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On the fence


Active Member
Cavy Slave
Apr 1, 2012
Morning all,

I was just reading through a thread regarding a sick pig, (something that sparked my interest because it is something one of my girls does all the time) and it went from advice to concern to outright judgmental rude behaviors on the whole. I was so bothered by this due to the fact that it comes off of a few day hiatus for me due to the fact that in regular boards where I posted something that was supposed to be lighthearted it was taken WAY out of context and even when explained I was being "overdramatic" not serious I was crucified by some and "not allowed to take back" my words.

I am bothered by the fact that so many ppl here are labeled and judged simply by how long they have been on the boards. My labels may say cavy newbie but then again this ain;t my first rodeo, it just happenes to be I am new to the board.

SOme "pet peeves" and realities for many ppl on here:
1.Yes ppl are going to ask questions that have been asked 500 million times, most ppl do not feel it fits, or simply like to have all the info togehter. Get over it it! If that bothers you because you feel you have answered the same question too many times then guess what, Don't comment on it! Simple.
2.Lets stop assuming eachother are idiots who don't knwo their ass from their elbow. Yes I may have been cleaning the pigs cage and they did something cute so I ran to get my camera and the water bottle wasn't in or the hay is not there. Stop asking under a thinly disguised veil of concern if I know they need fresh water or that hay is the most important part of their diet. I do not claim to be perfect but lets just all calm it down a bit. Same goes for vet visits, do we really need to say hey they are on gp safe AB's. Fine ask what they are on but if I say she is on meds, I appreciate some assumption of I have a clue and not to get lectured on what how and whys. Asking is fine but there is a line I think most of you know.

3. This goes right with number 2 Stop judging those who are in different situations then yourself. There was a thread regarding having to move and so so so many replies were basically "find a house or apt that takes them, don;t rehome etc" giving this person wrong for her choices. You know what you are not her, you have no idea what eachothers situation encompasses.
I Choose to believe that we are all here for very similar reasons, to get good, varied info a safe haven, friendship and to vent, but when it somes down to it our love for the piggers is what binds and ya knwo what, I am sure there are some here that have or will have to give them up at some point due to life circumstances, that does nto make us bad, it just is. I love in an area where only 1 apt building allows dogs, my family has had out dog for 9 yrs and we have done everything in our power from living with 2 sets of family to putting ourselves in debt renting a house just so we can keep her because she is our "dogger" husband and I's first kid, but we are at the point of being homeless, public assistance is a no go, moving to another state to live with fam is a no go and I knwo some ppl here just say we haven't tried hard enough, You Have No Idea, This is just one example of those cross the line moments from some.

I could go on and on but basically, Let's all stop assuming the worst. I know some of you are so jaded from being on here and hearing the same over and over, and I am sure some ppl don't really give it a go. But the overwheling majority here do. If you are too tired or too cranky to be friendly or wise enough to ignore somthing you can not answer without severe judging then just shut the computer off, You are not helping.
If you are too tired or too cranky to be friendly or wise enough to ignore somthing you can not answer without severe judging then just shut the computer off, You are not helping.
And, what, may I ask, do you feel you are accomplishing by going on a tirade explaining how the vast majority of people on this forum are rude and judgmental?

If that bothers you because you feel you have answered the same question too many times then guess what, Don't comment on it! Simple.
I have to submit to you that perhaps if it bothers you because you feel you and others are being judged or assumptions are being made unfairly, you might want to take a step back and realize this is an internet forum - and how much you let it bother you (or not) is entirely in YOUR hands. If it bothers you enough to start citing random, nameless examples that you'd start an entire thread about how troublesome it is to you, it might be time for YOU to back away, too.

Get over it it!
So well said. Might be time to start directing some advice at yourself rather than an internet community.
I don't understand this post. I tend to be one of the forum members who are a bit sensitive to the tone and sometimes impatience of folks responding to questions, but I think this post is a bit ironic -- complaining about how judgemental and harsh and bothersome folks are, but doing it in a way that broadcasts the blast. I've had to take a step back on some of my own reactions (whether impatience over someone's attitude or my own hurt feelings) and, as @Paula notes, remembering I'm on a public forum.

I get frustrated when someone "corrects" me or asks a question that clearly indicates that they haven't read my entire post. But I've learned to just clarify and realize that people want to ensure that I'm able to give the best to my pigs. And, as you note, being a "cavy newbie" doesn't mean this is your first rodeo or whatever. But for some of us, being a "newbie" was an accurate term when we joined. If someone saw that I went to the vet and got antibiotics, they may be concerned that I didn't know some antibiotics are deadly to pigs. And, unfortunately, we all know that many vets don't know jack about piggies, so just saying you went to the vet is no guarantee. I'd rather be condescended to than ignorant.

