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zensky's avatar

If Fluther is a community, and we are all anonymous anyway - why do so many abandon it so easily and readily?

Asked by zensky (13357points) January 2nd, 2013

We often call Fluther our “community” and not just a Q and A forum, however, many find it easy to quit – sometimes because of just one jelly (who is but one anonymous person). Why is that? Would you abandon your real life community because of one person? Wouldn’t you stand your ground? Weather the storm?

And aren’t you as reseponsible to the community as it is to you, that is, shouldn’t you stick it out despite the aggravation because you, too, are the community and others depend on you?

Any way you slice it – I don’t get people who up and leave – whatever their so-called reason. I’ve explained why. What’s your take on this touchy subject?

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82 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Many jellies can be quite aggressive on some issues: gun control, taxation, religion/atheism. They can be aggressive to the point where they won’t quit but must get the last word in, and when their opponent doesn’t accept the opinion, it gets downright hostile.

When that happens, there is little reason to stay with something that becomes hostile.

jrpowell's avatar

Most of us hang out in other places on the internet too. If I don’t come here it isn’t like I toss my computer out the window. I will just spend more time on Metafilter and Hacker News. In meatspace replacing my friends would be a lot more difficult so I am more willing to put up with more shit.

And I owe nothing to Fluther. When it stops being enjoyable I will leave.

prasad's avatar

I don’t know if this is the right way to answer this sensitive question. I compared it with how well we get along with some people in real life, while we just say hello to others and go along. It may be something like that.

Then when a person is put down many times, insulted in some way or the other, he or she is likely to choose to leave. Also if some feel unappreciated or unheard that might as well direct him to leave.

Finally, it can vary from person to person. When I confront situations like “you lose and I lose too” on their grounds, I am most inclined to leave it. And even if it’s my place, and if I see all negative that I will go through by staying, I choose to leave.

DaphneT's avatar

Fluther wouldn’t be a community in the sense that you are suggesting if the people with dissimilar interests stayed around. Community is about shared interests, similarities of attitude. Anyone with a dissimilar attitude does not feel part of the community and therefore is not part of the community.

fremen_warrior's avatar

@zensky but then there are plenty of Jellies here, who’ll be on Fluther long after the cockroaches bite it.

Shippy's avatar

I think when a place is not fun to belong to, or does not inspire you anymore, or you feel attacked, the common sense thing to do would be to leave.Or at least disassociate oneself from it to a larger extent. (Unless one gets a perverse pleasure out of it).

Real life is hard, some come here for solace, some for comfort, others to learn, some to just troll and attack people. I think if a family is a toxic place you would leave? It works the same in all things.

ucme's avatar

Because fluther is expendable, it’s just another website after all.

Coloma's avatar

Shift happens, things change, nothing is static and nothing is forever.
Reasons and seasons and all that jazz.

Shippy's avatar

@Coloma Imagine how boring it were if it didn’t. Be like the never ending story, the round table with the same people answering over and over…....... and over…... and….....over….....splat!

bkcunningham's avatar

It is, @ucme? You mean I can leave anytime I want? There are other websites? I can leave. I can really leave!

ucme's avatar

@bkcunningham Especially easy if you have the attention span of a baba…“fook this shite, where’s me dinner!”

bkcunningham's avatar

Okay then. I’m going swimming.

ucme's avatar

No floaters allowed.

Aethelwine's avatar

Fluther isn’t a community, it’s more like a club or activity. A person finds another activity to become involved in when they get tired of this one. I’ve gotten tired of Fluther and have gone on to do other things in my life instead of sitting in front of the computer, but for some reason I always come back. bad habits are hard to break I guess ;)

ucme's avatar

I’ve never gotten the community vibe either, I mean, maybe some are on community service, but that’s a whole new ball game.

zensky's avatar

@ucme Read your last 10 posts and you’ll see why you don’t feel this is a community. You are just about the one-liner. Which is fine, of course, but you can’t have it both ways.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I was hear before and I am one of the ones who left, and I had racked up a whole lot of lurve.

Ask me why I did it? Ask me who I was and I won’t tell you :p

I came to fluther when I was searching for bigger answers to questions. I liked it here and I like @Shippy stated came here for solace. But then it just seemed like every answer I gave jellies were constantly attacking my answers, and since at that time that is not what I was looking for I quit and then came back over 6 months later and I have grown from the last time I was out here so I’m a different person, so I needed a new fluther personality and to start fresh. That’s all.

