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jonsblond's avatar

Is there something keeping you from asking questions here?

Asked by jonsblond (37729 points ) December 18th, 2010

I’m reluctant to ask this, but here I am.

I’ve noticed many members recently that have stated they are reluctant to ask questions for various reasons. They are afraid of being attacked is one reason I have noticed.

I noticed a mod mention they tried the chat room first (but it was empty) before reluctantly asking a question for the collective to answer. Not quite sure about that one. Is the chat room a better place to be asking questions?

What’s keeping you from asking questions?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

41 Answers

kenmc's avatar

Being here for as long as I have, I think I have a pretty good idea of what will get modded and what won’t. So self censorship is the main factor.

Other than that, whenever I think of the majority of questions I want to ask, I’m not on the computer. And when I remember to ask them, I forget what the question was.

crisw's avatar

I’d rather answer them unless I really want to find something out. I have asked a grand total of three questions.

jonsblond's avatar

@kenmc Well, we know I’m not afraid to ask birthday questions. ;)

Blueroses's avatar

I’m afraid it has been asked before but the search function won’t show that.
Then I’ll get a lot of “this was just asked like 9000 times Last Thursday”

kenmc's avatar

@jonsblond Nope! Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see that whole thread… :/

ETpro's avatar

No. Questions are us. 335 questions, but then I’ve given 5,123 answers in the same time. If it seems like a sensible question, I am interested in the answers it will get, and it doesn’t show up in search, I’ll ask. If the moderators spot something wrong with it, that’s fine. I can either amend it to meet their requirements or decide to drop it. I have done both on occasion, and survived to ask another day. It’s no biggie. Ask what’s on your mind.

Blueroses's avatar

em, @ETpro what’s on your mine?

Nullo's avatar

A three-question-per-diem limit. :D

I’m pretty good at getting satisfactory answers to actual questions on my own. Fluther tends to get my “how many jellies can dance on the head of a pin” sorts of questions.

tinyfaery's avatar

Yes. I detest the distinction between general and social. General is okay, for the most part. My questions are answered, but sometimes the spontanaity and humor is lacking. I do everything I can not to ask a question in social. What I usually end up with inane answers that inevitably spiral down into useless chit chat.

There is no way that I would be intimidated by other users. It’s the internet.

ETpro's avatar

@Blueroses Ha! Too much vodka. When it comes to spelling, I’d rather flunk because I Fluther drunk. But I saw it in time and edited mine to mind, just in case anyone wonders what your jibe is about. :-)

Blueroses's avatar

it’s cool @ETpro . I certainly didn’t intend any slight but it struck me funny after 3 beers :-) I just had mental images of “land mine”= just fine if there’s something else on it, but “gold mine”=GTFO

ETpro's avatar

@Blueroses Aha. We’re in a like spirit of spirits, then. No offense taken. I’m a long time Internet user, from back in the days before anybody knew there was an Internet except us engineers. It takes a very lot to get me angry, and pointing out my mistakes will never do it. That, I welcome as a learning opportunity. :-)

Cruiser's avatar

I asked 100 already and that is my favorite number and I will never ask another question ever again…..ever! Can’t make me!!

Sarcasm's avatar

I’m just not a highly inquisitive person.

lillycoyote's avatar

You’re “reluctant to ask” the question “Is there something keeping you from asking questions here?” There’s a certain amount of irony in that, @jonsblond, I think. :-)

jonsblond's avatar

@lillycoyote all I have to say is….. teehee ;)

Paradox's avatar

Getting attacked in your own questions even when they are very simple hypothetical ones. Being accused of lying, which I dealt with in my last account. This has nothing to do with an opposing viewpoint in a question which is completely different and something I have no problem with. However everyone who asks questions already has their own opinions on the topics they’re asking about and will argue with an opposing viewpoint so I don’t believe I’m any different in that sense compared to anybody else who asks questions.

95% of the users on here are diehard physicalists so that eliminates many questions on my end as well that pertain to my interests. I prefer to answer questions but I have no problem discussing (not arguing or debating) different topics with someone who has an opposing viewpoint.

