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#1817726 - 01/03/12 10:24 AM whatever happened to manners?
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
This is a post of exasperation. Over the last year I have gained a lot of reading and taking part in this forum, and have started piano teaching as a business, partly because of the wisdom I can tap into here.

But threads so often turn nasty. One person says something which another takes offence to, and before you know it, it's just an argument about who's got the bigger balls. By which time the original, and genuine question has been forgotten. The subjects we disagree about are all too predictable - business ethic, reading vs memorising, etc, etc

Certain things, we have differing views on. I just don't like the forum being used as a beating-up-shop. It makes me reluctant to post a genuine question.
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#1817741 - 01/03/12 10:56 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
I sometimes feel the same way. I hesitate to post questions because questions asking for feedback, result in unsolicited criticism. Usually, the responder hasn't fully read the original posts, and throws out accusations or makes suggestions that have already been done. Before posting unfriendly opinions against someone's beliefs or policies, read thoroughly, so you know what you're talking about. And keep on track -- just answer the question please! We are all professionals here and uncharitable criticism against one another is hurtful and senseless.

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#1817782 - 01/03/12 12:20 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Scott Coletta Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/07/11
Posts: 514
Loc: Chicago
Way too many egos amongst musicians smile.

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#1817789 - 01/03/12 12:34 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Sometimes there are bad manners here.

And then, sometimes a simple disagreement is perceived as bad manners.

Happens both ways. Perhaps more with the latter.
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#1817790 - 01/03/12 12:37 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I just don't get why it has to get personal. Suppose I don't like the way you play piano, teach piano, run your business? We don't share an office, we don't *need* go agree! smile It's fine, we can go our separate ways.

And if you insult me, what do I care? We'll never meet, so why should that matter to me?

(Just for clarity, by 'you' I don't mean any particular person, just 'someone' that might be posting on a thread.)

It's like baiting has become a sport. By 'baiting' I mean posting something not overtly insulting, but knowing that it will irritate someone, and probably spur them into insulting you, at which point, you can insult them back *and* get to take the moral high-ground.
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#1817791 - 01/03/12 12:38 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Hi ten left thumbs. I hope you stay with us on this forum. I plan to do my best to use good manners. Occasionally I slip, but want to do better.

On the bright side, I have found that when I overlook the rude attitude of a post, and just look at the main point, I can learn from these insulting posts too (sometimes).

I think many folks believe that popping off at someone shows how powerful they are. Hopefully they'll learn in time that self control shows more power than shouting insults at people. I think self control has become undervalued.


Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/03/12 12:47 PM)

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#1817794 - 01/03/12 12:44 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
rysowers Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/16/07
Posts: 2495
Loc: Olympia, WA
Bad manners in forums most often comes down to a very small, yet loud, minority of participants. Being able to identify those types of members can help. When you read an outrageous post you can simply think to yourself "Oh, it's just so-and-so spouting off again" and not let it get to you.
_________________________
Ryan Sowers,
Pianova Piano Service
Olympia, WA
www.pianova.net

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#1817816 - 01/03/12 01:33 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: rysowers]
AZNpiano Online   happy
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 5587
Loc: Orange County, CA
Originally Posted By: rysowers
Bad manners in forums most often comes down to a very small, yet loud, minority of participants. Being able to identify those types of members can help.


There was another forum that I used to visit and post messages. I stopped because quite a few of the participants have bad manners, including the mods.

Threads like this have surfaced before. One poster explained that, because forum members don't talk face to face, we do get more confrontational. Had this forum been a real-life meeting, people would conduct themselves in a more civilized manner.
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#1817840 - 01/03/12 02:25 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
I think it is absolutely that people are protected by the distance and anonymity of cyber-space, that they feel it's OK to be rude. But, I do also spend time in other forums where participants are nice to each other. Not because they are moderated to death, but just because that's the ethic. It is possible.
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I am a competent teacher.


www.justfingers.co.uk
www.babysinging.co.uk

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#1817845 - 01/03/12 02:36 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: AZNpiano]
liszt85 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/26/08
Posts: 3159
Originally Posted By: AZNpiano
Had this forum been a real-life meeting, people would conduct themselves in a more civilized manner.


