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Carina

Carina

Angelic
Joined
Dec 22, 2019
Messages
4,008
Angelus Errare said:
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.
(not everything related to your post, just some of yours reminded me of this!)

A lot also comes into legal things too. Can't appear to force someone into anything. So it has to be neutral, regardless of personal opinion. It has the side effect of making comments kind of neutral, then once one person starts something, others realize "hey that works" then others realize it, then everyone starts doing it because, well it works. People generally want to say something, not always because they want to for the person, but because they know they would want someone to for them. So even if it's something that seems hollow, it's more of an understood thing.

Only some things can be said, others can't. Even with like 'we'. We can be 'people on the board', or 'people who have and will post here', or who knows. But with everything, rules, and making sure everything is safe, a lot will be common between what people say, some will be learned from others, over time some comments will just be the go to response when people don't know the person as well. But really, does it really matter? Maybe for a brief moment a person might be happy even if everyone knows it's just the go to response.

But one thing about the original: people are drawn to certain types of people. They will be drawn to them here too. It doesn't matter if they're mods, or what. They'll just be drawn to whomever their own personality seeks out in others. I've always believed, from what I've seen, that people can't hide their true selves for long--easier online as they can go nuts in real life and then hide again--but they will slip eventually.

But at long as the site is positive, that's all that matters
 
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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:
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.

In my last post on this thread, I both responded and reacted to your OP, as well as an OP on another thread. In both threads, I did feel there was targeting of members of SS, alongside valuable observations. I in turn made observations, and targeted your character.

In retrospect, I recognize I could have handled it better by asking about your motivations rather than assigning them. I take responsibility for my behavior and I apologize.

I also recognize it is in my best interest to commit to disengaging moving forward because I accept your right to do you, I accept my right to do me, and I accept that the way we each do what we do doesn't work well in close proximity.

I wish you all good things and take away valuable lessons. Thank you.
 
nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
lmroch said:
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."
Speaking of goodbye threads, here's another observation of mine.

"Likes" are generously handed out on goodbye threads, aka, it seems that one of the easiest ways to get social brownie points on this forum is to post on a goodbye thread. I've noticed that some members mostly post on goodbye threads.

I speculate the brownie points can be especially addictive to those who lack peer approval, or whose opinions are regularly negated or neglected in real life.

A good reason people have for posting on strangers' (whom they've never interacted with) goodbye threads is that they don't want people to feel alone at their last moments. But I can't shake off the feeling that some members are mostly after the "likes", the brownie points, and that's why I wouldn't feel comfortable doing a goodbye thread when my moment comes. I'd probably do a goodbye private chat with those who I actually got to know.

lmroch said:
I probably won't post much, I have pretty much refrained because of what I have observed.
@Carina made a good point that people will be drawn to whomever their own personality seeks out in others. After you observe people's posts for a while, you'll get a good sense of their personalities and styles, then you can choose who you want to further engage with like @GoodPersonEffed pointed out. I find most SS members boring and full of cliche. But this is a big community, so I've still "met" plenty of folks that I admire and been having deep private conversations with - I'm positive you will too.

Angelus Errare said:
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.
Yeah, that definitely seems insincere coz look so familiar lol. You see that on almost every single goodbye thread.
 
MysticPerception

MysticPerception

I'm back and I'll still smile for you
Joined
Dec 31, 2019
Messages
1,255
nitrogen said:
Speaking of goodbye threads, here's another observation of mine.

"Likes" are generously handed out on goodbye threads, aka, it seems that one of the easiest ways to get social brownie points on this forum is to post on a goodbye thread. I've noticed that some members mostly post on goodbye threads.

