C/Cing Real Life

Have you ever noticed that some people have an extremely high level of disclosure? I learned in speech class back in college that everyone has a certain level of disclosure. From the very basic of information to revealing personal experiences that only your therapist and God should know about.

As a woman on the internet, I'm subjected to a variety of levels of disclosure and need from people. The internet lets you hide behind it and reveal as much ,or as little, as you'd like. Here, I'm Rozbeans. You guys who haven't met me (and the few who have) know just about nothing about how I interact in real life. You really only know what I *LET* you know. This brings me to my point.

There are people who are comfortable disclosing personal aspects of their life; they have no problem discussing issues, showing pictures or becoming emotionally attached. Something I've noticed, along with people's ability to disclose personal emotional information, is that some people really don't want to know the truth.

So I'm talking with another friend about how there should be a c/c level for posting information. Person A posts a problem, a serious one. Person A will tell their story of woe, right down to the eye squinting, cheek blushing, dirty details. Person B, C, D will reply.

Now, the thing that happens next is what perplexes the shit out of me. Person A will completely reject all, what can be viewed as sound, replies/opinions....and continue to complain.



I think people should state what they want, right up front. 'Here is my problem. I want a lvl 1 reply.'

Level 1 - Sugar Coat Me. Pat me on the pack and tell me what I want to hear, even if it's so fucking wrong that somewhere - a bunny died from the lie.

Then the extreme:

Level 5 - Don't lie to me. Tell me what I should do, beat it into me that it's the right thing to do. Reach into your computer and smack me about the head, neck and shoulders with a lead pipe if I don't do it. Tell me to Shut the FUCK UP if I keep complaining, even though reasonable opinions have been posted.

We all know someone who's done this. It is, in fact, something that has cracked me up remembering on a few occasions. No disrespect to people who feel comfortable telling their stories - I've done it myself. Hell, I announced when I got off the pill and began fornicating unprotected with my husband to create a second child to taunt everyone with.

I'm just curious to see what people think. Isn't it ironic that it will probably depend on YOUR level of disclosure to post your thoughts on this? This isn't directed toward anyone, I'm just nosy =D

Lessa 17 years ago
I completely agree hehe, I had someone who i thought of as a best friend ( online only friendship) turn to hate me because she didnt like the way i tried to help her with her problems when she would bring them to me.. turns out she just wanted me to nod and agree with everything she said ( level 1), rather than tell her what I might do in her situations( level 3-4). If she had a 1-5 system then I wouldnt have had to be able to read her mind, lol.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
Lessa;77259
I completely agree hehe, I had someone who i thought of as a best friend ( online only friendship) turn to hate me because she didnt like the way i tried to help her with her problems when she would bring them to me.. turns out she just wanted me to nod and agree with everything she said, rather than tell her what I might do in her situations. If she had a 1-5 system then I wouldnt have had to be able to read her mind, lol.


That is sadly very familiar and apparently common =/
Slovman 17 years ago
I personally tend to only report setbacks in my personal life when they will undoubtedly affect my online life, and then it's not really to get sympathy or advice, it's just to say "Hey, if you notice I'm in a foul mood, here's why."

Those that do want sympathy/advice should certainly be required to state what they expect in return.

Although, I remember a guy at the Halls (who wasn't and isn't the sharpest knife in the drawer) specifically asking for advice on some sort of trouble he was having with a girl. Some folks genuinely tried to help him. I believe he was wanting to ask this girl out, and wanted to tell her that he loved her right off the bat. Obviously, everyone said that he shouldn't do that. He did anyway. Then when things went awry, he continued asking us for advice, and continued ignoring it. By the end of the whole thing, I believe the girl's parents wouldn't even let the guy talk to her anymore. And that could probably have been avoided if he had taken any of the advice that he had asked for.

So I guess there's still the chance that someone who claims they want Level 5 will still be...you know...idiots.
Verileah 17 years ago
*thinks* I think if you're going to give unsolicited advice (and venting on the internet is not, in my opinion, a request for advice in and of itself), at least some of the responsibility for how said advice goes over needs to rest with the giver. I don't think I'm comfortable saying that it falls entirely on the person venting to say what they expect in return, though that is nice to be clear about upfront and I would agree that they have little right to indignation if they're going to make their private lives the subject of internet forums.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
Well, you have those who vent...a lot...and seem to really want the advice - then never take it. Then you have those who vent and seem surprised when people actually comment on what they made so open. For some people it looks like such a cry for attention, it's almost comical so then you're hestitant to say anything at all to people who really have a problem and want the help.

