Posted: 14 January 2011 at 12:08am | IP Logged
Originally posted by K.Resurrected.
To my understanding, we are still talking about people who were once active members but later decided to deactivate their accounts. The ban (?) is an unintended consequence of that. Whether or not people know about the ban before they requested a deactivation, while relevant to the topic, doesn't necessarily augment to the list of reasons as to why they chose to take such a seemingly drastic measure in the first place.
FYI: Once banned, temporarily or otherwise, a member can neither PM anybody nor reply to scraps. This point is relevant when considering possible reactivation.
Some worldly-wise people, having fully grasped the finer points of life, seem to callously dismiss these deactivation requests with a cavalier tone and a ready-made homily such as "it's an online forum! Who cares?! Let's move on!"
While that outlook is most admirable and comes in handy when facing the cold hard facts of life, one can't help but wonder why would these same people liberally use such emoticons as (
) on an online forum?! Either those emotions are phony (who would hug and laugh and cry and wink and spill their guts detailing their daily schedules and travel plans and school curriculum vitae to complete strangers? Who would go out of their way to show that they are embarrassed or they are happy or they are shocked or they are applauding a stranger's thoughts? Who would wish strangers on their birthdays, taking pains and making efforts to copy paste images of cakes and candy and flowers?) Or the attitude that's on display when a member leaves is phony. Which is it?
Sure, there are all kinds of reasons. I cited a few. The others cited a few. The truth is hidden in one of those possibilities. What is not apparent to many, however, is that the person who chose to cancel/deactivate an account is basically making a statement
. You could argue that probably they are seeking attention but even seeking attention is the same as making a statement. The statement could be as simple as "you are going to miss me, wait and watch" to something a little more complex like "not all is right with this forum" to something extremely brazen such as "this is my way of giving you people the middle finger!"
The statement itself might not be aimed at just one person. It could be aimed at the general audience too. So who should care? Whoever the requester had in mind. How would anybody know what was on the requester's mind when he/she requested a cancellation/deactivation? Simple. If you care enough, you could easily retrace the events. If you don't, then please be a little more cautious before using emoticons or flirtatious language or engaging in spirited discussions that might leave lasting impressions on some people. You can't be goody-goody one day and pretend not to care the next day. That's just wrong!
Disclaimer: I have zero emotion vested in any of this, because that's just the way I am. I am only speaking on behalf of the others, trying to put myself in their shoes. I could be completely wrong in my assessment and that's a possibility.
This IS an online forum, and it shouldn't be the end of the world if someone decides to leave the forum for whatever reason. You should have the ability to move on and accept that they have chosen to leave this virtual world. Dismissing these everyday goodbyes is healthy for the virtual soul. If we were to be upset and disappointed every single time someone left the forum, this would not be a very happy place.
As far as emoticons are concerned, even without these emoticons, you are expressing various emotions through your words every time you make a post on this forum. Without emoticons, you are perhaps leaving the interpretation of your tone and your emotions up to the reader. Regardless, it does not mean that you are not expressing any emotions. Although you may not be hugging, winking, or laughing through these emoticons, it does not mean that you aren't expressing these emotions in your posts.
Having said that, every time we log on to this forum and post, we are sharing our thoughts with complete strangers. To talk to these strangers regarding discussion topics on the forum, personal lives, and wishing them on their birthday are all a part of the deal. Even if you are sending a simple birthday wish through a PM, you are still taking the initiative to wish a stranger on their birthday for whatever reason. But wishing someone on their birthday does not translate into developing a life long bond with them and neither does it mean that there is some level of emotional attachment at stake here. Even in the real world, we wish people on their birthdays or generally and forget about them when we move on in life.
People leave this forum for several reasons, and they get themselves banned for several other reasons. The number one reason is that they lack the self-control to stop logging on to the forum and therefore have to take this extreme measure of getting themselves banned. Second most common reason is that they want to make a statement. They want to be the talk of the town with their grand exit so people will claim to miss them and make posts in their honor asking them to come back. They enjoy that because they read that either with another account or without one. Third biggest reason, I believe, is when they want to erase signs of their presence on the forum. They want all their past deeds to be erased so they can either move on or start fresh when time comes. My only take with this extreme action is that do it if you are going to be gone for good. No point in making these useless statements if you're going to be back here in a few days. Even if you are only deactivating your account, the above three occurrences still hold true since the intentions (although are of returning) for leaving are the same.
All that said, I don't think there is anything phony about using emoticons or moving on when members leave. How do you know people stop missing the people they once were close to? How do you know they aren't in touch outside of the forum? How do you know that perhaps they weren't as close as they appeared to be on the forum? And lastly, perhaps it was a two-sided friendship between members who realized how short-term it would be. Who gives anyone here the right to judge these members or call them phony for their behavior on the forum? Until members develop that "let's-move-on" attitude on this forum, survival here is difficult. All that emotional baggage that comes with emotional attachment over the internet, I fathom, is much more harder to overcome than perhaps even in the real world.