When I came here two years ago, I had no idea what to expect.
I'm not even sure how it happened. I was Googling while searching for OPINIONS on a very personal, and somewhat embarrassing question. I didn't bother to use the "anon" feature. I thought I'd be here for a day or two, long enough to get some varying opinions about the issue in question, and move on.
Just in case you're wondering, I long ago "disavowed" that question, so wherever it is buried, it's anonymous now. I had no clue how G@G works or anything about how the users interact with one another. For one thing, I'd have chosen and cooler/easier user name. I'd also have answered and replied to some other questions before posting one of my own. But....I didn't know....and I wanted opinions. So, I barged right in and posted my question. Admittedly, I knew ahead of time that some people would consider it controversial. That was not really a concern, as it was a personal issue to me, one that was of immediate importance.
I'm pretty good at troll and catfish spotting, but contrary to what a few G@G users seem to believe, none of us can be right 100% of the time.
Not to mention, I don't really care about catfish at all. I may make an occasional comment, but they don't bother me, so I really don't give any hoots. Most trolls don't bother me either, with the exception of the antagonistic few that seem to only be here to bait and attempt to trigger anger and anxiety in other people.
And on occasion, I'm sure that I've been wrong about someone trolling or being a catfish. Thinking back to that first question - my G@G cherry as it was - it received a LOT of answers for a brand new user. I can't recall for sure, but it seems like maybe >20% called me a "troll". And they were wrong. I was dead serious about my question, and I'm still here.
I'm sarcastic, and some people take that the wrong way.
I know you're shocked. LOL. I'm acutely aware that some people here think I'm a complete bitch. I'm really not, but I don't blame them for thinking that, if I left that impression. I never mean to be insensitive or mean to others, unless it's 100% obvious that said person is here to attempt to piss people off. Which, many know, and some others don't seem to get, simply can't be done on me. IF I get snippy, I may be annoyed, but never angry. It's just me being me.
So, if I ever ASS-umed you to be trolling and you weren't, or otherwise made you feel bad because I made an insensitive comment to you, I apologize. Really. Not kidding. I'm going to try to slow my roll a little bit, and be a little more sensitive to possibilities.
If I blocked you, I'm not sorry.
Another thing I've noticed on G@G in the last year or so, is more and more saltiness. There seem to be a larger amount of argumentative "gotta get the last word in" users that will just go on and on and on just arguing for the sense of arguing until the other person just tires of it. These seem, for the most part, to be users under 20 years old in my experience. I've even seen these users say that they "take pride" in being blocked as some sort of triumph. LOL.
I have news for you, this doesn't mean that "you won". But if that makes you feel better, by all means, tell yourself that. No one "wins" an Internet argument. There's VERY little true civilized debate here on G@G anymore. In fact, the word "Ask" (in the website name) could be changed to "Hate" these days, and of course the full circle arrow goes in BOTH directions.
I used to try not to block people here. And then I came to realize that we ALL have our priorities and reasons for being on this site. I don't have what I'd consider a high number of users blocked, but it's more than a small handful. You may find sometime that I've blocked you having never interacted with you personally. That's happened to me a few times as well. If I happen to notice a posting behavioral pattern that is something I find extremely negative, I may block you. If I see the same thing over and over and over and/or it appears to me that your primary M.O. here is to try to get people's ire up, I'll block you as a preemptive measure. I don't have time or desire to argue with people who have no other intention.
I've also found it necessary to "block back" when people block me first. Otherwise, they tend to temporarily unblock, and "hit and run" post. I was in the "we don't need the down vote back" - but I've since found in a handy tool in these situations.
You'll also find yourself blocked if your agenda is to use slurs, or make offensive, judgmental posts about any group or race of people. I have no time for that baloney. Of course, most users that do that ABUSE the anonymous feature, which is another debate altogether. As 90% of the time, they're either making the stuff up just to get reactions, or are they're too ashamed to show their user names if they actually believe the hateful things that they post.
So having clarified the above, my hope is that some of you will join me in trying to make positive changes to the G@G community.
I'll never stop being sarcastic. That's my sense of humor. But I can be more careful with it. When you posses the weapon of wit, it is incumbent on the owner to use it with care. To that end, I will do my best to draw that sword less often and with greater caution. I'm not mean person, so there's no need for me to give users here a reason to think that I am.
That said, if you come at me, know what to expect. And if you end up blocked, tell yourself whatever you need to. I just refuse to to spend my time with someone that has no intention of listening to others with an opposing view, or even to reason for that matter.
Thinking back to my very first post/question, I believe it would do ALL of us some good to TRY to be less judgmental of people here, and those around us in general. The people that judged me to be a troll, were wrong. And I'm sure I've been wrong about some others.
Of course, we can expect some "hate". It's the Internet. It's just a sad but true fact of life. I suppose that's why I wrote a satirical take on my own experience here a while back.
Do we have "a Right" to ASS-ume things and judge others? Well, yeah. But does it make it RIGHT to do so? Not really. None of us have been elected the morality police or the user's intent police. So, would it hurt to dial that stuff down a notch?
This place COULD be a place where people actually get and give advice, and post thought provoking questions. It sometimes is, but it seems to me it's become less and less of that, and more and more of questions with intentionally baited polls, and just general judgmental, immature, salty behavior.
I'm choosing the other path. As I said, I can't change my personality, and I don't really want to. What I CAN do, is try to be understanding and patient, and less presumptive about the intentions of others. You may want to join me, or you may not. No hard feelings if you don't. Just don't expect me to engage in elongated negativity with you. I have better things to do.
Now...you probably didn't read this, and that's cool. Feel free to accept my apology if I've offended you without warrant. You are welcome to join me in more positive interaction. Or...you are welcome to flame me. Just keep it within the posting rules.
I'll be seeing you around. :)
PS. Don't bother asking what that question was. I'm not reigniting that wildfire.