Bringing negative posts to the top

Bringing negative posts to the top

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 06:06 #1

There were two instances today where a certain kind of negative post was raised to the top. One was from a person who was having a tough time a couple of days ago, and the other was from a person who was a member for a short time, put up a post saying he was thinking he wanted to go back to smoking. I want to use this thread to address these two types of incidents and to have it available to bring up in the future when such events occur.

Again, in the first example the person was having a bad time a few days back. When she put up the original post, a few people responded back with a few well thought out and supportive posts. The person who put up the original post wrote back in another string saying that she was now better and that time of the crisis had passed. This was a good example of how a few quick and well thought out replies can really do the trick of helping a person get through a bad time. It is not the quantity of responses that is going to get a person through a moment--it is the quality of the information and support that he or she will get.

When a person cries out for help, gets it, comes back and responds that they have ridden out the moment and our now better, and then maybe one or two people respond quickly that they are glad to hear that the person got through the bad times--then it is time to let the post drop. Bringing it up over and over with comments like I am glad you are better is just making a person looking in for a quick look at the board think that the person is still in distress and in need of help--maybe hours and then days after the real problem existed.

The second example from today is where a member wrote that he was thinking of going back to smoking, that quitting just didn't seem worth it. Again, there were numerous members who wrote a response back to him and suggested articles for him to read. Actually, the articles I had suggested for him to read were the following:

"I made a conscious decision to smoke."
"I think I have decided to go back to smoking"
Options
The Smoker's Vow

The man never replied back, and this was from well over a week ago. Then today a member brought back the post today asking how he was doing and telling him to hang in there and post.

The member who made the first post has either relapsed and can't post or has not taken the time to read the replies and acknowledge that he is okay or to let the people know who have tried to help him that their efforts were helpful and appreciated. We honestly don't know which situation is involved here. Either way, there are reasons why this post should not have been raised to the top today. There are a few already existing strings that address why we feel this way. They are:

Misery Love Company (If you have not already read this one today please do and pay special attention to post 10 in that string.)
"Please don't smoke."
Acknowledge the negative--but dwell on the positive
Buddy Systems

Each of these string address issues that are likely explaining some of the possible reasons that this post did get raised today. There was no real reason for this man's post to be singled out.

If you go back over the board for the almost three years since Freedom has existed, there are hundreds of people whose posts like this could be brought up every day if we wanted to. Why pick out one and forget the others? Why are we not working at dragging all these people into posting and maybe quitting?

The reason is we are not here to force anyone into quitting and we are not here to enforce personal resolve. We are here to help people who have already decided to quit and are sticking with that committment. (See Our Mission Statement) We want people who are in fact putting in a one hundred percent commitment. If the man had come back and said he was still off and still in dire straights, you can bet he would have been inundated with help and support. If our membership saw he was needing more, they would have delivered it. But at this point we have zero indication of what this individual is thinking or doing.

The one thing that these two posts have in common is that they were bringing negative posts to the top, giving the impression these people were quitting and in trouble. In the first case the person was not in trouble, at least not in trouble with what was being addressed in the particular string, and the second case we don't know if the person is even quitting, let alone in trouble.

I hope that each and every one of our members would try to think back to what the board was likely like the day that you arrived. What made you realize that you wanted to join Freedom? Was it a whole bunch of posts of people complaining about the bad lives they are having since they quit smoking, or was it from a balance of posts?

The odds are the kind of posts that made you want to join were seeing people who were successfully quitting. There were likely some posts from longer-term members who were relating what it is like 99% of the time since they had quit smoking and not really thinking about cigarettes. Other posts were probably from people who were first quitting but who recognized how their lives were in many ways being wrecked from cigarettes and were totally out of control while they were still smoking. It is also likely that there were other posts that had a very strong educational component trying to get the message out that the effort being put forth by all of our members was truly a struggle for your Freedom, your health and your very life.

Try to think back what pulled you into Freedom and ask yourself is what you are posting now really helping others to want to quit smoking too. I suspect if you do this you will consider how you post and how you respond and will much more likely write posts that will not only better help the individual you are writing to, but also all others reading your words to stay determined to never take another puff!

Joel
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freefromit GOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Dec 2002, 06:47 #2

Thank you Joel, for some good guidance regarding the occasional negative posts we see here. It was a good reminder for me to check the date of the original post. I replied to one today that was over a week old without realizing it...Image
I was drawn to becoming a member here at Freedom because of all the positive posts (like the milestones) and the dozens of articles that you put up every day, as information on all aspects of our quits.
Thanks again for helping us stay focused and on track here!
Marie 3 months 1 day
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 08:00 #3

Thanks Marie:

I want to make it clear that it is not that I am trying to stop people from when they are experiencing bad times and thus having negative posts. It is the act or resurrecting old negative posts at a time when they are no longer current or relevant and giving them and inordinate amount of play, making the quitting experience seem overall tougher at times than it may actually be that this string is addressing.

