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Thread: Why is it we blame the community and not the people or better yet ourselves?

  1. #109

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    The problem with cliques is you cannot really do much about them. People naturally form preferences and leanings toward people that share similarities with themselves. Often in an internet community these ties are strengthened though real life meetings. I am not sure 'faceless' people can 'compete' with those who have formed friendships and relationships outside of the community.



    Strangely, most of the people I have made friends with outside of BB, I rarely interact with whilst on here.... go figure...

  2. #110

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    LOL, I don't think it's strange Misty - I've met most of the WA girls, but I don't interact as much with them on here as I do some of the Melbourne girls

    I don't really notice the 'cliques' until I see those threads about how a group has done something for one of the members - then I feel kinda left out, because it's generally someone I would've liked to have done something for as well, and so would have contributed if I'd known something was up. Having said that, there's no real way to contact every single member to ask them if they'd like to contribute, it's not like you can just start a thread about it because the 'victim' would likely see it! So that's the only time I really notice the cliques.

  3. #111

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    Are they cliques really, or just members who happen to be in closer contact with one another? Or is that the same thing?

  4. #112

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    Misty, I thinks thats great if yoube been able meet 'beyond the screen'. It allows you to see the real person I guess. It certainly a chance for a more wholesome experience.

    Given the nature of many topic areas, I don't think every interaction or subject can betaken with a grain of salt, but I get your point.

    Cliques are inevitable in places like this. Even with some of the closed groups and even with paid versus unpaid members there is the opportunity for them to form some probably unintentional.

    I don't require validation for myself via meeting up even though I've been invited. It's just not my thing, and I don't see that it necessary for getting the most out of BB. It is great though that it has taken off though! I'm on a site paramedics from around the world, I have a great connection there and we do get stuck into each other well and truly. I think I would love to meet up with many of them across the waters!

  5. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcellus View Post
    Are they cliques really, or just members who happen to be in closer contact with one another? Or is that the same thing?
    I think that there are cliques, and then there are cliques. One is the good kind where they are a tight knit group of friends and the other group is the 'mean girls' type that will gang up on someone. Like 'you mess with my friend, you mess with me' kwim?

  6. #114

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    Oh! I have another term I like to use for the italicised kind of clique.

  7. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trillian View Post
    I think that there are cliques, and then there are cliques. One is the good kind where they are a tight knit group of friends and the other group is the 'mean girls' type that will gang up on someone. Like 'you mess with my friend, you mess with me' kwim?
    Now I'm confused... Isn't the "mess with my friend, mess with me" thing a standard part of any friendship? Or do I just believe that because I've unknowingly been a part of "one of those cliques" my whole life? I only started believing that because my friends and I were always bullied by what we saw as "those people" and I've always been a Mama Bear type and felt the need to protect them... *head explodes*

    (this mostly tongue-in-cheek paragraph has been brought to you by the letter T and the number 10)

    FWIW, when I see people feeling attacked on BB, I occasionally do "take sides" in a sense. Sometimes I'll blame (wrong word, but blah, I'm tired) the person posting because they're reading something no-one said to them. Sometimes I'll blame the person they're talking about, because "oh yeah, that was a pretty nasty thing to say." Hell, like I said on FB last night, sometimes I'll blame myself for not reporting a post I thought could spark confrontation!

    I've never been actively involved in these argumentative threads/blow-ups (correct me if I'm wrong) because I don't like confrontation, but I have been guilty of not doing anything to stop them. Even watching them with glee to see someone I don't like get ripped to shreds

    Just my thoughts on it all, I suppose.

  8. #116

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    I think there's a pretty fat line between standing up for your friends and ganging up on someone you don't like.

  9. #117

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    No no Teni, you're right, but I think Trillian's referring to a bunch of people who will gang up on someone else for a perceived slight, without giving the person a chance to explain. Of course, I could be wrong :P

  10. #118

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    I think the main difference between close friends and being a clique is the exclusiveness of the friendship. A group of friends provides no threat really to those around it because they happily accept other friends into their group. Cliques tend to exclude people and have a criteria for allowing people to join their group.

    I have been involved in differnent groups and communities over the years and it is normal for people to become close to a couple of friends but I don't necessarily think that makes them a clique, it just makes them close friends. I can understand that some people feel left behind when others become close friends but I don't think there is really any ill intention there to leave others out.