I’m sure someone out here can understand that ;)

I like fluther, I do not like when my answers become a debate, then I feel forced into a situation and personally I have issues with that, but I’m in a better place to deal with that now, before I was just too vulnerable I guess.

Sunny2's avatar

I get turned off by some jellies monopolizing discussions. They talk too much and think too much of themselves.It’s off-putting. Gets boring.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

That’s easy to answer- because even with friends or family members, if I feel like the environment is too toxic, I leave. Sure, there are many others here I am fond of, and a few that I really, truly adore, but that won’t stop me from bailing if things get ugly.

ucme's avatar

@zensky No need to read anything, I already know why I feel that way, or else I wouldn’t have said so, you know? As for limiting myself to the one liners, I enjoy chatting with folks on here as much as the next man/woman & frequently give out “titbits” from my real world, there are even a select few I choose to call pals. I believe I already have it “both ways” & very nice it feels too.

Paradox25's avatar

Well my current employer calls its employees a ‘family’, despite the fact that they’ll fire you in a heartbeat if your performance is below their standards. I guess if you want to call a Q & A site a community then you can, but in the end it is just another website where people offer opinions and debate.

Berserker's avatar

You compare the online community to the offline community, which isn’t the same at all. If I don’t like one person in my neighborhood, I can’t just up and leave. It isn’t that simple. If I don’t like someone on here, it’s much easier to leave. Not that this would be a reason why I’d leave, but I’m going from an example you gave.

And you kind of answered your own question, just a little; anonymity. We don’t know each other here like we do people offline. I have great Fluther friends, but it remains that said friendships that I have with some has been taken off and away from Fluther. It developed elsewhere. I’m certainly not speaking for anyone but myself here, might indeed be different for others.
But because of that, maybe that’s why it’s easier to abandon the community. Not because online doesn’t mean anything and not because people aren’t real people if we don’t really know them, but because there’s less to be attached to. in my opinion

But then, maybe not. Some of you guys are completely obsessed. :p If Fluther shut its doors tomorrow, that would SUCK. But if my grandma said she wouldn’t talk to me ever again and all my friends up and abandoned me, that would suck. I like Fluther and it’s in my daily intrawebz routine, but I think there’s a big element of balance Zenny, that, whether you use Fluther to kill time or it’s an extremely important part of your life, I know you can see. It’s not quite the same for everybody. Not everyone sees it the same way, or holds the same amount of importance for it. People come, and people go. Fluther isn’t your neighborhood. and if it was, you wouldn’t really want me in it XD
Some just want answers. Some feel the need to move on; maybe because it is important to them on a high level, and they feel it takes them away from other aspects of their lives. Family, school, work. Some people get more social online than they do in real life; others don’t. That has to be considered.

And it has to be said, we’re a tight knit community, one which is extremely severe when it comes to expectations, and I’m not even talking about the rules and regulations. Some people might get fed up, newbies might find that it’s just not for them.

And maybe some are just douchebags or attention whores lol. Hey, I’ll leave, now everyone will feel BAD. Certainly isn’t anything uncommon on a lot of online communities, I’d have to say. I don’t, then, see why we would be exempt from such a phenomena.

Fluther is a community, and in my answer, I’m not saying it isn’t a strong or a real one, but rather, that the medium it finds itself on simply makes it easier to ditch because of what said medium is. And as I’m suggesting, there are more than one reason why a jelly might leave, but unlike your question wording, said ’‘ease’’ I don’t think can be relegated to one reason/element only.

and I love ucme’s one liners! ^_^

YARNLADY's avatar

Some users leave because it becomes very repetitive after a while. One I know of left because he was spending too much time away from his main source of income.

It’s not any different in real life. I have changed hobbies at least three times after several years of participating; square dancing, quilting, and Mensa.

ucme's avatar

@Symbeline That’s only in the love letters I sent right? I know you wiped ya arse on em, but still ;¬}

Berserker's avatar

yeah, but I’m aware that you just spoofed all over those pics I sent XD

ucme's avatar

that’s just the ones with your clothes on, you don’t even wanna know what I did with the nekkid pics XD

burntbonez's avatar

This place has many attributes that mark it a community, even if it is quite different from an offline community. Mostly people have social capital with each other here. They have built that capital over time, and lurve is an approximate representation of it. People know each other, and probably not just through public interaction. I’ve only been here a short time, and I can see this.

