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| p.7 #20 · Does this forum have a negative tone lately? |
Here's my take on things. I think there are three primary sources of negative tone:
1. Someone is characterized as a "troll" or that they are "trolling" or something to that effect.
2. Someone is characterized a "fanboy" or "loyalist" or something to that effect.
3. Someone is condescending, dismissive, or ridicules someone else. (And actually, 1 and 2 above are really just specific ways of being condescending or dismissive).
I'd like to add:
4. Someone states their opinion as fact.
This is one to be careful with. Sometimes a poster makes a statement which isn't very smart, or supported by any factual evidence. But that doesn't necessary mean they are trying to state an opinion as fact; they may be uninformed, misinformed, or just not thinking very clearly about what they are saying. While that may make their post annoying, it doesn't necessarily make it negative. Of course sometimes it is negative, but in such a case it is because they are being condescending or dismissive of other opinions...so that would be covered by #3
The real trouble starts when people start attacking or ridiculing the original poster of the opinion because they perceive the original poster is trying to state their opinion as fact. Again, sometimes that is the case, but sometimes it isn't, and it just becomes a handy straw man to say it is. Either way, I suggest that instead of ridiculing the poster with the opinion, it would be better to use a more tactful approach. Consider the following:
Random Poster: "Man, the D800 is such a better camera than the 5DIII."
Option 1, condescending response: "Wow, how sad, you clearly have never used autofocus in your life."
Option 2, dismissive response: "Then go buy one and leave us alone."
Option 3, ridiculing response: "You obviously don't have the brains to realize lots of people use a 5DIII because they find its features make it a better all around camera."
Option 4, patient response: "While that might seem so in your eyes, I think you should consider that many people find the features on the 5DIII make it a better all around camera for them."
To this forum's credit, I see a lot more Option 4 responses here than I do on most forums. But when someone says something not very smart, it is still very tempting to use Options 1-3. If we want a less negative atmosphere on the forum overall, I would be an advocate of resisting such temptation.
Just my opinion, of course
Option 5, which is the one I and probably 98% of the rest of us, usually use: No response at all.