9

In the spirit of a similar question on World Building, I would like to ask why we're here. Not as a site, but as individuals.

What brought us here initially? Why did we stay? What makes this community meaningful for us?

In short, why are you here?

Let's take a moment to put our positions and perspectives aside and get to know each other a little bit.

  • Be advised, I may decide to turn this into a Pollyanna lottery to encourage meaningful answers. meta.stackexchange.com/q/42501/217863 – apaul Sep 2 '17 at 4:38
  • 1
    Hey, can you guys (apaul and @NVZ) stop bumping this with unproductive edits? It's not really a crucial question, and bumping it distracts from other, more important, meta questions. – HDE 226868 Jan 18 '18 at 13:20
  • @HDE226868 Sure. – NVZ Jan 18 '18 at 13:21
  • For close voters; here's some history. – NVZ Jul 3 at 4:26
11

I'd say I'm here for four main reasons:

  1. I've gotten immeasurable help from Stack Overflow and Crossvalidated over the past few years. Although I post answers on those sites as much as possible, I still gain much more than I give due to my experience level as a programmer and data analyst. When I discovered IPS, I saw it as a chance to give more to Stack Exchange because my social skills are more advanced than my data science skills.

  2. To work on my writing. I spend most of my time writing code or technical documents, and IPS just gives me an opportunity to think and write in a less Spock-like way.

  3. I am a curious person and I like to learn about the kinds of interpersonal issues other people experience. Some of the questions I read on this site are questions I have had in the past, but other times I'm like "Wow, I never realized this is a problem for some people". I think it helps me to be more empathetic toward people in my life who struggle socially and understand the challenges they are facing.

  4. To get different perspectives on interpersonal issues of my own.

  • Points 2, 3 and 4, me too. – NVZ Sep 4 '17 at 5:32
  • 3 and 4 as well :) – OldPadawan Sep 4 '17 at 5:34
  • 3 and 4 here!!! – Vylix Sep 5 '17 at 1:35
6

What brought me here initially?

I saw a question in the Hot Network Questions section coming from an Interpersonal Skills StackExchange, and thought: Hey, that's a new one :-) I did some research and found out that this might just be the right community to answer my first question.

Why did I stay?

My first question did well, I received some great and helpful answers and insights. So I wanted to do something back, and I kind of got stuck here. The more reputation I earned, the more invested I became in trying to help others, since I was realising that at least some of the things I had learned the hard way, were useful to others.

And I have asked several questions since, and always gotten nice answers. So being here is also helping me develop my interpersonal skills and not having to learn everything the hard way: I can ask before I try now.

And that's why I am here.

  • 3
    And I'm glad you stayed. :) – NVZ Sep 5 '17 at 20:14
4

What brought me here initially?

Learning. From others. Information. About situations I was not sure I could properly handle.

Why did I stay?

Because here, in a vast majority, people are very nice and helpful. They don't throw any judgement IYF, they don't tell you you're wrong! with a distasteful tone that can be heard through reading. They may tell you it's not the best way to do it, and that it would be better to.

But you sometimes realize that a solution that fits for a specific country/culture can also be very helpful to another country/culture. But because of your culture, you would never have thought that way. How many times I read I'm from [ country / culture ], we do [ x / y / z ] and think wow! that's great, and it'll help me! I'll do that next time. Thanks unknown mate :)

Learning. From others, and from yourself. Helping. Others.

What makes this community meaningful for us?

To me, I read many (un)useful answers, with different POV. Thanks, that's nice, you taught me something nice, and, hopefully, it will also help future readers. Sometimes, I don't like what's written, but still, it helps. Helps me choose NOT to do it that way because I now clearly see WHY I experienced that weird mixed emotions that were bothering me, but couldn't really put words on it. I sincerely hope that it does the same for others.

"Good" or "bad", it helps you choose an appropriate response.

In short, why are you here?

Sharing. Helping. Learning.

EXTRA NOTE: This is a new, growing up community, and, like kids, needs to mature. Many of us try and do their best to help. Sometimes, it hard to tell what one should do, so we kind of have to duck and weave. Do, and be wrong. Or don't, and still be wrong.

We need to act as a community to separate the wheat from the chaff.


