Social Question

canidmajor's avatar

Why try to talk a mature, intelligent, stranger out of an action that does no harm to anyone, in fact only affects themselves?

Asked by canidmajor (16865points) October 5th, 2016

Just curious, here, folks. On so many tattoo threads, there is usually at least one (often many) who completely misses the point of the Q and tries to talk the OP out of getting inked.
I’m not talking about young kids, but adults who are asking advice about getting their first. Not asking if they should. These people are old enough and rational enough to understand the possible ramifications of such an action, why question that?

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43 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

First of all, how do you know they are rational enough? There are adults out there who have an intelligence of a teen.

And because they ask questions, we jellies have to give them advice. And some jellies feel like getting a tattoo is not good so they try to talk the OP out of it. That’s the closest to an advice someone can give. It’s like when someone asks “how can I smoke weed correctly? What kind of weed is suitable for a beginner?”. People feel that they should not smoke weed so they talk them out of it instead of telling them the kind of weed they should get.

I’m not defending anyone here. I’m just trying to get into people’s head, and I have never seen any tattoo question you mentioned.

canidmajor's avatar

When all indicators gleaned from continued interaction with them here indicates that they are rational adults, I assume they are rational adults.
Why would you not respect the question, @Mimishu1995? Why not move on? And your example doesn’t hold up. It is as rude to tell someone they shouldn’t smoke weed as it is to tell them not to serve wine with dinner if the question is “What wine pairs well with salmon cooked in a lemon butter reduction?” Would you think it appropriate to caution the OP that drinking alcohol could lead to this, that, and the other problem? Why not respect the question as asked?
Look at NerdyKieth’s recent question. Then search for tattoo Qs that ask for suggestions, but not if they should or not. You’ll find plenty of examples.

JLeslie's avatar

I might have done something like that. Usually I save it for young people though. You make a good point that if they are adults they likely know the risks and consequences. But, how are you defining adult? 18 and up? 18 is not an adult regarding this type of decision in my opinion. Maybe 25 and up.

Edit: My advice on tattoos, even when unsolicited, is usually put the tattoo in a place you can cover it up easily with a short sleeve shirt and slacks. Even shirts or a skirt is better.

canidmajor's avatar

@JLeslie: read my response to @Mimishu1995.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor FYI see my edit.

Yes, I do tell people drinking can lead to XYZ. All over Fluther I talk about people drinking too much when the topic comes up.

I think child and adult are two categories. Then you also have young adults without children and adults with. I know more than one person who wishes they didn’t get some of their tattoos now that they have kids.

I have a friend who is a cop who can’t wear short sleeves in the summer time, because of dress code—no tattoos can be visible. They were adults when they got their tattoos, but didn’t think long term enough.

It’s the same as unmarried people thinking religion doesn’t married for a marriage. Many marriages do just fine when the two people are different religions, but it’s difficult to say it doesn’t matter, or shouldn’t be thought through in a long term way.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@canidmajor I already told you, I was just trying to get into people’s head. And I don’t see anything rude about telling someone to stop smoking weed, assuming that we are genuinely giving advice. Giving people suggestion on how to do something you see as bad for them is equal to pushing them into a pit when you know you can save them. And by “getting into people’s head”, I mean trying to find a reason behind their action. This is in no way what I do.

canidmajor's avatar

Both of you are missing the actual point. I specifically mentioned that the questions in this case are notShould I take this action” (in which case, all your well-intentioned advice would be appropriate).
Why would you not respect the Q? Why not then ask your own Q asking people why other people should not get tattoos/serve wine with dinner/buy a couch instead of a recliner?
Is it just to push a personal judgement when it wasn’t asked for?

And I already defined what I meant by mature adult, @JLeslie.

JLeslie's avatar

^^I missed it. I didn’t see where you put their age or if they have children. My apologies.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I think your question is referring to a specific problem. I’m only talking about it in the most general sense. I don’t think I have the first-hand experience you seem to be implying I’m afraid.