But you said something interesting, Billie:

*thinks* I think if you're going to give unsolicited advice (and venting on the internet is not, in my opinion, a request for advice in and of itself), at least some of the responsibility for how said advice goes over needs to rest with the giver.
I was going to just quote the venting on the internet is not a request for advice but I thought I'd put the complete thought so I'm not misreading it.

Isn't baring all not only a request but an invitation to comment? I mean, why post about it if you didn't want people to comment on it?
FyreGarnett 17 years ago
I think I'm with Slovman on this one - I generally only post that type of stuff (the negatives at least) as a way to either explain an absence or potential absence. Off the top of my head I think the only times I've asked for advice, it's been poser/computer/net related... a "Ok, I'm stuck, open to any & all suggestions here...."

I like the idea of a rating system - it's too easy in the forums to give advice and have it turn into a dramafest.

Now, on positive stuff, these are my favorites - the birthdays, the "i'm preggers", though to date, I have to admit, my fave has been Roz's updates on them trying to provide Catherine with a younger sib... for a couple of reasons - the main being that I just love it when people get what they want and deserve and 2 I've learned some things bout diabetes and it's effect on pregnency that I didn't know. /that and she has a way with words that sets off some of the most entertaining threads....

but what i really enjoy about this forum in particular is the little insights i get into the crazies that inhabit this madhouse. you spend enough time around here, you start to get a feel for people's online persona and they become more than just a name or a pic. you start to actually care on some level - i know when Roz announces that there's a bun in the oven, I'll be happy for her and her family and will look forward to hearing all the updates. I remember when Temp was having troubles looking for a new job cuz she was already employed and was rooting for her to find something that would make her happy. I could go on and on... but you get the point! This has truly become a family - and families mis-communicate with the best of them, so I guess really, I chalk up those incidences of asking for advice then ignoring that offered to be the same as what happens in a family. I mean, how often does your RL family offer advice that you brush off which then annoys them and sets off a string of otherwise avoidable crap?

So if we're a family, does that mean Roz is the Mommy? *ducks*
ROzbeans 17 years ago
So if we're a family, does that mean Roz is the Mommy?


Baby I certainly have that ass for it. O_o

That's probably one of the coolest things anyone's ever said. Thanks fyre =D Definitely a view point that I didn't even take into consideration. I guess my post was sparked by events that a few of us have witnessed over the past 4 odd years of being online and in the art community. You see the SAME people talk about the most private of personal issues. Make the same mistakes. Ignore the same good advice. Is the attention worth that kind of scrunity?

I fully admit to love having TAC and that people recognize it as mine. I fucking squee daily, seriously. It just amazes me that people don't see a clear and defined line of what's appropriate, what's smart advice and when to just STOP. Granted it's entertaining as all get out though, so I really don't want them to stop /snort.
Verileah 17 years ago
I think the fact that you're saying there should be a cc range for RL problems would indicate that people post their lives online for a variety of reasons. Sometimes people just want unconditional sympathy and e-hugs. Sometimes they want advice...hell, sometimes they even want flames. Some people want attention. That's not to say that everyone who posts about personal problems is an attention whore, of course. Some people are just so extroverted that they have to say whatever is on their mind, or need to talk to other people in order to think out a problem. In that case, they could just be looking for a wall to bounce their thoughts off of. The internet is a damn big wall, or a big empty space to scream into. Hell, maybe they want people to play devil's advocate. I totally agree that there's a spectrum...I just think both the listener and the speaker have some responsibility in saying where each particular script ends up.

In any case, no, I don't think posting personal things is a request for advice. Most of the time I -do- think people want a comment of some kind, though I suppose there are cases where people just want to howl at the moon in the middle of the street and have everyone else just ignore that behavior.

When someone posts a vent but doesn't ask for advice, I don't consider the social contracts that kick in when advice is requested to be in play. The venter has not asked for anything and has made no assurances that they will even consider advice, though it would be extremely rude not to at least read replies to one's own thread. Beyond that, though, the thread is out there and people can make of it what they will, within the rules of the forum. The person who put themselves out there has no right to become indignant if they do not like the replies (unless the replies break the rules), and the people who replied have no right to become indignant if the venter ignores their well meant suggestions. There's no contract, imo. Of course, if a person makes a habit of posting pointless diatribes about their life with no efforts toward resolution, they've invited people to think that they are not worth their time. If it's to the point of spamming, a mod or the community might say something about the clutter. Someone might even simply place a link to a popular blogging site on a vent thread, as generally blogs are more appropriate for vents than forums.