EDIT: I was about to post my thoughts when I noticed the answer from @Witan-ap-Danu. I was looking for something similar to this, so I'd better just quote it:

I accept that the site must maintain certain standards, either because of dictates from SE, or for the health of the site. I do not, however, believe that the strictness being enforced by some users is at all healthy for the site.

We must be very careful, and don't fall on the dark side of the force. IPS is not always black or white, it has many shades of grey inbetween. No need to be the FGITW...

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    Don't resist the light, but be sure the light at the end of the tunnel is not a locomotive coming your way. – Witan ap Danu Sep 2 '17 at 15:00
4

Where did I come from?

I'm a top user on ELU. Growing tired of seeing the same questions being asked over and over and over and over again, I moved on from asking or answering to reviewing or moderating (without the diamond, that is), or answering meta questions to help users navigate ELU better. I'm taking a back seat approach, and my aim there now is to help new users, make them want to stick around and fill the voids left behind when experienced users leave.

How did I get here?

Change is inevitable. I don't remember how or when, but I stumbled upon IPS somehow looking for a change.

Why am I still here?

I stayed here because I think helping raise this newborn community is very interesting and challenging. I've even invited a few old friends from ELU to join me here.

I feel like IPS has a lot to offer. The Q&A format will ensure that there's a limit on how far a topic can get sidetracked. It's very interesting to know about various cultures and appropriate responses. Being an Indian raised in the Middle East, I suppose I add to the diversity here as well.

But seriously, why am I here?

I've always been a skeptic; always questioned everything, and I've never really fit into the well-established social norms. I've never been a fan of gossip, never could talk more than a few minutes unless the subjects were thought-provoking.

I'm personally no longer a fan of social media where you see a lot of people sharing their touched up photos, and believing real fake news via echo chambers. My peers already share more than enough photos of me and tag me, so I don't feel like adding to those on my own. I chose to invest my online time onto Stack Exchange, a place where it's all about getting answers; and there's no chit-chat.

  • 2
    I'm all for the instant, global, and catastrophic failure of social media in general. I haven't even had a Yahoo! 360 account since '07. Real-time chat, private messages, and blogs can stay, however, as they can sometimes be useful. – Witan ap Danu Sep 2 '17 at 14:57
4

I am here because I am very strong in English and much weaker in Interpersonal skills!

I am Indian and have been very active on English.SE (ELU) as my first Stack Exchange site since April 2017. I was intrigued to hear of this new site Interpersonal.SE that was just taking off in early July. (I heard of it thanks to a random comment from @NVZ on ELU chat regarding the moderator nominations at IPS.) I came here to ask a few questions and also see what questions were being asked, because this site is rather unique within the Stack Exchange model.

I got some good answers to my questions and have also tried to write answers here despite being very introverted, and knowing that interpersonal skills is not my strong suit. Many of my answers have therefore scored low on votes, and while I am not satisfied with many of my own answers, I remain fascinated with the range and scope of the questions that get asked here, and the answers they attract.

I am also very interested in meta but not in chat because I am an introvert.

So interpersonal situations are fascinating and these questions are not so easy as the English language ones, which carry no real emotions. Similarly the people who have invested their time in nurturing this site are kind and caring, and write awesome, empathetic answers to some very difficult questions!

Update: 3 months later I am quite active here and feel much more confident about suggesting solutions to people's interpersonal problems on this website; I and very glad to be of help, and also pleased to note that my answers are often well received by the wider community at IPS.SE!

3

When I signed up for this Three-hour Tour I thought I knew why I was here. Now that the reality of the Deserted Island has set it, I'm not so sure.

I envisioned this as a semi-safe place to put forth some of my own perceived shortcomings with interpersonal skills and find ways to "test the waters" for improving some of them.

Thus far, in my SE-verse existence, I've managed to dodge the bullet for the reported unfriendly and unwelcoming behaviors of the grandaddy site. I began on Unix & Linux, and found the information, and site in general, rather useful, and decided to join and do my part to make the Internet a better place. In a way both returning the favor for answers received and paying it foreword for possible answers in the future. Somehow I drifted from there to Super User, still not sure how that happened. For a while I was getting rather comfortable on Super User, and in their chat, Root Access.

