Posting Expectations---Important Social 'Netiquette' for BT4D
Posted 14 November 2006 - 11:55 AM
Posters often hesitate to bring these sensitive questions or concerns to the Board because, although we all have 'anonymous' screen names, it is often startling how easy it can be to 'unmask' or match a poster with a real live person, place, or dance school. That 'unmasking' can cause unease for the poster, who then worries whether their sensitive concern will be exposed to others in their 'real-life' community without their consent or in a way that upsets them or unintentionally causes harm or discord.
Therefore, in participating in this wonderfully supportive and insightful community, I would encourage each and every one of us to remember the 'social fiction' of the anonymity here on BT4D. Most folks here strive to maintain some disconnect with the 'real world' identity so that they can ask their more sensitive questions without worrying about being 'outed' or causing others to be either uncomfortable or defensive.
Please realize that, for those of us who are active for any real length of time on this Board, no matter how circumspect or careful we are, we inevitably leave footprints, bread crumbs, and clues as to our locations and/or associations. Some of us are more adept at putting together the pieces of these little puzzles and sometimes the whole picture just falls into our laps. Sometimes new member don't realize that later on they may wish they had not been so 'open' with some of their identifying information. For example, sometimes folks identify where they are located for whatever reason. Most of the time, folks play that a little closer to their vest (SI attendance notwithstanding). Usually when a 'sensitive' issue arises, the last thing the poster wants is for their school, company, or association to be identified with them.
So, the question becomes how do we each individually handle this slip of the veil? I would suggest that we politely continue the fiction of anonymity and don't refer to the inadvertant exposure, don't comment or call attention to the 'clues' that swirled into view, and let those 'clues' swirl back underwater without catching them and laying them out for all to see.
It is something like politely looking the other way when something embarassing momentarily peaks out from the bottom of our skirt, our sleeve, or our person--like spinach in the teeth when there is simply no way our friend can discreetly remove it at the time we notice it.
I would encourage members to respect the amount of information a poster chooses to give about their location within the thread at hand when discussing or offering suggestions. If a poster thinks that a more intimate knowledge of shared location might be useful to the poster, might I suggest that that offer (or acknowledgement of location) be done via a PM rather than adding information to the public thread that might identify the original poster more completely than that poster has chosen. In other words, let's try to respect the amount of information a poster is comfortable revealing in a particular thread and not add anything that might further identify their location or association. Especially in those 'sensitive' and 'delicate' matters, further exposure of their location or association can cause consternation, worry, and stress--even if done inadvertantly.
It is up to each and every one of us to respect the trust and confidence that we offer each other here and, sometimes, go a little bit further in protecting each other from our own lack of circumspections.
Posted 14 November 2006 - 01:56 PM
I know I have been guilty of saying to someone "I know your situation" as well although in pm. And the person told me how uncomfortable it made them although they were thankful for the advice. It gave me pause that not everyone wants to be "outed" as you have stated and I have tried to be more cautious about that since then. You are correct, when a poster comes here for help, they would like that help based on the situation they have described in that particular thread (and leaving out what they have not described). We will better be able to help them if we allow them that bit of anonymity and just answer their question globally and allowing them to divulge more if they so choose rather than us forcing the admission.
Thank you again for bringing this up as a reminder to us all!
Posted 14 November 2006 - 07:17 PM
Posted 14 November 2006 - 08:04 PM
Ballet Talk for Dancers Ballet Master.
Posted 15 November 2006 - 04:42 PM
Imagine my surprise when, during rehearsal one day, a fellow dancer asked me if I was "GretchenStar" and laughed. I was shocked to say the least, because I'm pretty sure none of the dancers visit this board. Apparently, someone not involved in our company had read my posts and told someone that is involved with our company. And that person (the one involved) went around asking some students if they were GretchenStar.
It's fine for me if individual people know who I am - but to have my "online identity" revealed in such a manner (this took place during a tech rehearsal, by the way) was just mortifying. Like it was some guessing game or something.
In some ways, I feel that if someone figures out who I am, please just keep it to yourself and let me remain somewhat anonymous. On the other hand, I think I might feel conflicted if I found out that someone from the outside world is also a regular here and never mentioned it to me - then I'd be going back and trying to remember if I said anything that I might not be comfortable saying at the studio (e.g. a comment about this, a suggestion about that, etc).
But I think it's a good reminder for all of us to respect everyone's privacy and anonymity - and if one should choose to let someone else know that they actually do know who they are, do it tactfully!