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Old 10-03-2010, 09:38 AM
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Exclamation Every 3 months...

...it seems like things are getting different in ToS. Every three months disputes and disagreements rise to the point where people are leaving. And every three months, all members are urged to think over their actions, to solve these problems, these conflicts.

When a group of people get together like this, when we share everything - naturally, since we have different opinions on things, conflicts are bound to take place. So are these conflicts themselves the reason these waves of tension keep occurring? No. Like I have said before, there will always be conflicts - or like Zenit-Yerkes put it:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zenit-Yerkes
There is friction even in the best families.
So what causes this to happen? We cannot possibly be all-loving and all-caring, to everyone - no family can do that, since people think differently. No - what matters is how we handle the conflicts we face. And for some reason, this seems to change with time. Things culminate to the point where people see problems that are not there - and where the idea of tension raises the actual tension. And so I make a thread urging everyone to calm down, and they do, and everything goes back to normal... and it repeats itself. This is what we have seen since the foundation of ToS.

Is this surprising? Is it a strange thing that we as time passes grow less respectful - or perhaps - annoyed by the opinions of each other? No. That's the thing - this is not a surprise, this is the most prominent of human traits showing itself. We are bound to make great friends, but also find enemies.

And there is no need to fight this - we just have to realize it. Realize that we do dislike some people, that some opinions do annoy us - that people are different. Or in the words of Dreaming of Pandora:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Pandora
The fact that there are conflicts shows how much of a family we really are. Conflicts, I think it adds to the sincerity of the discussions. If there aren't times of friction here then it'll turn into a false environment, we wouldn't be saying what we really feel. Saying what we mean makes for greater understanding of each other will REDUCE the amount of conflicts here if people take on board other peoples' issues and to be considerate in their posts.
So I write this - not as a cry for change - but with a hope that it can make all of us understand what is happening. Every 3 months, we see great friendliness, but also signs of disrespect and intolerance. Let us try to preserve what makes us who we are.



I end this post with my previous one - and urge you all to read it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eltu
We have all been asking ourselves the question - what is going to happen to ToS in the future? Will it still be here? Will the userbase remain in the friendly and compassionate state it is in now?

There is one, simple answer to all these questions: ToS is what you make it.

It has always been, and will always be, a member's community. And this has to become especially clear at this time. Why?

Avatar, the beautiful movie it is, will still fade over time. Its message will most definitely not, but eventually we will run out of Avatar related things to discuss. We are currently there - the Avatar centered topics are decreasing in number, and ToS is slowly becoming less of a fan forum... and more of a family.

I have heard some concerned voices lately. People are talking about how some unfriendliness has begun to show - and some of this has occurred, I agree. What has happened, is that the worse sides of human nature has shown themselves. There will ALWAYS be some conflicts among a group of people. What differs us from the rest, is how we treat these conflicts. And it is in these situations we must act like a family. If someone shows unfriendliness, throws insults or feel generally unhappy - we must be there to support the person in question. If we just give dislike back, the worse sides of human nature will take over - and I know that nobody of you wants this to happen.

I urge you ALL - if you feel dislike, annoyance, or even hate - don't spit it out on the other people in here. Share your troubles, your feelings - to solve what is troubling you, instead of letting it hurt other people.

And from the other perspective - if someone says something that affects you negatively - don't share the same back - try to help the person in question.

If there should be a situation that simply cannot be resolved - use the report function and I or any other admin will try and aid as soon as possible.

Also feel free to read the "Our forum" thread (link in my signature) if you have not already.

We have to understand, that just because we have conflicts, it does not mean we have lost our sense of community - conflicts are a natural part of any group of people.

And ToS is a place where we can SOLVE all our conflicts, where going through this can make us better persons.

If we can act like a true family, ToS can last forever.
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:45 AM
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Also, allow me to post a few quotes that really touched this issue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by tallbluewanderer View Post
I've been part of ToS since the beginning, and, although I've been almost completely gone for the last month and a half (I've been dealing with some IRL stuff and unfortunately haven't been active or even lurking here -- but that's another thread), I've still kept in contact with many of my friends here and I've been stopping by whenever I can. Tree of Souls is more than a forum, it's a family. It means something, and that's not going away.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fighter-of-Wars View Post
Most everyone here has an open mind on things and that is good. Like the thread I started a few days ago about dreams and emotion. Anywhere else I probably would have got laughed at, called names. But here, at ToS, other people contributed and told stories about their experiences. Don't tell me that what we have here isn't beautiful.