I’m a member of 4 other sites similar to this where I may ask a question about a certain topic on one where I wouldn’t on another where I feel I could get at least somewhat of a balance of quality opinions in the responses which is what I prefer. I will still ask questions occasionally.

talljasperman's avatar

being called lazy, or crazy… or dense isn’t very appealing to me

Cruiser's avatar

@Paradox I think you are giving credit where credit isn’t due!! Maybe Ben or Augie can back me up here….but I think there are a lot more people here like you and I who are not “physicalists” and simply like to come here to fun up our days! Sure you will have the occasional Asshat that thinks they know more than Einstein ever did….but in the end it don’t mean a thing other than the fact you are here Fluthering your own life experience. ;)

TexasDude's avatar

I’m much less bold about asking questions than I used to be when I first migrated here from Answerbag. Back then, I was asking philosophical questions all the time.

After a while, people started getting more and more critical and downright rude in some cases, and I got tired of responding to every single quip.

I still ask questions occasionally, but most of them are more practical and need-to-know things.

Paradox's avatar

@Cruiser There were greater scientists than Einstein in my opinion. Oh don’t get me started. Maybe I’m taking this stuff too seriously. Yeah maybe you’re right.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Mostly personal reasons, having nothing to do with Fluther. I do know others are afraid to ask questions about religion because they think they’ll be attacked. That, too, is a personal reason, actually. If you can’t ask it, you can’t ask it – we’re adults after all, what’s the big deal? If you want information, state so, if you can’t have your beliefs and ideas challenged, look elsewhere for answers.

ucme's avatar

Nothing at all! I couldn’t give a shit how my questions are received….at least in a negative light. Ask & ye shall receive, whatever that means.

downtide's avatar

I ask very few questions. The main reason being, that I can’t think of any decent questions for which the answers can’t easily be googled in three minutes.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I get a little frustrated sometimes when my Qs are treated snidely, but mostly I ask info Qs in General so it doesn’t happen that often. But, yeah, there are some I think twice about when I anticipate snarky posts and decide not to ask.

janbb's avatar

I have no problem asking questions when I have them and generally (socially) have no problem dealing with the range of answers I get. I’ve never asked questions just to ask questions – either I want some information or to start a discussion. Lately, I feel less inclined to ask political and/or cultural questions because we’ve discussed so many issues already and because I am just disgusted with politics right now and don’t seem to care as much.

flutherother's avatar

When I started on Fluther I asked lots of questions but the numbers have declined sharply and now I only ask one or two a month.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I’m a really inquisitive person by nature and I love learning new things but in all honesty, I like answering and commenting on questions far more than I like asking them.

Additionally, I’m not very good at asking questions. That’s probably involved somehow.

DeanV's avatar

Not having questions to ask.

gailcalled's avatar

Q/A = .015. That’s a comment on my age, I think.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I seem to have difficulty formulating what’s in my head into words; it usually doesn’t work out the way I think it’s going to when I start writing. And I have a tendency to be too wordy, which makes me self-conscious.

Aesthetic_Mess's avatar

Yes, people’s reactions

poisonedantidote's avatar

I have at least a million questions I want to ask every day, just that fluther is not my first stop when I have questions. The type of questions I have, are not the type of questions you want to come to fluther with. e.g. “what is the speed of light?” or “what is the exchange rate from euros to dolars?” While they are valid questions, you will get the answer on google before you even finish typing.

While fluther is technically a questions and answers site, as a concept, I really don’t consider it a questions and answers site. To me, it is more of a fusion between a traditional Q&A site, a live chat room, and a forum.

Fluther is the kind of place I come for opinions rather than facts, and most of the questions i have each day are factual.

DominicX's avatar

Nothing’s keeping me from asking questions in general, but there have definitely been a few that I was too embarrassed to ask (namely health-related questions that were either just embarrassing in general or ones that I was afraid of being judged for, as in “zomg go to a doctor”). Computer questions as well, even, I don’t want to ask sometimes for fear of being bombarded with “GET A MAC!” when that doesn’t help answer my question at all.

