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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
Greetings mothafakas/sweethearts/SS folks,

I've observed some interesting dynamics on this site after being a member for about 2.5 months.

One being this:
The moderators/admins set and enforce explicit rules, but highly active members who've written thousands of posts set the culture.

Another observation:
Some brand new members are anxious about making their first posts on the site. They seem to assume long term members' posts carry more weight.


Elaboration on my 1st observation:
@SinisterKid , the current site moderator, has made ~2100 posts with ~6500 likes. According to the forum statistics, there are ~10600 registered members. When I visit the site every time, the usernames/members that made the most recent posts in all 3 discussion sections almost always look familiar. It seems that a small group of SS members are highly active posters, while the vast majority of SS members lurk or occasionally drop a post here and there.

The number of posts that some highly active members have made exceeds 2100, or comes close. Imagine a few of those members share similar aspirations, values, posting styles, assumptions, beliefs, then their posts can add up and easily overwhelm the moderator even if the moderator's posts attract more attention and carry more authority by nature. It's like ocean waves with the same frequency and in phase can superimpose on top of one another - what ends up forming is a tsunami. The moderator is like a dam if I have to squeeze her into this analogy.

The implication of this effect is very interesting. If the highly active members align with this site's mission and have a good sense of boundary, then the moderator gets nice help regulating and running the site. On the other hand, if they misinterpret the site's mission, and try to morph the site into their ideal version that fits their personal needs and beliefs better, then it poses a threat to diversity and stifles discussions. The ways these toxic posts exert influence are subtle, most likely unenforcible because they don't read like blatant violations of forum rules.


Elaboration on my 2nd observation:
This is how some brand new members start a post: "I'm a nobody here, but......." That makes me want to point that being new members doesn't automatically make their posts lower quality or less impactful. In fact, if they were to make thousands of posts, they might even get more "likes" than many long-term members have.

Then this is how some highly active long-term members start a post, quite often just expressing personal sentiments: "We're here to.... We'd like to....." That makes me wonder what's with the tendency of overusing "we" instead of "I", do they mean to represent all the other members who post on a thread or all 10600 SS members?


Conclusion: Pay more attention to the moderator's posts. Try not to be easily intimidated or manipulated. Think independently.

Edit: adding this part
@Soulless_Angel Thanks for pointing out that the moderators aren't obvious. When I was a brand new member, I always thought certain active members were the mods based on the number of posts they made and the way they wrote - especially when they asserted that the main purpose of this site is "to support each other". Only later I found out they were just long-term members and SinisterKid clarified that the purpose of this site is much more than just peer support. Then @Alec mentioned that the site's atmosphere wasn't like this a while back.

@jgm63 The example you gave isn't what I was referring to, but I can't provide a detailed example to avoid calling people out.
 
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Soulless_Angel

Soulless_Angel

existence is futile
Joined
Jul 10, 2019
Messages
2,227
I got half way through your post and got lost as I am on the rum
BUT!!
Yes some members with thousands of posts tend to get more notice, but please note that, those who have been here short term and have more then standard posts, they either spend to much time here OR play the thread games to up their post count
Some people use We as standard without thinking fully of the implications of what they are writing, others feel they are comfortable enough to use it to reflect the forum, which IMO is wrong, Everyone is here for their own reasons, whatever that may be.

The mods tbh aren't 100% obvious, its only since starting here in May (new user name in July) that tells me who's who, BUT mods are not easy to spot, in some regards I respect this, in others, it should be made more obvious to help those that suddenly need one without question.
 
pthnrdnojvsc

pthnrdnojvsc

Time goes by really fast
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
578
Brilliant analysis.
I also want to add that we should thank the staff and moderators for this site as it is an oasis.
I'd be lost without this website SS.

I've learned a lot about methods ( i never heard of SN before this site). This is the only place were i can discuss suicide methods or suicide philosophy or me wanting to commit suicide and why etc.
The staff and moderators i think do this for free as there are no ads on this website imo
So we owe a big thanks to the staff and moderators.

This website in no way convinced me or encouraged me to suicide. I've been wanting to suicide for a long time. It just allowed me to have hope for a painless death .All people be will be overcome with mortal extremely painful diseases eventually. but i have hope now for a painless death or at least a quick relatively painless death.
 