Later I became involved in a beta site and moved my time and energies to supporting and growing that site. Again, positive encounters with encouraging and supportive users. This, minimal, collection of history in SE convinced me that, as a whole, SE was a nice place in a web of unknown elements.

Now, as I said, I'm not quite so sure. I have anthropological training, and I think I am reasonably good at not judging others by my standards, or the standards of my society. (Though, to be honest, I'm not at all certain that the "society" I am a nominal member of would do so well by its own standards, so I couldn't apply their standards to anyone else in good conscious anyway.) In the early days of the site, some members were strong on the idea of not applying external conditions to querants, applying instead solely the conditions of the culture and society of the querant. They supported a cultural relativistic stance for the site, and argued against ethnocentrism, from any user's point of view. I remain strongly in favor of that position, in life, and for this site. I see, however, that it is not often allowed to work that way in practice.

I often, as in almost always read answers that are based on Western, European, or even United States, culture and society when the querant has given a cultural context outside those realms. Being from the United States, I must still admit that the greatest collection of such offenses appears to come from the United States perspective, even towards European and other Western querants. I, sadly, also see many cases where the answers attack, all be it is often mildly, the querant for having some view, holding some belief, or behaving in some manner which the respondent considers wrong.

I accept that the site must maintain certain standards, either because of dictates from SE, or for the health of the site. I do not, however, believe that the strictness being enforced by some users is at all healthy for the site. I have seen attempts, frequently successful, to establish bright line tests or conditions in areas where I know that, presumably, better minds have failed to establish the same thing within a real life context. In some cases, powerful users have even "created" definitions that are diametrically opposed to established definitions which can be cited from multiple reliable sources outside Wikipedia.

At some point, hopefully, I will begin working on some of my interpersonal skills so that I may improve somewhat as a person. That work will hopefully include utilizing this site to its potential. For know, however, my issues will remain in the background while I wait and watch to see what this site will become. I will not withhold my assistance from others, when I actually have some to offer. I will not be seeking the assistance of others until I can feel safe disclosing the issues and presenting the problems to a non-judgmental user base.

Whatever my situations, circumstances, or beliefs may be, they are not up for debate. Only the question raised is open to discussion, while all other "facts" are to be treated as existing as stated. Once I can anticipate that the majority of the active users will respond in that fashion, then I can begin to look for feedback. Until then I can only, by example, Be the change that I would see in the world.

  • hmmm. I think this post raises some interesting concerns. If you can find a few examples of this happening on the main site, I think it would be worth raising these issues on meta. – user288 Sep 24 '17 at 1:01
1

What brought me here?

Was browsing Area 51 for a site to support, and I can see this site helping me with my interpersonal skills - I'm kinda lacking in "what-to-do emotionally", but a bit better in dealing with rationally - figured I can get better in dealing with people.

Why I stay?

The community is very welcoming to new users, while keeping the quality equally high for future users. I'm very interested in seeing the culture develops as community defines on-topic and off-topic. This is the first site I can closely follow the development, and learning is something I enjoy very much. Especially about moderating stuffs that are inherently "opinion-based", I really need to learn a lot where to put the fine line between.

What makes the community meaningful to us?

People. With all their quirks. Unique individuals that shape this site together.

There's a saying

Iron sharpen iron, people sharpen people

The way we interact each time, by giving a piece of our thought in a transparent manner, really helped me to grow into more mature person. Although I'm a bit sad because it seems I'm the only one posting "Indonesian" questions, I really enjoy learning about other cultures by reading the posts. Thank you for the early users that has shaped this site in its early form and helped me to learn other cultures :)

  • @OldPadawan that's very appropriate because just two weeks ago we celebrated our independence :) Literally "merdeka" means freedom. And thanks for sharing your story! – Vylix Sep 2 '17 at 18:17
  • I remembered that, was with them folks back in 1995/96 and we celebrated 50 anniversary of the birth of your country. Sorry, can't say if it was 95 or 96 though :/ – OldPadawan Sep 2 '17 at 18:22
  • @OldPadawan that will be 1995! Wow, I hope you have good time with those people! – Vylix Sep 2 '17 at 18:24
0

Boredom / Depression / Self-therapy

Sounds bizarre, I know: To help myself out of my depression induced lassitude and boredom, I decided to help other people, gaining some external validation on the way (in the form of reputation)

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