Civility and good will

cham_urchin

Established Member
I love- and I mean love- this forum. Its become pretty important to me in the day-to-day, both for the sharing of knowledge and moral support, and also for the social community. I know you all understand what I mean. But, I gotta speak out on something. I am struck by what feels to be an escalation over past weeks in undue criticism, a lack of sensitivity and just plain rudeness. Also- drama. SO much drama. It breeds, it spreads...this decision we make to let the basic civility slide and bang out whatever we feel like saying on the keyboard, knowing we don't have to face the human we are saying it to. I've done it. Maybe you've done it. But we can and should do better. We are all human. We all f*ck up sometimes. We've all made impulsive, uninformed decisions and then needed help...we've all gotten defensive at some point in our lives in reaction to criticism, or been skeptical when bombarded with advice (sought or unsought).

I often cringe, reading some of the stuff that gets fired off around here. I can easily see this forum getting a reputation for it, because the bad news travels way faster than the good. If we want to help make the world a better place for chameleons (couldn't resist) then everybody get your adult pants back on and take the time and energy to BE CIVIL.

my respect to you all :)

Barb
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
Am I the only person that read this and immediately scrolled through threads to see what I missed on days of our chameleon lives :nailbiting:

Then realized, I was probably a part of them all already :bag:

Seriously though, you have a point. It has been this way for a long time. Others have posted similar in past years. It spikes up and down it seems(warm temperatures make people more aggressive I've heard somewhere, could have to do with summer). I think more of the problem than hiding behind a keyboard is that we lose context through just typing. It's very easy to take things the wrong way, I have plenty of times.
 

JoXie411

Chameleon Enthusiast
Am I the only person that read this and immediately scrolled through threads to see what I missed on days of our chameleon lives :nailbiting:

Then realized, I was probably a part of them all already :bag:

Seriously though, you have a point. It has been this way for a long time. Others have posted similar in past years. It spikes up and down it seems(warm temperatures make people more aggressive I've heard somewhere, could have to do with summer). I think more of the problem than hiding behind a keyboard is that we lose context through just typing. It's very easy to take things the wrong way, I have plenty of times.
You learned emojis :joyful:
 

GoodKarma19

Chameleon Enthusiast
Agreed. It's one of the reasons I'm currently on a semi break from the forum.

I'm aggressive when provoked, and prone to being reactive. This doesn't at all change in person vs online. In fact, I'd hazard to say I'm much worse face to face, when I lack the possibility of looking over my words and considering them before posting! Context is difficult via text to begin with, and we all tend to get a little up in arms when the health of chams are on the line. 'Tis why I rarely post on "new cham, help" threads unless I feel I have something specific to contribute. I've been redoubling my efforts to stay nice (at least in public, lol!).
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Were passionate people. To be on this forum, daily, telling people how to fix their mistakes but also trying to stop them before they happen you have to be. Most of us have our hot button issues. You saw mine today and trust me im no better in person. But we call eachother out on it, help eachother improve and we get some of the best damn chameleon knowledge available out of it. This forum is recommended for a reason. Were tough, harsh, to the point and in the end we've helped countless people fix poor situations and turn them into flourishing ones. The forums isnt the only source of cham knowledge out there for sure, but were the most honest and less likely to coddle.
 

OldChamKeeper

Chameleon Enthusiast
You wonder why I stay in my cave... I only come out for interesting threads. So why this one?

Brad and his team have done a wonderful job of NOT letting this website become like say, those FB 'expert' ones. If Brad sees a problem he deals with it. If he leaves a thread alone and some people don't like the thread, I tend to side with Brad and his mods on the reasoning why it was left up. So what does that make those people? The people who are unhappy with a thread that Brad and the unappreciated mods feel is acceptable to leave up? I say those are folks who need to either take a step back and re-examine their point of view (the mature and polite thing) or maybe just take a hike (the OldChamKeeper opinion). I say that since I see plenty of people come and complain and you can go do that elsewhere. I've seen some rude stuff, but Brad and the mods deal with it. On the other hand, I see people say that rude stuff is being said, when in truth somebody is telling them truth to power and they don't like hearing it. If a new member comes to these forums, posts or promotes bad info, and then gets called out on it... that's not anybody being mean. That's people keeping the integrity of the site in focus.

