Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Negative Discussions on ATC Chat Lists

I don’t think that ten days can go by without a negative discussion going on at a certain ATC chat list that I am a member of.

In the past I have gotten quite upset over some of what I read.

Sometimes, yes, I agreed with what was said. Sometimes I have voiced complaints (in a polite manner). Most of the time I keep quiet. Lately I have tried to chime in with positive things to say. That doesn’t always work as someone picks up from there and it gets back to negative. The other thing I chime in about is saying, "well this list doesn't have a rule for that but if YOU want it then why don't YOU suggest it to the list owner". The idea for more rules makes some cry out in opposition. I am not saying that I want more rules. But sometimes if a person is complaining and the group does not have a rule for that issue and the complainer takes it to the list owner the decision might be "no, we don't want that rule". Then the person took it up with the person in charge and if they don't like the outcome they can choose to leave if they want. I can't stand so much complaining to the powerless list members. The list members can't do anything about most of it. The only things that can happen, that I guess some people want, is that the others will feel peer pressure and they will either conform or maybe they will quit. As to the complainers, they could quit as well and find a Group who has more rules and is less loose.

I was so upset last week about some things that were said that I decided to stop reading ATC chat list emails for a while (it lasted about two days, it was hard to stay away). I also made a pact with myself that if a negative discussion came up again I’d not enter the discussion.

So yesterday another negative discussion came up. I am keeping my mouth shut. I may even choose to not read any more replies in that thread.

I also am annoyed with some things about hosting a swap that ended earlier this month. As a result I decided to take a break from hosting swaps. I am going to switch gears again to just participate in swaps when I have the time.

Now that I am feeling better and since the new school year is approaching I will be busy homeschooling my children and am not sure how much time I will have for chatting about ATCs on email. I probably will concentrate more on the making of the art in every possible spare moment.

Through private emails I have been told of some not very nice things that go on in the ATC trading world which surprised me and disappointed me. I am still digesting that negativity.

Each time a negative tone conversation takes place on the chat list it seems to me that some members that were actively chatting quit the list.

The main things that have repeated hot discussions are these:

1. Swap participants not being on time with deadlines causing either the other participants to be mad that the swap is being held up and/or the hostess being annoyed.

2. Some people saying that ATC trading is for fun and should not involve deadlines and rules.

3. Opinion that ATCs received in a swap are of poor quality or are literally falling apart while that person feels they spent a lot of time and effort in making their own ATCs.

4. What to do with ATCs that someone doesn’t like—is it ethical to trade those with others?

I am so drained from such negative discussions that I am close to quitting that particular list. The thing that keeps me from not doing it is that there are some great artists on the list whose ATCs I receive during the swaps (some who never chat on the list) and that I have learned a lot from these artists and I continue to learn new things.

We’ll see what happens this time.

Just to clarify the issue is not rudeness toward other or profanity or things like that. The issue is that the politely expressed opinions are offensive to some. Then some people post that their feelings are hurt. Some newbie’s then post that they are then afraid to participate in swaps. That is the problem, the overall negative vibe that happens from such discussions.

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Tricia Scott said...

i agree with you. i am in the same group and i am going to finish out with the swaps i signed up for and then bow out for a while. maybe not leave the group but not get the emails. i'll just log on to view the cards and get inspiration, maybe do some one on one swaps. i had a great experience with the one i did recently. (and i did another swap hosted by a woman whose blog i visit-i just sent them in)
most of the time i just sit and roll my eyes at some of the comments made in the group. i do not like the neg. feel.
thanks for voicing your opinion. i helped me to read what you so eloquently expressed. know you are not alone....and there are prob. lots others who also feel this way.
:) glad you are feeling better.

artexplorer said...

Sorry to hear that you have so many negative experiences. I belong to an (European) ATC group and we manage to have fun making cards and trading them. Also the loyality of sending them in time is great as well. This group is for Europeans only (because of the postage involved). But why don't you try to set up your own ATC group at Yahoo and invite ATC traders that you know? Let new members apply for membership by showing their work first?
Sometimes I receive ATC's that are not my style or taste, but I do keep them out of respect for the maker (maybe the artist is just starting out or searching for her own style - just growing pains). Everyone has to start somewhere - even with ATC's!
Hope you get the FUN back and start making cards again!
Jacqueline (from The Netherlands)

Mezza said...

Hi Christine

I'm sorry to hear that you have had a problem on your ATC forum.
I know it can be very frustrating. If you do have a moment may I suggest the following link.
It is a site in the UK but they are all very friendly and swaps are always going on.