(sigh) I know I said I'd let this go–but again, I feel I am being misunderstood.
Foolio--I am familiar with and I do know most of the posters who come here regularly. I have also been around long enough to remember when this thread started and what it has meant to forum-users. That is why I am making these posts. You may disagree with me, but implying that my posts are trying to say there is something wrong with the posters themselves when they engage in light banter here is just plain wrong.
What I am saying is that you can't have it both ways–you can't say that there is no problem when people have come here to post that they feel there is one, then turn around and tell those posters that if they have a problem, it is their own, because there's nothing wrong here. They just said something bothered them, and you tell them its all in their heads? THAT goes against the spirit of this thread, and feels like a bit of peer pressure trying to force folks to follow the way you prefer things. I'm fairly positive that you never meant it that way, but that is how it comes off. And sadly, I feel it would be useless of me to try to prove my point further since it seems as if you've got your head set of proving me wrong, rather than even being open minded enough to accept the very idea that there might be something here to look at.
Look–not one person here has ever said that light hearted banter has no place on these forums--that would be stupid. Of course it does. Even here, in this thread, in moderation, is fine, IMHO. What I (and now several other people) are saying is that when you have something weighing on your mind, coming to a thread where there's a lot of light hearted banter makes you feel less like sharing. In this one thread, out of all the hundreds on the forum, why is it outrageous to suggest that it might be best to move an off topic conversation elsewhere? Why does it have to mean you can't have them at all? Why do I get the feeling that you feel as if I'm trying to take something away from you when all I'm asking is that you consider that not everyone is strong enough to go against the current, and that this is where they have been traditionally able to come and not feel judged? Yet here you stand, seemingly, not only judging me for bringing this all up, but judging those very people for not having the strength to do something you feel they ought to be able to. You do not know their story, or them–why do you feel the right to judge them?
And FTR--Whether people answer the confessions or not is not related to that point at all, but is a separate point. Answering or not is voluntary, and yes, of course most of the time it happens. No one ought to feel like this is the place where they will get their weekly therapy for free--but they ought not to feel that coming here risks judgemental attitudes about whether they have the stuff to post at all, IMHO. YMMV, of course...
The only thing I actually said was that it created a better atmosphere. Obviously that's only true as long as people aren't insulting each other. Why does it make you feel uncomfortable? Is it because you don't want to bring down a light conversational mood with some serious confession? I stand by my view that if you have read over posts and have any familiarity with the people here, that makes no sense. I have never seen someone be flat-out disrespectful to anyone who jumps in to post what this thread was created for. I do think organic conversation should be allowed, as long as somebody doesn't come in and blatantly start an off-topic chat. If I just randomly posted "who likes pizza?" that would not be a good post.
We'll have to agree to disagree then. I have known many people who are cheered up by going to a party, and then again I have known some who just feel more alone. There is nothing inherently wrong with either of those reactions, and neither have anything to do with whether folks are actually insulting each other or not. This is not about teh posters who are bantering, Follio–its about the feelings of those who may hesitate to post. Again, its a matter of what you feel the purpose of the thread is, and whether this sort of banter is helpful in making people feel comfortable posting or not. I do not.
I think this argument on what is/isn't contructive as far as discussion in this thread goes might be far more discouraging to someone who wants to post something serious due to the intense argument
Maybe, but if good comes from it, then perhaps the ends will justify the means. Already several people have come forth to say they have felt discouraged from posting–long term, good members, too. Statistically there's a good chance there are more who are not as strong in their place in the forum who don't feel safe posting even that.
Look--its all good--we NEED to talk about the forum and how it works--you people are obviously heavily invested in it one way or the other, as am I, even if I have been absent more than not recently--and it belongs to all of us, and we make it what it is. This particular thread, though, IMHO, was set up and intended to reach out to the very people who might feel the most trepidation in using it. The forums also belong to people like them. If you are strong and have no worries about what others think of you, then yay for you--more power to you, and all that jazz, but that has nothing, zilch, zero, to do with anyone else and whether they feel the same, and I must say it feels rather unkind to say that "if you have a problem, that's not my business" in a thread based on letting people post their problems. Elsewhere that may be appropriate, but here? I don't get it. I'd say "maybe that's just me," but several people have come in here to say its not.