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New user? Old user? Lurker? We'd love your views.

(448 Posts)
LaraGransnet (GNHQ) Fri 10-Jan-20 16:27:00

We're really happy to read threads like this and know that the site is hitting the mark with you. But we also know that for all of you who are regular posters, there are many more who, for whatever reason, haven't yet joined in on the discussions and we wondered what could be done to make the site more welcoming to newbies? If you are new (or can remember back to when you were) what barriers do you think users may come across that stop them from joining in the chat? And if you are a lurker (although we prefer to think of you as reader) if you're happy to post just this once to let us know what stops you usually, we'd really appreciate it. Any insight you can give us be most welcome and rewarded with a virtual bottle of wine grin

BeeWitch Fri 10-Jan-20 16:46:57

We all have our own opinions on subjects for discussion and sometimes the strength of some of the posters' comments can be very unpleasant; perhaps they're forgetting that it's not all about them and that there are other points of view which are equally valid. I thought this was especially evident when the Brexit debate was raging. I do like to read the posts on various threads, but rarely comment, and just dip in and out of Gransnet. smile

Calendargirl Fri 10-Jan-20 16:55:06

Perhaps sometimes GN can look a bit cliquey? It’s obvious if you have been a participant for a considerable time, you can appear quite matey with other posters, nothing wrong with that, but the same as when you join a new club or society, it’s daunting feeling you are the ‘newbie’ and everyone else is an old hand.

GrannySomerset Fri 10-Jan-20 17:10:57

I avoid posting on political and current affairs sites because disagreement is so personal and unpleasant. Some posters let their political views intrude where it is inappropriate or even totally irrelevant, so that even if I have something to contribute I don’t.

blossom14 Fri 10-Jan-20 17:15:52

I am always amazed at the time regular posters are able to spend on numbers of threads. They must be a lot speedier with a keyboard than I am.
Calendar Girl is right that it can appear a bit cliquey and I have been a very occasional poster and lurker on and off for 4 years.

fourormore Fri 10-Jan-20 17:24:31

I read a lot of threads but usually only post if I feel I have something constructive and useful to add.
I agree it can sometimes appear 'cliquey' and also on occasions unpleasant. I hope that's not intended but sadly I believe some are unpleasant on purpose?
Two things do irritate me though
Firstly when there is a new thread started asking for advice/suggestions - someone responds, but the OP doesn't bother to even acknowledge the fact that someone has responded. To me that is pure bad manners - not even a thank you!
Secondly, when someone posts on a thread that they obviously have no interest in, I believe they seem to just want to wind people up?
I have experienced this in the past, mainly on 'religious' posts, when someone who obviously has no interest at all in religious matters (that's fine, each to their own) almost 'demands' to know why a subject is being discussed and belittles other posters. Again I feel that is bad manners and just plain spiteful at times.
On the whole I enjoy reading and joining in as and when!

Grannyboots1 Fri 10-Jan-20 17:33:55

I have been logging onto Gransnet for at least three years and check in everyday picking out the posts I’m interested in. I rarely comment and stay away from politics. I particular love reading the ‘regular’ posters comments and would miss and do notice when some of them stop posting.

NewHere Fri 10-Jan-20 17:40:42

I'm quite new and joined to gather advice on grandparenting as became a Nana back in July. I do cherry pick advice from existing relevant posts and the forums have really allayed some of my silly concerns and also given me a lot of perspective, especially since new GS parents have now separated.
I am little nervous of putting all our laundry "out there" for everyone to see but I certainly appreciate the fabulous advice given by some members. Be nice if everyone remembered there's a person at the end of each OP, many hurting and worried.

Bridgeit Fri 10-Jan-20 17:42:24

Perhaps a warning system that allows new & eager posters that they may well be metaphorically shot down in flames if they proffer strong opinions on some threads that are heavily dominated by the long standing established regulars , you will not be deemed by some as having ‘ earned ‘ the ‘right to do so ‘.

ananimous Fri 10-Jan-20 17:48:00

The covert adverts put me off a bit I must admit

love0c Fri 10-Jan-20 18:09:23

When reading some OP's I tend to know that if I give an opinion or advice, it will lead to aggressive posts back at me. You then feel that you should 'answer back'. I do not answer back. I just leave it as it is. But this hard to do. Many posters can not help themselves answering back so to speak. Yes, you should stand up for yourself but I feel it is just not worth it. to read of posters being hounded and being to made really bad just because they have posted and (not a bad post) just a post that annoys the aggressive posters on here. Fortunately there are not many! You hear so much about social media and the damage it can do to people. Everyone need to be vigilant and stay away from posting it they get upset at all about what someone says.

