Why I Participate In Online Forums

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Lon Tanner, Nov 8, 2018 at 2:41 PM.

  1. Lon Tanner

    Lon Tanner Very Well-Known Member
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    Like most people I have a need to "Have My Say"on a broad range of things that I am thinking about. I can "Have My Say" in discussion with some one in my presence but I reach a larger audience with feedback on forums.
     
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  2. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Understand, Lon, but that has also got me into trouble on forums as well. I keep saying that a person has to watch the kind of topic/Thread they do and/or how they reply. There will be people that will totally disagree with a person's feelings/opinions. I have found that out to many times. LOL
     
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  3. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Maybe it all evens out in the long run.

    Ive disagreed with people and posts many times but Ive also been on the receiving end.

    My problem is that I don't think before I post and I'm trying very hard to not let my emotions get the better of me.

    Lately Ive posted a few things and then deleted them after thinking about it.

    I'm too impulsive and I guess I'm also too sensitive.
     
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  4. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Is there a lot of value in voicing an opinion that everyone agrees with? The important thing, I think, is how we deal with disagreement. Does it stir discussion or does it shut it up? I have opinions on a lot of things and, like most people, I'd like to be able to persuade others that my opinions are right and for them to adopt my opinions too, but that's not a realistic goal and it would probably scare me if it happened. I think there is value in offering your opinion even if you are the only person who holds it.

    I use forums for that purpose, of course, but I also use them to help myself think things through. Many years ago, on other forums, I would take positions that I didn't hold sometimes, just for the educational and entertainment value of being in a position of having to defend something that I didn't believe in. For me, that was a developmental thing; it was fun and it helped to strengthen my verbal skills, I suppose. That was an exercise that I had to take in college a couple times, and I learned the value of it.

    As I have grown older, I have placed greater value on who I am rather than on what I can pretend to be, and I no longer do that. Today, I use forums sometimes to help think things through. While I don't post opinions that I don't hold, I might state them more strongly sometimes, perhaps to see if they hold up under scrutiny.

    In this forum, I enjoy writing about things that have meant something to me at any point in my life. By writing them, I am reliving them to some extent, although I am well aware that they may be of no interest to anyone else here. The alternative is telling my wife the same stories over and over again, although I do that too. One of my cats gets mad when I tell her stories; the other one is deaf, so she doesn't care anymore.

    In another sense, it's a little bit like a journal or a diary. Although I have never been able to keep up a journal on a day-to-day basis, I can gain some of the benefits of doing so by posting about things that are going on in a forum.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Something I'd like to add about online forums, as opposed to other media like Facebook, is that I can come along days, weeks, or even years after a discussion has begun and still be able to join in. Of course, some forum administrators (not me) would get upset about posting to a thread that is years old, but it's not uncommon for people to do that here. While everything might remain on Facebook, things get pretty hard to find after only a day or two, and comments are pretty much in the moment. Often a discussion on someone's status update is pretty much over by the time I come across it a couple of hours later. That's why some people hang around on Facebook all day, I guess. You don't have to do that in an online forum.
     
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  6. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I participate in online forums because it gives me the illusion/feeling that I'm doing something constructive with my time.
     
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  7. Cody Fousnaugh

    Cody Fousnaugh Veteran Member
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    Wow, Chrissy, same as me. Lately I've started a reply, erased it and started all over again...…….after doing some thinking. I guess that old saying "learn from your mistakes" can be true.
     
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  8. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    I participate in forums to learn from others. You'd be surprised the number of things I have learned from y'all. Now, if I can just remember it. :D
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Great point. It goes both ways, too. We can be teachers and students, given that we come from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, etc.
     
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  10. Shirley Martin

    Shirley Martin Veteran Member
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    Yep, I can teach y'all how to pluck a chicken.:p
     
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  11. Gloria Mitchell

    Gloria Mitchell Very Well-Known Member
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    I like reading the different opinions of others.
    I like at least feeling like I have become friends with people I dont really know...but I learn something about them.
    There are many on this forum who have a talent or an appreciation for something shared that the rest of us find intresting..or funny or that we can relate to personally.
    I feel comfortable and at home on here...unlike FB which is still my least favorite.
     
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  12. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    To a point, you can. My wife and I met on a forum. It was an internal forum associated with the Open Directory Project, a web directory that we both began working for in 1998. Although the forum was set up to discuss directory business, there was a section for regular discussion as well. After knowing one another on the forum for a couple of years, we met and were married soon afterward, after learning that we were who we seemed to be on the forum.

    Not only did my wife and I meet there, but a few other people who I feel very close to, but have met in person only once, were people I met there, as well. Through a couple of these people, we have found a few jobs, including the one we've had for the past eight years or so, and we've gotten a few clients through people we knew from the ODP.
     
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  13. Sir Walter Pasty

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    Well I participate because it's fun!
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Yep, probably my main reason also.
     
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  15. Mary Robi

    Mary Robi Active Member
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    The fun, the challenge, the pleasure of meeting new people.
     
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  16. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Well-Known Member
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    I became aware of online forums some years ago. I started commenting on TV broadcasts and discovered that the community did not only talk about those but about a wide range of issues, mostly political ones, though. When the TV channel closed its forum because FB had become more in vogue I didn't want to do without online forums and began to actively look for alternatives.
    For me, online forums are an indispensable supplement to talks that I have in real life and they have some advantages:

    When I want to meet up with friends it usually takes some planning and negotiating a time that suits both or everyone involved. Sometimes expectations are high. But then we usually talk about private affairs, family, the challenges of daily life and business extensively. Only after a period of time conversation gradually shifts to such matters that are frequently and normally discussed on online forums such as political affairs and a wider range of more specific questions, topics, and interest. When it does, it's often time to say goodbye. I repeatedly notice that the exchange of opinions and ideas is not as satisfying and inspiring as on online forums because people didn't have time to inform themselves about those topics, have never heard about something etc. So real life conversations tend to be not as well-informed and interesting as some online discussions. Online discussions also take less planning. You can join and leave them as you like.

    I have benefited from researching a subject raised by others and discussed on a forum and I appreciate the wider range of opinions voiced by people I'd normally not have a chance of talking to. Contrary to what can be read in this thread I have absolutely no intention of even trying to persuade participants in a discussion. My motto is "Let's agree to differ." The fact that I usually don't reply to an argument more than once does not necessarily mean, however, that that's the end of the road. I just don't want to be argumentative. Having left my scent mark, so to speak, is enough in most cases. ;)
     
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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018 at 2:41 PM
  17. Babs Hunt

    Babs Hunt Veteran Member
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    I like forums because I really like putting my thoughts down on "paper" more than speaking them orally...and I also like discussing a wide range of subjects with others who do too.
     
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