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On chatting in the chat room
- Joined: November 16th, 2015, 2:24 pm
I know there has been some disagreement on how we are to behave in the chat room, and I would very much like to have your input on this matter.
This forum has always presented a mix of different types of content:
1. Crossdreamers talking about their crossdreaming, often looking for help
2. Crossdreamers sharing various expressions of crossdreaming (photos, music, poems etc.), celebrating the gender crossing.
3. Other stuff
This means that the forum presents a mix of crossdreamer "facts", if you will, and crossdreamer "smalltalk", which is there to bind us together as a community.
In the chat room the smalltalk part becomes more prominent, because the chat room resembles normal human social conversation much more than the forum (which is more argument based, and therefore more likely to be "academic"). In the chat room we are more likely to be making use of the kind of "ice breakers" people use when meeting at the pub: "How are you?" "What are you doing today?" "Have you seen something interesting?" And since the conversation is much less structured, it is hard to predict in what direction the discussion might go.
And the more, the merrier. I have found that sometimes, the discussion goes off in a completely new direction, before I have had the chance to contribute my 2 cents on the previous topic. Again, this is exactly the same as would happen around a friendly table at the pub.
Normally this is not a problem, and it should not be a problem, but I do understand why some of our members might find it problematic. The reason for this is that CDL, being that the forum or the chat room, is also a support environment. People who are struggling with severe identity problems, sexual problems, social exclusion, internalized shame and so on and so forth come to our community because they hope they will find someone here who can talk to them about what bothers them. This also applies to those of us who have been with us from the beginning.
The main problem in the forum is that you risk getting no relevant response at all. The main problem in the chat room will be that you get a lot of responses, but that few of them adress what you are struggling with. You may feel that you are not heard or seen. Again: I do not think this is a big problem, since so many of our members are sensitive to the kind of problems crossdreamers are facing, but I do see that it might become a problem if no one follows up on the kind of comments that signal distress and the need for help.
Then there are those who would really like to stick to the topic, because we are interested in where that particular discussion might lead, and the digressions may become annoying.
In real life, the way people handle this may vary. Shy people are more likely to give up than those who are more assertive and outgoing. The latter will simply bring the discussion back on track by adding a new comment, or they will take some of the participants with them into one of the other chat rooms. The shy or hurt ones may stay quiet or give up.
So, how can we address this problem, if it is a problem? Should we add some guidelines as to how members can follow up the ones in need?
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