Gransnet forums


What are acceptable manners online?

(73 Posts)
Sadiesnan Wed 13-Jan-16 10:35:08

Do some people forget that real human beings are posting? Do you check your posts carefully to make sure you're not being insensitive or offensive? Do you care whether you might upset someone? If it's clear that you have upset someone, do you have the grace to apologise? Has the internet become a place where you can say whatever you want and if someone is hurt it's their own fault as they should "grow a thicker skin".

What's your take?

WilmaKnickersfit Wed 13-Jan-16 10:55:56

The internet is full of keyboard warriors. I try to keep my posts non-confrontational, but I was aware of writing a confrontational post last night. It was about something I feel very strongly about.

NanaandGrampy Wed 13-Jan-16 10:55:59

I think people are 'braver' or as they would often say 'more forthright' online as they really don't have to physically see the effect of their words on people .

On a site like this where people often come for support ( which sometimes means they just want someone to agree that they were right or they were the wronged party) they aren't always looking for what other perceive as the truth. Just a 'there, there,there' or a an internet hug !

Words do wound.

Text messages can be equally harsh , sometimes not even meant that way as we all put our own tone and connotation on the written word. I had to explain that to DH , who with his brevity of response was coming across as grumpy about everything and that wasn't the case at all, he was just a man of few words.

I think this medium also allows those people who pride themselves on being straightforward or blunt to unnecessarily harsh. In my experience when people tell you something either for 'your own good' or 'because thats how it is' its going to be hurtful.

Maybe my Gran was right when she said ,' if you cant say anything nice , then say nothing at all' smile

NanaandGrampy Wed 13-Jan-16 11:01:07

PS Great topic Sadiesnan

Alea Wed 13-Jan-16 11:07:38

I have been "taken to task" before now for allowing my feelings to get the better of me (!) and do try to weigh my words more carefully, but I wonder if there has been anything specific (no, not a thread about a thread) which has prompted this?

Penstemmon Wed 13-Jan-16 11:10:49

I try hard to express my opinions and experiences clearly and not to make anything personal. But I may get it wrong but not intentionally.

It also depends on the 'tone' of the OP..some are clearly serious others lighthearted so ripostes and comments will reflect that sometimes.

I will defend my position strongly if someone makes their response personal to me ! But that is no different to my RL debates though!

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 11:15:49

I think a forum can toughen you up. TBH. (After a year or two grin) You learn to not take all aspects of it too seriously. You are bound to come across a very varied cross section of people. Just like in the real world.

ninathenana Wed 13-Jan-16 11:19:25

I'm very careful not to type anything I feel could be classed as rude, insulting or confrontational. I always read through a post and if I think it can be misconstrued, which is easily done, I will reword it.
I have been known to gasp aloud at some posts, not usually on here but there have been occasions.
N&G DD is guilty of the abrupt texts her excuse "I didn't have time for niceties" gggrrrrr !

TriciaF Wed 13-Jan-16 11:20:45

I always thought the main rule was, if you're going to disagree strongly, attack the argument, not the person.
Some think that a poster who makes personal attacks is frightened he/she is losing the argument, it's a last resort.
But often even a strongly worded argument can upset some people.
I try not to get involved in religious discussions because I sometimes find them upsetting.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 11:23:13

They think they're so busy don't they nina. Perhaps they are, but we were too! hmm

oldkranky Wed 13-Jan-16 11:23:58

Hi all - perhaps it was my remark about tooting kids that prompted this!
some people take things too literally these days - always looking for the double entree. it is a sad reflection of todays society when "words and comments" are taken literally all the time by some. posters should remember that forums are for all to have their personal views and thoughts aired (within acceptable limits), and not for nitpicking. answered posts are always welcomed by everyone posting them - "flaming" is not acceptable at any time.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 11:26:01

No. I really don't think it was you kranky. Something else entirely.

See, that's another thing. Threads like this can make us paranoid! grin

Greyduster Wed 13-Jan-16 11:53:05

I had a break from this forum a few years ago because I thought that some of the conversations were getting quite nasty and the whole thing seemed to be deteriorating to school playground level. Since i came back, although posters do have their moments, the tenor of conversations seems to be, on the whole, more measured.