True. However, people are more honest on these anonymous forums. A dose of honesty everyday can't hurt. If your policy sucks, other members here will tell you as much. You are welcome to disagree of course. Similarly, if my playing absolutely sucks, I would want somebody knowledgeable here to point it out to me. In fact, if I come here and post a recording claiming that its the best ever, and if it truly sucks, you would be doing me a favor by calling me delusional and explaining why exactly you think so (see the BachMach2 thread in the pianist corner recording forum). I'm not going to get that in person because people like to be nice to each other in person. So I really don't mind people getting confrontational with me as long as they have a valid point to make. I'm not here to date or to make friends, so I don't care if people aren't nice to me as long as I get useful information from their posts. I do care if they aren't nice AND have nothing useful to offer which is when I respond in kind. And finally, of course, like most other people here, I'm pretty nice in person. So people shouldn't be taking confrontations here too seriously. Look for the useful information in these posts and then move along.
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#1817854 - 01/03/12 02:42 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: TimR]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: TimR

And then, sometimes a simple disagreement is perceived as bad manners.


I would say this is the crux of the problem.

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#1817873 - 01/03/12 03:07 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
It's the ease of hitting the "send button", I think, that is a large part of harsh words.

More than once a little voice has said, "Don't send that. Wait a few hours."

Then the OTHER voice (the devil/angel scenario!) says, "But you know you want to say this right now. Why censor?"

It is also very easy to forget the people we are talking to are real people, with issues, with difficult things happening in their lives.

However, I also think that there is always a very vocal minority that enjoys stirring the pot. In the real world they would either be ignored or totally avoided.

Here they have power and abuse it, often.
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Piano Teacher

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#1817875 - 01/03/12 03:10 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
trhmusic Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/11
Posts: 41
Loc: Texas
I have only recently started visiting forums such as this (the last 2 months). I started coming to this one because I was really put off by another forum that seemed to be nothing but people bashing each other and insulting others. I think for the most part, people are trying to be helpful but can come across as being rude. I have decided to overlook the rude tones I perceive (I can't necessarily read the tone of someone's comments); and focus on the experience and wisdom of others that I can learn from and hopefully help others with my own. I am personally trying to make sure that my comments don't insult others, because my actions are the only ones I can control.
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Piano Teacher
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"Bringing the joy of music to the next generation"

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#1817878 - 01/03/12 03:13 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Gary D.]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
However, I also think that there is always a very vocal minority that enjoys stirring the pot. In the real world they would either be ignored or totally avoided.

Here they have power and abuse it, often.


I think though we need to make a distinction. It is one thing to "stir the pot" and it is another to just be a troll.

Stirring the pot can be a good thing. There is nothing wrong with playing the devil's advocate, in fact it can lead to healthy new insights in many cases.

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#1817880 - 01/03/12 03:16 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Tararex Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/11
Posts: 439
Loc: Middle Georgia, USA
Originally Posted By: ten left thumbs
This is a post of exasperation. Over the last year I have gained a lot of reading and taking part in this forum, and have started piano teaching as a business, partly because of the wisdom I can tap into here.

But threads so often turn nasty. One person says something which another takes offence to, and before you know it, it's just an argument about who's got the bigger balls. By which time the original, and genuine question has been forgotten. The subjects we disagree about are all too predictable - business ethic, reading vs memorising, etc, etc

Certain things, we have differing views on. I just don't like the forum being used as a beating-up-shop. It makes me reluctant to post a genuine question.


I agree. A handful of otherwise interesting PW members have a consistent difficulty in comprehending that their public airing of private disagreements equates to bad manners.

Now the occasional slip up in the heat of discussion is not what I'm talking about. Most of us will suffer that error on occasion and it's to be expected in normal conversation. It's the "my opinions are fact, others are rubbish" enforcers who launch unending pong-battles that IMO could use a nice thick string-blanket. grin

Luckily it's not a majority. But yes, it is exasperating.
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#1817954 - 01/03/12 05:20 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
My 9th grader came home with his new schedule for this quarter. One teacher's info to students/parents has behavior expectations and it includes directions that students are not to ridicule each other. Maybe we need to add something like that here on PW.