I’m not sure what anonymity has to do with individual choices about staying or leaving. I think people stay as long as they get something good from the community. If they are getting attacked by the community, being anonymous doesn’t help. It still hurts when people don’t like you, even if they don’t know who you are. People will leave if they are not getting any good stuff from their interactions here. And let’s face it. This place caters to a certain type of person. It’s not for everyone.

sakura's avatar

Fluther is like a best friend, a real best friend, where you can not speak to each other for a while, maybe even a year but when you get back togther it’s like you have never been apart!!

linguaphile's avatar

One of my favoriti-est jelly here is someone that rubbed me the wrong way the first week I was here, with what was basically an outright insult. I’m glad I stayed and got to know this jelly much more. Then, later, a few times when I was really, really down this jelly was there for me.

That’s one reason why I stay—most people have more than one side to them and Fluther’s a good place to learn that. Unfortunately, many people don’t want to stick around long enough to find out.

@sakura I love your answer!!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

It’s not easy to quit. Many don’t actually quit. You should know.

Bellatrix's avatar

We are all different. People deal with conflict in different ways. Some, take their bat and ball and leave. Some quietly take a break and then come back. Some say they are taking their bat and ball and make a big deal of leaving, and then come back. I call that attention seeking in most cases. Others argue with each other pretty much all the time and some ignore those that piss them off. Many of us use combinations of these options. I don’t get too wrapped up in people staying or leaving these days. If they want to stay great. If they want to leave – fair enough, off you go. I just can’t be bothered with the drama.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Bellatrix That answer pisses me off. I’m taking my toys and leaving.

Bellatrix's avatar

Do you want me to carry your bag? :D

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Yes, I do, dammit.

Bellatrix's avatar

Is your shovel in it? Does it way a lot? Tuts…

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

Nah, I found myself a lightweight, collapsible shovel for those “decapitating snakes on the go” times of life.

Bellatrix's avatar

I typed way… not weigh… far out.

wundayatta's avatar

I wonder if we could do exit interviews and find out why people leave. I know I left, twice, because of the rules and moderation. Now people keep asking me why I don’t go. You can’t win for losing.

DigitalBlue's avatar

My opinion is that the community is often what leaves people feeling let down. It isn’t as simple as “one person,” it’s that one person may be instigating or causing issues for a member, but the community rarely rallies to create peace. Instead it’s “every man for himself” or “if you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen,” and that’s fine and dandy, but not everyone is going to stick around for that. Plain and simple.

Shippy's avatar

@DigitalBlue Yes, pack of wolves mentality.

Aethelwine's avatar

@DigitalBlue The excuse I love is “It’s the internet. What do you expect?”.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “it’s the internet” is a lousy excuse to be disrespectful and rude. The moment a person makes any attempt to create peace here, they are told they are browbeating others to be nice. Since when did playing nice and being respectful become a bad thing? Then the name calling starts with words like “old and crotchety”. Name calling is for middle school kids. grow the fuck up. (ugh. I give up)

Yeah, I agree @DigitalBlue. Not everyone is going to stick around for that.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

I feel that at times you see some people getting away with things but then others are picked up for doing something similar or even doing much less with them then being shouted down and that then comes across as not being “in the gang” so to speak. In the time I have been here I have seen several newbies being basically run out of town and that is very sad to see.

There also has to be an issue regarding different cultures in that what counts as satire or even sarcasm from one person can be offensive in others and undoubtedly if there are a group of people from the same background it then adds to the mob mentality. This also applies to certain topics that can be offensive to some. If you see somebody writing something that is offensive to you, but they then appear to be backed up by others then you are going to wonder what the point is of staying here.

I also read with interest answers to a question a few days ago where people had requests from people and moderators to avoid replying to certain people and that to me is bonkers. If you are new and you see that kind of thing going on then its no surprise some people scratch their heads and wonder how the kids got on here instead.

Shippy's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine I was a member of this site before. A few years back, and I recall now why I left. At the time it was the same thing, the group of old and new people. Also the older people were allowed to say whatever they wanted. Newer people got shot down.

The sad thing is, when I left, I did think this team had learned from that prior mistake. But it’s just the same. And when it all boils down, it’s the same people asking each other questions over and over. Not sure how healthy that is? Or useful. Except I noticed even some of those oldies are now gone too. So the group has gotten smaller.

