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Old 06-18-2013, 08:29 PM   #1
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I thought it would be interesting and hopefully valuable to explore something together.

Why is there sometimes a tendency to engage in what feels like verbal warfare when defending a purchase decision be it any particular hitch, tow vehicle, generator, travel club, etc? If it's not ok for you to love yours and me to love mine - WHY is that not ok? There may well be valid, rational reasons for such behavior and if so, what are they? If we don't see things eye to eye, what is the reasonable line of "convincibility" and what constitutes a crossing of that line?

Overall, there is a tremendous amount of valuable information in the forum and I'm comfortable applying whatever filters that work for me to make sense out of what I think might be more heat than light, but I'm simultaneously entertained by some of the over-the-top rhetoric, and a bit ashamed that I cant help rubber-necking as though i just witnessed a really bad accident.

Please note before replying, this topic is absolutely intended to be product free - PLEASE do not posit arguments for or against any particular product. Rather, the intent here is to examine, explain, appreciate and perhaps challenge the reasons why we humans sometimes engage in this manner.

So what do you think?

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Old 06-18-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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Live and let live seems a tad challenging for some. There are people who don't like to be wrong. No matter the topic or action. And it really rubs their rhubarb the wrong way when they encounter people who don't think the same way they do. These are usually the same folks who scream the loudest when they perceive their freedoms are being compromised, but are also the ones who are quick to try to impose their line of thinking on others. It's an odd thing.

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Old 06-18-2013, 08:41 PM   #3
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Part of it is probably the online disinhibition effect:

Online disinhibition effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:00 PM   #4
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I always figg'er that folks can disagree wid me and hold to any opinion they wish; ain't no skin off'ah me if they want to be wrong.
"If you don't know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else." Yogi Berra
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:05 PM   #5
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I'm sometimes on the wrong end of people's firmly held beliefs and they're not always shy in letting me know about it - it could be that Internet lack of inhibition but I think it's more to do with healthy enthusiasm. I do get a little frustrated on occasion when these strongly held views obscure what I perceive to be interesting alternative views, but actually I quite enjoy a bit of banter and I'm happy that we can express our views fairly freely, even if they don't accord with our own.

There are some cultural issues that I've had to come to terms with on the Forum, but I'm learning to adapt, even if I don't say "awesome" and "y'all"

I'll also admit to a bit of rubbernecking on some of the debates, as it can get really fascinating sometimes. Keep it up Airstreamers, but please be nice!
Steve; also known as Mr UK Toad

"You can't tow that with that!"
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Old 06-18-2013, 09:19 PM   #6
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Great subject/thoughts.

I have found it in the few user groups that I have participated the need to be right by some of the contributors (not me I hope!)to be simply fantastic and a interesting
spectator sport.

I sure love the nuggets on info I learn here on airforums

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Old 06-18-2013, 09:39 PM   #7
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I started a thread on this general topic several years ago, which drew some thoughtful replies.

Actually, I think there is less verbal warfare on Airforums today than there was then.

On the other hand, I also have the impression there's less activity.
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Old 06-18-2013, 11:42 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nuvite-F View Post
I started a thread on this general topic several years ago, which drew some thoughtful replies.

Actually, I think there is less verbal warfare on Airforums today than there was then.

On the other hand, I also have the impression there's less activity.
Sooner or later the "mods" get involved with those that like to cause issues that are not welcome on this Forums.

Sharing knowledge is what this Forums is all about.

It's up to others to accept or reject anything someone else may post, as it applies to them.

Knowledge is normally based on facts, and many times, facts that have been around for a long time.

Opinions, are just that, and are seldom backed by long haul experience, but moreso sometimes by ones desire to argue and/or degrade another persons positives.

Freedom of speech is fantasic, but arguementivity normally only creates hard feelings towards others.

Simply being nice, and/or constructive, unfortunately, is not in everyone's makeup.

Positive things, are always far more rewarding.

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Old 06-19-2013, 05:57 AM   #9
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I think it comes down to the difference between, "I think…" and "I know…" Opinion is not fact, but we often mistake it as such. Especially if that opinion was formed through hard-earned personal experience.

When we mistake our opinions for fact, it's also easy to mistake dissenting opinions as criticism. It's hard sometimes to remember that, "I disagree" doesn't always mean, "You're wrong." There can be more than one right answer to most problems that crop up on the forums and it is possible for dissenting opinions to all be right.

