we may disagree on some opinion, topic or action. We can however, voice our own opinions of these acts if we feel strongly enough about them. Diplomacy and respect however, are still a required ingredient for those wishing to take up opposing viewpoints.
    Last edited by tonyj; 10-05-2009 at 11:48 AM.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: The definition of your character

    All I can say is thank god you guys posted this, I cant agree more! Hopefully ERAS with some other forums can improve, the negativity can definitely be a drag!
    Bluemoon Geckos

  9. #9
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    Default Re: The definition of your character

    Quote Originally Posted by zohariels View Post
    All I can say is thank god you guys posted this, I cant agree more! Hopefully ERAS with some other forums can improve, the negativity can definitely be a drag!
    I agree zohariels, but unfortunately it's not just the forums we all have access to, where the vitriol is at it's worst.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: The definition of your character

    The negativity and vitriol that appears commonplace in most public forums is theorized to come from several sources (from some of the articles I've read on the subject). As has been pointed out, part of it is assumed to come from the impression of anonymity that the internet supposedly conveys.

    Another believed source is that there's a sort of unwritten rule that this kind of behaviour is simply expected at these sort of things. When a group of people with a strong interest and passion get together, there is often expected to be a clash. For instance, take sports. When sports fans get together, they simply must clash in a harsh way. Imagine Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers fans in the same room espousing the good and bad points of each others favoured teams in a calm and polite manner. It simply wouldn't seem right. You may think sports fans are an extreme example, and they are in the physical sense, but I've seen academics at conferences throw off similar insults and intensity when defending their own pet theories.

    Ego is also a big factor. At any grouping of people with special interests, there are those that develop an ego over the subjects, they relish the attention they get and crave that feeling of respect and superiority. However, egos are like balloons, and the bigger they get, the easier it is to violate them. And when an ego feels violated, the typical response is a harsh backlash.

    Then there's the factor of ignorance. Not in the "insulting" sense of the word and that people are just mean and vitriolic, but in the sense that some of these participants are truly unaware that they are being offensive and negative. Everyone views the world differently, and some just do not realize how their postings can be seen as vitriolic. We have a possible prime candidate right here in this thread, for example. The same person who wrote:
    AMEN!!!! I would rant and reiterate everything said because I agree with it so thoroughly, but those above me have already worded the posts perfectly and I am just happy that it's been said and I'm not the only one reading the forums and shaking my head
    is also the author of these:
    What?!?!?! Are you trying to help? or jack off your big brain? So far in this thread, does it seem like the recipient of this useful information would immediately pick up on 12L:12D photoperiod or SVL length? really? The people that already know the answers understand, the one asking for help doesn't. This was a complete waste of a post and if anything, a bit cruel.
    You sounded like an idiot, and so do the rest of you for defending.
    I thoroughly enjoy this forum except for the jack off method of a few members, I finally piped up after holding my thoughts for quite some time
    Is this an example of hypocrisy, or is it a case that the author was simply unaware of the negativity they were portraying? Perhaps it was because they felt it was justified. Does "feeling justified" present enough of an excuse to warrant these kinds of posts?

    Seeing how there's clearly many different reasons for how this comes about, stemming the negativity is clearly not an easy goal. I think Kelly's original post is something we should all aspire to, and I would like to posit another point for us all to mull over as well. When we've written up a response, we should all go back over our message and reread it from the position of the person we are responding to and in that frame of mind contemplate how the target audience may feel to receive said message. If it feels negative, spend some time editing it. Then and only then should you hit the "Submit Reply" button.

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