I've seen enough people come to these forums lately, brag or post about how awesome their set up is, and it's backasswards. Or they are re-inventing the wheel like they discovered something instead of using the incredible library of info here.

Then there's the folks trying to save animals from the big box stores, and when you point out that them feeling good over saving one leads to the big box store only buying more, of which many will die, and they get pissed because you popped their 'feel good' balloon.

Brad doesn't tolerate members attacking another. Neither do his mods. However, I see where some feel they are being attacked, until you read the crap they posted in the first place. If I disagree with some people, whether on a forum or in person, all of a sudden I'm 'attacking' somebody. That isn't the case, that's the perception.

Too many times, people expect others to respect and act according to their perceptions. If everybody did that, nothing truthful would matter anymore.

So, while I don't have the perception that this thread is about any one member, I'm still going to speak out against FB experts posting bad info. Some will call that not civil, until you realize their perception of the word 'civil' means nobody will call them out on dumb stuff. That's when "civil" doesn't mean anything.

So, in conclusion, read carefully the posts of those involved, determine with your own mind who the snowflake is, and then ignore it and move on.

Brad and the other mods, thanks for keeping this site rolling in a positive direction all these years. (y)

<Goes back to his cave, rolls the boulder shut, turns on Netflix)
 

Decadancin

Moderatoris Americanus
Staff member
So, I will comment here...

I’m one who has reached out to a few members over the years (both publicly and privately) even prior to becoming a moderator here. It is likely what started my path to the role. We do from time to time have members “attacking” others or coming across as rude or insensitive. It has undoubtedly led to some great contributors here either not posting much or simply not coming around anymore. It is the one part of my role that frustrates me. It is the one part I can’t fix after damage has been done.

My ask of everyone is to consider how you post answers. Are you posting something that is suitable for all audiences? Will your tone help the situation or cause drama? Do you need to step back and take a deep breath before participating?

Most of the regular offenders know who they are and that is where my frustration lies. Most will actually call themselves out from time to time for doing it, but they are actually justifying the actions at the same time. In reality it is not the best way to do things, but it exists.

This site is much more specified than the Facebook ones, but they have their place as well. Drama exists everywhere. It is when we accept and feed the drama that we stoop to their level. Suggestion...

Shut the negativity down with a post that politely points it out and gets back to the point. It will work wonders in most cases. When needed I will get involved and do what I need to do, but most of the time I don’t want to prohibit the freedom found here.

I wish I could get those members back that we have lost to drama, but it is unlikely. That will remain frustrating...
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for posting this. I have seen an increase in name calling and absolutely unecessary bashing when people ask for help.

There is no tone in textual communication so that resorts to endless "you said right here!" Threads. They go on for hours and good information gets crowded with "I'm not the asshole you are the asshole" posts. It's so unproductive. There are times where a heated discussion is necessary as someone ignores information given to them repeatedly and puts their animals health at risk. But the name calling is pretty out of control.
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
Meh no system is perfect.

If all posts need to be moderator or sub moderator approved it will turn in a single view echo chamber or #deadforum.
Ive been called out for starting sentences with the word "Hell" because it offended someone.
If you make something nobody hates, nobody is going to like it.
Most forums have the drama section, /random /misc. If you want to have drama, here i assume take to the lounge, so its not broadcast over the front page.
I have no problem with civil arguments. As iron sharpens iron. "really the stuff they are sneezing is not excess calcium from over supplementing? Well ill be."
And i have been part of it too. I had a hell of a time trying to figure out how Beman was was getting correct UVB numbers using a combo i knew should be 3-4x higher readings. It took a lot of back and forth bickering before we realized she had a staggered tube hood and a mono reflector, and none of us knew it. So we had to learn to ask alot more questions about hoods when entering the new setup threads.
 

