My thoughts on the thanking discussion

Posted 8 months ago2023-08-16 10:40:39 UTC
So there was this discussion somewhere (don't remember exactly where and when but whatever) and I was reminded about it.
Basically it was about whether one should/need to say thanks for receiving help/answers in the community.
Opponents of the idea may argue that
  • one shouldn't celebrate/reward the bare minimum of basic human decency (which includes helping each other out) since that should be expected
  • that it's not needed because it's not personal ("someone else would show up and help anyway / the one asking for help isn't the only one benefiting from the answer")
  • it doesn't matter
I do agree with the main idea of the first point but I'd say it's applied to the wrong context. Helping each other is of course basic human decency, but there are nuances to consider here for the type of help it applies to. In general it's help that doesn't require one to go far out of their way to accomplish, or helping someone with something necessary things they're not capable of themselves.
This, in my opinion, doesn't extend to receiving help with a specific skill for a past-time endeavour such as modding. Someone spent their own free time and went out of their way to help out. If anything, the basic human decency would be about thanking for the help here.

For the second point, even if the one asking for help holds this view they are forgetting that they are not alone. Those that help would often like at least some response or feedback about whether it worked, and so do anyone else with a similar problem looking for solutions. If one wants to be as rude as not thank for the help, they should at the very least respond somehow.

The third point is one of nihilism and egoism, views that are annoyingly prevalent online. Even if it doesn't matter to you, it doesn't mean it doesn't matter to other people. It can matter to the helper(s), and any sort of feedback of whether it worked or not matters to others looking for answers to similar questions.
Meanwhile the proponent points are very simple:
  • While feedback about whether it works is more useful, it at least gives the helper(s) some response which many appreciate and makes them not feel ignored
  • It's the polite thing to do
For certain people, while it might be easy to forget that even if they're asking for help for themselves, they are in fact still interacting with real people, both passively and directly, who will be affected by the interactions to some degree.
In my own view, I always thank people for the help they give, no matter how big or small. I always appreciate it. Though I don't think it's as important as in the very least giving some feedback, it still matters to thank for the help.

I know that most people that don't say thanks don't do it with outright malicious intent. Some of them might not even be against it but just simply forgetting to do so. Even then it's still rude not to do it.
So to wrap up my thoughts on the topic:
For myself I don't mind not being thanked for helping someone, but I do expect some feedback on if it worked or not (again, it helps others looking for help to know if the solution/answer is viable, and for me to know I wasn't ignored).
Of course I'm not here to police on how anyone acts or behaves, nor do I claim my views are inherently correct or objective. What's considered rude or polite depends on culture and norms and my views of it might differ a lot from someone else's.

12 Comments

Commented 8 months ago2023-08-16 11:20:10 UTC Comment #105477
Huh, I didn't even know this was something that people disagreed on, always seemed like common sense to me...

The point about feedback that something works or not is really important in a public forum, because it's very possible that someone else will have the same issue, and being able to see right away if the advice helped the person with the same issue is extremely useful and a huge time saver.

Another point is that thanking someone means that it encourages them to continue being helpful in the future. And when it's in a public space, it also encourages other people to engage with the community, posting their own questions and answering others. Everybody in an online community benefits when people are helpful and friendly.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-16 12:36:57 UTC Comment #105478
Yeah, I was under the same assumption too that thanking people for their help was the normal and expected thing to do.

Feedback is indeed very important, and I see it as the bare minimum someone should do in response to any help/answer.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-16 18:15:22 UTC Comment #105479
It's bad to tell other people how to behave. This is evil.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-16 21:52:23 UTC Comment #105480
By using moralist language, you're indirectly telling me my behaviour is wrong and should be changed, doing exactly that which you are condemning 😏
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-17 19:46:57 UTC Comment #105482
I'm directly telling you your behaviour is wrong and I don't care the slightest bit if you change.

If there is one thing that is harming TWHL, it's the use of that disposable pile of crap called Discord.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-17 21:01:16 UTC Comment #105483
Oh, you were actually being serious. Reverse Poe's Law, I guess.

Well then. First of all, I haven't told anyone how to behave in my post (the closest to it is stating that it's rude to not thank someone for the help, because that's what it is). My final paragraph is directly addressing this.

Secondly, when you call "this" evil, are you referring to my post or to the act of telling someone to behave?
Either way, taking into consideration that we as people are social animals, and that this is a community, having discussions about norms, culture and behaviour is the healthy and good thing to do. In other words, it's beneficial to the majority in this context, i.e. it's what's morally good (for the community) here.
Not having this type of discussion will cause harmful and anti-social behaviour to go unaddressed and unchallenged, in turn harming the community and hurting its members. As this leads to a negative outcome for the majority, it can't be anything but morally evil (towards the community) in this context.

Of course, morals are relative. Perhaps your morals are based on what's good and un-impeding to yourself, and screw everyone else?
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-17 22:26:20 UTC Comment #105484
If someone takes the time to help you, the least you can do is express appreciation for their time and effort by thanking them. It makes them happy and shows that you care. If you can't be bothered to do that, the person who helped you will remember and be unwilling to help you again.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-18 06:19:18 UTC Comment #105488
I answer mapping questions for decades and I don't mind if they never thank. Someone else might ten or twenty years later. But only if you use the forum, not that disposable abomination. Evil is both. Too many rules are creeping upon people these days. Rules that are completely useless, dictatorial and rude. If you want to educate people on social behavior then become a kid's teacher in the primary school.
Commented 8 months ago2023-08-18 08:47:40 UTC Comment #105489
You seem to think that merely discussing behaviour means establishing new rules, which it inherently isn't. A proposal for a rule may be brought up during a discussion, but that's not what has happened here. If you're worried a community is going to establish excessive or unnecessary rules, the best thing to do in that case is to discuss it and address the cause for why those rules were proposed in the first place.

The rules already in place on the site (and the discord you keep bringing up for whatever reason) are few and non-intrusive. As the context here is this community, are these the rules you view as "completely useless, dictatorial and rude"?

And no, I'm not here to educate anyone on social behaviour. I'm simply just airing my thoughts about a specific part of how we behave in this community, since I'm a part of it.
Commented 7 months ago2023-08-26 10:26:46 UTC Comment #105508
I see Bruce would prefer a community where nobody says thanks
Commented 7 months ago2023-08-26 17:54:27 UTC Comment #105509
I would prefer a community where nobody says thanks over a community where anyone is forced to say thanks.
Commented 7 months ago2023-08-26 18:12:22 UTC Comment #105510
I would prefer a community that is nice to talk to.

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