I speculate the brownie points can be especially addictive to those who lack peer approval, or whose opinions are regularly negated or neglected in real life.
This is just like every single social media platform in existence. Of course some people are going to get attracted to the idea of gaining recognition and approval via a like system. It's just one of the reasons I don't bother with social media. Too many people just post what they do for attention rather than their honest opinion on things and honestly just post the same trite garbage and mimic each other(sort of like how you mentioned for goodbye threads). I feel like people mimicking in goodbye threads though is more likely new users don't know what to say in the case of someone about to die that they've never even met. They don't want to be rude or say the wrong thing so they just do what others are already doing to show that they care and noticed instead of just posting nothing. I almost wonder if likes should be removed from this forum as they don't really serve a point other than to draw attention to certain posts or make someone "feel better" about something. I mean I appreciate being able to go yeah I really agree but don't feel like replying since someone in the thread already voiced my opinion anyway so it would just be pointless to toss in the same thing twice so I'll just give a thumbs up or whatever but it does feel kind of dumb how some people seemingly fish for likes on here. I'm of course not going to point fingers but it's kind of obvious when someone says something that is clearly just preaching to the choir without saying anything new that hasn't been stated in the past already.
 
Angelus Errare

Angelus Errare

Where angels lose their way
Joined
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Messages
270
MysticPerception said:
I almost wonder if likes should be removed from this forum
I would support this.
 
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Soul

Soul

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
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I don't think hoping one's posts will be liked is a terrible thing. If someone feels a little uplifted by such a tiny, easy thing, far be it from me to deprive them. (Nota bene: That doesn't mean I encourage "liking" en masse.)

The problem of coming up with something heartfelt to write on goodbye threads (or anywhere else, for that matter) is one I fret about. I want to practice compassion, even when I don't find it easy. Does it matter if the phrasing sounds unoriginal? Does originality have anything to do with sincerity? How can we judge whether someone else's post is heartfelt - and why would we? Someone else's goodbye thread is for them, not for us to critique each other.

Compassion.
 
J

jgm63

Visionary
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^^ This....

There are only so many things that can be said on a goodbye thread that fit the situation, so I don't think it matters whether things sound "unoriginal".
That would be like telling someone they're unoriginal if they say they love you.

Bottom line is, the person saying goodbye is about to go on a BIG journey, and needs all the support and well wishes they can get...

They're not going to be pedantically thinking "hmmm, that doesn't sound very original". They're just going to be grateful for any love and support they can get, in whichever form it comes (except perhaps for the very strongest minded of people, which would be outlier cases).

So IMHO : On goodbye threads, just write what comes to mind. If it's completely unoriginal it doesn't matter one little bit...
All that matters is, you showed up, you took the time to show you care, you're showing that you're there with them in spirit.
And that means the world and more....

In fact, I'll throw one in now !!
Wishing you a pleasant reading experience of my post above :heart:
 
D

Deleted member 1465

_
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‘We’

‘We’ is often used when an individual feels part of a group, when their ideas have become aligned with people that they feel comfortable with. Its a sign of inclusion. For my part, I’ve never used the term to try and imply that my views are shared by the majority; if that is how it might come across then that bothers me. Actually, it appals me. I never want people to think I’m trying to speak for anyone else.
I’d certainly never considered that and I can only re-state that my use of the term is intended as a way of including the tentative poster. ‘We will listen’ is somewhat more eloquent than ‘there are people on here who will listen’. I’d certainly hope that in expressing any view its implicit that such a view is that of the individual, not the whole forum. Maybe I am wrong? Maybe I need to reconsider use of the term ‘we’.

Bias

Is there a bias towards more established members? Mmmm… maybe, if so, then its an unconscious one, maybe based on the fact that people know them and their attitudes and its natural to listen to someone you know over someone you don’t. That doesn’t necessarily make it right though. I try to respond to anyone I connect with, regardless of how many posts they have made.

Cliques

Cliquish behaviour in a group is unfortunately natural and normal. It happens when members attitudes align. This can indeed exclude other but I’ve found that most people on ss are very receptive of anyone new, especially if they express any uncertainty at taking part. I’ve seen several threads that have expressed the fear of posting who have been encouraged and accepted and are now people whose posts and replies I read with interest.

Argument

I have seen very little toxic debate or manipulation here. I have seen it though and its been shut down my the our moderators (sorry, the moderators :wink:). When I have seen disagreements, I’ve seen several instances where evidence has been put forward and opinions changed. That actually warms my heart. I’ve also seen instances where people agree to disagree and don’t communicate any more. That’s sad, but at least its respectful and realistic. That is also cool. I’ve actually not experienced such open minded and respectful behaviour on the internet before. Compare it to twitter and see the difference.