JLeslie's avatar

I just searched for the specific Q you are referring to. On that particular Q I probably wouldn’t lecture him. He says he has thought about it a long time. We know that jelly fairly well.

chyna's avatar

I see it on here all the time. I always feel it is rude to try to shove ones own personal judgement about something when that was not the question.
Someone could ask“should I get a red or black corvette” and there will be someone that says “corvettes are junk”. It doesn’t answer the posters question and actually insults the posters taste or intelligence. It’s easy to be rude as people sit behind their computers and dole out their unasked for judgements.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Just looked at the Q you are referring to. I don’t see as much hostile there as you said. There was only one person who didn’t want him to get a tattoo and was being “rude” like you said. Everyone else was being helpful. All I can say is that jelly was just being unhelpful, no more no less.

ucme's avatar

Because the people of Fluther, at least pockets of, delude themselves into believing they are knowledgable & wise & on point with many, many diverse subjects, if not all.
I call these people gobshites, for that is what they are.

chyna's avatar

@mimishu2995 No where did the OP say anyone was hostile on that question.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@chyna She said “there is usually at least one (often many) who completely misses the point of the Q and tries to talk the OP out of getting inked”. Makes me think she wanted to say people are being hostile to tatto questions.

chyna's avatar

Nope. She did not even imply hostility. Her point is exactly as she stated it and I reiterated in my answer. Whether it be tats or cars or anything else, why try to make someone feel their choice is stupid instead of either moving on or actually answering the question.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Thanks for clarifying. My answer still stands. That jelly was just being unhelpful.

JLeslie's avatar

@chyna Is suggesting someone think carefully about where they put the tat being judgmental? Or, calling that person stupid? In your car analogy I think it would be like saying to just be careful about 1996 cars in the model they want to buy, because that year the cars were recalled for catching on fire, and some cars on the market have never been fixed as they should have been.

chyna's avatar

No it’s being opinionated and saying they think corvettes in general are junk. Or BMW’s, or Audi’s or tats.
And it’s not answering the question.

JLeslie's avatar

I agree either way it’s not answering the question. I just usually when I’m off the question in that sort of Q I am
just worried about safety or long term consequences.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

The question at hand had been posted to Social. By Fluther’s very own rules, “The Social Section of Fluther has relaxed guidelines for responding. Answerers are encouraged to express their opinions…” [emphasis added]

If someone’s looking for on-point answers and information, we have the General section; somebody asks a question, and each answer must be specific and helpful. Social threads meander in their own ways, packed with comments, opinions, advice, diversions, etc.

Please also keep in mind that you may not know about the relationship between two Jellies. I’ve become friendly with some people through both the public threads and PMs. Others, I’ve actually met in person. Many Jellies do so and know each other beyond Fluther. These relationships inevitably color our responses to each other.

canidmajor's avatar

@Mimishu1995: Nowhere did I suggest hostility, you are projecting.
The tattoo referent was an example, as I made clear by providing other examples.
Please read more carefully, and do stop ascribing meanings and/or interpretations that are not present.
“I stand by my answer” has no meaning here, as your answer did not apply to the question.

Cruiser's avatar

@canidmajor If your question here is specific to Fluther Q&A then my answer is that opinions outside the lines of the specifics of the OP comes with the territory here. My initial reaction though was that it would also depend on whether is was asked in Social or General as @Love_my_doggie just pointed out. Yet when I searched for the Tattoo Q referred to above I found this one asked in 2009, that despite being asked in General all sorts of opinions about the potential for regrets about getting a tattoo were littered throughout the responses. Something I would reason would not happen if the same question were asked in General today.

