Rating System (was: what even are social noises round N+1)

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Mar 31, 2017.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    So I've been mystified forever because people think I don't listen to alternative viewpoints and so on. Today, several people have informed me that there is a social protocol for acknowledging that you are considering a point. (Like, someone told me this, I checked, other people confirmed.)

    What. The. Fuck.

    I sort of assumed that the idea of any kind of discussion was that you should always consider everything and that you should explicitly mark if you're unwilling to. Because why on earth would I have things in front of me that might be good reasons to change my mind, and not actually check them out fairly carefully? Like, why would I even do that?

    And one of the things I've noticed is that I tend to get along way better with people in 1-1 conversations... Which is to say, in conversations where the conversation's structure necessarily implies explicit acknowledgement of the other party's messages.

    So I want to make a thing clear: If I haven't put you on ignore, or specifically stated that I have disinterest in what you're saying, and you're in a thread with me, I am reading what you write. I am thinking about it. Even if I don't always say so.

    I'll try to be better about saying so.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    • Like x 13
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  2. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    UNSPOKEN SOCIAL RULES!!! My favorite!!!!

    Teal deer, in a large discussion, okay. If you particularly disliked a person, you'd already decided their ideas were bad and they should feel bad, or you just wanted to upset them, all of those would be scenarios where someone might routinely ignore anything another person is contributing to a group conversation. I can't say for sure which one people would be most likely to read, and I'm sure there are some other flavors of interpretation, but those are all likely readings. And things which I've done in the past!

    In the more innocent flavors of deliberate ignoring, it's similar to a way people who use the ignore function on the site for other users, which is still a thing you can do even without removing the text from in front of you. If someone's words are bothering you, if they're making a point that upsets you, or if they're just stressing you out in general, skimming past anything they write lets you keep participating in the conversation without... having to completely take your eyes off them, if that makes sense? You're keeping tabs on them, but you're stepping back from a stressful thing to take care of yourself.

    Alternately, if I'm... I dunno, extreme case: Let's say I'm trying to say that college can be a valuable experience and someone is sticking HARD to the point that no, formal education is never ever necessary for anything, and refusing to budge from that position. From where I'm standing, that position is absurd, they're clearly not hearing anything I'm saying, and if I keep responding to their points they're not going to let this conversation progress. So even without necessarily making a conscious decision, I'm likely kinda going to. Just stop reading their posts. It's going to ring as [empty space], and my eyes will slide right past it.

    (plus, honestly, I'm prone to getting stuck in a spot where OBVIOUSLY i know best and everyone else arguing is either stupid or just trying to mess with me, so no! I'm not going to listen! Screw you!! Especially if I've got history or vanity or self-assurance on my side, I'm more likely to be stubborn and dig in and refuse to be moved. And if I already know I'm not going to be moved, then I'm not going to bother to listen. Those people are Wrong and listening will just irritate me. I'm not sure how prone people are to this in general, but it's a thing that can happen.)

    Annnd most malicious flavor, if I'm in an argument and I'm angry, and I want to make another person upset, then one of the most effective methods that makes me look the least bad is to just stop acknowledging what they say. I might be reading their things, I might not, but by making it clear that I'm still around and I'm not paying attention to what they've taken the time to type out, I get to take a sneaky hit at them that isn't strictly the move of an aggressing party. So like, I recently got a person on my blog trying to argue some convoluted point over a stupid tiny piece of meta I put up for shits and giggles, and kinda called me disgusting. At first I tried to engage them sincerely, and explained myself at some length, but then they got MORE convoluted and angry and said I was the one calling myself disgusting, so there. Okay. Alright. I read their whole response a couple times, and I could have written an essay back, and I even could kind of see where the communication disconnect was. But I just responded 'hahaha, oh my god, dude.' And they flipped. Maybe I shouldn't have done that, but I was/am very pleased.

    So if someone is already upset that they think you're favoring X person, or you're biased against them because Y, maybe outside of the emotions the most logical conclusion is that this is a large, fast discussion, and even if you're able to read everything, responding to it is much harder. But with those emotions, especially if they're trying to make a particular point and it doesn't seem to be getting a clear acknowledgment, it's much easier to jump to one of these conclusions. But what you said up there, about the more explicit acknowledgments that you've read the thing, that's pretty much the right(/only?) path forward to improving that.

    Actually, now that I think about it, this is why when I shove myself in the middle of an argument, I tend to lead off heavily with responding to anyone with 'I get where you're coming from,' 'I understand what you're telling me,' or drawing some kind of parallel to myself so they can see I'm sympathizing, and that implicitly, I've read and given consideration to the thing they're posting. Or at the very least, I try to summarize/rephrase their point and be like 'I think that's what you're saying?' In cold terms, once I've drawn a line between us of acknowledgment or of 'same hat', they're more likely to listen to anything I say in disagreement, but also the more likely they are to let any anger or frustration simmer down, because being deliberately ignored is pretty infuriating. And in practical terms, I tend to skim, and this does make me slow down and be sure I'm processing. It gets me results, so it's a pattern I slip into.