I still love Avatar and have the feelings I had before when I first saw it, maybe not in the intensity, but not a day goes by where I wish I could be on Pandora, running through the jungle, riding an Ikran, be with Neytiri, become one of the people, if a topic came up about Avatar, I would still go to it and contribute, Avatar is still in me. But I don't come here looking to talk about Avatar as much as to be with a great group of people who "see" each other.

Everyone is accepted, loved, heard and helped.

Sure, we have our bad apples, but what community doesn't. No place is perfect. And what's good is we haven't burned them at the stake either, we are trying to help them with their problems here, not shun them away.

Remember everyone what feelings brought us together, remember the bonds we have built here, and remember that it's not just an avatar, signature, and nickname you're talking with. It's another person with similar problems, feelings, and desires as you on the other side of the screen.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sovereign View Post
As far as the future of this community, I certainly believe we've grown beyond people who talk about Avatar 24/7. That's healthy and normal, but it also reveals all those things about everyone else we don't like. The honeymoon period (where everyone talked constantly of Avatar, Jake, Neytiri and the like) is over--deal with it! If you don't like someone, deal with it like an adult. If they break the rules or treat you in a way you feel is inappropriate, talk to a site admin or mod.

I hate to have written this much on things that are, to me, really simple, but I felt it necessary to say something. Here's the condensed version.
1. If you don't like a discussion, stay out of it.
2. If you don't like a user, ignore him or her (there's a function in the software for that).
3. If you don't like a forum, don't read it.
4. If you don't like a website, don't visit it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanley_9875 View Post
This is not the end of ToS, in fact I see things getting brighter...

This place is the first place I think of logging onto everyday when I get onto the computer, this place, you all are so incredibly amazing. Thank you Eltu for this great hopeful and uplifting post.

I will remain on ToS as long as there is one other member here, and even then

Love you all so much

Peace Love Unity and Respect
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Old 10-03-2010, 09:53 AM
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Very true... while I do not fear for the future because I think we have too much to lose it with the way we all are, I do think that this has been happening recently... even I haven't been completely innocent of this, although I have tried my best with certain threads.

I certainly don't see eye to eye with some members on here, and probably never will, as I know others don't either... but that does not stop us from being a family... what we have is still unique and always will be.
If you want to keep ToS the great place it has become, EVERYONE has to do that. If it's just us, it won't work.

that said, I still say this is the 'debate' forum's fault
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Human No More View Post
but that does not stop us from being a family... what we have is still unique and always will be.
Quoted for truth. My earlier statement (quoted in Eltu's post) still stands. This is home -- let's keep it that way!
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:18 AM
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Someone said, "debate is the art of disagreeing". We may have opposed views, that's nothing new -we all think different, follow different creeds and defend different things. It takes time to master that art of disagreeing with someone and keep intact their support and friendship outside; but it's a matter of respect actually.

More than being a problem of the debate threads, it's more a problem of not thinking on the rest of opponents as a friend but an enemy to attack and defeat. Taking a discussion as a way to prove you're right and the rest of the world is wrong, instead of letting it be something from what we could all learn or even have fun.

I admit I have gone passionate on many subjects, insulted people and made arguments out of non-debate threads. Especially lately.

So my apologies for all of it.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenitYerkes View Post
I admit I have gone passionate on many subjects, insulted people and made arguments out of non-debate threads. Especially lately.

So my apologies for all of it.
Apology accepted.
I may have overreacted to some, so I apologise for that.
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Old 10-03-2010, 10:24 AM
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I'm reminded of the Inklings, when they would get together for drinks and have discussions about issues that concerned... pretty-much anything. The discussions would get very, very heated at times. However, their friendship stayed just as strong as if they'd never argued, because their views on subjects did not change their friendship.

That's the way it should be here... Unfortunately, I have to admit that I'm a bit hypocritical to even state this. I tend to type the way I'd say something in reality, so it may look harsh at times, but I really don't mean it that way.

If I've come off as "mean" towards anyone recently, please know that I never meant to be. I try to be straightforward without being harsh, but it doesn't always read as well as it could be said in actuality.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 10-03-2010 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:17 AM
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As far as any recent conflict goes, I see this more as a case of cabin fever for some. Most of the active members spend at least a few hours per day on the forums or IRC talking to the same people. Eventually those people behind the screen name are no longer strangers, but family, as you spend time to learn about each other. And like any family member in real life, as much as you may love them, if you spend enough time around them eventually it can lead to conflict. Why? People just grow tired of each other sometimes.