    On BB, I really don't see that there are groups that have any intention of being exclusive and intentionally leaving people out. I have found most people here to be quite accepting and open. I think in these kinds of situations if I feel left out, I try and let people know that I want to be involved and I can't recall a single bad experience with telling people that I would like to be a part of something. It usually leads to being included and it is a great feeling. I have encountered cliques that are exclusive groups in my life and honestly, I don't want to be a part of them. I have no desire to be that exclusive and shut myself off from the rest of the world. I find they are usually nasty too which is how they maintain their exclusiveness - which I suppose is the 'mean girls' mentality.

    I don't think that cliques come into existence just to throw mud at someone else either. Usually if there are lots of people ganging up on someone else in a community such as this, I find it is because they all have a common dislike, not a mutual friendship (also because it is often a random collection of people). That kind of thing is also bullying and I think it is awful to watch no matter what I think of the person being bullied. Bullying is completely unacceptable but I think the mods do a great job staying on top of it here. If this was like a lot of other internet chat pages, where bullying was accepted or a blind eye was turned, I don't think I would bother coming back.

    I find most disagreements - whether they are here, on FB or spoken words between people - follow a fairly similar sort of pattern. I love this link about a FB argument and as much as it is trying to be comical, I actually think it is pretty insightful - "An Honest Facebook Political Argument" by Chase Mitchell on CollegeHumor If you have a few mins, I reckon it is worth a read.

  11. #119

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    Oh, dear.
    I've never been in a clique, though I'm sure people have other opinions on that. I'm happy to disagree with someone in one post who I was all over in another with empathy! It depends on the subject, for me, not who the person is.
    I've also got a habit of seeing a dodgy post and going in to defuse, instead of reporting and it's only afterwards that I think I could have reported it...but then things settle down, so it's not so bad I'd rather see a situation resolved maturely in a thread than have things removed and deleted - it breaks the continuity and wrecks it for people reading the thread later who see that there was a spat (and curse that they've missed it) or who were reading with continuity until they get to a section that starts to look really tattered an uneven.
    I love a group hug in a thread that has threatened to explode
    I remember the days when 'cliques' left BB en masse and started up their own forums to stew in their negativity somewhere else. They were 'interesting'!
    SB - men get to network quite a bit throughout their lives, mainly professionally, with peers. Women who don't return straight to work don't. You get women increasingly isolated at home when they're with their kids, even if they live in suburbs packed with people. One of the aims of BB has been to connect women not just online, but also in person if they're able, to break down that isolation. Not sure if you were a member or a lurker or what at the time, but it wasn't that long ago that a BB member went MIA from her normal BB activity after the birth of her twins. She'd been a member from previous children. Well, the twins died and were found quite some time after they had passed away. She had PND and it wasn't picked up by anyone in her real life - NO ONE. If people in her REAL LIFE couldn't pick up on something going seriously awry, how can people who rely on someone logging on really know what's going on? So, it was reiterated and encouraged at the time to meet with people in real life from BB. Since then I've noticed a significant increase in member meet ups - and not just big city ones, but now more localised groups, especially as the membership grows. It's really important for women to connect, because once they leave the workforce they run the real risk of becoming 'nobodies'. People may think it's 'pathetic' for someone to place so much emphasis and energy into an online forum, but I and many others see it as a contemporary way to reclaim some kind of village, where people don't fall through the cracks. It's just different for men - you guys become fathers and that's the change in your social status; you retain jobs, friends, wardrobe, social engagements. It's not a criticism, it's just the set up of ours and many other societies. I get that you don't hinge on being a member of BB and that's fine. We benefit here from the input of fellas. And we vary from high income professionals to young girls who start families without even having finished school.
    As for cliques within categories - I'm friends with Platinum and non-Plat alike. For me it's about resonating with someone, not recognising that they have an avatar or not I think it's like that for most members, paid or not.
    I've been on the receiving end of a ganging up situation or three and come off pretty well. Most don't and they end up leaving. But I'm a bit Teflon-y

  12. #120

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    I think there's a pretty fat line between standing up for your friends and ganging up on someone you don't like.
    and
    No no Teni, you're right, but I think Trillian's referring to a bunch of people who will gang up on someone else for a perceived slight, without giving the person a chance to explain. Of course, I could be wrong :P
    sum it up pretty well.

