This is a basic problem in every online writing group. When I was involved in yelp.com's chat threads, the same thing would happen. People become comfortable behind their computer and just start dive bombing certain people because they feel such power behind the keyboard on their computers. People say things to others that they would never say to someone directly to their face, in a million years!
It is a shame that people can't maintain professional composure. But a lot of people are just using this medium as a way to vent, express themselves... The snarky, rude, irritating comments are just a reflection of that person's consciousness anyway.
You are an idiot! Hang on - forgot to hide behind a sock puppet - you wonderful person for writing this!
Being serious I used to be a little 'scared' but as I don't know these people, and probably never will know them, an old saying comes to mind 'Stick and Stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me'.
I have a choice - I can be intimidated by these people, or I can simply value their opinions as much as they are worth - which in most cases is not a lot!
Now let me log back in as my sock puppet and totally disagree with myself so you don't suspect I am me!
I wouldn't call it "fear," but in the four months I've been here, I've noticed that some hubbers assume their imput and opinions don't mean as much as those of hubbers who've been here longer. Not sure there's much you can do about that, though.
Then it's better to not venture into subjects or situations one is not prepared for. It's the same whether face-to-face or online. There are always chances of difficulty in communicating with others, but the only way to avoid this is to not venture at all.
I can see how some people might be afraid to stick up for themselves or their beliefs against some Hubbers who do nothing but sniff out discord, but personally, I'm not afraid of other Hubbers. From experiences on other forums, there are always those users who are itching to pick a fight and those who are too timid to stand up to them.
However, from what I see on Hubpages, a lot of the users are really just very opinionated and a bit sharp-tongued, but generally harmless with good intentions. It's quite nice here and I've found very few people that I make a habit of avoiding-- and those that I do avoid are simply because they are one-minded and have one sole goal on Hubpages forums that they beat to death and that's it.
Ahah, I chalk that up to naivete more than I do bravery. I was unaware as to Hubbers acted on religion forums. I avoid them now because they argue in circles and after a while I get hopelessly confused.
Eaglekiwi, I've always found you to be one of the friendliest people. I can't imagine anyone thinking you're scary.
I sure hope nobody thinks I'm scary. I'm the same on here as I am in real life, and I'm assertive in some ways but not in other ways. I'm a straight-talker, and I know that typing can come across without any warmth or friendliness in tone - which is why I'm always loading up my posts with emoticons. I know, too, that how I come across in typing is the complete opposite of how I come across in person; because (opposite problem) in person my animated and friendly ways tend to get me in trouble "in the other direction" than my writing/typing do. So, at this stage in my life, I don't have a clue of who thinks what about me. I'm far from scary, though. That I can tell anyone.
Personally, I'd rather someone just ask me why I do or say something the way I do. I couldn't change for them, but I'd be happy to point out what's behind whatever it is I've done or said. Most of the time people would be surprised (shocked maybe).
To be perfectly honest, it's not really a subject I've ever thought about before - one Hubber actually being afraid of another. Reading previous posts and thinking about it now, however, I can see how it could happen. Where it does happen, I think it's a great shame (whatever the circumstances). Agreement on the forums is not necessary and they would of course be less than what they are if we all agreed. Intimidation on an Internet forum, however... Yeah, right! Love the previous poster's photo of Peewee from Porky's favourite uncle!
Personally, no, I've never had the experience - but I do take care to steer clear of the religion and politics forums these days in case anyone should become fearful of me! I am easily wound up on those subjects and stand at the extreme opposite point of view of a majority of the principal participants...
Good question and I hope any who are reading this and feel intimidated are encouraged not to be and stand their ground within the rules and spirit of the community, or simply report the idiots to HP.
Gordon Hamilton, I appreciate your post. I have never posted to religion or politics forums because (1) I don't feel I belong there, (2) I don't trust my ability to hold my temper. I hope that some people who experience fear may also post to this thread. I believe that in most cases, fear is irrational and therefore also unfortunate like you say.
I'm all about spreading the Hub Love, but I must admit there are a handful of hubbers (forum posters) who scare me. Not in terms of physical safety or stalking or anything. Just that their opinions, so freely expressed, are so extreme and negative and based on (don't even venture there).... I fear that we will never find common ground. That makes me sad.
Meanwhile, this quote comes to mind:
“it is much safer to be feared than loved because ...love is preserved by the link of obligation which, owing to the baseness of men, is broken at every opportunity for their advantage; but fear preserves you by a dread of punishment which never fails.” ― Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
and there is not baseness of women, although many women are baseless! I don't listen to what people who lived centuries ago wrote, unless it proves my own points. And since I do not have a point, being baseless, I still have a healthy fear of snakes! Snakes in the forums are never up to any good, imo!
I'm not scared, but I cannot speak freely. For instance, I wanted to use the word "Christ", as a term of exasperation. But I knew that would get reported, so I used "Cripes" instead. I say "heck" instead of h e double hockey sticks, that sort of thing.
It's childish and stupid for a grown-up site. But there you have it. It's not fear, but having to tread very carefully.
