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Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are people who make flippant answers point mining, and if so what for?

Asked by Hypocrisy_Central (26798points) February 11th, 2010

When people answer questions the OP may have considered pertinent or serious and someone comes off with a flippant remark that adds nothing to resolving or helping the question does not seem like point mining? If someone has a question about kids and pharm parties how do it help to answer something to the effect “It saves me from driving down to the dealer to pick them up”? Or, of they are talking abut poor airline service and someone answers with “they were left over Luftwaffe recruits”? If you are not going to attempt to answer a serious question why answer it? Isn’t that kind of disrespectful of the person who maybe really looking for an answer?

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30 Answers

shilolo's avatar

My sense is that A) some people don’t really care to help, they want to use the site for their own personal (and other peoples’) entertainment B) don’t know a legitimate answer, so simply answer a “joke” quip C) feel that a joke might “lighten the mood” even though that isn’t really the intent of the asker D) enjoy the attention that comes from getting lurve for a joke (like internet stand-up comedy).

And yes, I typically think that unless a legitimate answer (or 10 have been given), jokes are disrespectful.

TooBlue's avatar

Because some people think they’re so freakin funny that they must answer every question with a sarcastic, witty response to show just how great they are. Serious questions deserve serious answers, not lame attempts at humor. For some reason people appreciate these answers more, so yes they are points mining or just showing off.

Facade's avatar

We are all “point mining”– looking for validation. When people make flippant answers, they are just doing this in a more obvious way.

Strauss's avatar

I’d rather be thought of as a smart-ass than a dumb-ass~!

For me it’s not point mining. I usually don’t get points for a wisecrack anyway.Sometimes I’d if a question or conversation, or a statement strikes me the right (or wrong) way, I like to go for the laugh. It’s not meant as disrespect. Sure, it might be flippant, or it might distract from the thread (I try not to), but I was always the one in class who made the smart-ass remark not quite under my breath.

Besides, sometimes a sense of humor can put a sad or serious situation into perspective.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

Sometimes you just have to lighten up!It is never good to take advice about certain things from people on the net….legal,medical(especially) etc,etc.Some advice can be helpful,but most of the questions I see on Q&A sites can be answered with alittle research on one’s own rather than taking on opinions as facts.People should not take Q&A sites too seriously.As for point mining…I am waiting for the check in the mail ;)

andrew's avatar

It’s a problem, and one we’re seriously looking into solving.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@andrew-I have asked a few serious questions here myself.If I had received answers that were a joke,there is no way in hell I would cry about it.I like to be entertained.I do not expect people to answer a question I have in a certain way,particularly,strangers on the internet or anyone else for that matter xoxo

Facade's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille There’s still a certain amount of courtesy and sensitivity which needs to be present when addressing serious questions. Sure it may sound asinine to you, but the person asking is most likely looking for some genuine help.

shilolo's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I disagree. Why NOT take advice about serious issues, if the answer is verifiable and cogently prepared? This site is partly about entertainment, but truly is about getting answers to questions. There are plenty of chatrooms on the internet designed for entertainment purposes only.

TooBlue's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille There is a space after a comma and full stop. Sorry to be a grammar nazi.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Facade -I haven’t seen any blatant rudeness yet.Perhaps it get moderated out quickly?I don’t know
@shilolo -Yes,there are,but at the same time,I would weigh advice gleaned from the internet very carefully.I asked a serious medical q last night and thanked them for their time and effort and do consider what they say,but I would take the advice of my neurologist over someone on the net,no matter how well put together their answer is.It’s just common sense.I like different POV but when it comes down to it I will go to an expert.
@TooBlue-I make a TON of typos everytime my fingers touch the keyboard due to multiple sclerosis that sometimes effects my hands.Sometimes I will catch them and correct,other times I will miss them or just not care because in the grand scheme of things it just doesn’t matter ;)It might to some *N*azis.

SuperMouse's avatar

Sometimes funny answers work and sometimes they fall flat.

There are people on this site known for their humorous quips and 99% of the time they make me laugh. Those people know and follow the rules and traditions of Fluther, usually their responses have some value, even if they are delivered with humor.

I am put off when the laugh lines are there before the question has been answered or when a joke takes a thread totally off track. If the humor is in bad taste or at the expense of the asker I tend to take offense no matter who the asker is. Mean spirited quips just don’t do it for me. I think people might answer this way because they want to participate and have nothing of value to say so they say the first thing that pops into their head.

shilolo's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I’m confused. Your question last night about angioplasty received several fantastic answers and no joke answers. Yet, you say that you don’t trust internet advice. Therefore, what was the point of asking if you didn’t anticipate relying/trusting the answers in the first place and were going to rely on your expert neurologist anyway? You seem to want to have it both ways. I mean, to use your own example about “a little bit of research”, this was the first hit on a web search for carotid angioplasty. I think that people truly do prefer answers from real people with real experiences, which is why you (and others) “tap the collective”.