In general, though, no, I will ask whatever I want without giving a shit what the answers might turn out to be.

world_hello's avatar

Most of my questions are tech related. I just ask them at ars since it is for computer help. Lets be honest here. Fluther used to be for helping solve problems. It isn’t now. Now it it a soapbox with a question mark added at the end so it will slip by the (spell-checkers-spam-warriors) mods.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

When I joined fluther then I was told this was not a social site so I’ve refrained asking questions that mainly ask people to talk together. If I get a bee under my bonnet then I do ask or if I see someone has particular knowledge I want to weigh in then I’ll ask. Some of my questions might have been better PM’d to particular users.

jonsblond's avatar

@world_hello Fluther used to be for helping solve problems.

Fluther has helped me with several problems over the past two years I have been here, especially the past 8 months or so. I’ve received great advice concerning my son’s student exchange trip, his first year entering college, advice for dealing with our foreclosure, student loan information for our son, health advice for my daughter’s illnesses. I could go on, but I think these are great examples. When I need help I ask my questions in general because I know I will get serious answers. True, there may me more fluff now, but that’s because Fluther has grown. At least the questions meant to be light hearted have their own area on this site now. The meta and social sections do tend to be a free for all, so that’s why I am sometimes reluctant to ask in these sections. I know the mods will have my back if I ask in general. Solving problems is still a big part of Fluther. imo

Symbeline's avatar

Sometimes people are really critical around here, and sometimes I just don’t need to deal with that. I mean if I wanna know something it’s cuz I wanna know something, and I’m not interested in your opinion when it doesn’t directly address my question, like about how shitty I am, what I spelled wrong or if it was asked before.
I’m not saying this happens to me constantly, however it’s a behaviour that’s pretty adamant around here. I’m sure I’ve done it too, no doubt. Ain’t sayin I’m perfect.
Either way, that’s why I refrain sometimes, and also the classic it’s easier to ask personal shit at first when people don’t know you so you can’t care about judgment and alla that crap.
Not trying to paint Fluther in a negative view though; when it really counts, people can be very understanding and helpful. Like when I asked my alcoholic question, I have absolutely nothing to complain about for that. Most of the time though, personally, I think it’s wiser to keep personal shit to oneself. That branches off though, because in answering this question, I guess it depends on what kinda questions folks hold back and what that leaks into, and for me personally it most certainly doesn’t restrict itself to over here.

ETpro's avatar

@poisonedantidote I am with you on the percentage of questions Google can answer quickly. But I just had one today that Google hasn’t helped me with. I bet if I ask it here, I will get and answer. In fact, I’m just going to ask and link to it. Let’s see.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Yes. There are certain topics that seem to get many a jelly up in a tizzy, and they tend to lead to the personal attacks that aren’t bad enough to mod (ie “Get over it” “Grow up already” “Stop being so lazy and such a loser” “If you don’t like it, leave” “Only a murderer/rapist/sociopath would want to do what you’re asking about” “I hate all blank and believe they’re what’s ruining the world unless you happen to be one, then I’ll back-peddle like hell”).

I’ve wanted to ask several questions about cheating not how to do it, and the responses – from the not helpful to the overreactions to the lectures to the meanness and personal attacks – have lead me to believe that it wouldn’t really go over well and no one would believe that I wasn’t looking to cheat.

Time sensitive questions I usually skip, because once they get flagged for that teeny tiny typo, it takes a while for the mods to reinstate it, and then it stays where it was originally instead of going to the top of the pile. Since most of us aren’t going back that far to find new questions, that means that a typo (and then daring to not answer your email for a few hours) can effectively kill any chance of getting an answer.

General/Social – General can be too strict, with no humor or chance to let the conversation evolve, but in Social you’re lucky if you get 3 helpful answers before the whole thing turns into a joke. There’s no middle ground for joking/evolving while still staying on topic.

I agree with the sentiments above – many jellies can be really judgmental and/or argumentative and not know when to say “agree to disagree”.

TL;DR? Yes, I am hesitant to ask questions.

Paradox's avatar

This question is the dealbreaker for me on Fluther. The very fact that certain users have to try to derail your questions instead of actually answering them (this has nothing to do with difference of opinion). I was hoping for serious discussion on Fluther but it’s pretty obvious I’m not going to get it. I will discuss these issues on other collective forums.

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