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janbb's avatar

Are you wary of asking personal questions here?

Asked by janbb (43750 points ) November 23rd, 2012

I find myself holding back from asking questions about deep emotions or relationships here, even though I could use the support. I’m wondering why that is and if others feel the same way. I think part of it may have to do – paradoxically enough – with feeling too well known here and part of it may have to do with not knowing who might answer. Another concern is that a Jelly might use my vulnerability as a chance to take a swipe at me. Anyone else feel this way?

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34 Answers

hearkat's avatar

That’s why you have the option to create a more anonymous second account here.

check FB for a message from me

janbb's avatar

Yes – I understand that but kind of assume that people would recognize me from my details or writing style. More of a general query about the current culture of Fluther than anything really specific anyway. (And will go look.)

Shippy's avatar

Well I am sure that most people here, would be more than willing to help. And to support you. I think that you have probably given loads of support here in the past. If a person were to use it against you, I would simply make a mental note that, that jelly is a twat, and best avoided. They say in times of trouble you find your real friends.

augustlan's avatar

The only reason I’m wary of it is because my kids will see it, since they’re members, too. So, there are some things I wouldn’t ask under this name, only because I wouldn’t want them to worry (or be embarrassed, as the case may be.) Other than those things, I’d be willing to ask for support or help with a personal issue.

There are people who will kick you when you’re down, though, it’s true. If I were feeling unable to cope with the few who might do that, I might not ask until I felt a bit stronger. In that case, I think I’d send some PMs to select people who would be supportive. PM me if you need to talk, penguin. <3

flutherother's avatar

I feel this way also and I’m not sure why. Being anonymous you would think it wouldn’t matter but it does.

deni's avatar

I used to ask a lot of relationship questions because honestly it’s great to get a lot of different inputs about issues that otherwise, maybe you discuss with a few friends but for the most part you see them very one sided, from your side, obviously. But I know what you mean, I feel like people do kind of roll their eyes at them from time to time. You should ask them though, the people who aren’t rolling their eyes will respond and generally I found asking personal questions on here to be really helpful. Sometimes people are harsh and it’s a slap in the face, sometimes thats what you need though.

bookish1's avatar

I’ve asked personal questions and shared some pretty personal information on here precisely because no one knows me. I really appreciate the option of tagging a question as General if I need to ask something sensitive.

Sunny2's avatar

Reading answers to a problem on a topic jellies have given answers to before, I’m leery of bringing some things up. So be it.

ninjacolin's avatar

See, this is why I’m a ninja. No one can ever tell it’s me even when I’m me!

ninjacolin's avatar

did I even post just now? who knows!

Coloma's avatar

I haven’t asked any personal questions, my questions tend towards knowledge seeking or help with odd things like maggots in my trash can and my house being struck by lightening. lol
I don’t think I am so much “wary” of asking a personal question as I simply just don’t have anything personal to ask and tend to seek my own answers anyway. My life is pretty serene.

janbb's avatar

@Coloma Must be nice!

marinelife's avatar

I feel exactly the same way that you @janbb!

Coloma's avatar

@janbb Haha, well, my emotional life drama happened 10 years ago. It’s great to be on the other side and serenity is my number one priority these days.

ninjacolin's avatar

I’m telling you, @janbb i got your solution right here.
wink wink

ninjacolin's avatar

Straight answer: I don’t use fluther for suuuuper personal stuff.
I made a fake account once but I have no idea what it was or what the passwrod is.. never made one again.

janbb's avatar

@ninjacolin Haha!

By the way, I’ve always wondered about you since my son’s name is Colin. Are you secretly him?

gailcalled's avatar

@janbb: Milo here; Feel free to funnel personal questions through me.

Judi's avatar

I have an alternative persona for asking those questions. :-)

wundayatta's avatar

SInce we’ve had some heated discussions in the past, I might be one of the people you would feel vulnerable in front of. I can assure you that I would never attack you when you are vulnerable.

Disagreeing passionately is one thing, and we might find ourselves with negative feelings about the other during such times. Probably moreso than is necessary.

But needing support for emotional vulnerability is something else entirely, and you can be sure that if anyone were to try to hurt you, tons of other jellies would come to your defense and support, including me. I believe in fighting fair. My notion of fairness may be different from yours, but I do have one, and I would not take unfair advantage to get you back for some slight from the past. My memory, being what it is, won’t even let me remember what we may have disagreed about. I just remember that there have been bad feelings. That’s over as far as anything truly important (like your emotional life) is concerned.

PhiNotPi's avatar

Although I have never made an alternate persona for Fluther, I do have different usernames across different sites.

ETpro's avatar

I figure that others may decide not to answer personal questions, and that’s OK. But I have no fear of posting personal probes. My rationale is this.