But when I read all those “opinions” on why or why not to even get the tattoo as opposed to answering directly which tattoo should he get, it seems human nature takes over the reasoned thought process and people simply cannot resist putting their 2 cent stamps in their comments.

canidmajor's avatar

@Love_my_doggie, so you figure that if someone posts a specific type of question in Social it’s appropriate for you to push a judgement (that they clearly did not ask for) onto them? Why not take it to your own question (as I did) and avoid derailing/passing judgement on the harmless decisions of a mature stranger?

canidmajor's avatar

Yeah, @Cruiser, you (and a few others who mentioned it here) are right, it does happen a lot, hence my frustration. I am guilty of misreading the details, sometimes, but it does not occur to me to question the decisions of adults unless I have specific knowledge of harm that might cause them to rethink, in which case I share the knowledge. “Don’t do that because I don’t approve of it” is just arrogant and silly.
It just strikes me as grossly disrespectful.
Ugh.

jca's avatar

@Cruiser: I wonder if the meandering answers on the 2009 question were because it was prior to the breakup into Social and General? I am not sure when the breakup occurred but just speculating.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Isn’t this the same dynamic that we see all over Fluther? Someone says “I’m looking for information on <something> from people know about <something> and have experience with it.

And there are a dozen answers from people who know absolutely nothing about <something> and yet sermonize on it? Or criticize anyone who wants to know about <something> because it is immoral or illegal or offends that person’s sense of what is proper.

This is human nature, @canidmajor , people are going to spout off no matter who irrelevant or idiotic or inappropriate their words are.

canidmajor's avatar

This question is a classic example from a few years ago. The first bunch of answers do not even remotely answer the Q. The OP should not have had to disclose her (very personal and valid) reasons for not breastfeeding. When I saw it, I immediately thought of three excellent reasons why she might not, but the immediate assumption was that the first 8 posters knew better, without knowing ANY details.
Incidentally, that was the last time this user asked a question.

jca's avatar

I don’t take all the off-topic advice as bad. If I wanted to buy a car and someone told me it’s not a good model, or maybe I should consider a cheaper car, or something that perhaps I never thought about, to me it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Yes, I’m an adult but I am open to people’s advice and thoughts on or off a topic.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@canidmajor it may sound harsh, but it is getting to the point where you only agree with the answers that sound like the answer you already have in your head. I have clearly stated that I wasn’t defending anyone and I was trying to get into people’s head, and I provided you the answer from my reasoning. You didn’t take it and you said I missed your point. I have already read the question (and your answer) carefully and I’m trying to answer you. You asked why, I gave you the reason. What more do you ask from me?

Or maybe I should change my answer to “because people are arrogant and they want to force their belief to everyone”. Happy?

I know you are upset by people not giving answers the OPs ask for and only focus on discouraging them, but does it mean you have to assume that everyone is an asshole and refuse to see things in another perspective?

canidmajor's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Really, this is where you go with that? You are generalizing wildly, here.

@jca, That was the point I just made. If someone has appropriate information that you might not have, fine. But would you change your mind simply because someone doesn’t approve of your choice and they don’t say why?

jca's avatar

@canidmajor: If I were going to get a tattoo, and someone said “you should think about it, you should wait. You can always get one next week/month/year, what about employment,” etc., I’d be open to hearing their thoughts. I don’t know of anybody who would say “you shouldn’t get one” without providing a reason or thoughts on it. If I were going to try to persuade someone to my way of thinking, I’d expect I’d better lay out my thoughts and reasons otherwise not bother.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

@canidmajor So, you’re presuming that the OP is a “mature stranger” to me, or a “stranger” at all? The OP and I have reached-out to each other, in the message threads and by other methods, and we have a kind, sometimes supportive, relationship. Surely, if you’re so opposed to what you believe are intrusive answers, you wouldn’t want to encroach on the rapport between and among other Jellies.

canidmajor's avatar

Oh, good grief, this just has gotten silly.
@Love_my_doggie, well, good for you. It was an example. Along with the wine example. And others.

jca's avatar

In the example given above, about the breast feeding vs. formula, the only thing I can say to that is there are many women who are so adamant about breast feeding that they’re almost blind to the fact that it doesn’t work for everyone. In that thread, some of our most illustrious Jellies are spouting off about breast milk.

JLeslie's avatar

@canidmajor That breastfeeding Q is a great example of what you’re talking about. I thought for sure it was going to be a Q from ItalianPrincess, but it was a different one. Jellies can get very preachy about certain topics. It’s one thing to try to impart information, and another when jellies are being complete dismissive of a decision an OP has made.

