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Musings: One of the Old and Crotchedy?

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I was sifting through posts this morning and came across one that interested me. As I read along, it started degenerating from a "helpful" post into a "mudslinging" one among some of the "personalities".

I know the "regulars" and have become accustomed to those with social idiosyncrasies; I know their handles and just gloss over the posts, not even reading their quibbles back and forth...which is a shame because every once in a while, I'm sure they have something worthwhile to say....somewhere....amongst all that quibbling verbage.

A newly registered contributor posted on the thread, "just began using this forum a couple of weeks ago. Is this normal banter? Is it meant to be helpful? Every time I get on there's some contibutor spewing mean-spiritedness. Maybe I'm just too thin-skinned to play with the big dogs."

My first gut reaction was to just tell this new poster "Yes, get thicker skinned; that's what I did."

As a new member, many years ago, I was horrified at some of the responses and attitudes that prevailed so I quit checking in, for months at a time, but came back each time I needed to prepare for a trip. You just "get used to it".... like abusive family members.

This, though, produced my second gut reaction--one of anger.

Why should people have to get thick-skinned? Why can't people just contribute, without denigrating one another and making it personal? I have recently noticed a definite shift towards one-ups-manship, I-know-better-than-you, big-me/little-you mentality on Fodor's that I don't find elsewhere, and some of this from people who used to be positive, caring posters. It seems a few "bad apples" may be starting to spoil more in the barrel. imo.

What's up with that?! Well, I'll tell you what I think--the great posters of Fodor's are becoming OLD and CROTCHEDY!, if not in years, then in spirit. Maybe I've been one of those "silent" family members of an abusive family too long. As my dear husband says, "You can't be static; you're either part of the problem or part of the solution." We all make our own choices--we choose to be negative or positive, helpful or spiteful every time we post on this site. It's possible to have good intentions, develop bad habits, and arrive at negative results.

It's sad. In a perfect world, there would be nothing but good apples and soft skin. I'd like to experience that world, if only for the short time it took to read through a post here on Fodor's.

Happy Travels!

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