    And Maya, you are a worthy opponent :P

  13. #121

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mayaness View Post

    SB - men get to network quite a bit throughout their lives, mainly professionally, with peers. Women who don't return straight to work don't. You get women increasingly isolated at home when they're with their kids, even if they live in suburbs packed with people. It's just different for men - you guys become fathers and that's the change in your social status; you retain jobs, friends, wardrobe, social engagements. It's not a criticism, it's just the set up of ours and many other societies. I get that you don't hinge on being a member of BB and that's fine. We benefit here from the input of fellas. And we vary from high income professionals to young girls who start families without even having finished
    It certainly is different for men, but we have more change in our lives than a notch in the belt and a dent in the wallet. The expectation that life doesn't change much for us is bollocks and perhaps a simplified view of our role by wider groups contributes in some way to why there is more PND in men that originally thought. I'm not spiralling into a debate on the matter, but let's not undermine how much pregnancy birth and childraising has on men. Whilst our make up psychologically may be different, we are just as vulnerable. I think you'll find that my networks are quite small if not non existent since we had our son. If I do discuss our pregancy and parenting journey, I really don't spread the details of my partners breats tenderness or how her suture line was healing and whether we are ready for sex again. Not every father is some boofhead who thinks hitting the **** with your mates in your forties is a good thing or that gees the tyres need changing on the Audi or gees I hope they give me vistation rights or that periods are secret womens business along with hysterectomies, gynae visits....Some of us actually make an effort like i have. I parent just as well. I sat there at 3 in the morning expressing my partners milk with my own hands whilst our child cried incessently and so did my partner.

    I'm not retaining jobs, I'm working two. I'm also doing my share of raising for the times my partner works or goes out or enjoys 'reclaiming' her life with her friends.

    As much as i dont want to derail this thread, I do get disappointed when our part in things is generalised. I apologise for any discomfort caused by these comments.

    It's unfair for me to comment on the sad circumstances of the mother mentioned. I think I've been around enough unnecessary death and enough isolated people- mothers included. As I said I appreciate the more wholesomeness of face face contact. I'm not comfortable using your example though. I dont see the impact BB had on her situation. Whilst there many first contact mental and emotional health sites, apart from a peer support role (as we have for ourselves in ambulance and nursing) BB shouldnt be seen as, I don't know, as some sort of armchair counsellors or something it's not. Identifying those at risk or needing support is highly important here, but referral to appropriate professional and similar networks is so important

    What I am saying for me in not hanging on BB is that my mental and emotional well being nor my ability to parent doesn't and shouldn't hinge on my membership or access to BB in the way that I interact with it.

    I dont need any convincing on the benefits of BB and I'm not trying to ridicule it or you either. I certainly appreciate the depth of interaction of members that do catch up, and the benfits. With 20,000 or so members thats must be a hell of a lot of barbies, picnics and morning teas!

    Similarly who cares about cliques? Don't want to talk to me or respond to me? So what, the world will keep spinning.

    Anyways I simply go back to what I orignally think, you get out of it what you want and as I've been told we are free to leave if we don't like it.
    If there is ill feeling then maybe it's because some aren't getting out of it what they once did or what they want now.
    It's easier to blame the faceless community than be reflective on your own behaviours, but that doesn't make the community absent of blame.

    I hear your points thankyou for them.
    Last edited by Visitor6; September 30th, 2010 at 03:07 AM. Reason: Not on my iphone anymore!

  14. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keike View Post
    I hear you on the cliquey cliques - what do you think we could do to, not necessarily break them, because it's only natural to form friendships, but to get 'into' them?
    Goodness knows I've tried my hardest. I've honestly given up trying to become 'friends' with alot of people on here. And why I've put 'friends' in the ("") marks is because I say to DH that they're BB friends, but I don't really see them as friends because they barely make an effort (Believe me, I'm not targetting one person, or even a few people - it's just what I've been going through right now)
    But, on the other hand, I have made a few very good friends who I don't hear from very often lately. I just wished they all lived closer so we could catch up

  15. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stretcher Bearer View Post
    If there is ill feeling then maybe it's because some aren't getting out of it what they once did or what they want now.
    It's easier to blame the faceless community than be reflective on your own behaviours, but that doesn't make the community absent of blame.
    I agree with this. And I think if we can praise the community as a whole for being so supportive and friendly, then I don't see why it can't be blamed as a whole, or disliked as a whole as well. Neither feeling is wrong really, it's just where people stand at the time. I think people can be let down by a community, just as much as a community can rally around and be uplifting.

