So what's WITNESS ME for anyway?

Discussion in 'That's So Meta!' started by seebs, Mar 4, 2018.

  1. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    It turns out we don't know.

    Luka asked me to make a forum for this back in 2015. The conversation opened with Luka saying:
    So at the time, I was definitely against it being death-specific, but Luka wanted a Dead Loved Ones place, but also, he said:

    And I'd said:

    And that's... basically sorta where we left it? The forum description says "death, loss, grieving" which I understood to include kinds of loss other than death, but fairly final/permanent losses.

    I think my basic intuition is: The forum is for things which actually involve Stages Of Grieving or something like that. Not 100% specific to death, but strongly biased in the direction of unrecoverable losses.
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  2. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    So that aligns pretty well with what I would expect from that type of forum. Big losses, major life events that cause feelings of grief and loss.

    Is there a strong demand for it to be death-exclusive? Because otherwise, I would certainly prefer to have it be open to other major life events that cause grief. I think it's important to have a dedicated space for that.

    If there is a call for it to be death-only, could there be a secondary subforum for losses and grief not caused by death?
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  3. Acey

    Acey hand extended, waiting for a shake

    Amen to every single word of this. I'm really against it having to be completely death-exclusive. At the very least, we need a subforum for it--Holler Closet doesn't seem to be for grieving.
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  4. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    Major life events already have a place in two venting subforum unless they're about abuse, gender, etc. Talking about losing a job or a breakup or that sort of thing at a funeral doesn't seem appropriate, even if those things are just as devastating. They're different kinds of thing.
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  5. Saro

    Saro Where is wizard hut

    The forum isn't a funeral, and apparently was not even initially meant to be for death only. It's kind of disingenuous to compare it to one, and to imply by saying that that anyone who posted there regarding non-death experiences was interrupting a funeral-like process inappropriately.

    ETA: and when I chose not to post in Witness Me and instead posted in my vent thread about my new chronic illness diagnosis, I did not get the support I needed or wanted.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
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  6. chaoticArbiter

    chaoticArbiter an actual shiny eevee (destroyer of worlds)

    yeah also I've always regarded brainbent/holler closet as...General Vent Threads where people just kinda. yell about daily shit in the same thread
    as opposed to some Big Event that really affected them that they want to talk about specifically in a thread only about that event
    plus, I mean. losing a job or relationship IS a loss. it's not death, but I also don't consider it something I personally would put in my vent thread. I use my vent thread for like.... "today I screwed up the bus schedule and now I missed this Very Important Appointment, fuckdammit, y'all."
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  7. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    It was specifically asked for in regards to a dead family member.

    I'm not implying anything about anyone who posted without being aware of that context, not knowing a thing isn't a crime. It's just been extremely heavily focused on death from the start and I thought the intent was clear with the other mods. It seems not.
  8. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    Yes, I was there, I made the forum. It has definitely tended strongly towards death, but other kinds of loss like permanent separations, etcetera, have also been a thing. We had relationship endings, we had alzheimer's... It was not ever stated to be definitely death-only. Luka had, at the time, expressed a preference in that direction. I'd expressed a preference against it. It was never actually formalized, and the only actual statement I can find on the topic was in a thread about TCHGB, where I said Witness Me was for "I am sad, acknowledge my sad".
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  9. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    Okay. I'm well aware that death and dying isn't all that special or respected anymore generally. If you want everything to be all mixed up without any special significance then make that clear to the rest of us.
  10. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    I think it's a bit unfair to imply that putting other types of loss in Witness Me means that death isn't being respected. A messy break-up of a relationship can be just as traumatic and involve all the same stages as the grieving and mourning process for a loved one dying, but without necessarily having any sense of closure and finality.
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  11. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    If we want death separate (Do we, as a forum, want that? Might be something a poll could be useful for) I would suggest a new subsubforum for other kinds of loss, so those have a place to go.
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  12. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    I'm not implying anything, I'm outright saying that western cultures have lost their reverence and respect for death, which is a well researched and established fact. That doesn't mean anything negative about people here individually.
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  13. Codeless

    Codeless Cheshire Cat

    Do you Want a death only section? Because I think it would be more helpful to just say that.
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  14. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    I'm really confused here. The question isn't whether those things are "special" or "respected". It's whether we ever made a clear determination as to the intended scope of the forum, and so far as I can tell, we never did. I can't find anything which ever stated it explicitly, anyway?