TooBlue's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille No offence but if you can press all the other buttons on a keyboard, I’m sure it is not that hard to press the space bar after a full stop. And it isn’t a typo if you do it every time.

SuperMouse's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille I can honestly say I have solved several problems with answers received on Fluther. FYI, @shilolo might be too modest to mention this, but he himself saved the life of a fellow jelly with a post on this very site. ...and no I am not exaggerating when I “saved the life of a fellow jelly.” I’ll bet that is one jelly who is extremely glad he took medical advice from someone online.

Dog's avatar

My heart always sinks a little when someone writes a question, puts a lot of effort into it, and is met with either ridicule or a joke as a response. Sometimes if the moderation is not fast enough the question will never recover and never gets a serious answer.

It is particularly sad if it is a new user.

In this same category are those who decide a question is stupid or homework and flame the user. Ironically enough this also includes those who take questions off topic pointing out spelling errors.

Humor is great but I just wish that out of RESPECT it would be held back till many responses had addressed the question. And the flaming should never happen. Flag it for a Mod and forget it.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Dog I am guilty of commenting on blatant homework questions! I have never really thought of it as flaming. I admit that it makes me nuts when I see questions where someone is so obviously asking The Collective to do their homework.

TooBlue's avatar

@Dog Yes that would be me with the off topic grammar remark. Guilty as charged.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@shilolo -I wanted opinions,not advice on whether or not to have a surgery!!Lol!What I would’ve liked was personal experiences(literally from the person who had the surgery)I didn’t get that and was fine with it:)If someone would’ve joked I would’ve handled it.If it was funny,I’d be laughing and alot of them are ;)
I most certainly did appreciate that they took time to answer and thanked them for it.

@TooBlue-You have no idea of how my hands work.You could ask some stranger on the internet how my hands and fingers function.No offenSe ;)

@Super mouse-That is a good thing that you got help with a problem and saving someone’s life is good too of course.

I don’t love rudeness,but I love humor.Life is too short to not want to laugh.Even at the stuff that is trying to bring you down.I know this all too well ;)

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@lucillelucillelucille “I like to be entertained.I do not expect people to answer a question I have in a certain way,particularly,strangers on the internet or anyone else for that matter xoxo” I can concur with that, and I have seen many entertaining questions here. I have also seen many questions I thought were quite sincere by the OP as a problem they were looking for advice beyond what they knew themselves. If someone asked about how to handle a kid who they think or know had been to a pharm party getting high off someone’s lover pills etc, they maybe at wits end as how to handle it. They may want help or ideas but too embarrassed to ask people they know or other family. To have someone make a quip and appear not to care about the plight they have with their kid might not sit well with them. Not everybody has thick skin.

“I make a TON of typos everytime my fingers touch the keyboard due to multiple sclerosis that sometimes effects my hands.” Imagine one day I hope never happens you have a hard time at the ATM because of your multiple sclerosis and some lame douches did something unethical and you asked if anyone else has suffered a similar indignity because you wanted to know if you had any grounds before shelling big bucks you may not have on a lawyer only to have people make light of the question?

There are many questions for light entertainment like “Pun me?” and other but some do have serious over tones to them. Fun is good but not all of the time. :-D

TooBlue's avatar

LOL I am an idiot.

Nullo's avatar

A lot of people tend to simply post their reactions to the OP. They’re not being terribly useful, but they do add ambiance.
The reverse is also true; some people will post posts just so that others may react to them.
Remember: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by a less-than-comprehensive outlook.

@TooBlue Mind ye teh punctuation!

TooBlue's avatar

Why was this question pulled by the way? Oh it is in meta. I have no idea where my brain is today.

Dog's avatar

It wasn’t.
It may have been moved to the Meta area and not appear on the main page but it was not removed.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central -I don’t expect people to behave in a certain way.Particularly strangers.I don’t have big expectations of people I don’t know nor do I expect them to understand or care about any health problem I might have.My ms is not obvious to most people unless a limp kicks in.I will then,use a cane or walking stick.People will stare and I always make it a point to bring a smile to their face by joking to make them feel comfortable-not me.I have had this for one year and do not sweat the small stuff.I cannot afford to be overly sensitive to others rudeness because life is too short..unless it’s a political discussion ;)))I do understand what you are trying to say and am nort defending rudeness but I do believe humor is good in most situations.It is what has enabled me to take bs like a soldier :)
@TooBlue-lol!Check your spelling,now!

shilolo's avatar

@TooBlue Please stop with the grammar and spelling police. It is unbecoming.

TooBlue's avatar

I did stop ages ago.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

@shilolo -It made me chuckle :))

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

@andrew Maybe answers less than a paragraph that is not on point to the question don’t get awarded points, (if they don’t loose any). Then any potential point miners will think twice about doing so.

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