We are indeed all here, I hope, to promote the proper care and adoration of piggies of all sorts. Ignore people who you feel are nitpicking, or else call them out at the time that they make the comment. It will give them the opportunity to explain if they weren't clear, or let them know that they may be being less than appropriate.
I see where you are coming from but I have to agree with Paula and Wildcavy; its just an internet forum, why would anything someone says to you here bother you? I dont care in the slightest if someone here says something rude or judgemental to me, Im here for my guinea pigs not my ego.
You do know that no one can offend you or make you feel a certain way unless you allow them to, right? What do you care if someone judges you? Why does their judgment matter? If someone's rude, it only has an effect on you if you let it.

This forum is an amazing wealth of information. It's also made up of people with strong opinions and personalities. If you want the benefit of their knowledge, pretend its a pineapple and peel away the abrasive skin to get to the fruit inside.

Maybe I have an easier time of depersonalizing because I'm a cognitive therapist, and separating thoughts from emotions is at the crux of my professional orientation, but it's a skill well worth developing. It's an internet forum. It's just words typed on a screen by people you'll most likely never meet in person. Why let them affect you emotionally in such a deep way that it blinds you to the worthwhile information?
There's two sides I can see.

There's the notion that emotionally healthy adults have to dust every negative internet encounter off their shoulders. It's true, you have to take a step back and recollect yourself instead of stewing over these issues. The internet is not always a kind place. I think the internet is an absolutely horrible place to be social with other people.

You're not face-to face with people, so they dehumanize you. People who post on forums are not all skilled writers, so their tone can be confused with rudeness. This particular forum is shared by guinea pig owners, not guinea pig owner lovers. I like your pig, but I don't necessarily like you. Why should I? I just want to make sure your pig is being cared for properly.

On the other side, I'm a 21 year old geek. I spend lots of time of the internet. I can take a few college classes, read news articles, discuss topics of interest on forums, watch television,play games, etc. I'm a *huge* introvert and most of my time is spent indoors because I'd be frankly miserable if forced into "extroverted" activities. What better indoor activity is there for an introvert than the internet? It provides so much. So in these cases, I do find myself getting emotionally wrapped up in it sometimes. People have made me angry and even hurt my feelings.

I think more and more people are opening their eyes to words being hurtful, even if they're on the internet. There are huge anti-bullying campaigns that focus on interactions through the web. Even adults on the internet have moments of weakness. I don't expect those older than me to always be stronger than me.

There will always be people on the internet that are rude, unintentionally or not. It's normal to get frustrated by this here and there. You're not childish or emotionally unstable for being so. You just have to recognize yourself being upset and know how to pull yourself back up. I go read a book or mess around with artsy stuff (or cuddle my piggies!).
I have to remember that I can't see nor hear the person speaking to me. It is up to me to to choose how I wish to interpret the response. Is the person simply short and to the point?

I remember a thread where the OP was asking for help. The first responses were kind and helpful. However, the OP proceeded to negate every offer of help. Yes, it did get a bit nasty after that.

I got my head ripped off on another forum for having a Lone Piggy. I tried to explain that Poppy will NOT bond with another piggy. I was told that was impossible. Needless to say, I do not post there anymore. My choice.

Some people do not understand that a Search Function exists, so they ask the 'same old question'. The responses guide the OP to a thread addressing their concern. This is not mean, people can learn from this should they choose to.

Also, remember that folks answering are from all over. Language needs to be taken account.

In short, it is up to me. Yep, I may get lectured but it is up to me to listen. After all, maybe there is something I can learn from these lectures, if I choose to.
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I understand what you mean. Sometimes a person might post a response that sounds rude or harsh, but honestly, often it's because the original post seemed to be smart-alecky, or naive, or even neglectful. The OP might actually have been very competent, but people misunderstand each other. When you're on the internet, you form impressions of people based solely on their writing, which isn't always easy to interpret.

If you find yourself in that place, just explain yourself better and apologize if you weren't being clear. I've never seen a situation where that didn't solve the problem.

And as far as being a Newbie, of course people are going to give familiar members the benefit of the doubt. I'm new myself. I'm not going to demand that everyone here respects my judgement completely. There's a difference between being concerned and condescending, but I'm sure that if anyone here asks what antibiotics someone is using, it's not because they want to prove how wise and experienced they are.
Personally I don't give a rats pattotie what ppl think of me or my gp care taking skills. I was just taken aback this morning by this person having to go on and on and defend herself against countless attacks. I have just been seeing think escalate more and more on here and it is disappointing. This is supposed to be a resource and I feel there are those who just don't have the patience but continue to post simply to boost their own egos on how wonderful they are. They should remember they probably asked "dumb" questions too when they encountered new things with their pigs. As for language that is precisely my point. There are ppl complaining about grammar and punctuation. No global vision.
CMDixon, what thread exactly are you talking about?
Words are a major part of communication between people. But non-verbal body language, facial expression and speech inflection help to interpret meaning. None of these are present in a flat medium like internet forums so it's understandable that miscommunication is common.