Once you -do- ask for advice, though, you have officially invoked the social contracts in play for the exchange of cc. This is beneficial to both parties when done in the right community. The speaker now is entitled to a constructive conversation rather than a thread full of pointless and probably derailing comments, and the listeners are entitled to be listened to in return. I guess I'm not sure where the differences are in the script for online interaction and RL interaction. Either way, it should depend on how well you know the person, how well you know the situation, what your outside responsibilities are (ex - are you required, due to the nature of your job, to report suspected abuse? Do you have special knowledge about a given situation that you are morally obligated to share?) and a dozen other subtleties . Humans are complicated. I think as long as you're being true to yourself and treating others with respect, though, it all comes out in the wash.

That's why I like TAC's CC system. People still sometimes use the smmo levels, but I've always struggled with that idea because to me, you're either asking for a crit or you're sharing. When I give CC I'm going to comment on what I see...to do otherwise, to either not mention something you think is good or leave out something wrong, just seems sort of pointless to me when a crit is asked for.
Jinheim 17 years ago
When people vent their problems to the internet, it is because venting makes them feel better. They choose the internet as their medium because people here are anonymous and anything disclosed here probably won't come back to haunt them. On top of that, people in general do not take advice unless that advice lines up with what they were already going to do.

"My husband is beating me"
"Leave him."
"But I love him...."

I'll be honest: I don't take advice very often, and very rarely from internet people. The reason is the same: anonymity. You don't know me, but I don't know you either. I don't know enough about your lives to know whether or not you're in any sort of situation to be giving me advice. I have a RL friend who gave me some advice a while ago, and then I just sat back and thought about it. He's 24, dating a 17 year old, he collects unemployment, and he just sits around smoking pot, playing WoW, and fucking his underage girlfriend all day. I decided to disregard his advice because although he's a nice guy, I don't really want to end up like him. The same goes for all of you: You're nice people but for all I know you're total losers IRL and I don't want to risk taking your advice.
Saraquael 17 years ago
Boy, this is a tough one.

I'd generally assume that if you post to rant or vent or even to rave about something good.. assume you'll get some advice from someone. Why? Who the hell knows. Hell, half the time people as a whole have lives that are so out of whack that the LAST thing they should do is offer advice to anyone else. But they do anyway. That's just normal. Sometimes the advice given may be sound even if the giver is a complete loon.

Here's the general rule I go by .. if it's a "positive story" then chances are it's ok to give advice because... well, it's probably true. For example;

"I'm having a baby, what should I buy first for him/her?"

Generally, whatever you advise is safe.

Now, if it's a "negative story" then they probably don't want advice.. just support and to hear how wrong the other person is. For example

"I slapped my girlfriend across the face, then she sliced off my nuts and threw them in the pool"

Incorrect answer: "Have fun scuba diving for ping and pong you woman-beating bastard"

Correct answer: "Good thing you were able to see the future and pre-slapped her for the testicle slicing offense! She's a bitch. Once you're healed up, you'll have plenty of women because all the hot women think testicles just get in the way!"

Or something to that effect.

Sometimes the posts are just fiction writing 101 types of posts. Sometimes they're true. Either way, the original poster usually just wants to hear that they're right when it comes to big drama things.

some of the fake BS posts can be funny as hell though because they're way the hell out there. I mean WAAAAY out there beyond anything plausible.. and this is coming form a guy who reads superhero comics.
Verileah 17 years ago
On top of that, people in general do not take advice unless that advice lines up with what they were already going to do.


QFT. I would add that people who give advice are generally saying what they would do if they were in the same situation. There are few, if any, absolute truths in this world.

That said, when I do need advice I'm just as likely to ask an internet friend as a real life one, mostly because my relationships are so intertwined in that respect.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
Veri
When I give CC I'm going to comment on what I see...to do otherwise, to either not mention something you think is good or leave out something wrong, just seems sort of pointless to me when a crit is asked for.


EXACTLY.

Initially my comment (and title) about c/cing real life, high disclosure, personal posts was a joke, but when you think about it, it applies.

Jinheim
When people vent their problems to the internet, it is because venting makes them feel better. They choose the internet as their medium because people here are anonymous and anything disclosed here probably won't come back to haunt them. On top of that, people in general do not take advice unless that advice lines up with what they were already going to do.