Eglantine21 Fri 10-Jan-20 18:54:33

I come and go. Squally when I go it’s because ne or two subjects have taken over the Active screen so there is very little of interest . Some posters who have a bee in their bonnet swamp the site.

Eglantine21 Fri 10-Jan-20 18:54:57

Usually not squally......l

Saxifrage Fri 10-Jan-20 19:24:50

I'm mainly a lurker. I also get irritated when th OP doesn’t bother to come back but even more irritating is when everyone has an opinion and hasn't bothered to read earlier posts or even the OP properly so they get things all wrong or just repeat what loads of people have already said. Having said all that, there are lots of lovely people on this site with kind and helpful posts so often it is a joy to read.

Mamissimo Fri 10-Jan-20 23:10:28

When I was new I lurked.....I tried posting a bit but went back to lurking because I find the anonymity culture gives some active posters too many opportunities to be abrasive. I would love to be able to ‘follow’ some posters because their life view and humour engages me but the strength of opinion and forcefulness of a few posters acts as a very effective silencer. I don’t need snipers in my life.

Fiachna50 Sat 11-Jan-20 00:18:59

I am guilty of coming across as terribly rude and not very nice. There are a few threads that I have found a bit disturbing. To be honest Im probably going to take a break from Gransnet for a while. I had been going to leave before, then decided not to. However, if I am honest I really need to go and have a think about how I've answered some threads. I don't think Im expressing myself well. Maybe best to take a break but not leave. The political and Royal Family threads have been awful. We definitely are divided over these topics.

gmarie Sat 11-Jan-20 00:47:33

Really enjoying the site with a few caveats. As several have mentioned, things can get heated. It's understandable that, on political threads for example, there will be conflicting viewpoints but there are often instances where it goes too far, IMO. People end up thinking twice before sticking out their neck and posting.

Some posters will reply very harshly to someone seeking advice and then claim that it's just their opinion, that not everyone agrees, or that they're just "telling it like it is". If true, responses can and should be made respectfully, if not kindly (which most people do, btw). Those in the situations I'm referring to will:

a) reply very negatively, making assumptions about the poster or other people involved by "creating facts" not in evidence, "diagnosing" people, insinuating that the poster is not telling the truth, etc. It feels like they're creating their own scenario to try and prove a point;

b) reply over and over in an aggressive fashion, sometimes pulling the OP's previous posts in to try to prove them wrong;

c) repeatedly take contrary positions on multiple threads.

There are also those expected differences of opinion in politics and other sensitive issues like estrangement but it doesn't help when things devolve into personal disparagements or name calling. It's easy to sit behind a computer screen and call someone a "narcissist" or a "snowflake", and so on - harder to have constructive discussions with honest differences in opinion. I've seen several posters who came for help leave Gransnet in distress, saying they'll never come back. Too bad as they will miss out on some great advice and support.

I kept hanging around (though not creating posts) even after seeing and experiencing some of the above. I've been reading and replying for about 8 months now and have come to really know and appreciate most of the the different styles, senses of humor, and personalities on here.

Doodledog Sat 11-Jan-20 03:55:26

I'm fairly new on here, and overall I like it (fairly obviously, or I wouldn't have hung around grin ).

The things I find irritating on here are the same as those that niggle on other forums and Facebook groups. I'm not sure that anything can be done about them, really, and it doesn't put me off posting if I want to:

People who don't read the thread, and 'join in' by repeating what has already been said. It's rude to those who have taken time to say something that is ignored and then re-presented as someone else's idea, and it's infuriating to read the same thing over and over, particularly if it's already been explained several times.

People who talk to one another over the top of a discussion. It's natural to make online friends, but there is a PM facility if people want to have private conversations.

As has been said, OPs who disappear after asking a question. I don't think that people should feel that they have to respond to every post, particularly if they are feeling 'got at'; but it is bad manners to get a lot of advice and ignore all of it.

When it comes to the act of posting, one thing that I find maddening it the lack of an edit facility. I completely understand why it has been removed, as if posts can be edited at any point, people can alter theirs to make others look bad, or otherwise cause mischief, but it could be set up so that their is a 2 minute edit window, or so that posts can be edited until there is a reply, or so that edits can be viewed. Having to explain every typo, or try to work out other posters' interrupts the flow of reading, and gets in the way.