Influence

I think we all try to influence others to a certain extent. The very act of posting anything exerts an influence. Part of that may be couched in the need to control, something that we all have. Part of it is couched in the need to be controlled. For me, I like saying what I think and I enjoy having the way I think changed if people can give me a good enough reason to do that. I actually love having any entrenched attitudes I have challenged by solid evidence. I never want to be too certain of anything! Unfortunately, for me this often leads to me having conflicted views about things.

Language

The use of language in goodbye threads is really difficult for me. People do indeed mimic what others have been said, me included. But that’s natural behaviour, especially when you don’t know what to say. Anything I could say sounds trite, contrived and condescending to my ears. I don’t want to passively encourage anyone to suicide by offering undue validation. I don’t want to disrespect them by trying to talk them out of it if they are certain. I want to support them but I don’t want to be condescending about such a serious and final act. Again, conflicted views. What do you say? If you found the perfect language, what then? Do you cut/paste the same response to every goodbye thread? No way. So the clumsy language may seem insincere, but if the sentiment is true then sod how anyone else sees it as long as the poster feels supported but not encouraged.
I think that just the act of replying is something worthwhile in itself. I remember after my dad died and again after mum died, my colleagues were nervous about approaching me. The ones that did and offered their condolences, later confided in me that they didn’t know what to say and that it felt like an empty sentiment. I replied honestly that it didn’t matter, it was enough that they said something and didn’t ignore me out of awkwardness. Ever after, I always made a point to offer condolences to the bereaved, no matter how awkward it felt. Did this make me feel better about myself for having done it? Yes, a little. Is that virtue signalling? Maybe, a little. Again, that’s natural to an extent. Tough. The main thing was that the individual felt some support, empathy, compassion.

Likes farming

We all like to be liked. I’m guilty of this. If people like my posts then that makes me feel good. I like to see the notifications and often respond to them. Aren’t we all guilty of this? Isn’t this normal? Isn’t that what social media is about to some extent? Seeking validation and worth? Okay, so if your intent is to actively farm likes then that’s a bit odd and you may have a problem. Thing is, people on ss do have problems and sometimes do need validation.
Personally, I can barely leave the house cus I’m chained to the sodding toilet. This is the only social interaction I get. That’s not ideal, but its something. If I can contribute in a small way then that gives me some small amount of worth that I don’t get IRL. Is that selfish? Sure, a little. Tough! Is it wrong to feel good about yourself for offering support to someone or sharing your opinion and getting approval for it? No way. It doesn’t invalidate any positive intention.


People have made some very interesting points which have made me think about my behaviour. I welcome that. And I’ve probably re-stated a lot of what’s already been said in different language. Well, I wanted to get my thoughts across, even if it does re-state what’s been said. I’m funny like that. I even sparked up the PC and did this reply in a WPS document so I could type properly instead of that awful predictive text.
But I wonder if we are over analysing a bit? None of us are perfect and we are all subject to behavioural tendencies. I think its important to be aware of these tendencies. Maybe that is the important thing rather than amending our behaviour to try and suit everyone.

Wow did you see how many times I used first person pronouns in that last bit? Now I’m seeing it everywhere.
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
@GoodPersonEffed You took the liberty to pull an analysis of my character, which is perfectly fine. No need to apologize at all. I'm not offended, only stimulated. I can't resist indulging myself in analyzing your analysis of me - it's a projection of your neurosis and reveals your own character. I apologize in advance - I relish psychoanalysis, can't help it. Consider this an extension of my post #28 on this thread.

GoodPersonEffed said:
You cannot provide what I seek, but in revealing my character in a variety of posts, others with complementary aspirations have been drawn to follow or PM me. I am so satisfied that my willingness to vulnerably reveal myself has garnered such results and rewards.
You get off on the attention and approval given to you from other SS members.

