I've read all of this. It's a bit baffling to me that anyone thinks that General Chat isn't supposed to be light and fun. Those are the key words, light and fun. I'm not saying that if you have something you need to talk about you shouldn't be able to. But there are better places and ways to go about it. I've never once felt like I wasn't allowed in chat or welcome on the site. But I haven't really gone looking for someone to express my concerns to. I have friends for that and know I can count of them. The one time I did need someone to talk to and had nobody I did go to chat and asked if anyone could offer advice to me and that it was a real serious subject. I got a PM from someone moments later. Nobody was made to feel awkward by my concerns.
To add to everything else as well.... you're throwing out ideas that us not accepting or talking to someone about something could lead to a mass tragedy. Don't you think it's a little unfair to lay that on us in general? That anyone would have to feel responsible for the actions someone else takes on a role play site of all places? This is indeed first and foremost a place to write and have fun, not a self help center, general wellness site, or mental/physical help aid site. If anyone is really in need of help send me a pm, I can give you contact info for plenty of places that will help. Hell if we are being real here, and not throwing out random situations, topics like the ones you bring up should be banned from general chat just to keep the peace and atmosphere. On every site I've ever been a mod on that had a chat bot, stuff like self harm, in any way was banned and mods had to kick people for bringing that up. Luckily the mods here are pretty chill for the most part (thanks for that by the way) and understand we are all adults and let a lot slide.
Really though it seems like you want everyone to be accepting of everything and that in itself isn't possible. I'm accepting that people are gonna come into the chat sometimes and make things awkward, I'm sure I've done it once or twice even. I'm also accepting that if people chose to ignore a topic, that is their right and I'm not going to force people to pay attention to something. It's a two way street there. Also have you considered this...
Someone comes onto chat and asks for help with an issue. Say they want to hurt themselves or others in a lethal way. Someone talks to them about it but it doesn't fix things, in fact it somehow makes it worse. Now people are hurt or worse. Suddenly there is an investigation. Guess what, you were the last person to talk to the person who did the damage and police have logs of your talk and I.P. address. Now you're being interviewed about the situation.
Sadly but understandably most people don't want to be a part of that because it sucks in every way. We can't expect anyone to stick their necks out for others in this day and age. It's a sad truth.
Upon reading everyone’s comments, I’m incredibly intrigued and thought I’d post my own opinion here(backed up with facts, as the rules of the BMA has stated.)
I am 100% positive that the member who wanted to talk about her family members suicide would not like to be used as an example for everyone. That is a personal issue for someone to go through, and whether we want to admit it or not, whether the subject was too heavy for general or not, no one seemed to reach out to her to confirm that she was alright.
As a community we have to build and raise everyone up during low and high moments, and we did not do that. Later on in the night/ or the next day (can't recall exactly) she was able, with a staff member present, to voice her frustrations and the issues she was facing in a safe and understanding environment. It is unfortunate to see that noone by myself has mentioned that in this entire conversation.
General chat has always been carefree and light hearted, most heavy issues are dealt with in PM’s and in the BMA and it has never been an issue. I've been here for almost an entire year, and I know that isn't saying much to those who have been here longer, but I’ve also been the grunt of some of the issues— or faced backlash solely for switching the subjects. It is not wrong to want to keep chat light, it gives off a calming and trusting appearance, and that's what I at least aim to do when I switch topics. It is also beneficial to me as a WC member to make sure new members feel secure and see a community that is not full of negative attributes.
When the chat is calm and light hearted it gives members a sense that there is a safe zone for those who need that moment away from the world and reality. There have been several times where I’ve dipped out of conversations, and I’ve stated it— and received PMs asking if I am alright. I choose to keep my issues out of chat because I’m not here to spew my life story for everyone. This is a writing site first and foremost, it was intended for RP, and everything else falls into place and that is at no fault to anyone else, that is why the academy was probably created, that's why the general discussion section was probably created. It’s human nature to want to put trust in those we encounter, even online. But one can not do that when the conversation is so serious it makes the whole room uncomfortable.
I’d also like to point out the time of this thread, during the time of night there had been some uncomfortable conversation— out of nowhere I might add, about first responders ( I’ll refrain from divulging details, lest I trigger a member) which had been completely out of line from the start. Especially when the conversation was not leading in the way of that topic. When politely asked to stop, it continued, and it eventually caused several members to leave. I myself received several PM’s because members couldn’t get a word in to me to continue the conversation. Had I monopolized the chat for a moment, yes, I'll be the first to admit it( and I will apologize to you, spud, because It was not fair of me as a fellow member to not allow you a word in when others seemingly were able) was it incredibly rude to barge in and spew nonsense instead of politely asking me to stop, yes.
This leads into my topic of “we are all adults here.” You are correct— adults calmly, and professionally deal with issues in a way that is appropriate. Adults do not push their way in line to get their comment in first, or to take over the chat/discussion area, because they are upset. Issues, opinions, problems an adult feels are to be handled in a dignified way that is meant to be understood, and not trampled on. However a chain reaction occurs when one comes in just to simply stir the pot and leave.
My prime example was a political discussion for which I asked if the subject was in BMA (which was brought to my knowledge that is was not.) I myself am a very political person, I will jump on political fronts all day long, I have a very strong option and I will voice it if given the opportunity. But I know, much like the members here know, there is a time and a place. And I was positive I had seen something similar down in BMA that could either benefit someone talking or not. I know the Chat rules, I know what is and isn't allowed, but it seemed that my presence had caused an issue bringing up the idea of policing and not treating others like an adult. So I politely, and professionally contacted a staff member to explain my side of the issue as an adult should do.
Where do we draw the line between asking simple questions, and then attacking another human to the point of bullying? Is general chat really the place to voice opinions and frustrations, or publicly bully another member? How does that look to those we are just entering the site? If you think that people are being scared away from serious conversations, or light hearted conversations, that's completely incorrect, it is the bullying which scares them away when they do not feel they have a place to grow and strive or feel attacked for voicing options that don't fall in line with the current conversation.
Adults don't bully others because they didn't get their way, and they most certainly don't complain because they don't get to talk about inappropriate conversations in a public forum.
The other day I scrolled back to see what the discussion had been. And I've got to say 'read the room @spud'.
I'm in no way saying you were wrong, but it is a niche opinion, one where people will immediately create victims for you having simply voiced it. As far as I can tell this site is fairly apolitical. People don't seem to want to discuss politics, and when they do it seems to be fairly run of the mill 'United States Moderate' leaning.
You were never ever going to get a good response, no matter if you had said it somewhere other than the general chat.