KobaOregonherper

Chameleon Enthusiast
Bill strand points out in his podcasts mutliple times that the world of reptile keeping becomes an echo chamber of self made norms. Where enough people find a specific way of keeping and that becomes the end all be all of keeping. This forums stops that. With the "hurtful" truths we find different opinions and different ways of doing things. We have xyz numbers that do not change but we have the whole alphabet of possibilities to get there.

Like what OldChamKeeper said, the reason drama persists is becuase as a human race when someones disagrees with us or tells us were doing something wrong we feel to be right we get defensive and if we cant bridle our emotions, offended.

I dont go out of my way to attack people, definitely not my thought process. My thought process is usually along the lines of, "huh thats a weird opionion" and ill call them out on it. If they can defend it and convince me otherwise cool, but in general thats not going to happen because theyre usually not the first to come on here with it.
I dont want to then pander to those opinions because a lot of times theyre based on emotion not facts.

I doubt I'll ever stop calling people out on "adopting" from big bix stores, because as long as reptiles are being sold in poor conditions and dying, I'll never just sit there and twittle my thumbs as people continue to fund it. For me its chameleons first, regardless of hurt feelings.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
My goal is always to put the chameleons first. If that means I have to massage the feeling of the owner to get them the care they need I will. I learned when I was working in vet hospitals that if you agree with someone or at least acknowledge their point they are much more willing to listen to and come around to your point. Now you will all notice when I do it to you.:cool:
Don't start statements with no or never. It shuts the listener down. It's just a basic communication skill. I know why it happens on here we are busy people and sometimes that is all you have time to rattle off.
I do appreciate that some people won't listen until you get firm with them and I do appreciate some of the "black sheep" on here playing bad cop to my good cop. We have a system that works. I love a lively debate. I just need opinions that can be backed up with some kind of evidence/experience and no name calling. I'm here to learn, share and help in-between. If we don't debate this will be nothing but an echo chamber.
 

AnamCara

Chameleon Enthusiast
My goal is always to put the chameleons first. If that means I have to massage the feeling of the owner to get them the care they need I will. I learned when I was working in vet hospitals that if you agree with someone or at least acknowledge their point they are much more willing to listen to and come around to your point. Now you will all notice when I do it to you.:cool:
Don't start statements with no or never. It shuts the listener down. It's just a basic communication skill. I know why it happens on here we are busy people and sometimes that is all you have time to rattle off.
I do appreciate that some people won't listen until you get firm with them and I do appreciate some of the "black sheep" on here playing bad cop to my good cop. We have a system that works. I love a lively debate. I just need opinions that can be backed up with some kind of evidence/experience and no name calling. I'm here to learn, share and help in-between. If we don't debate this will be nothing but an echo chamber.
Great addition to this thread. Chameleons first -- yes, but the minds we are trying to influence are those of the keepers!! Humans are touchy beings! Many times I worry that new keepers, especially young ones, flee after 1 "you didn't do your research first?!?!?!" post
 
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Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I agree chameleon always first . When I’m posting I try to always start with welcome and to be kind , In life I try to be kind and understanding we do not know what other are going through . Bad behavior is not always for the reasons we believe . It does not make the behavior right or justified just what is .

However we all know I’ve had my part of shenanigans here ;) . theirs certain parties that get watched closer when all posting on a thread . We tend to get heated at the same time as well .

I’ve also left the site for periods because all I was seeing was rude mean behavior.
 