Like Eltu said, it seems to happen around every three months. What ends up happening is a few people will leave for a while. The forum might seem a little slow for a short time. Then as people come back refreshed, everything goes great again

So what am I trying to get at? nothing really, just wanted to post what I thought of the situation. But if a person finds their attitude in recent postings starting to become negative, maybe think about taking a few days off? When you come back things will seem new and fresh which can help the overall attitude and reduce the chance of conflict.

Anyways that's just my opinion
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Old 10-03-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woodsprite View Post

If I've come off as "mean" towards anyone recently, please know that I never meant to be. I try to be straightforward without being harsh, but it doesn't always read as well as it could be said in actuality.
Same with me. Sorry if I've unintentionally been harsh to anyone.
And if I have, it would probably be on the debate thread.
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Old 10-03-2010, 02:26 PM
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I don't think it would be possible to entirely eliminate conflict without turning this into a rather sterile environment, which I do *not* want. As long as everyone keeps a respectful tone, we'll be just fine.
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Old 10-03-2010, 03:25 PM
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Hmm, I haven't really noticed the cycle until I read this thread, and I myself have been more sporadic than cyclic in my posting/lurking. I believe why I've never left for more than a week is because I don't get that much time to spend here each day, and I want to come back and post more because ten minutes a day simply isn't enough. Now that I think of it though, ToS is getting back some of the people that vanished a few months ago, and a few are leaving. I've never really had a major conflict with anyone here (and I hope I don't), but the derailed/closed/sh*tfight threads seem to come and go in groups. I admit I've somewhat derailed a few threads, and I'm sorry for that. It's already been said several times, but I agree that even in the best of families there is conflict. Stdout is right, without any kind of argument, this would be a very sterile place.

*hugs everyone*
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:10 PM
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Uh-oh I just came back after three months away. I hope that I'm not overly contributing to these divisive debates. I know that I do interject myself into some of them. I do try to be respectful of others positions even if I think they are wrong or flawed. The world would be a boring place if we all thought alike.

It's the great people and environment here that brought me back. I hope that I'm not overly contributing the the friction. A big Na'vi hug to all.
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Old 10-03-2010, 04:41 PM
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maybe we should stay away from the deabte forum....it seems to bring about alot of needless arguments and dissagrements, but if we don't have it, it will spill over into the rest of the forum... I'm not smart enough to fix that. Also, I'm sorry for my trolling the other day @ HNM and auroraglacialis.
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X.,.Pandora.,.X View Post
maybe we should stay away from the deabte forum....it seems to bring about alot of needless arguments and dissagrements, but if we don't have it, it will spill over into the rest of the forum... I'm not smart enough to fix that. Also, I'm sorry for my trolling the other day @ HNM and auroraglacialis.
Debates really shouldn't be seen as always creating conflict!
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Old 10-03-2010, 06:07 PM
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I haven't been a member of ToS long enough to experience a full cycle like you describe but I know what you mean. I was a corporation director in Eve Online for an extensive period of time. I would manage a group of forty or so individuals. Most of us were together from our first week of playing the game. We had our cycles of ups and downs. A lot of times I felt depressed seeing everyone so negative and angry at each other but we always managed to put aside our anger and come back to being the close knit group we always were. I still talk with them occasionally today and we share memories of the past and laugh at all the good adventures we had.

The same applies for ToS. The anxiety and frustration builds. Eventually we need to let it out. We have our differences but we should not pretend that they do not exist. Each of us is a unique, complex individual full of his or her own perks, quirks, and personality traits. We cannot maintain these deep close knit ties without accepting the entire person for who they are. Ignoring the differences leads to an empty artificial feeling. All of us care and desire the well-being of each other. When someone is feeling down, has a problems, or is just frustrated, we do our best to help and offer advice. Because of this, I know these forums will endure for a long time.

I lurk on the debate forums quite often. It is a good medium with which we can express our views and opinions but sometimes our heated passion for an issue spills over into our posts. I even find myself a little perturbed after listening to the some of the debates but it is a natural emotional response that settles quickly with time. I find it a little hard sometimes but we need to step back occasionally to calm ourselves before posting.

The sense of goodwill still exists on these forums. Sometimes when we are feeling down, it can be hard to recognize but its always there.

Last edited by Banefull; 10-03-2010 at 06:15 PM.
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