    I dunno. I'm not super comfortable with the heavy emotional weighting on the terminology here, "all mixed up without any special significance" seems to have some pretty strong value judgment baked in. The subforum as a whole is giving special significance to losses, but I don't think we ever had a clear or agreed intent beyond that. We had several people with different preferences and sort of handwaved it without really reaching any kind of decision. And it's not that this is intended to show disrespect to the dead, or whatever, it's just that we never really talked about it, and the closest I can find to a statement ever about the intent was that offhand remark about "I am sad, acknowledge my sad" being the intent of the forum.
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  15. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    Re: codeless, I want Seebs to have been clear about how "the place where all the death posts go" isn't specifically For death. Secret rules at jobs piss me off and make it impossible for me to serve people (you all) effectively without big incidents of confusion.
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  16. TheMockingCrows

    TheMockingCrows Resident Bisexual Lich

    I guess in my case I'm wondering why my divorce post wasn't an issue a month ago, but was now? Or why a post about realizing the last of my family basically had no want of me from months ago has been a-ok the whole time as well. the latter i agree should've prolly gone to a different forum but I was hurting and needed some kind of direct response at the time and put it there. Mods have all been in the divorce thread for certain and I Definately Can Confirm I was using that forum in the "I am going through extremely serious shit, Witness Me" sense way w/ loss and the 7 stages of grief way and not the death way even if it felt like a huge chunk of me died.

    eta: i'm not angry, and i'm worried my text might paint me that way so i'm clarifying just in case: i ain't upset, i'm confused bc i was going by what was in the tagline and grief and loss means that to me + seebs' definition before, so i'm just as confused as you i think.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2018
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  17. chthonicfatigue

    chthonicfatigue Bitten by a radioactive trickster god

    @Beldaran I have a feeling that there may be some spiritual and cultural differences at play here regarding the whole respect for death thing, because extreme pragmatism around death and dying is and has been the social norm here (edited to add: in my actual geographic location, not speaking for the forum) for as long as I can remember, but if I'm misunderstanding something we can clarify elsewhere if you're willing.
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  18. Beldaran

    Beldaran 70% abuse and 30% ramen

    Apologies, I'm already 20 minutes late for work, I'll be away for a while.
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  19. Verily

    Verily surprised Xue Yang peddler

    For my part, I’m all for having a special place for deaths specifically if people would like that. It makes sense to me.

    But I’m very much in favor of keeping a place in WITNESS ME for other losses as well, since that seems to matter to a lot of users. I agree that it’s not the same vibe as the other subforums. If you post in a vent area, people have to check your tags and/or first post to know if you even want responses at all. WITNESS ME seems like a much more useful place to post if you specifically want people to know you’re needing sympathy and support. Venting is where you go when you need to talk, not when you need someone to listen.
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  20. seebs

    seebs Benevolent Dictator

    That makes sense. I think the intent from my point of view was "the place for severe losses". All (or nearly all) deaths are severe losses, but not all severe losses are death. "All posts about Trump should go in the politics forum" does not imply "the politics forum is only for posts about Trump."

    And in my original conversation with Luka, I originally said that I wanted to include things like divorce, and he said he really wanted a dead loved ones place, and... we didn't actually resolve that. We didn't have a way to; there's no unambiguous way to prove that one of them is right and one isn't.

    I think this is a bit like the thing where Brainbent gradually evolved into a Vent Threads forum instead of an AU Discussion forum.

    I think... The current scope is roughly Death, but in the sense of the Tarot card. Irreconcilable losses and irreversible changes and things that require that kind of processing. Divorce, relative-with-alzheimers, the mom you could have had but you got this abusive nutjob instead. We've had all of those show up in the past, and I think that's probably within the approximate intent.

    And if we wanted to split that out somehow, or subdivide, or something, we totally could. I'm not sure whether it would be worth it, it's already really low traffic.
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