GoodPersonEffed said:
through these actions, along with the think long and hard thread, to be an influencer yourself.
You spend a lot of time giving other SS members advice through posting on their threads - you want to influence their decision making, aka, you want to be an influencer.

GoodPersonEffed said:
if you continue to make demands of others (....blah blah.......) I will ignore you.
You wrote you'll ignore me 3 times in total and you wrote that you observe many people agree with me twice. You try a little too hard to draw a distance from me. It looks as if you feel insecure and threatened by me or my threads. Presuming you want to be an influencer, you disagree with me, and you enjoy being followed, then you feeling threatened is probably due to you see me as a rival for influence. To exacerbate your insecurity, you might realize that if I were to make as many posts as you have, I'd receive way more "likes" than you AND I don't care about those social brownie points that you desire.

Now about "make demands of others":
People have the freedom to click open my threads or ignore them; they can choose to change or not; I don't call people out on my threads. I almost never give personalized advice to a member's particular situation or problem.

You, on the other hand, give members personalized advice and drop your personal opinions and analysis on their threads all the time.

So I think neither of us "makes demands of others", but if we have to force that phrase onto one of us, you deserve it more.

GoodPersonEffed said:
You have yet to influence me.
Let me paraphrase it: "I refuse to be influenced by you." Shielding yourself from me - defensive stance.

Feel free to remain silent and ignore me. Good day.
Screen Shot 2020-01-31 at 10.33.50 AM.png
 
BooGirl

BooGirl

Mage
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
Messages
577
@nitrogen this is all very interesting, but do you really need to be so provocative?
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
Nov 5, 2019
Messages
339
BooGirl said:
@nitrogen this is all very interesting, but do you really need to be so provocative?
I have sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies; dissecting people's minds and pulling psychoanalysis is one of my favorite things to do.

I do have personality flaws, my brain and genetics are kinda fucked up.
 
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J

jgm63

Visionary
Joined
Oct 28, 2019
Messages
2,487
I'm too lazy to post gifs, but could someone post some of those "popcorn" gifs here please ?
@Jean4 perhaps ?
 
Soul

Soul

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Joined
Apr 12, 2019
Messages
4,688
jgm63 said:
I'm too lazy to post gifs, but could someone post some of those "popcorn" gifs here please ?
@Jean4 perhaps ?

Or not? I'd be so grateful - thanks.
 
Jean4

Jean4

Remember. I am ALWAYS right.... until I’m not
Joined
Apr 28, 2019
Messages
7,572
jgm63 said:
I'm too lazy to post gifs, but could someone post some of those "popcorn" gifs here please ?
@Jean4 perhaps ?
Your wish is my command
9CE6EF21-EE6E-429B-A1B5-5DB9FD55C41B.gif
14F3208A-D1E4-4632-80B5-9474063030BF.gif
nitrogen said:
I have sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies; dissecting people's minds and pulling psychoanalysis is one of my favorite things to do.

I do have personality flaws, my brain and genetics are kinda fucked up.
Since I don’t have a mind, I don’t have to worry.
 
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Soul

Soul

gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
Joined
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Messages
4,688
jgm63 said:
Freedom of speech gif

Sure, it was just a request. I'm very ill these days and too many gifs make me dizzy.
 
J

jgm63

Visionary
Joined
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Messages
2,487
Soul said:
Sure, it was just a request. I'm very ill these days and too many gifs make me dizzy.
ok, very sorry to hear that

:heart:
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
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Messages
339
@Angelus Errare sounds like an undercover moderator. You @BooGirl 'd better kiss his ass rather than acting whimsically defiant. :heh:

@jgm63 @Jean4 @Underscore , I'm afraid @GoodPersonEffed will just ignore me. You might have to sit in the corner and watch your popcorn go cold and butter solidifies.

