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philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 The use and abuse of 'private mail'.

This recent comment provokes me to raise something which has increasingly troubled me in recent weeks.

Quote:
Now please, no lengthy theories, use ten words or less for each answer. Please respond via PM.



I wonder if the writer realises that this strikes at the whole heart and purpose of the 'forums'. To take a conversation 'off-line' in the way suggested is to deprive the whole community of the opportunity of listening to the discussion. It is the equivalent of entering a common lounge and inviting someone to leave the conversation so that you can continue it in private. In normal space I would consider that a breach of social etiquette. I think it is somewhat similar in cyber-space. At the least, I would suggest that as this is basically 'Greg's Lounge' it would be a courtesy to ask him if it were appropriate to take someone outside to talk to them.

I know it happens and I know that some folks spend a fair amount of time in personal pm-ing. My own view is that this deprives people of the some of the safety valves of a public forum. It opens up the way for private and sectarian spirited people to drive secret wedges between the saints and to profer private counsels which would be challenged in the open forums. In my view, this is an abuse of the facility.

What do you think?


_________________
Ron Bailey

 2005/10/3 4:28Profile
Wildhorse
Member



Joined: 2005/8/28
Posts: 48
Australia

 Re: The use and abuse of 'private mail'.

Personally, I don't think it is worth worrying about.

Michael


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Michael Hancock

 2005/10/3 4:50Profile









 Re:

Ron, I saw that post and felt uneasy about it for two reasons.

That demand of 10 words or less is rude and telling the person "how" or "where" to respond is rude.

But I think the PM thing is a good question.

If Greg is paying for web-space, and all folks do is sign on to PM and not post, which goes on all nite and day here.
Just PMing and no posting At All, it just seems, as you say, that maybe we are taking advantage of Greg's lounge, so to speak.

We can't say, "I don't think it's worth worrying about", when someone else is flipping the bill for us to come here and express ourselves freely and fellowship at his expense.


I dunno. Guess we'd have to ask Greg. :-?

 2005/10/3 5:01
Wildhorse
Member



Joined: 2005/8/28
Posts: 48
Australia

 Re:

What i was saying, sometimes personal messages are necessary, so to call them bad all over is a bad thing, if people are using only PM and to attack others or to gossip etc, then that most certainly is bad.

The 'demands' could be considered rude, especially the way the person who wrote that message.


Michael


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Michael Hancock

 2005/10/3 5:52Profile









 Re: The use and abuse of 'private mail'.

Hi Ron,

My perspective on this is that private messaging is a very helpful facility in this sort of environment. It enables little misunderstandings to be clarified, apologies which are basically private between brethren who don't know each other very well, and questons of all kinds to be answered, without disturbing the flow of threads, some of which would be completely ruined if the entire forum had to keep stopping while this or that was publicly addressed.

Like any communication, though, one has to bear oneself before God knowing nothing is secret to Him, and aware He will have His own way of bringing correction, if one is honestly willing to be corrected.

Yes a pm can be used to express dismay behind the scenes but, this dismay would find expression in 3D if it were a 3D situation. To deny this is disingenuous. There will always be a need for some things to be expressed privately and working out what falls into this category is part of growing up in Christ.

There is always the option for anyone who has a [i]problem[/i] with pms, to stop using them completely and to discipline themselves by returning them unanswered, with a short explanation to the sender.

This is the same principle as going to the pub with your friends for a good chat but, having a soft drink instead of a beer - if you can't handle beer.

 2005/10/3 14:50
PreachParsly
Member



Joined: 2005/1/14
Posts: 2164
Arkansas

 Re:

Can I flex my computer geekiness (if that's a word)? PM stands for Private Message. :-P

If it does stand for Private Mail, I've never heard it called that. ;-)

I agree Ron. There is no reason to post a thread that says something to the effect of "don't respond to this post but just PM me." That takes away from what the forum is used for.

I use PMs, but only when I have a quick question/comment about something that really doesn't relate to the thread or if I don't want anyone else to respond (not very often do I do this). I think if you are going to use PMs back and forth frequently, just use Yahoo messenger or MSN.


