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Another sort of Pollyanna......

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

Hi all -

Cancer of any form, at any stage, is a scary disease and brings with it quite the roller coaster of emotions, as we all know. Combine that with an electronic bulletin board (which has its own huge issues in the field of Communications) and people are bound to say things that seem way more strident or one sided than what they actually mean.

Some people have been through many setbacks and are looking for one more treatment that might work. Others have done really well and are thus passionate about the treatments they had, whatever they were. All of these leads to huge emotion and sensitivities, and emotion and sensitivities sometime lead to what amounts in the end to BB postings that are perceived quite differently than intended by the poster.

I am not a Pollyanna (well, maybe a little!), but we need to all get along (don't have to agree, just get along). We all are cancer survivors / caregivers - in various places in our journey, but I am guessing we can all agree that this disease SUCKS! So, we all have hatred of this disease in common. And, as others have said, our experiences are all different.

So, on the one hand our posts can be over-interpreted and on the other hand we are all subject to being overly sensitive to posts that are just the opinions of the person at the moment they write them. If we were having face to face conversation, I venture to say that everyone would be getting along‚ and no one would be offended / upset. In another life I might do academic work in Communications‚ but for now I am just content to hope that we can all continue to be the great group of caregivers / survivors that we are, in spite of differences of opinion and experience.

Take care all (and I wish everyone who is actively fighting this beast, the very best.)

Betsy

shmurciakova's picture
shmurciakova
Posts: 910
Joined: Dec 2002

Hi Betsy,
I am sure that most of us who have been on here for a while have managed to offend someone at one time or another, so it is forgivable, but it sure would be nice if there were a way to edit posts once we have made them. On some other forums there are edit and even delete buttons that you can use for your own posts even after they are up. That way, if a person wants to go back and re-state something they wrote in a different way, they can do so. That would be great because I know when you are typing on a computer some things don't turn out the way you intended....and on this forum, once they are up, they are up and there is no way to fix it besides to make another post.
Maybe CSN can fix that.
-Susan

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Monicaemilia's picture
Monicaemilia
Posts: 455
Joined: Nov 2006

Right on Betsy! You are absolutely right in that things can be misinterpreted in a forum such as this. But I think we also need to be a little sensitive and aware that sometimes when we post we may have had a terrible day, and are maybe just scared to death because we just received another piece of bad news. Those feelings will, inevitably, come out in a post. I think we are trying so hard to be 'informative', that sometimes we miss the real emotional element that cancer has brought into our lives and the lives of our caregivers.

This forum has educated me so much on treatment options that my oncologist is now scared of me (he he), and I owe it all to the wonderful people that come on this site every day to be able to obtain/offer information, offer support, etc. Let's keep listening to each other, and not react to a word/phrase said in a time of fear or confusion. Just my 2 cents (Canadian of course). Monica

rthornton's picture
rthornton
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

It's because the communication is asynchronous, Betsy.

Betsydoglover's picture
Betsydoglover
Posts: 1254
Joined: Jul 2005

You're right, Rodney, but I still believe you can do effective distance education in an asynchronous manner :>)

rthornton's picture
rthornton
Posts: 346
Joined: May 2005

I also think asynchronous networks can be effective (and, by definition, CSN is such a network), but I still wonder how to keep dialog effective and constructive. You were right on when you said that people would be less prone to confrontation if they were communicating face to face (and maybe the same if the online interaction were synchronous, like a chat session). At this very moment I am at my office (the corner coffee shop with a wireless network for customers' use), working on a project for my masters program about social networking in online education. My topic is creating, and maintaining, a sense of community in online education (or any online environments). I just posted this entry on my weblog for the project:

To properly discuss the concept of community, it is important to define what happens in a community and why participants feel like they do or do not belong. In a community, members share a feeling of belonging, that they matter to one another and to the group, and that their needs will be met through a common commitment (Rovai, 2002, page 41). In an educational setting, a community is “a group of learners who form a partnership based upon the concern for the welfare of self and others and for the common good” (Rovai, 2002, page 42). In a learning community, people learn through group activities, define problems, and work together to achieve solutions (Tu, year??, page ??). There are several components that create a sense of community: trust, presence, and interaction. The first component of a sense of community, trust, is the feeling that the community can be trusted, and that interaction will be constructive (Rovai, 2002, page 42).

So, it's interesting to see how diaglog on here, or in any forum, gets contentious at times and then becomes very constructive and beneficial, as I think that people sincerely do want to help each other. I think the nature of the topics, and that we are all (literally) fighting for our lives or the lives of those that we love, makes it unlike other online communities and difficult to analyze. Anyway, despite the odd dispute(s) here and there, I think this is a great resource for people dealing with cancer to make connections with others in similar situations.

Are you still facilitating your online course?

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