We have had breastfeeding threads where jellies literally have no room for anyone who says they don’t want to breastfeed or that they weren’t able to. Weren’t able to. They question that with quoting statistics that 97% (or some incredibly high number) of women are able to and you just didn’t do it right. I found those threads quite upsetting. It’s more than rude, it’s mean.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I share the same sentiment with you. I believe some people might misunderstood the gist of the question or trying feed you with their opinions for things they disagree with, despite knowing what you ask for.

Everything in a Q & A site is actually pretty simple. They ask a question and if we know and want to answer we answer the question. It is as simple as that. There’s no need to add personal moral/disagreement, but if you want to do that do it after you’ve answered what is being requested so the purpose of the site is at least fulfilled. For example, someone asks what is the best place for tattoo in CA, I can give the direction to the place of my recommendation, and only after that personal advices/disagreements/warnings can be given.

Unlike most other sites, I find the off topic rules in this site is a bit blur so removal of off topic answers (that the moderators probably feel morally right) might not be removed upon request. If someone ask what the best way to leave a baby alone for a day in a house and someone else simply answer “don’t leave a baby alone!”, that answer will still be eligible despite not answering the question. In the real world this is not the case. If I have a biology test and the only question asks me about what is the best way to vivisect a frog and I answer “Don’t vivisect the frog, that is cruel!”, you’ll find that I will have 0 for my score. People can abuse the moral code when the system allow them to do so.

Cruiser's avatar

Given the example of the breastfeeding that @canidmajor gave and if you read the thread in how it became much clearer and beyond reproach that the reason for the formula question was because she is on meds and did not want to pass the meds to her baby through breastfeeding. Had that info been offered in the OP in the first place I would like to believe that much of the pontificating that ensued would have been avoided. But I then have to remind myself that this is Fluther where very few it seems read the details and simply answer to the question in the Title. You also inevitably have the Jelly who will say I have not read any of the answers above, but here are my thoughts anyway…

This all simply comes with the territory.

Jeruba's avatar

That judgmentalism, criticizing the question instead of answering it, or stopping by just to say they can’t or won’t answer it (often in an indignant tone—God, no, of course I would NEVER put mayonnaise on strawberries!!! so don’t ask me how much, you idiot), is a real deterrent to posting questions. I don’t think there’s any cure for the habit, which strikes me as exceptionally rude. Maybe it’s because the offending parties don’t recognize themselves in comments like this; more likely they simply think that the principle of staying on topic doesn’t apply to them because what they have to say is too valuable and they are the best judge of that.

canidmajor's avatar

@Cruiser: My point was that it was no one’s business why she wanted the formula info. The reasons might have been personal and painful. To be so badgered was just awful.
@Jeruba has it exactly right.
I know that we all misread the Q from time to time, but mostly it’s just obnoxious that people do this.

Cruiser's avatar

@canidmajor I understand and my point was that, especially when asking questions, the devil is in the details.

DominicY's avatar

I agree with @Jeruba. This is something I remember from when I first joined this site back in 2009. People would ask questions for advice on which PC to get and the threads were filled with answers of “PCs suck! Get a Mac!” Now while that may be your personal opinion and I’m sure you have all kinds of reasons why you think you’re “saving” this person, maybe this person has already used Macs for years and wants a PC, maybe they need a PC for work, etc. With tattoos, some of us may have had a bad experience with tattoos, so we want to input a cautionary statement. But one can do so without being rude and saying “you’re stupid for considering a tattoo”. You can offer advice without discounting the person’s question entirely. While when it comes to drugs the issue might be a bit more complicated (since there could be legality or health issues at stake), for most of these things, it’s just answerers being arrogant and unhelpful, yes, there’s no other way to put it.

Humans react this way in general to solicitations of advice. While the advice-seeker may have all kinds of parameters set, the advice-giver has only their personal experience and may be blind to whatever requirements and parameters the seeker has set. Just last week a friend of mine told me he was saving up to buy a used BMW and asked advice about choosing between models and I said “BMW? Why not get an Audi? Audi is better blah blah blah.. [insert personal experience with Audis]” until I realized I was not being helpful and that my friend had already done research into cars and specifically chose BMW for a number of reasons.

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