BlueBelle Sat 11-Jan-20 07:59:07

I joined I think about 5 or 6 years ago, had a lovely welcome, then felt every time I posted I killed the thread I also felt there was a clique that I didn’t belong to, I felt a bit ignored, I stayed a member but completely stopped posting or looking online for about a year, then I tip toed back in and realised it wasn’t necessarily a clique but time that made people seem as if they knew each other, and that lots of others felt as if they killed a thread so then I got a bit braver and have been posting ever since and have made three lovely internet friends we haven’t met but lots of emails support etc
I only occasionally pop onto the political thread we are definitely a divided Gransnet just like the country
What annoys well the posters who post a problem ask for advice and are either fakes or don’t really want advice at all and disappear while we all rack our brains to help
And as everyone knows the ‘dear, darling’ Acronyms drive me mad I swear I m acronym dyslexic
It annoys me a bit when people add a reply to the problem that has already been solved An original poster will come on with an update saying ‘wonderful news I did so and so and it’s all better now’ and then a poster pops up offering their solution then another then another
Of course the two minute edit button (grrr grrr) so necessary, I do proof read but still miss things

ninathenana Sat 11-Jan-20 08:15:47

I've been a member since the very beginning and can't remember any feeling of trepidation about posting.

When I first joined there were lots of humourous threads and it was all good fun. It's got rather serious of late IMHO.
I too get frustrated by people who post without reading the OP properly and those that comment on a thread with something that's already been posted by another.
Doodledog the edit facility hasn't been removed, there never was one.

Marydoll Sat 11-Jan-20 08:17:40

Good post *Bluebelle" about GN being/not being cliquey.

When I initially posted on the Good Morning thread, I felt a bit left out, as everyone seemed to know each other.
However, I soon realised that people were very welcoming and the more I posted, the more I got to know people.
You do have to make an effort yourself!

I have made some lovely internet friends, which has been a great support at the times when I have been unwell and confined to barracks, I love going to the Meetups. It took a lot of courage for me to do that, but I was so glad I did.

What I don't like about GN are the nasties, who target people who may be vulnerable. I would not hesitate to report if I thought someone was being bullied.
Also, I get really annoyed at people who come on and try to derail or spoil a gentle thread, I just don't understand their motives. The anonymity of GN makes that so easy to do.

I was "picked" on by one poster, who took a dislike to me , which badly upset me. I blocked that poster and withdrew for a bit, as it made me feel extremely low at a time when I was very unwell.

As you can see, I have returned to fight another day! grin

NanKate Sat 11-Jan-20 08:30:02

I have made some lovely friends on GN and have met some of them for coffee a chat and laughter.

I too avoid the political threads as I feel I and many others are bombarded with nastiness, aggression and great long quotes from newspapers which I can’t be bothered to read. What I hated during the Brexit debate was that whatever comment I made some aggressive posters would immediately demand that I justify myself.

Occasionally I search for info and see names who are no longer with us and I wonder if they have died or no longer wish to post. I wonder what our fall out is.

The great thing about GN is that it has an answer for most topics. If I have a query about technology, health, places to visit I only have to ask and within hours I have an answer.

I look at the GN HQ photographic representation of our members and wonder if it really reflects our membership. I am not sure we are really as diverse as HQ would like us to be.

NanKate Sat 11-Jan-20 08:35:08

I’m glad you came back Mary as your novellas kept many of us laughing through the winter months.

I too agree how certain posters try and derail our friendly, non political, Good Morning thread from time to time.

Gagagran Sat 11-Jan-20 08:54:20

I joined soon after GN started and took a break when the tone and tenor of the postings on the political threads became so aggressive. This was really noticeable about Brexit and there seemed to be little respect for differing views. I avoid such people in real life and certainly did so on GN. I felt that a lot of voices were silenced because of it and the results of the December election seem to underline that in the country too.

I also think that GN has become a bit of an agony aunt's column with a lot of family problems being aired and I do not want to be reading sob-story after sob-story.

So I have had a break from GN and although I have kept reading the posts that interest me, only recently have I started to post an odd comment. There are some posters who I feel engaged with and a warmth towards but many others have no appeal for me - sorry but that's how I feel. I am not sure when or if I shall post but I shall continue to dip in every day.

Nortsat46 Sat 11-Jan-20 09:04:32

I personally don’t enjoy all the word games, though I occasionally participate.
I mostly avoid the politics and religion threads, because I don’t like the nastiness. I have been posting for about a year and have experienced the unpleasantness personally about 3 times (that’s a low ratio to my overall number of posts).

I like the informative and supportive posts very much. I check in most days and probably post on threads about 4/5 times a week.

For new posters, I have found it doesn’t take long to get to know people ... and I have had some lovely, funny exchanges.