Plus also the same old story that if you are Jewish its OK, and I really don’t want to offend anyone here, if you are Atheist that’s OK too, but if you are Christian you are a joke. I don’t find it useful to be told I believe in fairies. Also I have zero interest in anyone beliefs unless it is something they have asked for in the question. Like a question I asked actually saying Christians I need your advice.. and all sorts answered even atheists.

In my time here, before and now, I have really not enjoyed a lot of answers, some were rude, insulting etc., however, I never publicly called the person an idiot, or told them they were ridiculous, then even sent them a message telling them they are going to be ignored. The mentality of that, and the emotional maturity or lack of, is astounding. So yes, I have been told I am going to be ignored. So I guess we fall one by one and its back to the same few people asking the same questions over and over.

It’s a shame too, as there are some people here that are gold and take the time and effort to build a better community.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Shippy Don’t forget- if you are a Republican (or Republikkkan, or Repugnantican as some “intelligent” and “mature” people here like to say), you are also a total joke and don’t deserve to have an opinion.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@Shippy I do get confused as to why people go and get involved in questions that they actually have no interest in or knowledge of. There is a question just now asking about your favourite politician from across the aisle, but because it is about US politics and my knowledge is limited to knowing Obama is the president and clinton just had a blood clot I just breeze on by. The same can be said if a Buddhist asked a question about something personal and linked to their beliefs because yes I studied religion, but there is a time where the only advice should come from other Buddhists. (using this as an example)

Everybody should be equal, it does not matter if you have been here 5 years or 5 minutes your opinion should still be valid, yes there should be discussion about it, but as somebody said above some see being nice as being a bad thing. I have had people trying to pull rank and whenever I see anybody doing that I just think how sad they must be as it is a website made for people to discuss things and not the army.

This place needs constant new blood and for people to be encouraged to stay to add something or you just enter a neverending cycle of the same things.

And @Shippy I hope you manage to sleep ok knowing you are being ignored. I hope you get over what must be a difficult time for you.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@wundayatta that my friend is what you call sarcasm at the end of my post.

wundayatta's avatar

So it is making fun of @Shippy.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@Shippy I agree with everything you just said.

I recently came across a question that was asking about God. I’m sorry shoot me down now but I believe in God! :/ So I answered the question it wasn’t a question just for believers but atheists/non-believers also. So I ended up feeling like they were vultures and I was their dead meat. After being caught up in it all I basically said I was done with the question.

One of the people I won’t name names found me on another question and continued with the harassment, but in a subtle way, and also since it was a new question no one else really understood, no one but me.

I’m glad I’m stronger this time because it’s that type of stuff that made me leave before.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@wundayatta at what point do you think I am making fun of @Shippy The entire tone of that last sentence is clearly stressing the point that I am sure Shippy is not sitting there distraught at having somebody ignoring her. If you think I am making fun of her then perhaps read it slowly and think about it first.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@wundayatta I could then look at your statements and, using the same logic as you have applied to what I said, come to the conclusion that you want me to make fun of her.

wundayatta's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine Well, that’s why I asked. You didn’t answer the first time. You said you were being sarcastic. To me, that means you were making fun of her. Your answer was ambiguous to me. Because in my book, your sarcastic comment sounded like you were saying she was being overly sensitive. Read it again, and see if you can see the possibility for the alternative reading.

Just because you mean something, doesn’t mean people will get it. And if you think it is obvious, I’ve found that often people don’t see what is obvious to me. We all see things differently.

So I believe you now that you don’t mean to be making fun of @Shippy. I did not want you to be making fun of her, but I wasn’t sure, which is why I asked the question.

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

@wundayatta I’m glad you asked. I also thought the exact same thing you did :/

After the sarcasm answer I figured the answer was making fun of @Shippy

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

Do you not think it would be kind of stupid to make fun of somebody after me just complaining about it on the very same thread??? For what it’s worth I think Shippy makes a valuable contribution to the site.

wundayatta's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine I’m glad you feel that way about @Shippy. I agree, Well, I’d double it, if I could.

Please don’t assume people remember things they read earlier in a thread. I simply can’t remember it from one time to the next, so when I respond, it is basically to the most recent post. You’ll have to bear with me about that. My memory has gone to the dogs in the last few years. I can’t reread everything every time I return to a thread.

