Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Pet Peeve: Group Chats

Alright, so a pic of me faceplanted on the ground is exaggerating a bit (maybe), but I think that a lot of folks like me who are members of groups with very active group chats can understand my pain...

I've joked in the past that having certain group chats open are like having a running crazy voice that just won't STFU. At least now when I close it, it'll stay closed. I don't know if it's a carryover for some from the old chat room days or what, but I've noticed the following trends in my almost 2 years in here:

1. Do you really think hundreds of folks want that window opening just to hear you to say the following? "Hello/Goodbye/Good morning or night [insert group name here]" after it has been mercifully quiet?

2. Want to consider yourself "calling out" someone's behavior or drama on the main chat? Keep your personal dramas and scandals to you and yours. Go one on one or among yourselves with them. That's what personal IM is for. I...don' and I can't be the only one!

3. When I had CoLA's group chat, the really risque sex talk seemed appropriate somehow, given what the sims' theme is. Sure, we're all supposedly adults here, but reading the same kind of things in a main chat like 19th c. Caledon's for instance, just feels, well--not.

4. I don't want to read your land sale or party/club spam that you're sending out over a residential land management group chat when you are not the management.

5. Chathogs, you know who you are, and if you don't--trust me, the rest of us do. I find myself clicking chat closed almost automatically now, especially when certain repeat offenders start chattering away. Shouldn't it be a clue to you when either you or only your other few chathogs are the main ones talking? It's like they discovered a spotlight on a stage and were like "Whoa! The spotlight's on me...perform!"

Yeah, I know, I's about community! Connecting with our fellow citizens! Just go ahead and close it, right? Well, in one group chat, the community's leader tends to make big announcements and such within it sometimes *groans*. I've also found that sometimes a good answer to a tech or general question can be answered. But that's what they are supposed to be used for, aren't they? (I think group notices should be used sparingly for need-to-know info as well.)

Sorry about the ranting--which I rarely do, but damn, I can't be the only one who feels like this.


Diamanda Gustafson said...

I'm only going to comment on no4 since it's the only one I disagree with. The activity of that paragraph, at least as far as Caledon goes, has historically be encouraged by the management. Right, wrong, I won't be the one to judge, but it's not mindlessly abusive.

As far as the rest of the blog post goes.. amen.

Eladrienne Laval said...

Thanks Dia, but #4 refers to general property land management groups outside of my themed groups that I've been a member of.

I'm well aware of it being sanctioned for Caledon. To me, in themed communities, those serve to give notice to folks who actually would give a crap rather than general spam to folks who would prefer to be left alone as usually evidenced by their responses afterwards, LOL.

Terry Lightfoot said...

Fully behind you on 2 and 3. Who are these idiots that can't insult their "friends" on IM? Leave your quarrel out of public arena PUHLEESE. And yah, the sex thing on a victorian channel. I get it, people want to prove they arent REALLY victorian prudes, but we are all aware that we exist in a 21st century world. Also 5, i can think of one community group where one person is ALWAYS taking over the convo if they're online. And it's not like they are all that interesting.In fact it's caused me to now turn off that chat alltogether. I only really disagree with 1, as i appreciate that sometimes, people might log in and have to post a question, right in the middle of some other discussion. Saying Hello only seems proper politeness, when there's the risk of interrupting. NOW if you are referring to the idiots that break that GOLDEN silence by "Hello? why is it so quiet?" for no FRACKING reason other than they can't stand to be alone with themselves and have some SICK need to start up inane purposeless babble, out of the blue, - well then i'm with you. Ahem. speaking of babbling....

Eladrienne Laval said...

*laughs hard*

Terry...the whole "It's so quiet" thing drives me nuts too, HA! As I said, I'm totally a believer in getting quality answers to questions from others in chat, but stirring it up for no good reason whatsoever? Arrgh.

Violet Schnabel said...

1., 3. and 5. have been pet peeves of mine for quite a long time.

Um...I don't really need to know the comings and goings of everyone...nor what the heck is going on in their sekrit seXxy Dungeon It gets annoying quite quickly.

museumfreak said...

I have one thing to say about the "it's so quiet" thing. There are people who are in SL because they don't, for reasons of disability, money, or a whole range of other reasons, have access to a lot of contact with other people. Sometimes saying hello to group chat is a way to break the silence and not feel wholly alone in the world, especially for someone new. And a simple giving and receiving of hellos is a way to affirm that people care about you without having to unload your insecurities. Also it's a way to determine who might be available for IMs and that sort of thing.

That said, Caledon is NOT a therapy group or a group for idle chatter and people shouldn't mistake it for such, consciously and unconsciously. There are groups which primarily exist for all-hours peer support, and there are free-for-all chat groups, and maybe people should be made aware of those. I might try to put together a list.

However, honestly this hello thing is one of the less annoying behaviors to me personally in CalChat. I would be happy if we could inject some more respect and the notion of a Victorian salon environment into the chat, and make it clearer that chat is not for bondage and other overshare topics or personal quarrels. I am fully behind you on 2 & 3.

Also re 5: the trouble with chathogs is that they are often people who don't pick up social cues easily, so this may truly be lost on them (there are some of course who really don't care but I try to give people the benefit of the doubt). I've gone through periods of doing that in the past; I like to think I'm better now though it's hard to know.

I think I'm going to revive my long-dead blog to post about this, actually . . . will link.

Miss Muse Carmona
Madame KittyPirate
Caledon Southend

Eladrienne Laval said...

Thank you for your thoughts Miss Carmona!

A LOT has been made lately in Caledon of the chat and behaviors and such. I honestly think that the current dialogue is getting people thinking and maybe more aware of their own behaviors for "good" or "bad." I'll be the first to say I'm not perfect, but these discussions--to me at least--are a productive thing.