Discussion or debate?

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by Franz Jostopovich, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. Sometimes I feel that DF members are overly sensitive. While using this forum, I frequently feel that things are taken very personally & members can get very defensive. Quite often while on this forum I feel a sense of black & white, I'm right, you're wrong, rather than open discussions to consider engaging a more multifaceted perspective from the experiences of others who see beyond our own noses just as we do for them. I learn insightful things from others here. There are far more views to many threads than posts my observation. Perhaps it is because people fear being accosted & would rather view from the outside without signing up as members themselves.

    I sense that the majority of members seem to be of a competitive nature & should be taken into account when posting to avoid conflict. To me this results in the necessity to phrase things in an extraordinarily delicate manner, more so than often required in general public. That is not to say this forum may or may not be considered a diversely mixed crowd, but it is a sub-culture with it's own ways in my opinion. Objective perspectives I often feel are a minority on here & there seem to be cliques. In my opinion, there seems to be a divide between the social dancers & the competitive dancers & it's sometimes apparently abrasive at times within the interaction of the two on this forum. I think, some members seem to garner fixed notions on other members based on what they write & almost begrudge them in any foreseeable opinions they may write. I feel that this comes from both sides of the camp to each other.

    In my opinion, the confidence of one's convictions can sometimes take the fa├žade of a defiance or conceit. I feel that, while it should exude a more receptive ear in the knowledge of being comfortable that one's existential reality is not being challenged, but trying to be understood by someone outside of it when a question or other opinion is being offered. Sometimes it may seem that the predictability of member's likes or dislikes for something can almost make one reluctant to avoid members accusing each other of instigating conflict or being deliberately offensive or discriminating. I think it would be nice if opinions could be shared without others taking things quite so literally & more figuratively or as speculation.

    I can understand that it's easy to simply ask someone to go away rather than talk things through. When one has many associated who agree with one's school of thought it can be even easier. But what of our compassion to those who also inhabit in a sub-culture with us? Is it not enough that isn't part of the main culture. Do we not want for it to expand rather than shrink by pushing each other down & away? Let's not be kind by under threat of expulsion, let us be kind by understanding. Those are my feelings & offerings to my fellow members.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  2. cornutt

    cornutt Well-Known Member

    You're new here, and yet you've been charging around like you own the place and know everything. (And you aren't the only one... we've had several new members appear here recently doing the same thing.) Let me give you a bit of advice: Going into a ballroom dancing forum to insult ballroom dancers is not the way to make friends and influence people. Some of the people that you have addressed here as if they are newbies have been dancing since you were in elementary school. That's not to pull out the age card, but a lot of the things you are bringing up are old, tired arguments. We've already had to defend ourselves against these charges a million times. It grows tiresome. Do some reading back through the older threads before you post again.
     
  3. See that's exactly what I'm talking about. I did read them, that's why I didn't start new posts on old subjects. I didn't just assume no one had brought it up just because I didn't bother to look it up. I brought back the old one's instead, but evidently that's not allowed either because it's been discussed by people before the newer members. The seniority complex is no way to get new members to sign up. Not everyone is the same age & if future generations are to learn anything from seasoned dancers I would think your generation would be glad for it. It makes people unwelcome when they aren't allowed to ask things in their own way. A different opinion that the majority isn't an argument. But if a minority opinion is just going to be squashed by the mass majority than what's the point of a forum other than to pat each other on the back for all being the same? I'm disappointed that you'd write such a harsh thing when I was trying to be nice.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  4. The way you responded to the post was exemplary of my point. I was trying to be nice & was met with harshness. I read through older posts from other members in threads & even reply directly to them. I didn't sign up to be a moderator because I don't want to own the place, so I'm aware that I don't. I'm never sure what I am or am not allowed to do or say & sometimes it feels like an exclusive club here. I'm not sure how many people here have ever felt that way being somewhere that they wanted to be in attendance at.
     
  5. Steve Pastor

    Steve Pastor Moderator Staff Member

    Figuring out how to bring things up in an established group is something that, for most people, is something that has to be learned.
    Heck, even being acknowledged by an established group can be difficult.

    cornutt has indicated to you that some of your comments are being interpreted as insulting to some people. It would be in your own best interests to try to figure out how works, so you can chose not to do it any more.