It's also easy to hide behind the anonymity of the internet and say things you might nor say in person during a conversation. This can lead to hurt feelings and resentment. People on both sides should keep this in mind. If it's hurtful to you when someone says something, keep in mind, they may not have meant it in a hurtful way. Before getting upset, perhaps PM them and ask what they meant. People come from all walks of life. What might be considered insulting to one person, might not be to another.

Sometimes I think people get overly-sensitive when they get a response that doesn't exactly line up with what they expected. But rather than asking for clarification, they become defensive.

I think what people need to keep in mind is that when you join a foum that has a specific goal in mine (proper guinea pig care), you sometimes have to be willing to step back and take the response for what it is, a well-intentioned answer to your question that might also include some educational info. If you need more information or some clarification, ask for it.

Also keep in mind that people cannot read your mind. You might know what your guinea pig set up is like. You might know what it includes but the responders do not. So if they question if you have hay, water bottle, hideys, etc, it's not because they think you are ignorant. It's because you haven't mentioned it.

Likewise, responders on the forum don't know what you already do know about guinea pig care. You might know about introductions or quarantine. You might already know about C&C cages and a proper diet but the responders don't know that. Don't take offense if they mention those things or ask if you know about them. There's no way for them to know that unless you tell them.
I appreciate the goal of the forum. I understand it's here to help guinea pig owners be, well, good guinea pig owners! I agree that people shouldn't be defensive, but there's something here that isn't addressed quite to my liking. Humanity. I understand not everyone gets along, but do we have to jump to conclusions and be brutal in the process?

I know that it's the internet, people don't agree, etc. I too am a 21-year old introvert who doesn't necessarily love everyone here. But I think responsibility has to be taken on both sides - perhaps you are being too defensive. Then again, perhaps you are wording things in an uncivilized manner. Debate is one thing, attacking someone's character is another. I think that if you don't like people or do not want to interact with them, if "stupidity" is so overwhelming you cannot handle it, then you belong somewhere where you can't hurt anyone.

I think we'd be a lot better off if we cooperated, speculated and discussed constructively instead of backing people into a corner and beating them with a stick, a la mob. There are so many great ideas and strong knowledge bases here with people from many walks of life: I find myself wishing we could appreciate the good in others instead of placing a giant neon sign pointing out the bad.

(For things like meds and pet stores, I think it's good to talk for a bit. Not attack, but asking reaffirming questions like "is it amoxicillin that your vet has prescribed?" is okay -- there isn't a cavy-owners guide given at orientation day. It's good to bring up the potentially fatal mistakes made by new owners in a way that isn't "HOW STUPID AND IGNORANT YOU ARE!")
As a last word, Like I had said, this was not meant to be inflammatory. It was an comment on the observations I have made regarding the chnages I see in these boards. That people go from 0 to 60 instead of asking a ? was what I was observing. I was not judging anyone here, I was speakign to the overall tone things take on debates that are seemingly innocuous and shouldn't garner the fiery nature they do, like a simple picture of a cage in mid construction. Such as with commenting on someones grammar and word usage. You are right, it is hurtful if nto just unecessary, as long as you can understand the persons question or responce, just go with it. We are nto all native english language speakers and no matter what our abulities we are all trying.

This is a board for us all to question and express opinions, as a student of language and semantics I loath electronic communication at times, being in a deaf world it surrounds me 24/7. So I know just as good as anyone how without intonation, inflection, body language, how things go askew. Just imagine the majority of your communication with your loved ones being electronic, espeically when you must discuss something important or serious.
I was not tyring to inflame, I just was honestly beside myself how some ppl seemed to jump to "defensive questioning" instead of "politly inquiring" We are all here to learn and share and grow. Ask all the questions you want I say :) But we all bear the brunt of online comm issues and maybe have to assess how things come across or even be able to step back and see hwo another might feel/interpret, as well as the other way around. I can have a really horrid day, coem home to look at the boards and read a repsonce and maybe become hurt. But I must be able to say "huh, maybe my mood/attitude affected how I read that" We are all here for the pigs, whatever our differences we are bound by and to them.
One last time, I was never saying questions are bad, it is the fruit of these boards, but we do all need to have a bit more global vision, myself included :)

***As a side note, the post that spawned my philisophical rant on the way we treat one another here also saved the life of my SJ. So in no way am I bashing this forum, it is and the people who are here are a god send to me***
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