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Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

If you ever decide to quit following activity on a question, how do you decide when it's time to stop following?

Asked by Self_Consuming_Cannibal (4236 points ) December 29th, 2012

Is there a certain criteria you follow or do you just get tired of what you’re reading and just say to hell with it?

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38 Answers

bob_'s avatar

If I get to the point where I think “ugh, fuck this shit.”

janbb's avatar

@bob_ kind of nailed it.

Ela's avatar

When people start fighting. I don’t like the drama.
I will still follow but won’t read most of the posts.

bob_'s avatar

@janbb That’s what she said.

Minus the “kind of”.

Coloma's avatar

It is rare for me to follow a question for more than a day or two tops, and then, only the more riveting and hot topic questions. haha
Most of the time I stop following or delete questions within a 24–48 hour space, sometimes within the hour. lol
I am very much an “out with the old and in with the new” type. Once I have shared whatever I wanted to share and read others sharings, it’s a dead horse IMO.
Now…if there is some good humor going on and some fun bantering,I’ll hang around longer.

I can only be serious for a short while and then it’s time to get back to some levity and brevity.

hearkat's avatar

It’s rare for me to stop following a post. I think I have stopped some of the game posts or the ones similar to “What song makes you want to dance.”, because they keep popping up again and again.

jonsblond's avatar

What @bob_ said.

Or when I look at the new activity and the last 10 or more answers are about food and not the original topic of the discussion.

wundayatta's avatar

When I find myself skimming past all the answers just to get it out of my activity queue. I just did that on the country song question because I only answered to bust on country music and I really, really could not care one iota less about what country songs anyone likes. It is not my music.

jonsblond's avatar

@wundayatta I’ve always wondered why people do what you did on the country music question. What do you get out of purposely raining on a parade? just curious. and off topic, I know

augustlan's avatar

I rarely stop following anything. Games are the only usual exception.

Self_Consuming_Cannibal's avatar

@jonsblond There does seem to be a lot of that going on here.

chyna's avatar

@jonsblond I wonder that too. It’s annoying.
I stop following when I get bored with the answers.

Bellatrix's avatar

Can’t say it better than @bob_ did.

AshLeigh's avatar

Once I have nothing else to say, and I’m constantly getting notified of new answers.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m with @Coloma on this one. I stop within an hour or two on many questions and within a day on others.

I will continue to track a question that’s got lots of interesting posts for longer periods, but that’s rare.

I follow my own questions forever.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond I guess I’d have to say that I find certain questions to contain assumptions about what people are like that I find oppressive. So, for example, I find country music to be really one of the more obnoxious things about American culture. So if someone acts as if it is a wonderful thing, I want to remind them that that view is not universal. Some of us see no redeeming value in the music.

It’s a kind of impulsive thing, but it comes from a real anger. I won’t go into all the negative associations I have with the music, but trust me. There’s a lot. So I was really holding myself back in just saying the little I said. You may not realize it, but it is something oppressive, even if you only hear it occasionally, accidentally, when scanning the radio stations. And, of course, the further away you get from the coasts, the more oppressive it becomes and in some places, you don’t have any other options, or so it seemed at the time. I try not to go into those parts of the country any more.

Of course, there is some country that is crossing over into other kinds of music. There is more song crafting and more interesting melodies and chordal structures. But once you have learned to hate something, it’s hard not to let people know when they have stepped on your toes, merely by asking the question.

I don’t know if that will satisfy your curiosity, or if really, you only want to find some leverage to get me to shut up. But there it is. Country music is up there on the top shelf, along with eggplant as perhaps the things of daily life that I hate the most. And obviously, there might be a few other things nearby, like conservativism and pollution and ignorance.

In fact, it is so hard to hear every time Terry Gross interviews a country singer. I keep wondering how she puts up with it, but she seems to have a genuine, inexplicable fondness for it, unless she feels she has to do it just to prove she’s not going after the high brow audience alone.

Ok. I gave you enough rope. Do what you will.

bob_'s avatar

Shorter version: sometimes it’s fun to be an asshole.

Symbeline's avatar

@bob_
If I get to the point where I think “ugh, fuck this shit.”

The man with more than 25 street creds! :D

jonsblond's avatar

@wundayatta I really was just curious. It’s not in my nature to be an asshole, so I’m trying to understand why some people like to be assholes to others. I’m wondering if it makes you feel better about yourself when you do this, or you like the attention? That’s all. And I’m only singling you about because you mentioned you wanted to answer that question to bust on it. I’m not trying to pick on you. I guess if I were an asshole I would use your reply as leverage to get you to shut up. But like I said, it’s not in my nature to be that way. I guess it’s something I will never understand. Thanks for taking the time to try to explain it to me.

Brian1946's avatar

When the answers become politely repetitive fluff or consist of innuendo about naked pancakes and recreational whipping.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I never give it much thought.
I just realize I’m no longer interested in the topic (or the responses) anymore.

Shippy's avatar

When I get bored with the whole idea.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond Ok, I didn’t say this, but despite my avatar, I’m not an asshole. I just feel passionately about things. I want to have my say, and I can. Even if I am not specifically invited to the party by the question. But my attitude about this is different from other people’s. I feel every opinion is interesting. I feel the question does not belong to the questioner, but to the answerers. It is a spark for a conversation, but not necessarily the one the questioner had in mind.

