Thursday, 24 January 2013

Using Forums

Over the course of a couple weeks I decided to join some of the forums that are associated with Spain to try and seek valuable information and an incite on what its like living in Spain.

Overall I find the forums a fantastic source of information, there are usually FAQ on all aspects of moving to Spain,  covering issues such as residency, taxation, pensions etc.  However I soon learnt that some people in the virtual world can be, just as they can be in the real world, snippy, rude and aggressive  I suspect that some of them would not be so opinionated  if they had to speak to you face to face. 
I try not to consider people I meet on the Internet any differently to people I meet elsewhere  Having said that, not everything is meat the way it comes across. Irony does not always travel across the Internet well. Irony can also be linked to sarcasm, and can easily be lost in translation when one lacks the context of timing, tone and expression. 
People will respond to you in a way that they would never do if they were talking face to face. It is important to remember this, It can be very easy to be put off by some on the forums, the make remarks that can make you feel stupid.

However using a forum is a great way to meet individuals, study the points of others, and to expand your knowledge. Use them to gather information. Take everything with a pinch of salt and remember, how others see things is only based  on their life experiences, they can not see life through your eyes and remember
There are 5,000 great people for every jerk on the Internet,but that still is a lot of jerks.  Proceed with caution and eyes wide open.  ~Don Rittner

Lets examine all the different kinds of people lurking around the forums.

The Mods AKA the Moderators
The Mods are people who go around the forums. They sometimes just post something random or post some information regarding the speciality in my case Spain.  Mods reply to popular threads, or some threads that seek an answer to a question. They point Newbies in the right direction. 
However, sometimes a mod might post something that many people dislike or disagree with, but still the Mods are well respected individuals that lurk around the forums.

The Complainer
This individual simply runs to the forums to complain about something, or anything. They claim that Spain is a backward country, nothing is good, everyone is unhappy. If someone comes along and says that they disagree, the complainer says they are deluded.  The favourite expression from a complainer is "rose tinted glasses" If you are happy in Spain you are wearing rose tinted glasses, if you want to move to Spain  its for the sun, if you disagree you are an idiot.  This person usually  has nothing to back up his claims. He has nothing to show that he is correct. But usually has suffered a bad experience in Spain which has clouded their judgement. They should not be dismissed as their points are valid as they see them, but there remarks are not to be taken personally. Somewhere in the bitterness there is usually a grain of truth.

The Publicist
This person pretty much makes everyone aware of something. We do not see this person that often but every once in a while, you will come across a post made by this person. They have had a great deal from Build a or read a great book called how to move to Spain and make a million.  The mods will usually jump in at this stage and delete the threads. 

The wise owl
This individual is the one posts something sensible and balanced about the move to Spain. Most of the others agree, apart from the complainer of course, he could not possibly agree  They may post something about an issue,  or comment on another thread  Why is this person wise, Because this person was able to bring about this idea in a very intelligent manner that no one else has thought about without patronising everyone and is able to back up there posts with evidence.

The Funny Guy
The funny guy. The person who posts something funny. Just a simple joke or something to make fun of someone that every laughs. We all just go ha ha and laugh.

The Troll
The Troll. Yup. The Troll.  There posts usually start OK and then as the answers to the questions arrive they change the original parameters, delighting in winding everyone up, especially the complainer and leave the thread to rumble sometimes for weeks before popping back at stoking the flames again.

The ex-pat who has gone home

They lived in Spain but for whatever reason they have now returned home. From the comfort of a UK residence they will tell you how awful everything is in Spain, how we are all going to hell in a hand cart. Even if they left 20 years ago, there is nothing that they don't know about what is happening now. They never acknowledge that things may have changed and funnily enough they very rarely give you a reason for leaving, there posts are usually full of sarcasm and they tend to have a lot of   against other members

The Grammar Nazi
Pretty, self Explanatory  This Man Think That it is they're job too go around and correct peoples four mistakes in its righting and threads. spelling mistakes or just plane oldie Grammar mitakes.   (See what I did there?)

Having said all of the above, some of which was a bit tongue in cheek, the forums are a great way to glean information. My process is to read ask questions and follow links, double check information given, File it away and accept it for what is is, someones opinion.
It is easy to get disheartened with negative responses but think logically. If you went on a forum for parenting you would get a variety of  responses  everyone on the forum has done it, had children, some will have had lots, some will be trying some will only want one. They will all recommend varies feeding methods BUT whatever the negatives it would not stop you making a decision based on what you want to do. That's the key, use the information given but make your own decision based on your own needs.

There are several links  to forums on this page.  Just remember a forum is a guide it is not going to tell you if you are or not making the right decision only you can do that

1 comment:

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