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MysticPerception

MysticPerception

I'm back and I'll still smile for you
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,255
I feel like I'm being called out lol. But you do make good points that I agree with. Post count doesn't matter at least I don't think it should. Every account has a person behind it that is real and has feelings and opinions just like everyone else. Someone having 10,000 posts doesn't mean anything really it just means they've been here or a while or they're active. I've used we in the past because I feel that saying just I or me in some cases might not have any real weight behind it. As an example: We can shower you with love and support and let you vent as much as you like.

Is that a misuse of we when I'm stating my own opinion? Maybe, but I think it means a lot more to someone new to think the entire community is open instead of just one person. Maybe it's manipulative and I don't know it. Either way, good points all around I just wanted to state my case on why I do that specifically. Everyone should think for themselves is correct. Take every opinion with a grain of salt, don't just agree with someone outright without thinking about it first.
 
Soul

Soul

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
4,688
@nitrogen, I'm still bogged down in long hard thoughts over your "hug to death box" post and here's another critique of the dynamics of the forum.

I'm one of those highly active denizens of the forum whose post count is largely due to playing a few of the games. It wasn't on purpose; absurdly enough, I genuinely enjoy the games.

I've sometimes assured people that "we're good listeners", speaking for the forum as a whole. I don't think I'm wrong in doing that, but maybe I am.

There's a list of the mods around here somewhere, but it would be great if it were more prominent.

I'm sorry if the forum seems cliqueish. I think many people may hesitate to post here because of the main topic, not because of being intimidated by the climate created by some "prominent posters", but if it's the "prominent posters" please suggest some steps I could take to help fix that.

Thanks
 
L

L-L

The Longest Lurker
Joined
Nov 14, 2019
Messages
82
I'm definitely one of those lurkers that you mentioned, @nitrogen. I'm not quite sure why I don't post as much as prior to joining there seemed to be a lot of discussions I wanted to get in on. I think that now I've gained what I need to know from the site and don't have any personal connections on it I'm slowly starting to visit less.

I think we've been on the site for a similar amount of time and I've particularly enjoyed these analyses you've been posting the last couple of days.

@Soul - try not to take this to heart, friend. Although I actually know Nitrogen very little, I cannot imagine that she means this negatively and it comes across as more of an observation. I don't think an apology is necessary. (Sorry if this comes across in any way as condescending, it genuinely isn't meant to be and I may have been reading too much into the tone of your reply).
 
Soul

Soul

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
4,688
@L-L, thank you for your kind concern. I find @nitrogen's posts very intriguing too. I wasn't apologising so much as expressing regret if the forum seems cliqueish. I realise there are some posters who seem to have particularly close relationships but I've never perceived them as "exclusive". Maybe I'm wrong.
 
BPD Barbie

BPD Barbie

Visionary
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
2,367
I very often use the term 'we', not becuase I think I'm speaking on behalf of anyone, but because I see this as a family and a community which I want to make people feel a part of instantly. A lot of people lurk here beforehand and I think that on any forum board people look up to people with higher post counts etc. But everybody should be made to feel welcome and like they are equals here. We are all in the same shit filled boat after all.
 
Sensei

Sensei

剣道家
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
6,372
I absolutely agree that a post doesn't become more valuable just because the poster is a long-time member or has made many posts. However, I'm a little bit perplexed about your notion of a clique of long-term, highly active members making toxic posts. Admittedly, I don't read all threads, but I've seen very little, if any toxicity in this forum. There are of course heated debates at times, but I think they almost invariably are civil. Maybe I'm missing something. Anyway, I hope this isn't a preamble to a conflict. Every member in this forum is suffering and contemplating suicide. I think no one needs more problems.
 
Jean4

Jean4

Remember. I am ALWAYS right.... until I’m not
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
7,572
I have the most posts. ;). But then again, nobody permits me to leave the board.... EVER! :blarg:
Jean4 said:
I have the most posts. ;). But then again, nobody permits me to leave the board.... EVER! :blarg:
And there is @Sensei monitoring me!
 
Brick In The Wall

Brick In The Wall

2M Or Not 2B.
Joined
Oct 30, 2019
Messages
19,820
There's some good points already made above. I'll just add that I think some users tend to gravitate towards eachother, which is normal and to be expected. I've seen it with newer and older members alike.

I absolutely do not judge anyone here. I've made a thread espousing my views about each user being a flesh and blood person as you mentioned. I've seen some high quality posts recently even from newer users.
 
Jean4

Jean4

Remember. I am ALWAYS right.... until I’m not
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
7,572
Brick In The Wall said:
There's some good points already made above. I'll just add that I think some users tend to gravitate towards eachother, which is normal and to be expected. I've seen it with newer and older members alike.