    It's not easy, I know that because it's something that took me many years to get the hang of. And I still mess up sometimes. And especially in an on line forum where you can't see someone's reaction or hear their tone of voice.

    You've already figured out the part about being super careful in what you write. You wrote about
    Short story here. In my work life I've been getting email from someone who is writing things that are really annoying me, and I'm cutting him slack because of who he is. I wish he would think more before he writes that stuff he is sending me, because it makes it really hard to not relaliate in kind. And that would only start a downward spiral in our work relationship.


    One thing you can do is write more sentences that end in question marks that in periods. Examples would be "So, how do you guys feel about paying professionals for dance lessons," or "I don't understand how you can... Could you explain that to me?"

    And, sometimes it just isn't a good idea to express an opinion that you know is just going to make a certain group mad.

    I'm pulling for you to figure it out because I've liked some of the things you've written, and don't want to see you get frustrated and go away. ("my generation" doesn't use the like button very often!)
     
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  6. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    And I'm done feeding it.
     
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  7. Siggav

    Siggav Moderator Staff Member

    I don't feel like there's a rift between competitive and social dancers, I don't even do ballroom myself and am a social dancer in my chosen dances but I find everyone to be nice here pretty much and a whole bunch of interesting discussions going on.

    Mutual respect goes a long way and I totally acknowledge that when it comes to dancing, what dances you do and how you like to do them is a different strokes for different people kind of thing which is all good. Things would be poorer if everyone did the same thing.

    Your language is probably not helping you much either Franz, it comes off as fairly over elaborate and academic which then makes it read as more arrogant than you probably intend. I don't mean to imply that you necessarily need to change how you write, more that you need to be extra careful how you phrase things to avoid hitting sore buttons.

    Also think things through a bit more from the other people's point of view, like in this specific post it appears to me as if you're saying that you think people are being overly sensitive and go on the attack, that they should change how they interact and in addition that there is an exclusionary clique with wrong opinions. You're saying people are being mean and disrespectful and narrow minded.

    How can anyone not go on the defensive after reading something like that pointed at themselves? Then if they go on the defensive or get angry they're being "overly sensitive" and proving your point from your point of view which doesn't go anywhere nice for the thread.

    I want to iterate that my summary of how I read your post is probably not what you intended to write but it's pretty much what I read from the words you wrote and I very much doubt I'm the only one who'll read it in a similar way. You can only control your words, and your words are the only thing we have to go on which is why "phrase(ing) things in an extraordinarily delicate manner" can actually be very helpful so that your meaning can actually shine through and we'll have something to have a discussion about instead of just stomping all over emotional hot spots.
     
  8. I wasn't trying to make this post just about me. There were other members I personally saw as being less than well received on here too. Perhaps by having their posts misunderstood for whatever reason it may be. Maybe I saw it wrong, but if I was at all onto something, then hopefully they can take something from this as well.
     
  9. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    Every community has it own set of dynamics, interpersonal relationships, norms, and standards. I frequent several other boards, some of them for a few years, and am only now getting the hang of who is who, their personalities and sticky spots. Not all of them are fluffy warm fuzzy and inviting. But I acknowledge them for what they are, accept my smack downs when I speak in a manner that is inconsistent with how THAT board runs. It take a long time to feel in the groove and comfortable in internet communities.

    I wouldn't be so quick to judge us. Believe me THIS board is WAY MORE tolerant of newcomers than many others.
     
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  10. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    This whole thing reminds me of a quote from one book I read as a child: "He insisted it was a discussion, but everyone clearly heard that it was an argument."
     