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Josh Parsley

 2005/10/3 15:27Profile









 Re:

Oh yeah, well I agree with everyone on here :-P , (ha)


PMs from others have been a real blessing to me, and when used to edify or ask personal questions, they sure have helped an awful lot and I am grateful for them.


I guess we were just discussing the abuses.
Gossip would probably be the burger biggie on that end.
Or just using this site 'just' for the PMs and not for posting.
That would be using someone else's webspace money for something we could do with our own emails.

Edit to say. Good points from everybody, and I especially like SMILIES. :-D

 2005/10/3 15:44
sermonindex
Moderator



Joined: 2002/12/11
Posts: 37106
"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11

Online!
 Re:

Quote:
I know it happens and I know that some folks spend a fair amount of time in personal pm-ing. My own view is that this deprives people of the some of the safety valves of a public forum. It opens up the way for private and sectarian spirited people to drive secret wedges between the saints and to profer private counsels which would be challenged in the open forums. In my view, this is an abuse of the facility.


I personally think brother Ron is onto something here. There seems to be alot of personal advice being flown around especially in the private discussions. I do see the benefit of this type of communication but when it comes down to serious issues having it in more of a public setting makes sense for accountability purposes. And if the issue is very serious then it SHOULD NOT even being discussed online with someone and you should be talking with your pastor, elders or another godly brother or sister.

I do think people should refrain from directing communication into the private but rather allow the communication on certain topics to be in the open. This is a worthwhile issue to be discussed and thought about.


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SI Moderator - Greg Gordon

 2005/10/3 16:31Profile
baruch_48
Member



Joined: 2005/5/31
Posts: 78


 Re:

is this not a control issue ?

who's in control ... the owner of this site? the creator of a thread ? or the Holy Spirit ?

I'm utterly with sister Dorcas, in that to expect PM's to be dis-allowed would be tantamount to in an assembly setting - disallowing any single relationships/friendships to form ... and everything be said "before the Church" utterly

how very unrealistic

if anyone's been around christian discussion boards online, one has easily seen the dynamics of what dorcas said-


Quote:
It enables little misunderstandings to be clarified, apologies which are basically private between brethren who don't know each other very well, and questons of all kinds to be answered, [b]without disturbing the flow of threads[/b], some of which would be completely ruined [u]if the entire forum had to keep stopping while this or that was publicly addressed.[/u]



It seems the part I've underlined in dorcas' words is basically something Bro Ron is drawing attention to. This is quite an unhealthy picture, and I've seen it too many times to count on other discussion boards, and sadly, on this one.

Let us be accountable to Christ, and let His Spirit rule us as we seek to communicate something that is more appropriate 'in private' ... or as we seek to share it with the general audience overall.

This would be one big cult with a control center, I think, if we were to dis-allow such private context, would it not ?

Bro Ron, I PM'd you last week, as you're well aware ... with words that I'd not have liked to bring to the board as a whole, so as to shield you from having to defend yourself in a public setting. Would you rather I'd had done that ?

Wisdom separates what is appropriate for private vs general audience.

Sadly 'factions' occur, online ... as in a face-to-face assembly. Let the Spirit deal with the hearts of those that align toward 'faction'.

Let the Freedom of the Spirit have reign on this board, and let us all be grown up enough to take accountability for ourselves before His gaze.

True fellowship is a River we can't control.


baruch

 2005/10/5 5:19Profile
philologos
Member



Joined: 2003/7/18
Posts: 6566
Reading, UK

 Re:

Quote:
Bro Ron, I PM'd you last week, as you're well aware ... with words that I'd not have liked to bring to the board as a whole, so as to shield you from having to defend yourself in a public setting. Would you rather I'd had done that ?


That will be the one where you called me an 'empty gourd' I expect? You wouldn't be the first. When you have been on this site a little longer you will know that I never defend myself, only my ideas.


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Ron Bailey

 2005/10/5 6:13Profile





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