by: John Stevens 8/7/2012
I must say, that this is one blog that I never expected to write. Sadly, I must write what is on my heart, and this is it.
When did fishing become so competitive? There are not many of us who actually make our living through or by fishing, yet we seem to take everything related to it so personally! Let me explain myself. Fishing for me, has been a certain kind of escapism. By that I mean that I fish to get away from it all, all the drama, heartaches, trials, and tribulations that everyday life holds for us all. It is a time of enjoyment, and relaxation. Lately however, this pasttime has been invaded by drama. Drama that quite frankly doesn't need to be.
I must say that I am disappointed in some of the members here for their words and activities on the forums. There seems to be an increasing number of threads that are being moderated and deleted due to members disrespecting one another. I am quite sure that the owners of this site could do much more that we would like to see, if they didn't have to spend so much time and energy moderating peoples threads and posts to keep the peace and civility.
I enjoy this site very much, and I use it as it was intended, a place to gather information, look at past history, stocking reports, lake conditions, as well as to follow my friends and their accomplishments or troubles with fishing. I know that no one is perfect, I myself have made a few posts that had to be moderated, and which I later regretted making. But, lately, it seems to be getting out of hand. As innocuos of a thread as a Happy Birthday thread to a fellow member had to be stopped because it quickly escalated out of control, and I know of several threads that have been deleted or stopped for the same reasons.
The moderators, and owners do not want to inhibit free speech, or anyones right to say what they think. However, this is a family site, and we all need to treat each other like adults , with respect and courtesy. Any communications expert will tell you that at least 90 percent of our communication is non-verbal, meaning body gestures and language, expressions, etc. The problem with forum communication is just that we are limited to less than 10 percent of a persons communication skills. We can not see the other person, his reactions, gestures, body language. Therefore, it is really easy to take offense to the written word, whether offense was intended or not.
Having grown up a heavy (spelled FAT) kid, and being that way most of my life, I have developed a thick skin. I have also known the pain of not being accepted, and of having people laugh at me. That being said, I have learned to think about what I say, or write, and even re read it before I click the "send" or "post" button. I think to myself, would I really like it if someone wrote this about me? I remember that the two boys who committed the Columbine shootings were picked on, and teased, and left out by their peers. I use that as my own gauge now before I post, or write an email,etc..
Take a look around us, my friends. There is strife all over. The recent theater massacre, the Sikh Temple shooting in Wisconsin, unemployment, the war in Afganistan, and so much more. Do we really need our fishing site to become a site full of drama, threats of violence, and unrest?
I say "No"! Let's follow the rules of the forums, try to treat each other better, and when things start to escalate, take a step back and ask yourself, " Does it really matter that much?" I will bet, that more times than not my friends, the answer is no.
In closing this blog, I want to say that I am not a paid employee of this site, nor have the owners of the site asked me to write this. In fact, no one had any forewarning about this blog. I apologize if I offended anyone, I really did not intend to. I just want the bickering and infighting to end.
Good fishing everyone, I hope to see you all on the water soon!
Blog content © John Stevens
badcoyotee, CO 8/7/2012 1:56:10 AM
I feel your pain my friend. Here on the Colorado side of the site we are helping each other. Read up.
IMHO the bloga are useless and recycled info we don't care for. Look at the ratiio of views & responses. We rarely read a blog.
We all have scripts to OL and F&S. For what it's worth...
I do love this site and have some humor and experience to share.
IceFishingFool, CO 8/7/2012 6:47:24 AM
Well said John, As I read the words here, My thoughts cant help but turn to what I have been seeing all around,. Be it on the News channels, to Radio, to Blogs. Its like do the masses think the world is going to end December 21st as we know it ? Have the politics, run so far to one side that its, just plain crazy ? That is ok to make up lies, repeat them as often as they want ? Is it?, that its for attention ? Is it because they think no one is paying them any attention ? Has all forms of reason being ignored ?, so one can grab onto any, and all forms of hate, that they can, insight actions by someone other than themself ? If you have been paying attention, to the world around us, its no wonder people just want to go fishing or stick their heads into the provebrial sand.
pbs, CO 8/7/2012 7:23:23 AM
Tiny...I hear ya man!
It seems just recently that a forum member expressed their consent that "I" should write a blog. Then again, that same member stated that blogs are useless and recycled info, and that we rarely read a blog.
Personally, I like reading blogs from time to time.....I take in some valuable info from those blogs!
I enjoy them and I say keep 'em coming!
tbblom, CO 8/7/2012 7:41:43 AM
I read the blogs [right now with a hot cup of coffee].