I have argued for this many times, which makes people think I’m an asshole, but even though people don’t agree with me, I think what makes this place work is its ability to free people up to say what they want, and to say it fairly politely. We may call ourselves a Q&A site, but that is not what attracts people here.

What people want is a chance to be themselves. To have a say. To interact with others. And to do it in an intelligent way. Answering questions is secondary to that. The purpose of questions, to repeat, is not to get information, so much as to generate conversation and stories. It is through the stories, that we truly gather information that we can use.

Specific answers to questions are boring and probably misleading. What is actually helpful is getting a wide range of ideas. So the people or answers you think of as “asshole” are actually an extremely important part of what makes this site work. When we assholes do our thing and say stuff that ticks people off or seems impolite, if we are doing it honestly (as opposed to in a troll-like way), then it helps move the conversation into useful places. It gives people something to react to. It sparks further conversation. And the controversy is much more useful, I believe, than being nice.

Of course, there are many people on board here who play nice. It is a role that older women are particularly fond of. Having been around here long enough for many people to tell me things in private, I know that people are not as nice as they might want to appear. They just do their own version of the “asshole” mask in a more subtle way.

Some of them (but not you by any means) really, really piss me off. I often sit here fuming and desiring to truly be an asshole, where I would call people names and let fly things they’ve told me in confidence—which, to my mind, is absolutely forbidden and truly assholish. My back gets stiff and my body goes into fight or flight syndrome, and I have to remind myself that I need to value these people’s contribution, even if I hate it. Because in the long run, it opens things up for all of us. In other words, I have to trust the process. It does work.

I see it in my own unique way because of my own unique experiences, and I doubt if what I say will make sense to many. We have a built in need to conform with the local culture as much as we might have a need to play asshole. It’s a balance.

But I want you to understand that I am not an asshole. I don’t do what I do to annoy people. I do what I do out of conviction. My feelings are powerful about everything I say. Probably stupidly so, but I can’t help it. When I’m angry, I need to find a socially acceptable way to say so. Sometimes it won’t be acceptable to others. I learn from those occasions. Just as I am learning from your question, which, posed as you have posed it, has allowed me to reflect on things.

I’m sure people can read this as a bullshit justification, but asshole is in the eye of the beholder. It’s a mean term, and yet one I’ve wanted to claim for a long time. I’ve always wanted to be bad ass, and yet, I’m a very nice person. So finding a way to speak my truth when it goes against the prevailing culture without losing it because of my frustration about the people thinking differently from me—well, it’s an ongoing problem. I have by no means perfected my assholishness yet. But the secret is in understanding that I’m not really an asshole. And there’s evidence about that all over the place for anyone who wants to look.

bob_'s avatar

Whose turn is it to read and provide a summary?

Not it!

jonsblond's avatar

@wundayatta I don’t agree with a few things you have said, especially the part about the question not belonging to the questioner, but I don’t think you are an asshole. I was just using @bob_‘s words to describe the behavior that I feel is not helpful on some questions. If I offended you, I am sorry.

Yeahright's avatar

Pssst you guys it’s *<asshole>

AshLeigh's avatar

Back on the subject, I’ve decided to stop following this question. Hah.

Paradox25's avatar

I’ve never stopped following a question on here. Many times I’ve seen new life brought to an older thread just by a single poster.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta Wow, interesting older women play a role of being nice?

Kardamom's avatar

I tend to stop following questions that are months/years out of date. Like a question about what someone should serve at their dinner party (that is occurring 3 days after the question was asked). It boggles my mind to see a Q re-appear with a brand new answer. Didn’t the Jelly notice that the party had come and gone 8 months ago???

I also stop following Q’s when the question has one specific answer and that answer has been given. Like if the answer is 4, and me or another person answers 4, then there is no reason to continue following.

I also tend to stop following Q’s when it breaks down to 2 Jellies chit-chatting about something going on between themselves and the question itself has been answered and abandoned. Example: “No you’re nice!” “Oh, no, you’re nice and cute!” “Oh thank you, but you’re so much cuter and smarter, hee hee!” and the original question was something like, How can I get this type of stain out of my rug?

wundayatta's avatar

@Shippy Well, that’s just a generalization. Of course, individuals vary. But it seems to me that the older women around here try to encourage people to be nice more often than others do.

@jonsblond Well, we can disagree about who the question belongs to. That’s a discussion for another question. Preferably one that doesn’t belong to me, lol. But thanks for the encouraging words on the nature of my character.

Bellatrix's avatar

I can’t say I agree with you on the ‘nice’ older women either @wundayatta.

wundayatta's avatar

No? You don’t think they try to encourage people to be nice more often than others do?

Bellatrix's avatar

No. I don’t.

Shippy's avatar

@wundayatta Quite the converse, once a person get’s older the less crap you put up with. Also you see through and behind things. Not sure where you found these stepford women from.

wundayatta's avatar

I think it is the desire to not put up with crap that makes them try to enforce niceness on others or at least browbeat others into behaving in a more acceptable manner. I do not see others trying to do this. Only crotchety old women. They’re the ones with the most rules.

Perhaps it is just my way of looking at people who make up rules. I believe they are trying to make things nice. But yet, I would agree it comes from a lack of desire to put up with crap.

And don’t get me wrong. I love old women, even if they are crotchety. It also makes them interesting.

Shippy's avatar

^^ what is worse, dirty old men or crotchety old women

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