I see the word "troll" used, but not sure what it means. Anyone care to explain?



Edited by Ann in Kentucky (01/03/12 06:55 PM)

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#1817961 - 01/03/12 05:34 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Overexposed]
polyphasicpianist Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/21/11
Posts: 1238
Originally Posted By: Ann in Kentucky
I see the word "troll" used, but not sure what it means. Anyone care to explain?


From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet)

In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4] The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted".

. . .

The "trollface" (pictured below) has become a well-recognized icon of Internet trolling. It was drawn by deviantArt user Whynne and uploaded to the site in 2008.



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#1818014 - 01/03/12 06:56 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Overexposed Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/22/08
Posts: 2649
Thanks PPP. Now I get it. Yes I have seen that sort of thing. Now I'll know there is a name for it.

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#1818029 - 01/03/12 07:24 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Bob Newbie Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/02/06
Posts: 1555
But most of the time due to its secretive nature,people tend to be overtly blunt..
if someone is studying to be concert pianist and submits a video for input
a member might think he or she is being cute by saying "don't quit your day job"
but might be devastating to the player, then arguments ensue,and its "I'm insulted!"
"pistols at dawn!" ..the internet has its pro's & cons.. frown

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#1818051 - 01/03/12 08:41 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
There is almost nothing that is accomplished by what certain people euphemism as "bluntness" that can not be accomplished equally well with a modicum of concern for how the criticism will be perceived by the recipient.

There's an old saying "A gentleman never insults another unless it is on purpose". When someone is unpleasant or confrontational online that is a choice. It is not a limitation of the medium but simply the manner in which that person chooses to interact with others.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1818087 - 01/03/12 09:49 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Jerry Groot RPT Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/07/07
Posts: 6828
Loc: Grand Rapids Michigan
Well, I know that I have had to apologize more than once for losing my cool. I can tend to jump the gun sometimes. I think most of us have probably been guilty of saying or doing things we shouldn't at one time or another without thinking first. Sometimes, things were taken out of context, not meant a certain way, or, not explained well enough for one reason or another. Sometimes we assuming to much, or some people just collide.

I see it a lot more in homes. The new generation are very spoiled. Parents with spoiled kids that actually hit them. I can hardly watch it, that they actually allow them to sometimes just pound on them. My dad would have had me over his knee so fast, I wouldn't have time to even blink!

I apologize again, if or when I've said anything that I should not have if I'm one of those wieners being talked about... frown
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Piano Technicians Guild
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www.grootpiano.com

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#1818102 - 01/03/12 10:22 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Brent H]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: Brent H

There's an old saying "A gentleman never insults another unless it is on purpose".


I kind of like Churchill's version: "When you have to kill a man, it costs you nothing to be polite."
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gotta go practice

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#1818118 - 01/03/12 11:05 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: trhmusic]
Morodiene Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12211
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Originally Posted By: trhmusic
I have decided to overlook the rude tones I perceive (I can't necessarily read the tone of someone's comments); and focus on the experience and wisdom of others that I can learn from and hopefully help others with my own. I am personally trying to make sure that my comments don't insult others, because my actions are the only ones I can control.


This is very wise. You really cannot tell the tone of words in written form, and so if in doubt, it's always best to ask for clarification before jumping off the deep end. This very thing happened the other day. Someone posted something and since it was a hot-button topic I read into it as meaning one thing when in fact they meant just the opposite. Asking for clarification set me right. smile
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#1818153 - 01/04/12 12:44 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4441
Loc: San Jose, CA
I have seen some of those tooth-and-toenails 'conversations' here, but the mods don't encourage it, and the other readers don't have to continue to follow the thread once the see it has turned bad. (Of course, sometimes we can't resist watching the train wreck.)