Well written Tiny, I hope everyone can remember that it is really just about having fun. General things to avoid drama:
1.Give people space (including noise)
2. Pick up your trash
3. Follow the rules
4. keep the trash talk to one's self
Wattzz, CO 8/7/2012 8:19:03 AM
FISHRANGLER, CO 8/7/2012 9:32:30 AM
I was the one that received that threat on my Birthday thread.
A threat is an act of coercion wherein an act is proposed to elicit a negative response. It is a communication intended to inflict harm or loss on another person. His intend was harm.
His threat got a negative response from me. Naturally I'm going to respond negatively without responding with even more threats, but in a way that is within the forum rules. It's to bad it went to the level it did. It is what is, your not going to change some people. They exist in every dark corner and will always show a dark side to themselves eventually.
Forums have moderation for a reason. This was one of them. That threat should not be taken likely IMO and should be fallowed up by member ship loss.
Keep in mind it is a public forum. I realize that and so should everyone else with many members. Not everyone is going to get along and sing a song of love and happiness. That's reality. Moderation will always be needed and be a part off forums. We can all help by self moderation too.
moosegoose, CO 8/7/2012 9:45:45 AM
I have been surprised at some of the things posted here lately. There are children and teens on here that post frequently. They most often have the most respectful posts!
Coyute, CO 8/7/2012 10:50:56 AM
While I do read all of the commercial free blogs on here, some are much better than others. As far as forum posts getting more attention than blogs, I think a lot of people on here have a voyeuristic relationship with train-wreck/controversial forum posts. Historically, the posts that get the most views/moderation/ responses are of a controversial nature. I liken it to the chumps that have to slow down on the highway to look at a wreck on the other side of the road. People just can't help themselves! Another reason forum posts get more views and responses is because people are too lazy to read something more than a single paragraph. IMO, The same people that have disdain for the blogs on here are the same types that would rather read a Cliff Notes version of classic literature than the real thing - and even if they do read the real thing, many would struggle with basic reading comprehension. The forums have really fallen off since the site started IMO. Excessive slanted moderation will never jive with me personally and I am sure others feel the same. These days I read the forums mainly for entertainment but I read the blogs to become a better fisherman. Good blog just the same. Thanks for taking the time Tiny.
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), CO 8/7/2012 11:16:15 AM
Thanks for the comments guys! I do take each and every comment seriously. It is/was my goal when I started blogging to share the "everyday" struggles, learning, and awakenings of an average fisherman just trying to get better and the steps and processes that I have and do go through. I really did not want to write this blog as it is not within my stated purpose for blogging, however, I really felt like the issue needed to be addressed. Fish Explorer is so much more than just forums. If you take the time to check it out, . I find that I use the lake conditions reports, wind forecasts, weather forecast features more than anything else.
That being said, I also have enjoyed the forums as a way to learn more about fish, techniques, and to meet new friends and share in their collective accomplishments. I know that some bickering and infighting are a part of the growing process, but, again, I just felt that it was time to bring this matter out.
JKaboom, CO 8/7/2012 11:32:52 AM
Well stated John :)
I have a lot that I would like to tear into on the forums but I moderate myself and always follow "If you don't have anything nice to say..."
I am not saying we all have to be happy and one big happy family but we do need to excercise self restraint and respect for others even if not shown the same.
I love the forums and the blogs and it is helping me become a better fisherman, getting me to go to new places, and really get back to connecting with nature.
The site is just one of many tools to help in fishing and in life...
fom, CO 8/7/2012 12:00:34 PM
Well done Jon!!!!!!!!!
ObsessedFisherman, CO 8/8/2012 8:29:39 AM
well said. go Fishing!!! Relax enjoy life....
Calm down peeps )
Scot, CO 8/8/2012 2:32:19 PM
I agree. And I'm on board with what Fishrangler wrote - they should be blocked off the site. This is the one site I go to get away from that stuff.
Dang old king, CO 8/8/2012 3:00:15 PM
Back in the day we called them Telephone tough guy's.
These people that say negative things and create problems should be dealt with immediately. I have been attacked on forums in the past and defended myself with like words. Only to have the moderators moderate my comments, because they are "friends" with the “Tough Guy” and leave the insulting comments up.
The anonymity of forums does make it difficult to detect ones demeanor, intent or age. As was stated Teens and Children use this site.. The Youth are pretty savvy and smarmy…
I do like the "Cant we all just get along" approach. I all for it
MathGeek, CO 8/8/2012 7:12:35 PM
The contest of fishing is with the fish, not with the other anglers.
bill92042, CO 8/8/2012 10:34:10 PM
I have been a member since 2007 and have been shocked by some negative posts. I have also had posts moderated and have embarrassed myself with my words at times. I have promised myself that I won't say anything if it's not positive. Thank you for your blog.
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), CO 8/9/2012 2:16:04 AM
Thank you guys! I appreciate every one of you and your experiences!
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