I’ve had a website for my business ever since the WWW protocol was introduced in the early 90s. Before that, I’d been on USENET. So I’ve had a very long time to adjust to the idea that online privacy is mostly an illusion and that the Internet is an absolutely TERRIBLE hiding place for things you wouldn’t want anyone to know. Obviously, I don’t want my SSN, bank account numbers, credit card numbers and passwords known, so I don’t share them openly on the Internet. Other stuff I do share could easily be tracked down by even a moderately skilled hacker, and even if I didn’t post such stuff, Google knows. So I don’t sweat talking about it.

So far, that level of openness has only come back to bite me once, and that little nip I will gladly bear. A potential client that was launching a small business and wanted to hire a web developer read online in searching about me that I supported net neutrality, and curtly informed me that he would not do business with anyone that took such a stand. To tell the truth, if that’s his opinion, I wouldn’t want to help his business succeed. I hope he eventually paired up with a suitably Luddite developer who gave him a website worthy of such an authoritarian personality.

And yeah, I hope he reads this. :-)

cookieman's avatar

Yes, but then I’m wary of asking personal questions in real life. I don’t really discuss personal things with anyone other than my wife or doctor.

gailcalled's avatar

^^^Not your personal baker?

rooeytoo's avatar

Regarding questions of a personal nature, I always try to answer honestly. I guess it is possible that it could come across as thoughtless or maybe even heartless but it is probably just the opposite. I have had some pretty harrowing experiences in my life and I try to share my experience so that perhaps someone else might avoid the hurt that resulted. But that said, I think I would find myself a good shrink and talk with her/him rather than ask in here. I hope I have never offended you or anyone for that matter. A shrink once told me I was brutually honest. I don’t think it is a compliment.

I tend to not ask questions that go against the tide here. There are certain subjects which, whenever they are brought up, you know in advance which way the fluther is going to swim and if you think differently, you are in for a heap of abuse.

AshLeigh's avatar

Not so much about emotional problems, but would feel awkward asking a sex question, or something like that.

Paradox25's avatar

I was tempted to ask a question or two that were personal, but in the end I’m not sure what this would accomplish. I’ll respond to some of these types of questions if I feel that I can give meaningful advice based off of my own personal experiences. As far as asking them goes, well if I do then you know I must really be hurting, lol.

glacial's avatar

I’m like @cookieman, in that I probably wouldn’t ask personal questions of a group of friends in real life, either – those discussions are likely to be in one-on-one conversations, much like a PM on a site like this one. It’s just a matter of what we’re willing to do publicly within given sets of acquaintances, and Fluther is a different set.

But I think that part of my interpretation comes from an unfamiliarity with the Q & A format as well. Compared to some of you, I haven’t been on boards like this for very long.

Symbeline's avatar

Wary, no. I like Fluther, but when it comes to real personal stuff, not being mean or nothing but I will try other sources, like close friends or my grandmother, before I ask it on here. (some friends ARE a part of this site, and I may/have asked them, I just don’t do it publicly) Reason for that is, if it’s stuff about relationships or the like, I personally think it’s better seeking out someone who knows you personally, so they can give more according advice, that is, when I believe those particulars may be called for.
It’s a bit of some cold logic I guess, because if I really need to know something, I’ll consider who is best to ask, and leave the other lesser choices as further recourse. Fluther is good for a lot of things, but not everything. That said, I’m not afraid of asking personal things on here, if recourse leads me to do it.

zensky's avatar

I know what you mean @janbb – but if you (or someone, that is) haven’t actually met someone or exchanged real info – then you are still quite anonymous here.

I think the gang would be both sympathetic and insightul to most problems – even welcoming the opportunity to “assist”.

I think only deceitful, fraudulent jellies aren’t suffered here. The remainder get our sympathy and empathy.

DigitalBlue's avatar

Yep.
Part of it is that quite a few jellies know who I am outside of Fluther, and I don’t necessarily want to air those things, otherwise I’d just ask my friends/family.
Part of it is that I am constantly worried that someone who has a history of being malicious toward me will figure out who I am here, and use information against me.

The handful of times that I’ve let my guard down and asked or answered in a way that I thought might be too revealing, I had instant regret. I just don’t like feeling vulnerable like that.

jca's avatar

I feel the same way you do, @janbb. Part of why I feel this way is that I fear that someone in my “real” life will figure out who I am on Fluther and then have access to all of my thoughts, fears, opinions, etc. by reading all of my posts. Another part of why I feel this way is what you said: either having someone throw it in my face another time, and feeling too well known on here.

It’s for the first reason that I tell very few people about Fluther.

ucme's avatar

No it’s not that, it’s just that I have no desire whatsoever, or the need for that matter, to go down that path.

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