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  1. #1
    Cavy Slave vannahrenee's Avatar
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    This Forum

    I'm not sure where this should be posted to, so if there's a way to move it, or if an administrator feels it needs to be deleted, please delete it. I just wanted to get something off of my chest. It's been bothering me very much lately.

    First off, let me start by saying that my guinea pigs are living wonderful lives now, thanks to all of the help, advice, and posts on this forum. The help I have gotten from everyone that participates in this forum has helped me grow as a cavy owner. Thank you, everyone.

    But in contrast to that, I have been going through the forums reading over posts that were relevant to my piggies, and I'm starting to notice a lot more hostility towards one another on here. This forum is wonderful and I'd hate to see it go down the drain. When I first joined, I felt that everyone was very judgemental, and that made me afraid to even ask for help with anything. The more I've been on here, yes, the more information I have received, but I feel like the people that have been on here longer, are attacking the newer people. In my opinion, there are better ways of wording what you want/need to say to the original poster, without making him/her feel like they're being attacked. I know I'm only one person out of many that participate on this site, but if things and conversations continue to go the way that they have over the past few months, I will be sad to say that I will have to exclude myself from being a part of this forum anymore.

    I apologize again if this is posted in the wrong section, or if I shouldn't have even posted it at all, but I was very frustrated with this and was wondering if anyone else has noticed this, or if it was just me being over-emotional.

  2. #2
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner Princess_Piggie's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    First off, controversial posts like this are usually more at home in The Kitchen section of the forum.

    Addressing your issues however, yes, there are plenty of times more seasoned members will jump on a newbie for feeding the wrong things, putting males and females together, giving them wheels or balls to play in and a whole host of other stuff. While I can't speak on everyones behalf, I personally don't set out to antagonise someone. Sometimes I might word something wrong, or there might be a tone implied in what I say, but it's always coming from a helpful place.

    If you've ever had a friend, partner, child, parent etc in your life who just won't listen, this comparison may help. Imagine you tell your friend "please don't take my snack without asking". But they keep taking it, without asking. For months on end. You'd probably be getting a little more than angry each time you had to tell them, right? It's the same with some of the more common questions we get from newbies. So, while it isn't right that we might get frustrated with a newbie for asking something we see a thousand times a day (because hey, they've only asked once, but we're taking out the frustration of others asking on them), I think that could explain why some people are a bit snappy about things like that.

    Then, speaking from personal experience, there are those who literally ignore the answers you politely provide, and keep asking hoping for the answer they want. There was a member who was creating multiple threads on the same topic, and jumping on other peoples threads asking their question, after myself and other members had given them the same answer multiple times. You may only see one thread with that question in, but there could be that same question in 10 other threads around the forum which again, I think is a justified reason for getting a bit snappy. (FYI, that member was banned)

    However at the end of the day, you're not being over sensitive, it is the case that some threads get more than a little over the top sometimes.

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  4. #3
    Cavy Slave spy9doc's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    From the viewpoint of one of the veterans here on the Forum, I'll toss in my $0.02 for whatever it's worth.

    Princess Piggie has done a fine job of answering your questions. I just wanted to add a couple of things. This forum isn't likely to "go down the drain" anytime soon unless Teresa and the Moderators all quit en masse. The forum has been going strong for at least seven years and although members leave, there are more than enough new ones coming along to take their place. Funny that I now consider myself a "vet" when there are others here who have been around far longer than I. Be grateful for those who care enough to stick around long after their questions have been answered. You will occasionally see the vets go head-to-head on a topic, but we always try to do it with respect.

    Your frustration is not unfounded, but you may need a thick skin until you have been around for a while. One has to consider WHO is being hostile and WHY. You will rarely find that those of us who are older and more experienced are the ones, although I can be a bit curt at times. Those of us who have been around for a while simply get weary of answering the same questions over and over. So, the people answering may not be all that knowledgeable or experienced, but think they know all there is to know about cavies and feel entitled to give advice. Unfortunately, their advice may be based on their time here on the forum and they are simply repeating the "party line" without any critical thought.

    It doesn't seem fair, but one needs to "earn" their place here on the Forum. For instance, I am a physician, researcher, college professor, and long-time cavy lover, but I too was "smacked-around" in the beginning until those more experienced saw that I often have some pretty good advice to offer. That's just how it is. Humans are judgmental about others. Don't consider yourself judgmental? Try going an entire day without saying or thinking something judgmental about others......it is difficult!

    Personally, my #1 irritant is that people don't do their research. Everyone knows how to use a search engine these days. If you can find this forum, you can search through the archives to find the answers to your questions. It is just simple Netiquette to read through old posts on a forum before asking questions. I think I spent three days reading through the archives before I made a single post. There is an absolute wealth of information in the archives.

    This Forum is not Twitter......where one posts her every thought. Newbies often get excited and feel they have to post something on every thread just to see their statistics go up. A good rule-of-thumb is not to post unless you have something to add to the collective knowledge base. Speaking of newbies, it really isn't necessary to browbeat them if they bought a cavy. A simple, thoughtful complete explanation of why we favor adoption and don't condone breeding is adequate. It isn't necessary for 10 people to jump on the offender and drive them away.

    Think about all of us sitting in a room and having a cavy discussion.......I doubt that all of us would agree. But hopefully we would conduct ourselves with Kindness, respect and courtesy. Let's not forget that in our posts.