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  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    take a look around and see whether or not people are getting banned and moderated right and left....take a look around and see if people are hurling obscenities at you...take a look around and see how many others are feeling persecuted...people will disagree with you...and when the staff feels it is too harsh it will be dealt with...but you can't go around percieving every reaction to something that you post as an attack.... well, you can, but it won't serve you well...I have moderated for quite some time...and from where I sit, even people who have previously gotten upset with how df has moderated them, have often returned because, on balance, they know tht the atmosphere from members and staff is above average
     
  12. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
     
  13. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    probably...I will admit to being a tad offended...not just on my own behalf
     
  14. SDsalsaguy

    SDsalsaguy Administrator Staff Member

    I disagree Joe. As Larinda has noted, different forums each have their own styles and ways of doing things. Its not great when someone is new and takes in an incompatible slant on things, but its understandable. When the new person then starts pointing fingers at others, however, that's a different issue.
     
  15. Hedwaite

    Hedwaite Well-Known Member

    Also, there's been a change in the air over the past little while. The people who used to actively contribute- popular "familiar faces" , you don't see them here anymore, judging from backreading- I can think of at least three names. I don't know where they went, but they're not here. Maybe some people waited until some of the personalities have really drastically changed from "I'm going to brag about my super awesome dance life and mock yours" to someone far more humbled and wisened by their inevitable crashes, etc. (or maybe they got out of dancing when they left college) So yes, people change, and it's decent of the powers that be to understand that about people, and it also goes both ways with mods seeming to change and grow too. I don't think people are as offended about moderation as to whether or not it's based on something petty or if it's consistent. Sometimes people need "a break"- a lot of dancers are taking them right now, for example. Some don't like the atmosphere and avoid a place until they think it might have changed. If they stick their head in and see it's non-smoking, they'll sit down and stay awhile. If the air is still foggy, they'll go somewhere else.
     
  16. tancos

    tancos Active Member

    I tend to side with Franz on this. The first response to his post included the following:

    This leaves out the Salsa, Swing, AT, and CW groups on DF and any other dance forms. Cornutt's response also has 4 likes so far. This pretty much confirms Franz's impression.
     
  17. tanya_the_dancer

    tanya_the_dancer Well-Known Member

    And we have subforums on those, and Franz could have gone there and posted on those, if he wanted to talk about salsa, swing, AT or CW. But he went to the Ballroom subforum and posted rather insensitive comments there, on subjects that are kinda touchy (because I think he's right on one thing that there is a certain divide between serious competitors and purely social crowd). I don't think it's surprising that people got upset. I, for one, certainly don't appreciate the attempts by Freud wannabes to analyze why women are drawn to competitive ballroom.
     
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  18. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    Considering that franz has been posting in the ballroom section, I think that's a fair comment.

    Cornutt's comment is also right on.

    Over the past few months we have had a fair few new posters who come in, ask advice or questions, then spend the rest of the thread telling contributors why they're wrong. Lots of people are pretty fed up with the attitude.
     
  19. bia

    bia Well-Known Member

    Franz, I agree that things have been rather tense lately, and I understand that you feel attacked when people disagree with your personal opinion. However, I also think it could be related to the kinds of topics that you choose to post on and the ways that you often approach them. Specifically (whether from you or from others), threads often run into trouble when posts start generalizing about groups of people to which other forum members belong. Social dancers/competitive dancers/women/men/old people/young people/DF members (like the post that started this thread) do this/are like this/are motivated by this. (Often stated because it bothers the poster.) That opens the door for people who consider themselves one of the group described to feel offended, because they themselves don't do that/aren't motivated by that, etc. Other kinds of threads don't tend to run into the same problems, particularly ones, as Siggav pointed out, that are based on answering questions. How should I do my hair/stone my dress/choose a tailsuit/learn this routine/find a partner? Who's going to this comp/workshop/cruise/studio/social event; what was your experience like there? How can I improve my dancing/my lesson experience/my social dancing experience? Etc. etc. etc. (Of course, these threads can run into problems, too, if the OP insists that the offered advice is impossible, but that's another issue.) You don't have to go around asking for help all the time if you don't feel that you need it, but please recognize that there tends to be a relationship between a type of post and the kind of reaction it inspires. And even if you don't like the reaction, telling people that they're reacting wrong just adds fuel to the fire.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  20. tancos

    tancos Active Member

    Excuse me, but is the Dancers Anonymous forum, not the Ballroom forum.
     

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