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Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Do you feel better when you think you've asked a question well or when you think you've answered one well?

Asked by Hawaii_Jake (25555 points ) September 16th, 2010

I’m not talking about gaining a number of GQs or GAs. I’m talking about how you personally feel when you’ve contributed to the collective by asking a question you think is really thought provoking or by thoroughly answering a question.

Do you feel better writing a question or an answer?

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23 Answers

AmWiser's avatar

Both. And for me neither is easy.

ucme's avatar

Answers are the lifeblood of any question. So for me it’s answers that I slightly favour.

marinelife's avatar

More often than not, I am happier with my answers than with my questions. Sometimes I think a very thought-provoking question will garner a good discussion and instead it gets 2–3 replies. Sigh.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Answers. Though, I think it is satisfying when a question really sparks a conversation. When something that I’ve asked really inspires people to get involved in the discussion, that can be exciting, too.

Bluefreedom's avatar

I answer many more questions than I ask so I’m much more satisfied with decent answers I give rather than the questions I throw out there.

the100thmonkey's avatar

99% of the time, I can find the answer to a question I have with Google-fu, which is strong in me. I prefer answering questions (as evidenced by my profile) because of this.

jrpowell's avatar

I prefer answering questions. Most of my questions are tech related and are better if I post them on another site that specializes in them. So I don’t really post questions here and after looking through Social for a few minutes it looks like I am not the only one.

DominicX's avatar

I prefer answering questions. Sometimes I post questions not knowing how they’ll turn out at all; I’ve posted questions I thought were great that only got a couple of mediocre responses. Plus, I write many more answers than I do questions.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

When the person who asked the question sends a ‘thank you’ with why, either by public or PM post, that is the best feeling of all.

augustlan's avatar

Giving an answer that is appreciated is a great feeling, but I also love to have asked a question that sparks a terrific conversation. Given my question to answer ratio, I experience the former a lot more frequently.

iamthemob's avatar

Asked a question well. To attract and produce a good discussion, all the way through – it’s a goal, and requires attention to detail an answer, for me, doesn’t seem to.

That totally sounds like I don’t think out my answers.

This answer totally seems like it’s proving that…

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@augustlan Do you have an example of a question you have asked that has sparked a terrific conversation? Or one asked by anyone else, for that matter? I’d like to see an examples in order to help craft my own ability to properly ask one.

@iamthemob I really enjoy reading your questions, as well as that you diligently follow up with additional questions/responses. They encourage answer posters to internally probe a bit deeper into their feelings on the subject. It is probably not what some people want, but if they are willing to think about it and respond, surely it helps them articulate their belief on their opinion, if nothing else.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When I’ve asked a question well, hands down.

wundayatta's avatar

Sometimes I’ve written an answer I’m really proud of. I’ve poured my life into it. I really do that. I’m not trying to be dramatic.

But it’s funny, I keep hoping for confirmation of what I feel about the story or comment or whatever. I want lots of people to read it. I want to know it has touched them or helped them in some way or another. I think it’s an important part of what I have to say.

But do I feel better when I’ve written that? I don’t really think so. Not like in a sense of relief. Not like I’ve gotten something off my shoulders.

There are times when I write to find out what I think. When I work my way through something and I think I’ve come out somewhere good, I feel good about it. But I’m always hoping people will respond to it in some way—either with a response in the comments or with lurve.

And yet, I rarely go back to what I’ve written to see if it has any lurve. I’m usually just on to the next question. I guess the satisfaction is more in writing to see what I think than anything else. It’s kind of weird to think that you don’t know what you think. I guess it’s not quite like that. It’s more that you’ve never thought it through before, so here’s your chance.

I like that. Is that feeling better? I suppose. But it’s not enough to stop me from leaping onto the next question that interests me.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I tend to think like @wundayatta on this. Unless it’s a flip one-liner (and it survives the moderation), I really put a lot of thought and myself into my longer and more thoughtful / passionate answers. And it’s a real rush to have someone mention an earlier thought or response of mine (from another thread entirely) in a new thread that I’m participating in (which seems to have happened tonight).

When I ask a question, I’m generally not trying to satisfy anyone’s curiosity or search for knowledge other than my very own, but I still try to generalize to the extent that I can, and that it still makes for a comprehensible question. I enjoyed the one I asked last night—but mostly because I got to rave about my own answer to my own Q.

But when I answer a question I’m making an extemporaneous speech, without having to actually do the public speaking, and I want it to be well received.

Trillian's avatar

I generally give thoughtful answers and am satisfied with them I get frustrated when someone looks at what I’ve written and makes something else out of it; “So you’re saying that all men who don’t shave are communists!”
What? Nnnnnnoooooooo. Not what I said at all, really.

zen_'s avatar

I always said they have the lurve thing wrong; an answer is easy – especially in Social – not a good answer, but an answer. There are people here who literally strike up conversations in threads all the time, each post being “an answer.”

Asking a question – now that is a challenge. And people’s ratio speaks for itself. There are people who have been here for years but have asked a handful of questions – both because it is so difficult (especially in the pre-Social era) and questions, I believe, reveal way more about a person than an answer does.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I tend to agree with you, @zen_ . Questions are challenging and revealing. To formulate a question, I have to spend time thinking about the situation from many different angles, and I have carefully word it to convey my meaning properly. I also have to watch my typing more closely. One wrong letter can completely change the intent of a question.

Cruiser's avatar

@zen_ I would have to disagree in that you are only allowed to ask 3 questions a day. And even if you did, you would then be engaged in replies to comments on those 3 questions and rack up say 30 answers easy doing so. Right there is a constant 10:1 ratio and then a dozen or so more answers to other questions here and your ratio is pretty lopsided. I don’t think that ratio lopsided or not says anything revealing about anyone here?!? Some people are more curious than others and will simply ask more questions…some are on lurve quests and will ride the lurve system anyway they can….for better or for worse, just the way it is!

augustlan's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer This is my favorite discussion to have resulted from one of my own questions. Don’t put too much stock in my question asking abilities, though… that was my second question ever, and I really wasn’t very good at it. It just happened to strike a nerve. :)

downtide's avatar

I find asking questions – or more accurately thinking up good questions (by which I mean things that I couldn’t just go and ask Google in a fraction of the time) – to be much harder than giving answers. And while I prefer to answer more than ask, I feel much better about myself when I’ve come up with a good question.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m not exactly sure what my theory about good questions is. I have one, but it seems kind of intuitive. I have some rules. First of all, I try to never ask anyone to judge. I avoid “should” in my questions. There are a number of reasons for that, but I’m not going into that now. The second rule is that I try to phrase it in a way so that everyone can provide their experience—so no one else can tell they they are right or wrong.

Usually I ask question to learn how other people have handled various situations. Very occasionally, I’ll ask a question about political or policy issues.

I tend to go on at length in my question most of the time. I think of that as providing an example of the kind of thing I’m looking for. Also, if I’m asking for sensitive disclosures, it shows that I am not asking everyone else to do it; I’ll do it, too. Except when I think my example will bias other people. I want people to be creative and open in their responses, so sometimes me providing an answer will shut that down.

There’s more, probably, but not now.

Mom2BDec2010's avatar

I feel better writing an answer. Makes me feel like I’m actually helping someone out.

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