To not disappoint you, I feel obliged to put on a one-man show: a story of how I mindfucked preachers

I used to frequent a Korean grocery store. There were always a bunch of Christians handing out flyers and preach to customers at the parking lot. At first, I'd pretend I was talking over the phone to evade them. FYI, I'm agnostic. After a couple of times, this tactic didn't work anymore. I got chased to my car by two of them once, and I decided enough was enough. I told them a big reason why they were so zealous about converting me is that they didn't have absolute faith in their religion. They validate their wavering beliefs by seeing others accepting what they believe is true to be true, with the "if that person believes what I tell him/her, I must be right" logic. And I told them I won't give them a ticket to heaven, that they should try it on starving African children instead, and the price of the ticket may be higher than they anticipated. They sprinkled me with "holy water" and left. Ever since then, they pretended not seeing me when I grinned at them.

@Soul Here's a cool gif for you to make you dizzier:
dance.gif
 
J

jgm63

Visionary
Joined
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Messages
2,487
nitrogen said:
@Angelus Errare sounds like an undercover moderator. You @BooGirl 'd better kiss his ass rather than acting whimsically defiant. :heh:

@jgm63 @Jean4 @Underscore , I'm afraid @GoodPersonEffed will just ignore me. You might have to sit in the corner and watch your popcorn go cold and butter solidifies.

To not disappoint you, I feel obliged to put on a one-man show: a story of how I mindfucked preachers

I used to frequent a Korean grocery store. There were always a bunch of Christians handing out flyers and preach to customers at the parking lot. At first, I'd pretend I was talking over the phone to evade them. FYI, I'm agnostic. After a couple of times, this tactic didn't work anymore. I got chased to my car by two of them once, and I decided enough was enough. I told them a big reason why they were so zealous about converting me is that they didn't have absolute faith in their religion. They validate their wavering beliefs by seeing others accepting what they believe is true to be true, with the "if that person believes what I tell him/her, I must be right" logic. And I told them I won't give them a ticket to heaven, that they should try it on starving African children instead, and the price of the ticket may be higher than they anticipated. They sprinkled me with "holy water" and left. Ever since then, they pretended not seeing me when I grinned at them.

@Soul Here's a cool gif for you to make you dizzier:
View attachment 26013
That dancing skeleton needs to team up with the character from @LMFAO FOCKERS 's avatar....
They could form a dance crew.....
 
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nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
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Messages
339
jgm63 said:
That dancing skeleton needs to team up with the character from @LMFAO FOCKERS 's avatar....
They could form a dance crew.....
Skeleton dance is the most fun when it's dirty.
IMG_3447.GIF

PS, one thing I do admire about you is that you take the time to give serious answers to N and SN questions no matter how stupid they are. I just try hard not to drop deviant humor on those folks or mock them.
 
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J

jgm63

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nitrogen said:
Skeleton dance is the most fun when it's dirty.
View attachment 26043

PS, one thing I do admire about you is that you take the time to give serious answers to N and SN questions no matter how stupid they are. I just try hard not to drop deviant humor on those folks or mock them.
I understand what you mean, but we all have to remind ourselves that we all have "stupid questions" when we're trying to learn a topic....
Generally I can empathise, and understand where the question is coming from...

:heart:
 
nitrogen

nitrogen

Schrödinger's cat
Joined
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Messages
339
More observations:
* Lurkers come out and express their opinions at controversial discussions but their posts tend to get buried.
* People are given the label "troll" when they go against the mainstream mob. Then they might become indignant, their original posts get distorted; the moment they try to shake off that label but doesn't do a perfect job, they really start to make themselves look like a troll.
* Most SS'ers are very conflict-averse but surprisingly sharp.
* The non-suicidal people are often called "normies" by SS'ers. Well, whenever the size of a group of people is big enough for diversity, there would be "normies" - the majority who intentionally or unintentionally introduce and enforce a tacit "moral fashion."

@GoodPersonEffed I know you dislike me and we disagree on things, but I still admire certain qualities you possess - ferocity, independent thinking and courage to express your unpopular opinions. You have what it takes to be a lawyer. I'm glad you're on this site.

The minority of brilliant thinkers (won't tag you here and put you in the spotlight :heh:), you're the reason why I keep coming back to SS. Thank you for the thoughtful private messages and giving me the opportunity to engage in deep conversations. Btw, I don't mind getting reamed left and right as I'm perfectly comfortable with handling mobs, so no worries.

