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 Post subject: Forums and real life
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:15 am 
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Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 7:03 am
Posts: 3567
The way that people use a forum mirrors the way they behave in real life. Most people that use a forum do not make posts on a regular basis, but like to read the forum to find out what is happening. If the forum is used in an aggressive manner they will tend to leave. Most people in real life do not like to see unpleasantness and tend to try to avoid it.

Most people enjoy a bit of banter in real life, and most of the members who post in forums, as well as most of them that read them, don't mind a bit of polite banter. Sometimes this leads to misunderstandings, but with a bit of give and take these can be sorted out, just as they can in life.

When it comes down to "serious" issues most people don't get involved unless they feel strongly about them. In real life people are sometimes surprised to see someone become involved, and it is the same in forums.

People's responses to issues that generate disagreement are the same in a forum as they are in real life. If they are inclined to be peace makers they will try to smooth things over. If their approach in real life is to be vindictive and nasty you can be sure their posts will reflect this. If they are fair minded their posts will reflect this. If they are happy to have a calm discussion even when they disagree, then their posts echo this. If in real life they tend to try to bully people into agreeing with them they tend to do this in the forum. If they hold a consistent position you will see this reflected in their posts over time and if they do not this will also be obvious in their posts.

If in real life they have never really left the playground then you might find that they do the equivalent of "It's my ball and I am going home" or try to spoil the game for everyone else, or tell people "You can't be in my gang if you talk to him/her", or try to start a a new game that excludes those they don't like.

If people are inclined to talk about people behind their backs in real life they will probably find a way to do the same thing electronically, and if they are inclined to get other people to do their dirty work you shouldn't be surprised if the same thing happens in a forum, though as in real life, it isn't always obvious who has been taken in and who hasn't.

Of course, if in real life they are inclined to go on a bit and push points when most people have already got it, then they will do that to!! :oops:



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