I absolutely do not judge anyone here. I've made a thread espousing my views about each user being a flesh and blood person as you mentioned. I've seen some high quality posts recently even from newer users.
Ugh. Another one who NEVER LETS ME LEAAVVEEE..... I am trapped in SS!!!! :blarg:
 
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Jean4

Jean4

Remember. I am ALWAYS right.... until I’m not
Joined
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Messages
7,572
BooGirl said:
lmao this forum irl

everyone's allowed to die except for me
Excuse me? Not only will they not let me die here, but I’m not permitted to get off SS. It’s rather difficult not being able to go to the bathroom :blarg:
 
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Deleted member 2141

Deleted member 2141

The angel of choice is enduring.
Joined
Aug 30, 2018
Messages
5,313
Interesting analysis. I would say that what matters most isn't so much just the post count and length of time as a member, but the quality and context of the information. Had we only gone with those with post count and ignored the ones who haven't been on for a long time, there wouldn't be the wealth of information we have now. Sometimes, the most quality posters of good information could be newcomers, long term members, those who only post when they have something significant to say, or even those drop in time to time.

Yes, the moderators posts should be given more attention and read more carefully as they oftenly have good advice and/or important information to consider.
 
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GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Brevity is my middle name, but my name was TL
Joined
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Messages
6,754
@nitrogen, I deleted my original comment from here. I did not read your post thoroughly and was in a defensive space. I apologize!

Good analysis.

I am interested in power, language, and meaning.

When someone says "we," it indicates inclusion. Sometimes the concept it refers to is one they agree with, that they give credence to, and assume that it is valid for all they include in the "we." That may give clues that a power structure dictated the concept is valid, and what one is agreeing with is the structure's dominance. It's natural to buck against inclusion when in disagreement with the concept or with the dominant forces that created it. So now I'm more aware of my use of "we" and will be more conscious of how I use it.

Regarding mods, it would be helpful if there were a list of mods on the rules sticky or another sticky thread.
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
GoodPersonEffed said:
That may give clues that a power structure dictated the concept is valid, and what one is agreeing with is the structure's dominance. It's natural to buck against inclusion when in disagreement with the concept or with the dominant forces that created it.
You're very articulate. Excellent dissection on the usage of "we." I'm curious about what you deleted. It's natural to be reflexively defensive if you think you're being targeted. I wasn't targeting you btw.

Speaking of herd mentality that @Angelus Errare mentioned, in a group of a size >200, it only takes 5% of people to influence the rest 95%, and the 95% follows without realizing it [1]. People unconsciously mirror nonverbal cues, speech patterns, attitudes of those they talk with, experience similar emotions of those around them, etc, meanwhile, they believe they're making independent assessments and good judgment. Herd mentality is pervasive, automatic and contagious.

I observe some SS regulars demonstrate cliquey behaviors and overuse "we".

A trend that a small group of SS regulars starts can grow and reinforces itself, then it turns into the established culture, the minority becomes the majority.

[1] http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article...othing__scientists_reveal_our_flock_mentality
 
J

jgm63

Visionary
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
2,487
nitrogen said:
You're very articulate. Excellent dissection on the usage of "we." I'm curious about what you deleted. It's natural to be reflexively defensive if you think you're being targeted. I wasn't targeting you btw.

Speaking of herd mentality that @Angelus Errare mentioned, in a group of a size >200, it only takes 5% of people to influence the rest 95%, and the 95% follows without realizing it [1]. People unconsciously mirror nonverbal cues, speech patterns, attitudes of those they talk with, experience similar emotions of those around them, etc, meanwhile, they believe they're making independent assessments and good judgment. Herd mentality is pervasive, automatic and contagious.

I observe some SS regulars demonstrate cliquey behaviors and overuse "we".

A trend that a small group of SS regulars starts can grow and reinforces itself, then it turns into the established culture, the minority becomes the majority.

[1] http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article...othing__scientists_reveal_our_flock_mentality
Herd mentality is not necessarily "bad", though.
Different people may be leaders and/or followers under different situations or at different times....

If the general "vibe" of something feels okay or good to someone, then they don't have to necessarily try to make sure they are being "different". Sometimes that's too much like hard work.
Each case is unique, and sometimes it's possible to over analyse.

However, if you're speaking about a specific case, then fair enough, but since we don't know the details, we can't necessarily put what you are saying into a context....
 