The ambivalent folks who can't decide which team to stand on - thanks for being receptive to different perspectives.

Although I don't give a damn about the social brownie points, I'm glad my posts have touched many of you and drew a positive reaction. :hug: I'm actually surprised about how many "likes" I've received given how I distance myself from the mobs.
 
J

jgm63

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Messages
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nitrogen said:
More observations:
* Lurkers come out and express their opinions at controversial discussions but their posts tend to get buried.
* People are given the label "troll" when they go against the mainstream mob. Then they might become indignant, their original posts get distorted; the moment they try to shake off that label but doesn't do a perfect job, they really start to make themselves look like a troll.
* Most SS'ers are very conflict-averse but surprisingly sharp.
* The non-suicidal people are often called "normies" by SS'ers. Well, whenever the size of a group of people is big enough for diversity, there would be "normies" - the majority who intentionally or unintentionally introduce and enforce a tacit "moral fashion."

@GoodPersonEffed I know you dislike me and we disagree on things, but I still admire certain qualities you possess - ferocity, independent thinking and courage to express your unpopular opinions. You have what it takes to be a lawyer. I'm glad you're on this site.

The minority of brilliant thinkers (won't tag you here and put you in the spotlight :heh:), you're the reason why I keep coming back to SS. Thank you for the thoughtful private messages and giving me the opportunity to engage in deep conversations. Btw, I don't mind getting reamed left and right as I'm perfectly comfortable with handling mobs, so no worries.

The ambivalent folks who can't decide which team to stand on - thanks for being receptive to different perspectives.

Although I don't give a damn about the social brownie points, I'm glad my posts have touched many of you and drew a positive reaction. :hug: I'm actually surprised about how many "likes" I've received given how I distance myself from the mobs.
Ah, the thread that keeps on giving :sunglasses:
"courage to express your unpopular opinions" -> LOL
A classic "thank you I think" scenario I feel.....
Probably not intended to be worded in that exact way (or perhaps I'm being naive), but a great outcome nonetheless.... (in terms of "entertainment value") - note the (not so) subtle difference between saying "even when those opinions are unpopular" and implying that her opinions are generally unpopular. But wait !! there's more !!! Perhaps what @nitrogen meant was "when expressing that subset of your opinions that are unpopular", in which case the comment contains no slur. Perhaps we shall never know. Perhaps @nitrogen is showing next-level genius by keeping us guessing. Or perhaps I'm like a literary scholar, finding deeper meanings, that were never really there in the first place. Oh, the suspense. We may never know. Or then again we might. Argh, more suspense... THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME !!!! hmmm, new CTB method discovered.....
 
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D

Deleted member 1465

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It's truly very hard to walk your own path and too easy to go either way, either to align with the consensus or to distance yourself from it.
Its a truism that the consensus will always hold sway; established members will heavily influence that consensus and new members will have a hard time influencing it if their views don't match.
That's just the way the world works.
Can't stop the tendency, but its worth recognising it and being receptive to other views.
I believe it's never wrong to listen. It's tough sometimes, but always worth making the effort, especially to those that don't agree with the consensus. You may still disagree, but it's worth having the argument.
And things do change, gradually. They shift backwards and forwards in society over time via a process of emulation and it's corollary, deviation from established norms. Its a fluid process that we can see happening throughout history and prehistory.
 
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artist

artist

Experienced
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Messages
240
nitrogen said:
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.
Thank you for writing this. Unfortunately, it’s human nature for a small set of people to dictate a group’s culture that would determine a significant part of others’ experience of a place. I don’t bother to fight against it much as this has been my experience with people all my life. That’s why I try to avoid most people most of the time. A few will strive to lord it over the others. Wielding influence over others, whether positive or negative, is a prized goal to a lot of people. It’s just the way it is. Too tiring to fight it. It’s like trying to duke it out with the ocean’s waves. Better to just accept it and move on. The ignore button has proven very handy in shutting out the noises of unpleasant people. There are a few genuinely kind people here though and they’re why I’m here.
 

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