Does quitting have the potential of causing some discomfort and can the adjustments to life without smoking cause some difficult times? Sure they can. But when contrasted to the pain, agony and disruption that smoking can cause, the effects experienced from quitting are minor in comparison. Smoking will cost you a fortune and can cause pain, agony, suffering AND death. To some degree it does the first three effects to most smokers at one time or another, and as far as the last effect-killing the individual, it ends up doing this to one out of every two smokers. To avoid the pain, agony and total loss of everything that can be caused by smoking always stay resolute in your resolve to never take another puff!

Joel
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FruityPatti
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

17 Dec 2002, 08:11 #4

Okay, this may be a real goof ball question but I have to ask...when you say "bringing a post to the top" does that mean responding to the post and that makes it go to the top of the thread list? After 2 months, I still don't have all the "message board workings" down. If you just read the post, does that make it go to the top?
Sorry to be a pain Image.
Patti
Two months, three days, 16 hours, 37 minutes and 40 seconds. 3881 cigarettes not smoked, saving $679.71. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 11 hours, 25 minutes.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 10:07 #5

Yes Patti, the only way to bring a post to the top is by responding to it. Always be cognizant that when you respond to a post it is going to make that post be the first thing any new member or current member is going to see when first logging in at that time. If the post that is being brought up is a past post asking for help, always ask yourself if typing to it now is really necessary and going to be productive. There are times you may read a post that is expressing a problem or issue that has been explored in a previous post. You can always attach a link to the other post without bringing it up. But always try to be sensitive to the privacy of the other individual member who has posted in the past. He or she may not want to be highlighted as having experienced a past problem. It should be up to the individual whether or not they want to be offered up as an example of a situation. As far as posts that I may have used addressing another person, you are always welcome to copy and paste the replies into the new person's post, and if you ever feel any of my articles or any posts from the managers address a specific concern, you are always free to bring those strings up too. Hope this clarifies the issue.

Joel
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improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

17 Dec 2002, 22:02 #6

My reason for joining Freedom was the positive attitudes that everyone had the night I started lurking and decided that night I would join. the posts were so upbeat and I couldn't believe the support of people who didn't even really "know" the person that they were supporting only that we are all in this together and we are all striving to be Smoke, nicotine free and fighting the same addiction every minute of the day It was the Mission statement the relapse statement, the articles, that made me feel that This Site was REAL and not some bogus let's rap kind of thing. Freedom made a difference in my life Freedom helped me take control of my addiction and if I can do this anyone can. There are times when I'll read a post from someone that continually whines and I won't answer because it's the same old same old. We've all suffered craves, and what goes with quitting some can't make it while the majority do the ones that don't make it really don't want too as far as I'm concerned, Keep up the good work Joel Image Cathy
soon to be Double Gold after smoking for 40+ years Image
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Lena (SILVER)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:03

17 Dec 2002, 22:54 #7

Sorry Joel, My intention was simply to say that I have been negative and I wanted to share the positive aspects of my new life. I should have chosen my subject name more carefully. I'm not used to this. I will be more careful in the future. Lena
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 23:20 #8

This message has been deleted by the manager or assistant manager.
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Rickgoldx5
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

17 Dec 2002, 23:23 #9

ImageThanks Joel, Bob and all this one gets printed!
Rick
Seven months, one week, six days, 4 hours, 8 minutes and 25 seconds. 18173 cigarettes not smoked, saving $2,717.48. Life saved: 9 weeks, 2 hours, 25 minutes.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

17 Dec 2002, 23:27 #10

Hello Lena:

When I started writing this reply to your post "7" here, I was going to say that I was going to delete your post above and this post once I know you have read it. I was going to say that I suspected this post is going to be brought up many times in the future to address the issue of bringing up negative posts. I was then going to say that I fully suspect that soon that you would be as positive as the next person here and won't want to be remembered as a negative quitter.

But then I realized that would possibly give you and others the impression that you were different than most because at this point in time you were a having negative thoughts. This would not be entirely true. Many of our long-term successful and seemingly overly joyous members could very likely have been negative in the beginning. Negativity is what helps keeps smokers smoking. The feeling that quitting is impossible, that it is too late to do any good, that a person doesn't care enough about himself of herself, that nobody can quit so how do you expect me to quit--all of these thoughts often permeate the addicted mind of a smoker.

That is basically one of the major strengths of what we are doing here at Freedom. We are trying to help people see that they must look for the positives of quitting. The fact is you don't have to look really far. At the same time we want to help people see that they also have to remember the negative side of smoking. We are not trying to convince them that there were not good times that they associated with smoking, and not even that there were not some good cigarettes--meaning cigarettes that the smoker truly enjoyed. But if cigarettes are remembered accurately, the odds are the majority were no longer "good" cigarettes and the fact was that even the good ones were destroying them, literally cell by cell.

The important thing is not looking at smoking negatively or not smoking positively. The important thing is to look at both sides accurately. There are good and bad moments on both sides. But as time goes on, the many positives of not smoking become the predominate issue that can help sustain a quit, while for those who continue to smoke, the negatives get increasingly worse and more severe, eventually reaching complications of life threatening proportions.

To stay on the side where health, economic, social factors, smells and a host of other improvements become the norm, always work on reminding yourself during all of the good times as well as the bad, as to why you first quit and now want to stay committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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