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GoodPersonEffed

GoodPersonEffed

Brevity is my middle name, but my name was TL
Joined
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Messages
6,754
nitrogen said:
Conclusion: Pay more attention to the moderator's posts. Try not to be easily intimidated or manipulated. Think independently.

To maintain a boundary, I have to read this as you advising yourself.

Personally, I don't give additional weight to the words of moderators unless they are enforcing the rules of the site. All humans are my peers, including moderators, doctors, and world leaders; their positions do not place them above my self-authority, I do not hand them more power or influence over me than me.

I appreciate that you pointed out the games of manipulation for upping react counts, and that it was confirmed in the comments.

As far as thinking independently regarding influence (which you called intimidation and manipulation)...I notice that this post and the other instructing others to think long and hard are attempts to influence in the following ways:

- to change others' behaviors with which you disagree, which I construe as a controlling behavior;

- to weaken the influence of others whom you believe do not merit influence, indicating a power play for dominance;

- to dictate who should be influential and reify their influence (perhaps a bid to join the moderator ranks?);

- through these actions, along with the think long and hard thread, to be an influencer yourself.

You do bring value but I observe that you couch it in criticism and control.

You have yet to influence me. And, respectfully, if you continue to make demands of others, to make them feel inherently wrong, and to praise and criticize in order to mold the environment to bend to your will, I will ignore you. I cannot control you and have no interest in doing so. My power is over me and the ignore button.
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
GoodPersonEffed said:
respectfully, if you continue to make demands of others, to make them feel inherently wrong, and to praise and criticize in order to mold the environment to bend to your will, I will ignore you.
There have only been two threads like this. 99% of the content I've written has nothing to do with my observations on SS members' behaviors or criticizing anybody.

If I really wanted to be an influencer, I would have kept bumping those two threads to give them as many views as possible. But the fact is, all my posts after the initial thread posts have been to respond to your questions and opinions, ironically.

Everything that everybody writes is meant to exert some influence, otherwise, why bother writing them?

If you wanted to ignore me, just do so. Why do you feel you need to tell me you'll ignore me? Your defensive stance is a bit obvious.

GoodPersonEffed said:
to dictate who should be influential and reify their influence (perhaps a bid to join the moderator ranks?)
Lol. Me wanting to join the moderator rank, yeah right. How many posts have I written and how many have you written? You're being more of an influencer, don't you think? Apparently, you're a lot more invested in this site than me.

The analysis you pulled on me is interesting and I wouldn't say they're 100% false, but a big part of that looks like a projection of your own neurosis and psyche.

edit: adding this part:
When I started this thread and the "Why do you come to this site? Think deep and hard" thread, I didn't expect to be showered with compliments, approval, and hugs&kisses, because they challenge the established culture and the dominant force here. I expected pushbacks and objections. With that being said, you're obviously an insightful and intelligent person, and I like you, doesn't matter you're friendly or hostile toward me. I just like my brain picked. Thank you @GoodPersonEffed for that. :hug::happy:
 
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lmroch

lmroch

-
Joined
Jun 24, 2019
Messages
237
My Observations ~ A couple weeks ago, In my mind I said.. "This is like a cult." ~ When people get here.. They start watching posts of those gone and wanting to go. They immediately start mimicking what is said.

"Good Luck to you, I hope you find the peace you seek." ~
"I wish you peace whatever you decide."
"I'm really sorry you have gotten to this point." ~ "Wishing you a peaceful journey."

I have seen excessive pride.. I have seen continuous self centered trolling. As if others observations do not matter.

I saw a well written answer to a new person (who was obviously older) asking specific questions to find information on his plan. A following post #2 commented a ridiculous post, praising poster #1. As if we should be bowed down to for being Professional, Kind, and Helpful. What must the new person have thought? We get brownie points for being Professional? articulate and helpful?

This is serious here, or it should be. This isn't a game. This is not Junior High or High school! This isn't I'll One up You!

We can enhance this site by being conscientious, kind, and Professional. Words and actions matter!


PS: My history here is small, I was accepted in June, but did not come here till mid December. I have never been on a forum before, not knowing what went on here. I am saddened by seeing so many broken lives. I probably won't post much, I have pretty much refrained because of what I have observed.

PSS: My experience is muting/ignoring doesn't work.
 
Angelus Errare

Angelus Errare

Where angels lose their way
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Messages
270
My favorite is "smooth transition". Lol jokes aside even I do it sometimes, say something similar like: "whatever you decide", "I hope you find peace"etc.

It does seems insincere.
 

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