I’m not one to peruse the forums of Ravelry often, or comment much. If I do, I’ll admit it’s for the testing groups or the free for a limited time pattern groups. My social skills range from super awkward to super impressive depending on the topic and company. I’m not much for crowds, so forums are intimidating, but I like to contribute if I take from them. So when I do offer up or say things, I always find there’s a few people that click the ‘disagree’ for the couple dozen that click the ‘love’ or ‘interesting’ and ‘educational’ buttons. I find that it is important to take critiques and criticism on projects and debates. It seems a bit asinine when people click the ‘disagree’ button when there is nothing of any questionable value to discuss.
In one particular forum, anytime I post something, within an hour or so there is 1 single ‘disagree’ on every post I have ever posted. Only recently have I started contributing to this particular forum, but all pun intended, they really like to knit pick things there. If I were insecure I would go to an admin and start a witch hunt. I will admit is silly and annoying. I’m almost positive it is over my recently changed, vibrant profile picture.
Some adults can be childish over the silliest of things. Don’t get me wrong, I respect everyone’s right to believe what they want, but it doesn’t mean that they have to be rude to others. I like to stand for what I believe in, even if I’m solo, the loudest or the quietest. I’m not as vocal as I once was; and don’t particularly feel the need to share my opinions with everyone.
I don’t believe in bullying, and being rude to people, and erasing their posts and replacing them as your own because your formatting was off slightly and you didn’t give them a chance to edit it. (that happened a few times as well, but I won’t get into that) I don’t believe in negging, and being an overall Debbie Downer for the sake of making others feel bad. It’s just rude. Everyone has things going on in their lives, and you might be contributing to something that they might not be able to come back from. I see it happen all to often across multiple forums and sites. In the groups on Facebook, people are downright rude to others. People are all assuming of others. I try not to contribute to the drama. If you can be of help- help, if not, move on– that is my mantra.
There is so much negativity, that I think people forget, a good portion of the people who come to these forums are secluded and don’t really have other outlets or people they talk to on any basis. We are their community. We are their home. This may sound strange to you, but there are people that have nobody else that they communicate with on a regular basis. Many of these people live with anxiety, depression and other issues that may be awkward for them to communicate with others about. When people are unkind, rude and even obscene this can sometimes be the thing that pushes them away from the fringes of humanity. It’s really awful that people do things like this and can act this immature and pushy.
It seems more prevalent in the unregulated groups on Facebook, but that tends to be where more people gather for instantaneous answers. Some groups have too many restrictions, others not enough. The balance hasn’t quite been figured out. In the mean time, it just discourages people who have questions. There is one group in particular that has taken to banning people for mentioning other groups to people asking questions relating to the opposing fiber arts. Say someone has a an x fiber art related question, someone points them in direction of an x fiber art group so they can get help because this is a z fiber art group and the admins are ban happy. Both the person who asked the question and the helper get permabanned. It is redundant that innocent questions, from näive people lead to drastic measures from the admins. This is one of the reasons why I don’t go on the groups nearly as much as I did a few years ago and have started checking the forums of Ravelry more often.
I love to help people. I think helping without expecting anything is a lost art, or dying one at that. People are so quick to ask for things in return. I suppose this is why I try to answer as many questions in those forums and groups as I have time for. I enjoy learning things and researching as I go. We live in the age of technology. Most questions that get asked are simply answered by checking Ravelry or using Google. I’ve developed a knack for finding things in a timely manner and enjoy pattern hunts. Being a stay at home mom has afforded me the luxury of time. Sometimes too much time. So it gives me something to do and feel useful.
There are always the few that will respond with one of these answers: Try Ravelry! There is information and then there is accurate information. Newbies don’t know how to weed through it all. I remember what it was like. It’s overwhelming. Everything has strange names, techniques that are hard to remember and keep track of, but if you’re good enough with words, you might be able to describe it to someone and figure out the name. It is such a nightmare when you are unfamiliar with the lingo and slang. I remember having no idea what an icord was, or a crohook. Don’t even get me started on the necessity of lifelines, because I’ve only just started them in the last few months, considering I’ve been knitting seriously for 3 years, and technically for 4. I’m rather ashamed to even admit it.
I remember the first time I stepped into an actual yarn shop, the one that became my eventual lys. I walked around and gawked at the prices with my mother. I was horrified at the prices because I had no idea what the correlation between the yarn and the object meant. The fiber to fabric had not equated in my mind. It wasn’t until a year and a move later, after I had started spinning that I had learned a great deal and had started investing in my collection that I started to appreciate the lys and what they carried. The prices still scared my wallet, but it taught me to plan and choose my projects more wisely. The ladies there were very helpful in helping me figure out gauge and accommodating me with the best yarns for the projects. I’m rather sad that the shop closed, but it helped me grow as a fiber artist, and with a new circle I hope to meet new people that I can grow with as a fiber artist, and a helpful person.
We can’t change things without the will to accept certain parts of things that we don’t care for, that we know we can do nothing about. We have to will ourselves to move forward and allow ourselves to flourish in our own self acceptance and change. If we let others tell us that we are stuck, we shall forever remain in one place.