    OH, and extra detail. If do you mark out just the things you're not going to listen to or consider, then that along with the 'yes I am listening to this' being only implied, that gives an impression from the outside that like... That your approach to the conversation is very rejection-centric. There are the aspects of the discussion that are in the main conversational line, okay. But any points raised outside that direct line that aren't getting talked about right then, the only feedback people on the outside see is negative. I don't know if I'm communicating this right. But if you're busy talking about A, and I mention 'but what about X, Y, and Z?' If you go on talking about A and just mention that 'no, X is off the table,' that's the only flavor I've got for how you're interpreting my ideas. Maybe you're considering Y and Z, but I don't know that, all I know is that you rejected X (so you've probably rejected my Y and Z too), and I'm going to be stung because hey, I had some other good thoughts in there :(

    It's not a thing I'm too prone to, I'm vain enough that pff, even if you rejected my one idea, you're obviously still considering the others because I'm brilliant and everything I say is brilliant. That's totally a failure mode on my part, but I don't think that's too-too usual for a response, especially if people are already upset. Otherwise I tend to be on the side of doing-the-ignoring, and I tend to do it deliberately. And because of my essay responses to short posts, I'm not even always doing it for self-care or malice, it's often just because there's only so much textwalling I can subject people to :P But that's some of the stuff that's at play. You've got the right idea for defusing it, but juggling this stuff in fast discussions with the moderation delay hiccups could be tricky, so you might want to err on the side of extra-explicit acknowledgment, and maybe lead off early in the discussion with 'I am trying to consider all the possibilities, and I may not respond to every detail, but I am processing it.' Socialization!! How does it even work?
    • Like x 8
  3. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Your approach to communication is mostly pragma-dialectical, which is a fine approach.

    The problem with that model is that most people don't use it for day-to-day communication. It tends to be used mostly in situations of formalized rhetoric and it seems to me a good number of people have a bad reaction to those situations. So when people see/hear someone using pragma-dialectics, they are reminded of situations such as court, examinations, or other things they find stressful.

    While P-D is definitely useful (I cut cards a couple of years ago to make the case that it is necessary for human survival), it's not the end-all, be-all of human communication. There ain't no P-D on Tiki Beach and we talk real good there!
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2017
    • Like x 18
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  4. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yeah. Not sure I can do much to change the thing, but it may help to at least point the thing out.
    • Like x 4
  5. Emma

    Emma Your resident resident

    At this point it seems like you should just walk around with a disclaimer, seebs and hand it out to people before you do anything else :P
    • Like x 4
  6. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    maybe it should be in seebs' signature

    not everyone has signatures enabled but the people who do will be able to see it, at least
    • Like x 2
  7. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yeah. Although at least some of the problem involves people who know about the thing, and have specifically confirmed that they know about the thing, and who then persist in acting as though the thing has never been mentioned.

    I've actually been told that I should, you know, just change how I communicate so no one misunderstands me. Because that is totally a revolutionary idea that I wouldn't have come across sometime in the last 30+ years of being autistic.
    • Like x 9
  8. social noises are the glub glub and all are friend now
    • Like x 3
  9. devian

    devian Well-Known Member

    Random thought: Have you considered using the likes system?

    I mean, in certain kinds of threads (vent or advice threads with a specific OP, generally) people already use likes as a shorthand for something to the effect of "I have read this post and appreciate your contribution". So it seems like you could pretty easily apply that to policy discussion or other such threads where people are concerned that you're reading all of their input. You could use the likes as a low-effort way to mean "I have seen this post and will take it into account, even if I don't respond to you directly", and that way people could be reassured that you read the thing even if you don't have anything in particular to say in response.

    I mean, there are ways it could go wrong (if you forget to like someone's post that person might be unhappy), but it seems like something worth considering if you're having problems with this kind of thing.
    • Like x 12
  10. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    huh. i could see problems with that, but it's worth considering. the ambiguity of what "like" even means has been a problem for us, though.
    • Like x 6
  11. Existrum

    Existrum Member

    I suggest changing it from like to witness. You may still end up with some confusion but at least no one would have to explain a sympathy like again.
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  12. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    maybe we should have a parallel system with a button labeled "poke just to be an asshole" and you can see "Name, Name, and three other users poked this just to be an asshole", and then we'll have fewer arguments over interpretation
    • Like x 8
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  13. spockandawe

    spockandawe soft and woolen and writhing with curiosity

    I'm just enjoying thinking of all the fan town threads with this alternate take on what the like button means :')
    • Like x 3
  14. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Wel I mean an alternate button to witness would be useful of pawsible, but i believe it is not? I recall some discussion there
  15. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I think it'd be pretty hard. Although now that I think about it, it'd be a lovely thing for them to implement; define more than one such thing.
    • Like x 3
  16. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    • Like x 2
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  17. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    • Like x 1
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  18. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Okay, added. Took out some of the obviously-insulting ratings, labeled one of the others "hugs" and another "witnessed". Also figured out that it wasn't showing the things, and it should be now.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
    • Useful x 6
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  19. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Do you mind saying what you took out? (I´m curious)
  20. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    ....and i just spent a good half hour trying to figure out why we had the bleep bloops in the corner now

    cool! i like it!

    well, ok, i'm screaming in fear of the unknown constantly, but it'll go away. can we adjust art for icons?
    • Like x 6
    • Agree x 3
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