I'm as guilty as anyone on the forums of mistaking opinion for fact, and dissenting opinions as criticism. And usually I have to be reminded that I'm doing it. So to all on the Air Forums, if you catch me at it, feel free to remind me. But please, be gentle about it. I'm not doing it on purpose.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:06 AM   #10
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I think the verbal warfare here has to do with a number of things, all of which are present in the offline world, as well.

There are many very, very intelligent and hyper-knowledgeable people who post here. They have strong opinions backed by what they consider to be inarguable facts and specifics. My eyes start to cross reading some of the opinions and dissenting arguments about hitches, tow vehicles, gadgets, etc.

There are also some very large and sensitive egos here, some of which are easily threatened, increasing the intensity and frequency of arguments.

And, as with the offline world, the walking wounded are present here, just typing and posting rather than having in-person interactions. Groups bring an entire range of backgrounds and personal experiences....the good, the bad and the ugly....into their interactions with others.

Experiences shape and affect personalities, reactions, perceptions, etc. It's who and what we all are, and generally we don't know what has shaped another person, just what we see presented in front of us. That's a great deal of what we see here, IMO.

And, it's okay. Take what you need, and leave the rest.

🏡 🚐 Cherish and appreciate those you love. This moment could be your last.🌹🐚❤️
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:20 AM   #11
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Everyone is entitled to their opinions........just not their own facts! I forget what politician coined that phrase, but it sums up your point very well.

I have often found that some folks will challenge anything that is not within their view of how something should work or the products that they use.....simply based on their usage of said product. When trying to inject research, knowledge, professional training/experience and education into the mix, one is sometimes chastised or berated for it. I admire most DIY folks for tackling the complex projects that they do, but quite often the experience of one installation will not trump the experience gained from many installations done professionally.

I have experienced this several times on these Forums, with the end result being my decreased participation or outright self-imposed posting boycott for a time. That is probably the reason that the 'ignore' lists exist here. There are several entries on my 'ignore' list (they will stay private) for folks that often post in an argumentative or non-friendly way with 'opinions' that they formed while sleeping at their local Holiday Inn last night. I use Private Messaging quite often for my correspondence with members as a courtesy to that member, especially if my reply is diametrically opposed to theirs. I believe that this should be a private matter and not something done on the open Forums.

The free exchange of information and experience here is valuable to all. I have learned many things from posts in areas where I am not as proficient as I would like to be. Life is about learning, and one is never too old or too knowledgeable to learn something new every day.
Lew Farber...RVIA Certified Master Tech...ABYC Certified Master Marine Electrician
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post

Experiences shape and affect personalities, reactions, perceptions, etc. It's who and what we all are, and generally we don't know what has shaped another person, just what we see presented in front of us. That's a great deal of what we see here, IMO.
Well put. There is a tendency for folks to think they have found "the best" of whatever product or solution is being discussed. Often this is after much research and/or experience. Any disagreement can be seen as a personal affront IF our differences are not considered.

For me, the different backgrounds/experiences of others on this forum is what I find most valuable. It is the reason why there is so much to learn here.
Lou Axt, Jr.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:58 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
Everyone is entitled to their opinions........just not their own facts! I forget what politician coined that phrase, but it sums up your point very well.
The first time that I heard that was Al Franken berating John Thune on the Senate floor Senator Al Franken VS. Senator John Thune 12-14-09 - YouTube

Outside of forums and what-not, I notice.. a lot of people like to talk about what they "know". Apparenty, knowing things is a big deal. It seems like it is a big part of self-esteem.. what one "knows." I find it tedious.

It was Socrates who was bewildered when the Oracle at Delphi proclaimed that he was the wisest person. He was confused because he didn't think that he knew anything. He concluded that that must be the standard of wisdom. Realizing how little one really knows.

So maybe the people who cling to what they "know" are the not so bright ones.
As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.
- Andrew Carnegie
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Old 06-19-2013, 08:19 AM   #14
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There are accepted norms, and there are those willing to experiment outside of the accepted norms. Those experiments sometimes succeed, forming a base of experience that can lead to a new perception of the norm. I like when people try new things, be they a different TV, hitch, tires, caulk or camping experience, because, if they succeed, they may be opening a window into the future. Some folks have trouble when there is no firm boundary that shouldn't be crossed, don't know how to deal with it, and react negatively because their secure base of knowledge isn't sacrosanct.

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