Arianna's Blog

Come listen to the ramblings and assorted babblings of a crazed mother and newbie author. It might not always be helpful, but it should be amusing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Girl Groups Rant

And I'm not talking the Go Go's (does anyone even remember them?)

Why does it seem that whenever you get more than five women in a cyber room together things always start out with people playing nice, then things degenerate with accusations and defenses?

I am on several Yahoo group lists and undoubtably, there ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS seems to be someone who makes a comment-- usually unintentionally-- that gets someone else up in arms. That person makes a comment back, then the original person feels the need to make a comment back and the next thing you know the whole list is taking sides and veiled insults are in every post. Cripes, it's like being back in high school!!!!!

Why does this have to happen? Do guy groups have the same problems? If women are supposed to be the more nuturing sex, why do we get our panties in a knot so easily? I know I'm just as guilty of making a comment I shouldn't and hitting send. And I know I've been known to choose sides too. Is it part of our DNA? Along with ovaries we get cramps every month and the urge to make mountains out of mole hills? I end up lurking on most lists because I just don't want to get involved in that sort of garbage.


I'm not really a joiner, so I don't know for sure, but I wonder if it's different if the groups are "live" instead on the computer? Do you think if you had to face the person every month at a meeting you'd be more inclined to hold your tongue? I wonder?

I'd love to hear any comments on this one folks. . .


  • At 9:54 PM, Blogger Leigh Wyndfield said…

    I have to say I agree with this and find that in my writing group where we meet face to face we have issues too. Perhaps it's the fact we're writers? I was in a multi-gender writing group and one of the guys flipped his lid one day and went freaky, cussing and raging and whatnot (um, it's scarier when it's a guy, by the way). I've wondered about this. It takes a different set personality traits to write as a career -- you have to be strong, focused, believe you're right and keep going when people kick you in the head with poor reviews, rejections and all the rest. Maybe that's the issue, not the women thing. Just a thought.

  • At 10:05 PM, Blogger Kris Starr said…

    Hey Ari ~
    I just popped by to say hi, not expecting to end up in something a little more serious like this topic!

    I think (IMHO) the biggest problem is that degree of anonymity on the internet -- it affects *everything*. From the way someone reads your words *without* seeing your facial expression or the tone of your voice, to the ability to just *react* emotionally -- typing your response and hitting 'send' without really thinking about what you're doing.

    I've been known to write and rewrite email messages or posts for message groups over a few times, because I want to make sure the message conveys exactly what I want it to. Of course, that doesn't always work, either. It's darned tricky, that's for sure!

    Anyway. That's about all I've got to say for the moment.
    {{{hugs}}} for you and your family -- glad to hear things are getting better!


  • At 1:44 PM, Blogger Mary Stella said…

    I agree with the idea that people strike out from behind the shield of anonymity. That and the fact that we've become used to the immediacy of email, electronic message boards, blogs, etc. Over ten years ago when I first joined the old Prodigy message boards, I created the three minute rule for myself. If I read something that sparked an "ouch", a "what the #*&##", a "who does she think she is?" or other negative reaction, I made myself re-read the note and wait at least three minutes before responding. Generally, this cut off the knee-jerk reaction before I could type fast and hit Send.

    I hate the flame wars and arguments that crop up so easily. I have no problem with healthy debates and exchanges of ideas -- as long as they're conducted in polite, respectful and professional ways.

  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Jaye said…

    I tend to stay right out of it, and mostly just lurk. If I have a comment, nine times out of ten, I'll just email a trusted/close friend/writing buddy and say my piece there. I just can't stand all the bickering; and what kills me is, the majority of the time, these people don't know each other from Adam, yet life (years) long enimity is formed , and sides chosen on the basis of a couple of posts. Ditto what Leigh, Kris and Mary have said.

  • At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Jewell said…

    I agreee with everyone here, and more.

    The internet depersonifies people. Unless you've really met someone in person that you chat with online and learned their speech patterns ... then you really have no idea of their meaning in somewhat bizarre posts.

    We all know this is true. You can read a post from a friend, and instantly know if she was being supportive or catty. You can also tell the same thing from a person who rubbed you raw face-to-face. You can see the gleam in her eyes as she made the snide comment.

    The trouble is ... and this has been my bane of life ... I will have friends on the net who just can't get along with each other. They want to snip at each other in private, and it's really hard to say, "Hey, you just don't know this person well enough." You begin playing mediator.

    And do not think men don't do it too. They just do it a bit differently. Well, I've never been on a site mostly populated by men, but in real life work, I've been in a plant with four women to over 100 males.

    They piss on the trees constantly, and always get offended by a word or two, or by the way a word is said.

    They are different, and yet not.

    My two cents.

  • At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I completely agree! I've 'read' things in other people's comments that seem like personal attacks toward me. At least, I took them that way. I guess it's because I can't see their faces or their expressions. In my working relationships and friendships, sometimes someone will say something I don't like, but then I'll look in their eyes and see nothing hurtful - only friendship and kindness. I realize they don't mean to hurt me. It's just that the way they said it came out in a less than tactful manner.

    However, on the internet, there's no way to 'read' people's expressions or look a person in the eye and know their true intentions. At least, that's the way I see it. And that's why I'm a lurker. Unless something really interests me. Like today.

  • At 3:14 PM, Blogger Karen Scott said…

    I've been involved in a war myself with another group member, but you know what, I wasn't even aware that we didn't get on until months later when things seemed to spiral out of control.

    Can you believe that the original argument was because I'd jokingly insulted a character in a book. She went wild because she'd been 'given' this hero by the author who owned the group, and was very possessive over him.

    I didn't actually realise that to her this character was real, and so I went out of my way to tease her about taking him from her. She went crazy, and started 'ignoring' my posts. WTF!

    I'm naturally a sarcastic person, and this is usually the basis of my humour, but she just didn't get the fact that I was only teasing, and it just ended up being one big mess, and she accused the other group members of taking my side (hello, she was going crazy over fictional characters?)

    I decided to go no mail from that group because it was all too much drama, but I know from other sources that she's sorry as hell now, and probably secretly wants to be friends, but too bad. I'm really good at holding grudges (grin)

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