Anyway, sorry I misunderstood you. Clearly, I wasn’t the only one. I’m glad you were willing to take the time to clear that up for me.

wildpotato's avatar

@TheProfoundPorcupine I challenge you to find any evidence of my question being about specifically US politics. I’m pretty sure the terms “across the aisle,” “liberal,” and “conservative” apply in plenty of places other than the US. Evidence: ucme’s response. Do the terms I chose not apply in Ireland?

augustlan's avatar

Just like any community, there are good and bad things about it and/or the people in it. In a perfect world, I wish people would be kinder, especially to new members. Alas, it isn’t a perfect world.

TheProfoundPorcupine's avatar

@wildpotato I don’t know if it applies in Ireland as I’m not from Ireland but I was using it as an example of a question I have no interest in and, therefore, I do not answer so calm down dear.

rooeytoo's avatar

@Shippy – you forgot to include muslims. No criticism of muslims because the majority are not extremists, but kind and gentle people, most not interested in jihad or killing infidels. christians however are still being vilified for the crusades! As I recall, I flagged a response where christianity was defined as fairy tales. I am not religious but I think all religions belong on the same level playing field, if you can ridicule one, they are all fair game. The flag was ignored and the response remained because it was on the right side of the fine line!

Shippy's avatar

@rooeytoo I live in a very mixed community and a large proportion are Hindu’s and Muslim. I worked very closely with Muslims for about 16 years. Maybe it differs from country to country but they are quite extreme. At the same time they are respectful and will willingly answer questions you have about their faith. But they are not disrespectful. I also know a huge portion of Hindus and they are the same. I do know, for what it is worth some people who follow Christianity can be quite brutal and judgmental in what they say and believe in.

Perhaps this has built an anger in Fluther people or people at large, that part I do understand. I feel the same way and would run a mile meeting a person that has that type of attitude. Besides I am certainly no great representative of being a Christian! But yes if the question were a little more spread out over different religions it would seem less like a certain segment was being attacked.Like I mentioned before peoples faith or belief system is a very personal thing, and really is none of my business. Some questions regards belief systems are so well put across that they offer a great challenge. Some are just flaming. I am just glad there are such quality people here, and like @augustlan said a community is diverse. But sometimes all the chops seems to pop up at once!!

PhiNotPi's avatar

Things that happen on Fluther have absolutely no real-world embodiment. I visit Fluther because I find it enjoyable, but I never forget that I don’t have to put up with stuff that doesn’t actually affect my real life, and that stuff that happens in my real life is infinitely more important than anything that happens on Fluther.

FutureMemory's avatar

Has anyone else read this thread and marveled at how some people can complain about certain things, yet somehow don’t seem to realize that they themselves have done the very things they’re complaining about? And I’m not talking about one off’s, I mean consistent behavior. I won’t get into specifics because I don’t want to point fingers, but it seems to me a lot of people could do with a good look in the mirror before they spout off about what’s wrong with Fluther.

ucme's avatar

^^They stand out like a fucking sore thumb, to everybody except themselves…hilarious really.

wundayatta's avatar

I have a feeling that just about everyone here has at least one person who thinks they are a problem. Some of us have a good deal more than that. That’s why I think people should try to be more tolerant.

I’m an ass. I even use an ass as my avatar. I get lots of shit because of it. But I also have my constructive moments. Let’s just cut people a break, please.

Let them as ain’t nevah done no wrong throw the first insult.

ucme's avatar

@wundayatta Okay, but nobody is to make a move until I blow this whistle!

burntbonez's avatar

So blow it, already!

Coloma's avatar

^^^ LOL

ucme's avatar

@burntbonez You dirty, dirty bastard!!
@Bellatrix Are there any ladies present?

burntbonez's avatar

@ucme, Not a bastard. Other than that, you got it right. As they used to say on the playgrounds of my youth: it takes one to know one.

Strauss's avatar

I never have really left, but I have stopped coming into the tidepool a couple of times. Usually due to meatworld necessities.

Shippy's avatar

Still here you should have killed me last year – evils laughs echoing

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

I left and came back as the ghost of a former jelly, and let me tell you, I’ve been flutherized. Now I’m a jellyfish.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

@Shippy Well, I tried, but you evaded every single one of my traps! Damn you!

Shippy's avatar

hehe I’m a slippery one

burntbonez's avatar

Slippery or shippery?

nofurbelowsbatgirl's avatar

Whoa It’s time to jump shippy. Sink or swim fellow jellies!

Shippy's avatar

runs hehe

Strauss's avatar

Iwas going to make a comment about jumping @shippy, but I was afraid I might get modded moded moderated.~

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