    SB - I don't think it's that we want to be armchair counsellors, it's just that BB can be an initial contact point for some, somewhere to reach out to, somewhere to talk, to try and reduce some of that isolation. I think you'll find most members here very quickly urge others to contact professionals when things aren't going right, providing phone numbers and such.
    Last edited by Liz; September 30th, 2010 at 08:26 AM.

  16. #124

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    SB, nah, my example wasn't about BB's accountability at all. It was to illustrate how in real life a mother in real trouble could just pass the notice of those around her. It was after that that Kelly and others encouraged face to face meet ups, because it's harder to slip through cracks when you know someone IRL and know how to contact them offline. Her physical community is implicted heavily, as was her inability to know how to get help...which is kind of reflexive, because in a better functioning community she would not have been left alone with the responsibility of getting help or of looking after her kids and the better functioning community would have help far more accessible to people who don't know as much about how to get it all by themselves.
    So, people come to BB as a point of contact, like Liz said. It can often be like a referral system. The private support forums aren't designed for people to get treatment in. As mentioned, the members in there will be the ones to say "geez, what an awful situation, it is/is not like mine, here's who I recommend you call for clarity and further assistance". Often, Platinum members will go to the Plat section for more privacy and then be referred to a private group for even more confidentiality and peer support. Peer support, like in emergency services, is not counselling - it's support to get to the appropriate resources if a chat and virtual cry on the shoulder isn't enough. I'm involved in Peer Support as a firefighter, so that's the perspective I take - it's similar to ambos and police, just a lot more confidential.
    And in no way was I meaning to diminish a father's role. If you stopped turning up for work, or had a high rate of absenteeism because of PND, someone would notice and you would be picked up on it sooner. You have retained employment STATUS, is probably what I could have said better. So many women nowadays give birth later - that's a long time to have an identity as an employed person (read: valued by our society) to unemployed and being 'invisible' at home (read: devalued by society). It's the social isolation that can cripple mothers who are at home with their kids - not just a social crippling, it's also an emotional and psychological crippling, because it's all interrelated and humans are social animals for survival reasons. We're wired to be social. The way isolation affects parenting (mother or father and particularly mothers who are designed to stay with their babies, whether we do or not in the end) means connection with others is vital. Lots of women here know what I'm talking about from experience and are probably nodding heads. This was just to clarify and it seems you know what I'm driving at.
    I completely agree that BB and any forum is as good as what you want to get out of it. My requirements fluctuate depending on many things and moments in time. This week I've been kept at home with the kids will illness. I'm supposed to be studying and if not studying then my 4yo needs loads of physical stimulation to keep him out of trouble while I'm living at my MiL's! So, BB has stepped into the breach where catching up with friends who have families has not taken place.
    Trillian - he he, likewise
    Liz and SB, I guess that's what I was trying to say! I agree that it's not the community's fault and extend it to say it's not JUST the community's 'fault' when things get heated. I mean, it's a community, and what community has no challenges? It's full of PEOPLE for goodness' sake

  17. #125

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    Cheers for the reply.

    I suppose more thought on these current posts has made me think that perhaps some sort guidance should premise specific forum areas on expectations when an at risk or in need of specialised support is needed. Maybe even acknolwedge the "peer support model" as a better way of describing what happens, I imagine.

    It even had me wondering, under an explicit circumstances where mandatory reporting may fit in.

    Anyways these are for another time/ thread. Have enjoyed this thread!

  18. #126

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    I agree, SB, it would be ideal to have a guide for fragile and precarious situations. Just not sure how much BB can do about them when mostly, you have a vague location unless you know someone in person I have called authorities when I was worried about someone and I knew her suburb and a few more personal details for them to go off. They attended and she was too intimidated to go further with it. That wasn't from a private forum, though, and she's no longer a member. It's tricky, and often all you can be is the person who is on the other end of a post

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