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Forums: “Why are People Such Idiots?”

The one thing that’s been ubiquitous among interest groups on the internet is forums. Originally, I think they started out as social places- at least that’s what my early forum days were like in the automotive world. You talk about what you’re doing on your ride, admire others’ rides, plan BBQs, discuss the merits of the latest mod over the other what wheel choice you were making. They were great places. I frequently met new friends, had a good time and it was a pretty great place to spend some time every day.

Filmmaking forums are very different. I’m not sure if it is because of this particular interest group or the fact I’m getting old and don’t feel I have anything to add that someone else could add better. Perhaps it’s a combo of both. It’s not just about the limits of technology or preference over sensor size, it’s about limited intelligence in making such a decision. There are a lot of good people, information and discussions on forums but I see a predominance of the negative on filmmaking forums. Rather than civil discourse and discussion the threads have lots of “why are people such idiots” comments, mockery, bashing of someone’s gear choices, pointing out where a users has their tech facts wrong and why a user is dumb for choosing this piece of equipment over another. This isn’t limited to Red User either. I find it on DVXUser, the new BMCUser and on the Cow. It’s rampant.

I believe there are a lot of reasons for this. This industry is competitive and artistic and because it’s entertainment-centered, it’s a very ego-driven. This plays out in a forum user’s desire not to look stupid, to have the best equipment and to look like they know what they are doing, and even an attempt to justify their equipment purchase. Then there are those who simply pick on a comment unrelated to anything except the user’s lack of knowledge, weak tech offerings or general, “you’re stupid and silly to be thinking that young padawan” in a very condescending way. It doesn’t take an experienced forum participant to see the predominance of this. It makes me wonder why these users are even on the boards when their responses are almost exclusively put-downs, error corrections or mockery.

In the snowboard world (at least mine), you take it somewhat easy on the noob. There is always the noob ribbing but behind it is the understanding that you’ve been there before. You went through the pain and learning and practice just like they did. That humility guides the interaction. So, you users who’ve been around forever and are cynically pointing out the faults of everyone else, why are you such an idiot? And noobs, USE THE SEARCH! Your question has probably already been answered.

#education #forums #social

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©2019 by Jay Friesen.

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