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Kaizen

Chameleon Enthusiast
I probably don’t have much clout here, as I haven’t been so active lately: it’s my busy season. Anyways, I’ve advised numerous new hobbyists to join this site and engage. That being said, I always advise them that there are some very strong personalities in the forum, and that they need to be as forthright and diplomatic as possible to avoid someone jumping down their throats. I have never personally been on the receiving end of such a chastising; however, I have seen it happen time and time again. Usually it’s as a previous posted mentioned: the consequence of real passion and caring, rather than outright rudeness. That being said, the issue is prevalent enough to prompt my caveat to everyone I direct here. The nuances of cyber diplomacy ought, by this time, to be a common skill, not the exception.
 

jamest0o0

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can't say I've been in the right in every situation, but most of my fire ups, and what I've seen from most others, are in response to someone being rude to begin with. It's frustrating when you try to help out and people ignore it or throw it in your face. I get how you're supposed to communicate with people to get a point across civilly. I say this to my dad and neighbor, who often get in heated political arguments. There's a way to do it and even disagree, while still being civil and friendly. My problem comes in at times when I feel, why should i adjust my wording to cater to someone? they're getting help, if they want to be snowflakes, then so be it. That's my ego kicking in though and I should remember what jill said, that the chameleon should come first. Sometimes gotta swallow my pride and be a little easier on people in order to help the animal.

Another thing on my mind... It's okay to debate on evidence and question things, but many debates are just emotion vs logic. It's rarely about 2 different ways of doing things. I can think of only a handful of topics that could be debated based on different methods. Really, there isn't that many ways to keep chameleons correctly, sure we can talk glass vs screen, substrate vs barebottom, fog vs mist, etc but that's about it. The same general habitat still needs maintained for success, just different tools to get their based off where you live or what's available. We sometimes get carried away with thinking there's different ways of doing things. This gives people the idea that their garbage animal husbandry is just one's own unique method :rolleyes:.

We should be happy with people posting questions though! I do see some newbies get unfairly grilled at times. It's all about the attitude that makes the keeper, not where they start. I love when I see people with a humble, ready to learn attitude. A big pet peeve of mine is people that act like they have the answer for everything or have too big of an ego to ask a question.
 

Kristen Wilkins

Chameleon Enthusiast
I can't say I've been in the right in every situation, but most of my fire ups, and what I've seen from most others, are in response to someone being rude to begin with. It's frustrating when you try to help out and people ignore it or throw it in your face. I get how you're supposed to communicate with people to get a point across civilly. I say this to my dad and neighbor, who often get in heated political arguments. There's a way to do it and even disagree, while still being civil and friendly. My problem comes in at times when I feel, why should i adjust my wording to cater to someone? they're getting help, if they want to be snowflakes, then so be it. That's my ego kicking in though and I should remember what jill said, that the chameleon should come first. Sometimes gotta swallow my pride and be a little easier on people in order to help the animal.

Another thing on my mind... It's okay to debate on evidence and question things, but many debates are just emotion vs logic. It's rarely about 2 different ways of doing things. I can think of only a handful of topics that could be debated based on different methods. Really, there isn't that many ways to keep chameleons correctly, sure we can talk glass vs screen, substrate vs barebottom, fog vs mist, etc but that's about it. The same general habitat still needs maintained for success, just different tools to get their based off where you live or what's available. We sometimes get carried away with thinking there's different ways of doing things. This gives people the idea that their garbage animal husbandry is just one's own unique method :rolleyes:.

We should be happy with people posting questions though! I do see some newbies get unfairly grilled at times. It's all about the attitude that makes the keeper, not where they start. I love when I see people with a humble, ready to learn attitude. A big pet peeve of mine is people that act like they have the answer for everything or have too big of an ego to ask a question.
Agreed !! That my thing when over and over the same thing is being said . You know this baby is going to die do to lack of listening or keeper just being ignorant , or if one keeper has gone through 2 or 3 babies do to husbandry . That’s when I get short I’m also blunt and that’s been taken to be rude . Can’t please them all .
 
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