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  6. #4
    Cavy Star Fay's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    I think that it's important to remember that usually the same questions are asked every day and so to those who have been around longer it's just repeating the same thing over and over. Obviously this can be frustrating at times especially when you're having a bad day and your patience is in short supply. You still want to help improve the lives of people's guinea pigs but it's sometimes easy to forget to be tactful when you're in a bit of a mood. It's not something deliberate, people do genuinely just want to help and have the best of intentions.

    I also think part of the reason why it feels blunt at times is because to new people it can very much feel like they're being attacked. They followed closely what the pet store told them to do and they felt they were doing the right thing. Then they come on here and get told that everything they're doing is wrong. Which might feel a bit like being told off despite that not being the case, people are just merely trying to inform.

    So, I like to make the point that a lot of us have been there and made the same mistakes and so I'm not saying all these things to attack anyone and that I blame the pet store that gave the misinformation. I do sometimes forget to clarify this however and I think this is something I can personally improve upon and maybe something the vets could consider doing more often as well. I think that that might help with the tone of the message so people don't feel pounced on so much. I don't know...

    It's a complex issue that isn't easily and reliably solved. I just think it's worth remembering that the people spending hours of their day helping people wouldn't do so just for the sake of being rude or malicious but this of course might not be so obvious to newcomers. It's truly a double-edged sword. It's hard to balance between being tactful yet informative, all the time.
    Last edited by Fay; 01-03-15 at 12:29 pm.

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  8. #5
    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    Think of it as "tough love." Yes, it can be disconcerting for newcomers because the people here are passionate about proper guinea pig care. Add the fact that the majority of piggies are purchased at pet stores, often on impulse, and live miserable lives eating the wrong food in a much too small cage before dying of neglect and you can see why they react strongly. I didn't get my guinea pigs on impulse, but I did buy at a pet store (and paid the price by losing sweet little Mufasa to a URI within two weeks). Thankfully I ended up here and looked beyond the tone to the message, which ensured that today I have healthy, happy adopted piggy girls. No one can make you feel a certain way; you choose to take that on yourself, both online and in face to face life. Come here, take the helpful information, and leave everything else if you don't like it. Your guinea pigs will thank you for it.

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  10. #6
    Cavy Slave savannahsatchel's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    All of you made very valid points. Thank you for y'alls (sorry for my Texas twang) time, again, I do want to thank each and everyone for all of the great advice that I have received on this forum.

  11. #7
    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner ThePigAlchemist's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    I just want to add that rarely do I see people posting in language I'd consider aggressive. People are definitely blunt and will tell you if they see something wrong with your care, but I'd say a good chunk of the members are actually very gentle in how they convey constructive criticism. I tend toward the blunt side myself, just because that's how I operate in real life too.

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  13. #8
    Cavy Slave savannahsatchel's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    I've seen many posts & responses where people are not just blunt, but very offensive 😕 but I'm sure it's all out of good nature to help another.

  14. #9
    Cavy Slave PiggyG's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    Being a newbie myself, I can't say much - a lot of good information here. But I do feel like people assume way too much from a newbie that might not necessarily be true. Just because someone is new to a guinea pig, doesn't mean all newbies treat their new pigs the same.

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  16. #10
    Cavy Slave BaconAndEggs's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    I agree that sometimes members will take a more hostile approach to things from a newbie that most of us here on this forum don't agree with, such as Pet Store cages, Breeding, and other things. I myself have had some situations where I thought that someone was just trying to be rude to me.

    It is understanding that some new members feel as if they are being attacked by older and more experienced piggy owners. This is not the case. Most of the time, older members are just trying to help you. I understand that sometimes there can be a nicer way to say something, but sometimes we need to hear the truth, no matter how harsh it is.

    Everyone here has different opinions about piggy care- I think we can all agree on that. But sometimes a newer member will create a thread that frustrates people a bit, so the answer came out more harshly than intended. When I first joined this forum, I too thought like you do. But after a week or so, I realized that people were just being helpful. I know that newbies are often mislead by Pet Stores. I will admit that I was too. But, it only took some information from forums and researching on the internet until I knew the right thing to do.

    But we shouldn't just base this all on newbies. Sometimes older guinea pig owners are offended too. It is nearly impossible to know every single thing about guinea pigs. At times, some guinea pig owners that have had piggies for a while post something that newer people know is wrong, and aren't too nice about it, and it can be very offending. I had owned my guinea pigs for a year, not to mention another that I had for about 6 months, before I realized that they needed a larger cage!

    As a conclusion, I know that a lot of people have and will feel offended about the advice others give, and how it is worded. But under it all, every single member of this forum has questions to ask, and advice to give, and sometimes it sounds rude or offending. The purpose of this forum is to ask questions! Sometimes, however, people don't like the answer, and even if the person who gave them the answer wasn't rude, it can seem that way.

    But, anyway, please don't leave. Just try to see into what posts that sound rude are saying, and try to understand it. Everyone on here has a part.

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  18. #11
    Cavy Slave aqh88's Avatar
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    Re: This Forum

    You should have seen this place 5 or so years ago. We had a policy of not sugar coating anything. It was probably one of the most hostile forums on the internet. It is much improved. Around rescue groups you tend to get strong opinions and a cohesive decision on what is the ideal way to keep animals. Everyone will try to get you up to what has been decided as ideal. Some are just more tactful than others.

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