This is what confuses me, but omg it's so true. People post in hopes of hearing what they want to hear, not what they SHOULD hear. Ok maybe not should, but it would be a better god damn idea. I don't sugarcoat. My friends do not expect me to. My friends KNOW I won't. That goes with art and real life.

Vex will ask me, 'How does this look?'

Now, Vex is 1000xs better an artist than I am, but I know what I like and to her my opinion matters because odds are, other people will see what i see. I won't lie to her. I view any personal questions in the same light.

My husband is worthless, here are 5 reasons, good reasons, why.

My reply, 'Cut him loose.'

That particular response did not go well for me, however. In hindsight, I shouldn't have said it - mostly because I'm not friends with the girl and my views might be a little too liberal. Married with child - it's not the best advice, but I'd tell my own daughter to dump her piece of shit husband if it was good advice. If *I* weren't happy, I'd leave. I don't say what I wouldn't do myself.

People tell me that I say what they think and *want* to say, but have the good graces not to. I'm not mean about it, but why lie? Really? To me, if you put your shit out there, be prepared to hear the truth. Maybe not from me but from someone.

I mostly agree with Veri's point of view. With art c/c, here - on tac? I will c/c, whether you asked for it or not. I won't be a bitch, but I'll sandwich c/c it and be honest. Pats on the back don't go 'round here, law dog.

If you post your personal life in a thread that is opened to hundreds of people - oh sweet jesus pop me some popcorn and tell me where to put my camera. You...YOU opened up your can of worms. Now, will I be respectful? Of course, ultimately I won't post anything because i know for DAMN sure they don't want to hear what i have to say, but I won't be a c9nt about it. But omg, you put it out there.

/sets up camera

Saraq
"I slapped my girlfriend across the face, then she sliced off my nuts and threw them in the pool"

Incorrect answer: "Have fun scuba diving for ping and pong you woman-beating bastard"

Correct answer: "Good thing you were able to see the future and pre-slapped her for the testicle slicing offense! She's a bitch. Once you're healed up, you'll have plenty of women because all the hot women think testicles just get in the way!"


I quoted that just because it's fuckign hilarious and I about spit my golden mushroom chicken out. le
Starry 17 years ago
You know, I think I share too much sometimes. I dunno why. I just do. However, I dont share a lot of crazy insane personal things, mostly just huge milestones that Im either struggling with or just want someone to hold my hand.

I dont think Ive ever had anything major enough that I needed actual honest to goodness advice, and when I have something thats sorta half way in between I just talk to folks on IM.

I guess Im like level 3 : sugar coated soft slapping? o.O

I have given friends I know very well "real" advice over IM, but almost every time someone posts a "what do I do" thread I never say mostly what Im thinking, because Im never sure how they will take it.

Beyond the yay threads. Yay threads are yay! ^-^
Wystro 17 years ago
I'd love to see that rating system as well. I hate it when someone puts a problem out there that triggers my hunger for justice (or my idea of it). I'll start out all calm and even, then the person may go on and expound upon the problem, then I say "dump the bastard", then that person does a complete 180, then someone comes in in the last minutes saying what dicks the people are with their torches and pitchforks at the ready.

If someone just puts their problem in a public forum and says that they don't know what to do, I'll tell them! It's the poster's responsibility not to throw it out there if they don't want people to care enough to take it seriously. I try not to comment at all anymore on those threads because it always seems to bite me in the ass.

I'm not a mind reader, I'm a type reader. I read type on a screen and respond to what it says. If someone doesn't want responses that may or may not apply to them, then don't post on a public forum. Barring that, I think ROz's suggestion for a rating system is right on the money.
Lessa 17 years ago
im admin for my guild forums.. we have a rants forum there.. maybe I should implement this lol..
Laschae 17 years ago
Knowing how people want you to respond would be nice. Over the internet there are often times alot of little things missing that having a one on one conversation provides. Tone and inflection, little subtle things we process when we hear some one talk. Facial expressions. You don't get that on the net and those things generally give you a clue what is going on with a person and how to handle the situation.

I guess if you are going to post something you either express how you want people to respond (like, "I really need some support right now guys") or just take what you get. Just because this is the internet doesn't absolve people from being responsible for what they put out there. Or at least I don't think so.

Sometimes, it's nice to share your triumphs and sorrows knowing that how you really truly feel won't have much of a real world consequence. Sometimes, I think too often, this is all the support some people have in their lives.

