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SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

Is Fluther just for asking questions and getting answers, or can having a reasonable discussion about the topic be included in this process?

Asked by SuckaFreeCitizen (269 points ) August 23rd, 2009

I know to some of you this is probably a lame question with an obvious answer, but sometimes Newbies like myself need clarification. I’m really curious. I thought the answer was obvious myself, but it seems I’ve offended someone with my opinions by the simple act of expressing them. Am I mistaken, or is that going against Fluther etiquette? I’m not trying to start any crap, I just really want to know what the community thinks or knows to be true.

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15 Answers

Dr_C's avatar

There’s always room for discussion and usually you’ll get that and more on most threads. The thing you have to be ready for is that people have strong opinions on a myriad of subjects that to others may not merit getting worked up over. So in any given thread.. no matter how innocent or harmless you deem the topic to be you will find people who either take some offense.. misunderstand or will disagree and be aggressive in defending their point.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

I think I had a hand in stirring this question in your mind, so I’ll respond! PS- I didn’t notice you were a newbie until you pointed it out- I think you handle yourself here quite well ;)

Fluther is for both, and usually the initial question makes it obvious what the author is looking for. If people mistake you for arguing with them when you’re expressing your opinion, either
A: Word your answers in a way where it is obvious that you’re not being offensive but rather explaining your perspective
or
B: Disregard them as someone who misunderstood your response and then explain how you meant it, no harm done

I usually give answers the way that they form in my mind and if someone misunderstands something (either asks or I can just tell by their response) then I go back and clarify how I meant what I said.

Welcome to Fluther!

YARNLADY's avatar

You will see after reading through a number of questions that both are acceptable. Don’t let one or two other participants affect your answers. One of the other users actually told me the other day that I had too many comments on two questions, and I should stop.

The only members who actually have the right to tell you whether you can or not answer questions are the moderators. Read the guidelines at the bottom of the page for more information.

dynamicduo's avatar

Reasonable discussions can certainly be had. The keyword is reasonable. If you start a discussion with flawed evidence or an incorrect statistic, you will likely be called on this. This may not be the discussion you intended to have. As well, discussions like “OMG don’t you just LOVe the Jonas BROtherS!!!11” are not of value at all, really, because this is not a chat room. In general though, I do believe discussion type questions are allowed and certainly accepted via the new asking mechanism.

In debates, feelings may be hurt and offense may be received or given… it takes a strong person to rise above the desire to insult another and continue the discussion versus insulting them and bringing it to a stand still. So as long as one can not engage in such schoolyard behaviour, a discussion thread can be in fact quite educational and have lots of value.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

The operative phrase here is “reasonable.” And yes, you can.

Judi's avatar

Another thing to keep in mind is to be respectful. People really can have different opinions and still treat others respectfully. Fluther is proof of that.

Parrappa's avatar

I think Fluther is mostly for discussion and that is how it works best. If you want answers to simple questions go to Yahoo! Answers or WikiAnswers or something. Although the occassional one is fine I suppose.

wundayatta's avatar

It’s easy to offend people if you aren’t thinking about how your words come across when you write them. I think it helps to just be careful. I like to make “I” statements, like this: “I wouldn’t tell someone else what to do. I really don’t understand how you can think fluther doesn’t like discussion. Can you provide any evidence for this? What happened to you?”

I could have said, that “you should be careful, and always make “I” statements. You shouldn’t tell people what to do. Or tell them they are wrong without providing evidence to support your assertion. You’re such an idiot for thinking this place doesn’t allow discussion. You didn’t even show us what got you into trouble.”

I hope this demonstrates the difference fairly clearly. One is more respectful, and gives the other person the benefit of the doubt. It doesn’t make normative statements. The other makes the person feel bad, and encourages an equally nasty response, thus escalating the discussion into an ad hominem attack situation.

notabridesmaid's avatar

@SuckaFreeCitizen I am new to fluther as well but it seems to me so far that open discussion is fine. I assume it was your last question that brought you to this one. Just keep in mind that your last post was surrounding a very sensitive topic for many people and must be handled with care. I honestly did not see anything offensive in your post at all. I was however offended by some of the responses that you received.I can see that you were preaching the point of “tolerance” and that is a reasonable request in my opinion. Again..just my two cents. = )

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

@BBSDTfamily Your right. After I posted this question, I thought about the fact that were on the internet, and tone is everything. People can’t see my facial expressions or hear the inflection in my voice along with my words, which can make them easily misunderstood.

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

@YARNLADY I wish I would have posted this earlier and read your answer. Before I really started getting into this site, I made the mistake of insulting someone directly before even knowing for sure what the community was like. Of course, I apologized for my folly. I definitely want to stick around. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I’m around a bunch of people who actually understand what I am talking about even if they don’t agree with me. It’s refreshing.

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

@dynamicduo That’s why I’m loving Fluther so much! These kinds of discussions feel so productive. I learn so much better this way. Would you believe that I’m not much of a talker but more of an observer and listener in my everyday life. Sometimes I think I’m mentally incapable of empty chatter or just sound like a moron when I make the attempt, so I don’t do it at all. I think whenever I talk about what ever I’m really ruminating over in my head, people think I’m too heavy.

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

@daloon I will definitely keep that in mind.

SuckaFreeCitizen's avatar

@notabridesmaid Thanks for your two cents. I answered your question on the last post by the way. ;-) I agree with you about the sensitive subjects. I, myself, have to work on being mindful of my words. If I piss everyone off, there might be no exchange of ideas, and where will that get me?

Inspired_2write's avatar

Its about the idea of debating issues that get us to expand our understanding of the world around us and the variety of people involved.

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