I hear ya, man! I truly hate some of your opinions, but I think what makes us adults here is a little bit of tolerance towards ideas you might not like. I may not like your ideas, but I'd be more mad if you weren't allowed to express them.
I did not know one would even have fears of other hubbers. Hmm, perhaps there should be more humility for each hubber.
Aren't we all here with an opinion or thought to express through words. Then we should be able to do so with out people judging one another. REALLY! No one should feel over shadowed by another hubber and no one should feel unworthy of their writing. Granted we are not all professional writers... There needs to be a level of respect whether we like what some else has written or not. The last thing you want is censor ship because of what you write. I think we need to take our opportunities at hubpages and use it in a positive light to help not to derail and tear anyone here down. You can do that in your own surroundings, there is no need to do it here.
This of course is my observation. Whether we have been here for years or just yesterday, I do believe we can all learn from one another.
I suppose I have a different outlook on the forums here. This is supposed to be a site for writers. The forums used to be a good place to try out ideas on one's peers before actually putting them out there into the public eye. I believe it's better to find out your ideas stink on the forums before publishing them where they'll smell even worse.
If one is afraid to be proved wrong the forums are not the place for them. I know, I was almost wrong one time!
I don't have guns or humongous dogs... but I am not afraid of anyone. If I want to say something I say , if I want to ignore something I ignore and if I want to dump something I just dump it... No fears here.
Our word was "goodie", and we got to a point with Miss Mocha Bean where we had to start spelling it. Then she started to recognize that too! So then we started to do this: nod/gesture-O-O-nod/gesture-I-E.
It can work to your advantage though. When we want them to go to my room (we use baby gates to keep them in my room when we leave the house), we just yell "Cookie time!", and they go running. When we want them to go to the yard to do their business we yell "Field trip!"
It's like when they said that Conservatives are more fearful (which was wrong because it was based on a misunderstanding of amygdala function). My thought was, well, sheesh, there are plenty of times when we should be afraid!
oops where did you get this idea from...... I am afraid of offending people and getting into arguments. I think that you can easily misunderstand what someone is saying.... and sometimes sparks can fly.....
never may that happen, though weakening with the things life throws at you. I Hope i never stop enjoying writing, sometimes it is a great safety valve. I am working again now, teaching art and craft, and jewellery making in a college in Dublin to people with head injuries, so i am toughening up a bit......
I don't know that there are any hubbers to actually be afraid of, however, there are some who act as though they know everything about everything, and they know it better than anyone else does. These individuals, or sometimes like-minded cliques can be quite intimidating, confrontational, or even down right nasty to anyone who disagrees with them. Of course, that's just been my observation.
I've run into people who use that "debate strategy" in personal-life differences of opinion too - and it's a bad strategy. It doesn't amount to winning an argumentt/debate. It just amounts to shutting the other person up and/or making him realize you're not someone to bother trying to communicate with. Some people might delude themselves into thinking that's winning the debate, when they really just delude themselves into their own little isolated world of not facing the reality that they aren't always as right as they think they are (and that others have written off their views as "unreasonable" and "unreasoned").
To me, "winning" the argument (or at least convincing someone else that you have some good points) doesn't count unless you do it with sound reasoning and plenty of back-up information. Anything less is just aggressiveness.
I can see how some may become intimidated, but I take it as harmless opinionated attempts to gain a higher hubber score when people go to see what they are about, or to express their opinions where others cannot eat them. Typically the unpopular opinion is the one that gets the most attention because people love to be right. Some people will argue well past the point they agreed not to argue. Just brush it off and have a little fun with it if you like. Maintain your own respect and to heck with whomever worries you. Unless they live next door that is, in which case - lock your doors. Heated conversations can be interesting if you look back and read them for their reckless banter.
This is a community, and many different personalities are represented (one would hope there's only one personality per Hubber, but that's a different issue). I do agree that some people feel offended at comments that wouldn't bother me. But I also agree there are sometimes overtones of a "Longtime Member" clique in some comments. I'm not sure what HP could do to remove the fear, since that's a reaction within each person. Not sure how to remove the cause, either, since each of us has our own set of buttons available to be pushed.
Not long after I joined Hubpages, I created a Forum post about responding to Hub comments.
Based on the responses, I had to check and recheck the title of my Forum post, and my opening statement to make sure I didn't say something like, I ravaged a human for a sacrifial offering!
I would later become a participant in a Forum thread about the wearing of pajamas in public. Well, the response to my comments could be akin to the opening of Pandora's Box!
I held my own with both Forums...I'm tough, can take a punch, and am never fearful. I do think however, that some folk need to take it light, especially when a comment, or thread for that matter, does not read with what would be obvious signs of deliberate rudeness and injections of malicious contempt. It becomes an issue when responses express rudeness and contempt; not because someone is simply in disagreement.
Overall, I still enjoy HubPages and the commumity. I find both equally fascinating...even if we do not always agree.
"I think there was a time here when there were a group of hubbers who unintentionally (being charitable) dominated some of the forums. However having been away and come back, it seems like a nicer place now." she said from her hiding place under the table!)
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