But ya, if you want hand holding it would be nice to know. Sometimes everyone needs to hear that things will be ok.
tamaelia 17 years ago
I think its probably safe to say, if someone posts /incoming vent... they just wanna blow off steam, get an e-hug or two cos their estrogren is high and go their merry way. We all have days when hubby was a tard or the kids pushed you over the last bastion of sanity and rather than risk the Agencies come take you away, you post a whine about how shitty it was online. I don't think I would be looking for someone to give me marital advice when I am just bitching to friends about how hubby was insensitive to my hormonal rantings.

On the other hand, if someone posts a /request for advice thread, then by all means give advice. I don't see the need to sugar coat advice. Esp on the SMMO CC scale.

Desperate_Poster: My hubby is a selfish, adulterating bastard. What should I do?
Me: Are you asking for CC1 or CC5?
Desperate_Poster: I think I can handle the truth, CC5!
Me: Then you need to talk to your husband, not us. You need to stop cheating yourself, because that is coming out in about 3 pages of needless whining from now, you need to stop expecting validation from others when your self esteem is so low you should be in therapy, you need to decide if you want to forgive your partner for his transgressions or if you want to draw the line and leave him. You need to decide if you want to borrow the money from your parents and fight with your sister/brother/uncle/aunt because you didn't stay at school and now you can't afford to move to State_06 so your grandma has to rent a U-Haul to pick you up.
Desperate_Poster: OMG I meant CC1
Me: Take an asprin and have a lie down, it will be fine in the morning.

I dunno, I don't give advice on the posts where someone is having a real life crisis, I have enough challenges in my own life to spend my emotional energy on, I can't really share it on line, ya know? That isn't to say I wouldn't help someone if they asked me, but on the random "omg my life is a wreck what do i do" posts, i skip it. Because really, if you can find a forum to post that shit to, you can google a solution to your problem and not bother people with your drama.

Maybe I am in an estrogen low in my cycle... I sound like a bitch.
Lessa 17 years ago
hehe yeah, my experience posted before was always conversations held in live, private tells, so it wasnt so much like she was publicly posting her sob stories, as coming to me to vent/share.

I tend to try and relate ( -Yeah i had a similar experience, heres what I did--or-- If I were you I think i would do this) Finally she lost it, told me I was a terrible friend and gave me the list of things i had done wrong and all the things she hated about me. The whole 1-5 rating system would have prevented that lol

( uh.. not whining here but if i must rate it it would be 5 *nod* im over it all now so no sympathy or advice needed rofl)
Slovman 17 years ago
Lessa;77321
I tend to try and relate ( -Yeah i had a similar experience, heres what I did--or-- If I were you I think i would do this) Finally she lost it, told me I was a terrible friend and gave me the list of things i had done wrong and all the things she hated about me.


I think you should whack her upside the head with a crowbar.

im over it all now so no sympathy or advice needed
Oh. Well, in the future then.
ROzbeans 17 years ago
Lessa's situation is unfortunate, but pretty common I would wager. Honestly, suggesting that personal vent threads should have c/c levels was a joke, but text is a horrible conductor so I can see it being necessary. I think a few of us have been in her situation, lord knows I have on more than 1 occasion.

Mike and I were talking about the whole thing. He says people shouldn't give advice to people who post one sided arguments. We know nothing about the other side of the situation - how can any give good advice? We talked about the different types of attention whores, because let's face it - there are varying levels.

#1 - The Whiner - Someone who repeatedly posts 'woe is me' stories.

#2 - The E-Sexer - Those of us who have played EQ know who these people are. Typically women with low self esteem. Very 'look at me'.

#3 - The Egotist - Also known as 'The know it all'.

#4 - The e-Mom - Someone who has a story for every situation. The perpetual problem solver. The 'trust me, I know' poster.

I could go on. Personally I'm a mix of #2, 3 and recently 4. Embarrassing to admit, yes but a good portion of us in the art/lit/mmo community are. Is it that we just love e-hearing ourselves e-talk? For me, omg yes LOL. Are there those out there who fall under #1 and are serial posters revealing a lot more of their life than we'd really care to know?

Yes.

This is basically what sparked off this thread for me; people who serial post about anything and everything, whether it's true or not.

When someone posts a problem, you've got to realize two things: 1) You post your shit, people will respond and sometimes with things you most definitely don't want to hear or 2) if you reply, be prepared to be pissed the fuck off when your sound advice (at least to you) is ignored.

In a perfect world, we could read our friends minds and know the complete story - but it's not a perfect world...not by a long shot.