This forum strikes me more for its friendliness and mannerly tone, in general. There are a few cranks, which is a different category than troll, determinedly spouting disinformation. But many times, the shared knowledge turns up valuable facts or leads.
_________________________
Clef


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#1818174 - 01/04/12 01:40 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Brent H]
Gary D. Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 4814
Loc: South Florida
Originally Posted By: Brent H
When someone is unpleasant or confrontational online that is a choice. It is not a limitation of the medium but simply the manner in which that person chooses to interact with others.

thumb
This is not to say that I have not chosen to be less than polite at times. We all have weak moments, and I am guilty of typing something off quickly, in irritation, then hitting "submit" when I really know I should not.

But a day later I don't feel good about it. Sometimes I don't feel good about it an hour later.

I wonder if some of us don't write sharper than usual comments HERE because we are so busy censoring ourselves in lessons! laugh
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Piano Teacher

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#1818204 - 01/04/12 04:32 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
kevinb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 1565
Welcome to the Web smirk

In my experience, the only Web forums that do not have the problems mentioned in the OP are ones that are intensively moderated.

Some forums maintain a separate section for topics that come around over and over again, and are unlikely to result in agreement. It seems to be these topics that generate the most heat. In my view, this forum would benefit from such a approach, but it does require a heavily hands-on approach to moderation.

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#1818224 - 01/04/12 06:35 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Gary D.]
Brent H Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/06/11
Posts: 843
Originally Posted By: Gary D.
This is not to say that I have not chosen to be less than polite at times. We all have weak moments, and I am guilty of typing something off quickly, in irritation, then hitting "submit" when I really know I should not.


Yes, guilty as charged. Another time I indulge in too much "bluntness" (i.e. impoliteness) is when I've been spending too much time in various online conversations. But there is a certain tendency to vent ones impatience and coarser instincts online and save the better behavior for Real Life.
_________________________
Current Life+Music Philosophy: Less Thinking, More Foot Tapping

Ars Longa, Vita Brevis

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#1818334 - 01/04/12 11:12 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Brent H]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Brent H
There is almost nothing that is accomplished by what certain people euphemism as "bluntness" that can not be accomplished equally well with a modicum of concern for how the criticism will be perceived by the recipient.

There's an old saying "A gentleman never insults another unless it is on purpose". When someone is unpleasant or confrontational online that is a choice. It is not a limitation of the medium but simply the manner in which that person chooses to interact with others.



Exactly!

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#1818336 - 01/04/12 11:14 AM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1214
Loc: NJ
Originally Posted By: Jerry Groot RPT
Well, I know that I have had to apologize more than once for losing my cool. I can tend to jump the gun sometimes. I think most of us have probably been guilty of saying or doing things we shouldn't at one time or another without thinking first. Sometimes, things were taken out of context, not meant a certain way, or, not explained well enough for one reason or another. Sometimes we assuming to much, or some people just collide.

I see it a lot more in homes. The new generation are very spoiled. Parents with spoiled kids that actually hit them. I can hardly watch it, that they actually allow them to sometimes just pound on them. My dad would have had me over his knee so fast, I wouldn't have time to even blink!

I apologize again, if or when I've said anything that I should not have if I'm one of those wieners being talked about... frown



Jerry, apologies are always welcome for me. It's the people who seem to look for the opportunity to criticize and start arguments that are most guilty of never apologizing. IMO they are cowards - they can hide behind their disguised user names and dish out hurtful comments that are totally uncalled for.

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#1818404 - 01/04/12 01:11 PM Re: whatever happened to manners? [Re: ten left thumbs]
TimR Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/04
Posts: 3250
Loc: Virginia, USA
I want to be tactful, yet I think this may come off blunt.

There is a repeated behavior here that I consider to be bad manners. Perhaps I am being overly sensitive, I'm not sure.

But this one would be SO easy to avoid.

"I haven't read all the replies, but my opinion is:"

Rarely do one of these threads go more than a few pages. It would seem reasonable, before you share your wisdom, to respect the other contributors enough to actually read them. After all, you expect them to read yours, no?

It is a pet peeve of mine, sorry.

The fix is simple. When you don't have time, or just don't feel like reading the other posts, don't say so. A simple "My opinion is" would be more palatable than "I'm too lazy to read this, but my opinion is important." Likely nobody would ever know if you read the thread or not. <grin>
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