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fireside's avatar

What makes a person feel at home, or among friends, on a social networking site or in real life?

Asked by fireside (12307points) March 23rd, 2009

With the recent influx of people from wis.dm, there seems to be a lot of conversation about integration and comfort levels. I was surprides to find that a lot of Askvillians (still doesn’t look right) still feel a bit like an outsider here. Since I don’t normally do the whole social networking thing and Fluther is my exception, I was wondering about this.

What do you think it is that makes a person feel as though they belong and are welcomed?

Does this extend to your personal life outside of the internet?

How are they different and in what ways are they the same?

What makes you feel welcome and appreciated?

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31 Answers

Judi's avatar

Being heard and acknowledged

Harp's avatar

Positive feedback, for one thing. If this were simply a matter of posting an answer and never getting any kind of response that lets me know that I’m on the same wavelength as some of the folks some of the time, it would never feel like home. Lurve, or kind words, matters.

Dutchess12's avatar

Um….being accepted. I’ve made a few blunders here and there on Fluther, and just like on Wis.dm there are those who gently correct, and then there are those who are a bit insulting…the insulting part makes me feel unwelcome.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Being an AV’er, coming here & not being recognized was hurtful. When you comment on something & you’re new, a little response is nice. I was never welcomed here, EXCEPT by fellow AV’ers. I posted a couple of times, was ignored, so I went away for a long time. Then stupid stuff started to happen more frequently on AV & some of my friends came over here. So I tried it again. Not much better, but I stuck it out. So many of the users here are young girls & they seem to try to one-up on things.

There doesn’t have to be a red carpet or a marching band, but SOME kind of welcoming would be nice. As I said on another question this morning, I still feel like an outsider for the most part.

daloonagain's avatar

Time generates more responses. We can get to know each other; find out more about each other. When you know how someone spends their time, whether at work, play, or inbetween, you have a better sense of them. When you know their opinions on various subjects, you can feel more comfortable. But the killer item is history. When you start knowing each other’s history, then you can say you know someone, and then you can feel comfortable with them, or like friends. You start caring about each other.

I think it’s the same here or in real life. Mostly. The difference is that in real life, you can do things together. Play games. See movies. Have dinner. Here, there is only one thing we can do: write to each other.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

Harp & DutchCat….ditto.

adreamofautumn's avatar

For me it’s been about being heard and appreciated. I think what has made fluther seem most like home to me is the moments when it becomes clear that the Collective really happens to it’s Jellies IRL as well as on the site. Like when Lynn had the strange man in her house and everyone was worried, or just today when I got a comment from Augustlan checking because I had mentioned that I had a bad day in a thread. It’s that kind of genuine human caring that keeps me coming back.

EmpressPixie's avatar

I think the first time someone directed a comment to me specifically or told me GA, I felt welcomed. But that continuing human touch that @adreamofautumn mentioned is what makes it feel like a home.

When I first got here, I felt like an intruder a lot. Most of Fluther was welcoming and accommodating, but there were also some less-than-wonderful questions basically asking who we were and why we were cluttering their site while talking about how awful our ex-site was. It hurt.

That first impression could easily have put me off Fluther or made me never really feel welcome, but it didn’t because the better reaction was the far more pervasive and longer lasting one.

VzzBzz's avatar

Response, acknowledgment, PATIENCE. So far, I have no hard complaints and much welcome.

fireside's avatar

@jbfletcherfan and @EmpressPixie – So I would say that your integration went pretty well from my point of view since I didn’t know either of you were former AVers.

Welcome! : )

EmpressPixie's avatar

We’re undercover!

Dutchess12's avatar

@EmpressPixie Not any more! I found you! (What is AV?)

EmpressPixie's avatar

Askville. It’s a Q&A run by Amazon. There was a serious degradation in the quality there that stretched over a long time, but ultimately came to a point when they suspended 16 users in a method many of us felt was unwarranted. Then followed it up with abysmal communication. We migrated here in the same way that y’all are. It’s a bit different, because we could choose to go back (and many did and use both sites now), but overall… similar.

We even got the banner and everything.

Dutchess12's avatar

Wis.dm was the first (And, I assumed, only) social networking site I’d ever joined. Two years, lived and breathed it! But, life marches on.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@fireside I’ve talked to you before & feel good with you. And I thank you. :-)

essieness's avatar

I feel welcomed by positive feedback, acknowledgement, and support. Particularly if I’m having some sort of problem (like my Facebook-ex husband debacle)... it may have seemed stupid to some, but at the time, I needed the support and I got it. I also feel welcomed by a healthy debate. Not one in which the other person is trying to demean or berate me and my thoughts, but when they give an intelligent counterpoint that acknowledges my viewpoint as valid. I love that.

augustlan's avatar

Since I came all by my lonesome, I didn’t have the added angst of losing a beloved website. I literally just came upon Fluther by accident. After poking around and reading some of the questions others had asked, I got my courage up and asked my first question. I have felt at home here ever since. It was like I had finally found ‘my people’! I honestly don’t think anyone did or said anything to make me feel that way, it was more like a hand had found it’s glove and viola!, a perfect fit. :)

Dutchess12's avatar

:) The thing about wis.dm, tho, is that many of us were in almost at the very conception, and had a lot of say on how it could be improved….it’s weird to be the “New Kid on (and already established) the Block…”

Harp's avatar

I can sure see how that would be hard. Just having seen you around for a day, though @DutchCat , and how you’ve adapted already, I’m sure you won’t feel that way for long.

Dutchess12's avatar

Ya butt. Sniff. I start a new job on Wednesday, after a year of looking…I’ve been saying good bye to wis.dm for 3 weeks now (waited for freaking EVER on the background check)—so I won’t be around much. :( I’m so cheap. I sell out my whole “family” for a few tens of thousands a year!

Harp's avatar

Do like all the rest of us and fluther from work :)

Dutchess12's avatar

I don’t think I better do that! Not sure if the server will let me, anyway

Harp's avatar

got an iphone?

Harp's avatar

work with me here, Dutchess! ;)

augustlan's avatar

@DutchCat Good luck with your new job! We’re here all the damn time, so maybe we’ll see you in the middle of the night, or on weekends. :)

adreamofautumn's avatar

@augustlan really isn’t kidding about that “alll the damn time” statement. Last night I was up at 4AM my time and this place was really hopping!

essieness's avatar

@augustlan I had the same experience of just stumbling across the site and feeling like I had found “my people”. It’s nice.

SuperMouse's avatar

When I found Fluther I jumped right in with a relationship question and got lots of great, well thought out, helpful responses, because of that I felt pretty comfortable from the jump. I felt even more welcome and at home when I started receiving lurve and when I got a couple of congratulatory comments on my first 1000 lurve points from some respected members of the collective. This place kind of feels like Cheers to me, it is a place where everybody knows my name, and that makes me feel welcome and feel like I am a part of something.

Dutchess12's avatar

@augustlan sniffles. Winding down here. I soooo want to ask some more questions before I leave—because I will be back, just don’t know when—but I can’t….for one thing, in so many ways this place is like the original wis.dm….which was by far much more fun and hopping than it was after they split us all up with the scenes…..

mattbrowne's avatar

Accepting people the way they are (as long as they remain civilized and respectful and polite of course). Everyone is a unique human being, so when someone logs on to a online forum (after a break) and people are glad to meet him or her again (virtually of course) this can create a feeling of returning “home”.

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