M0nica Wed 13-Jan-16 11:53:27

Just because someone has started a thread on any topic does not mean that they can assume that everybody who responds to that post is going to agree with them and say supportive things to them. I can think of one thread where most posters thought that the OP was in the wrong - and said so. Similarly someone posted some outrageous racist views on a thread recently and a lot of people objected to those.

Whenever I challenge anyone I always try to write as neutral a post as possible, but you do not know how touchy the person the other end is and some people do take umbrage simply because someone dares to disagree with them or challenges what they say. That has happened to me recently. My response will always be to drop the thread.

downtoearth Wed 13-Jan-16 11:56:24

Choose my words carefully and do not get involved in arguments.I am feisty in RL but the pen is mightier than the sword....and in the words of the song "words are like weapons" they wound and that is not my intention on here.....I come in peace earthlinggrin

ginny Wed 13-Jan-16 12:07:12

I post in the same way as I would if I were face to face. However without facial expression and tone of voice it can sometimes be difficult to judge some comments.

I do sometimes get cross when a poster ask for opinions and then gets upset because some people don't agree with them and there are some who call a discussion an argument because others have different points of view.
I agree with TriciaF in her post above, fair game to attack the argument but not the person.

Of course there are a few who like to 'put the cat among the pigeons' but I think we soon get to know who they are and I'm sure they are harmless. smile

Sadiesnan Wed 13-Jan-16 12:09:34

Great responses. What actually prompted my thread was a talk I heard on Radio four asking exactly what are "internet manners".

Personally I know there are all sorts of people out there, so the same will be said for online forums. I don't think there's any harm though, in prompting a discussion and perhaps making people think about what they're posting and to remember there is a real human being reading what you've put. We all have good days, bad days and shocking days, ha ha. Two years ago I was diagnosed with cancer, so I've had quite a few bad and shocking days. I'm all good now, so most days are good. My reason for mentioning this, is to remind others that you have no idea how fragile or robust someone is, so perhaps tread carefully just in case.

Having said that, there will always be those who just don't get it and never will.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 12:20:10

ginny I don't think you should judge people too hastily as often wanting to just "put the cat amongst t he pigeons". Some people genuinely disagree with a lot of what is said one here. Are they not to put their views across for fear of being branded a "stirrer"? That is unfair.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 12:20:35

On not one

Louizalass Wed 13-Jan-16 12:39:11

The written word is different to the spoken word. Telling somebody face to face something they might not want to hear can be softended with a gentle voice, a touch of the hand, a smile.... whatever. Boldly written down (and not many people are good at expressing themselves on paper at the best of times!) words can would.

I can always tell if certain people have been writing late at night after a few too many glasses of wine.... they gain courage but lose sense!

Grannyknot Wed 13-Jan-16 12:56:03

I haven't posted on Gransnet for ages - prompted by the latest squabble at that particular time (life's too short). I do occasionally still read the forums.

The very fact that an "argument free haven" such as Soop's Kitchen was created or is necessary, speaks volumes. I know of no other forum that needs that.

I've met a lot of great people on Gransnet.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 13:16:32

"soop's kitchen" is very much for a certain kind of person. Perhaps someone who wouldn't want to 'put their head above the parapet' in a heated discussion. Not for everyone, but fine in itself. As is the rest of Gransnet.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 13-Jan-16 13:17:55

What annoys me most on here is when a poster agrees with you by pm but not on the forum. I really don't like that. 'Cowardy Custard' comes to mind.

Tegan Wed 13-Jan-16 13:24:29

I've made some great friends on gransnet but am trying to avoid it as much as possible these days, apart from the film and tv sections. I don't feel that people should have to develop a thick skin to be on a forum sad.

gillybob Wed 13-Jan-16 13:30:10

Oh yes I know what you mean jings I can think of a few recent threads where I have "dared" to disagree with the majority and have received support by PM. I wouldn't call those people "cowardy custards" though as they probably just want to keep their true feelings private.

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