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Rant warning: A Lesson In Manners, or "How NOT to get someone to give you advice"

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
I receive a lot of unsolicited PM's asking for advice about gear. I try to offer some reply to most of these, although I don't always have time.

But I have received quite a few recently that there was NO WAY I would answer. Why? Because the people PMing me more or less demanded advice from me. Several of these PMs were basically like "tell me the difference between headphone X, Y, and Z, when used with amp 1, 2, and 3. Focus your answer on technospeedmetal cuz that's what I listen to". Not a single "please", "thank you", or even "I would appreciate it". Just "tell me what I want to know".

Are some people truly that clueless?

Folks, if you are asking someone you do not know to do something for you...you might try asking NICELY.
post #2 of 58

nicely said Skylab

 

come on guys, be nice and respect people, sometimes we dont have time to reply to silly questions.

post #3 of 58

+1 on that,skylab..

 

Or,they might want to consider,following all your threads,answers,& YOUR suggestions.

That's what I've been doing ,since I joined head-fi..you & about, 9-10 other guys.

 

Must be nice ,to know your opinions are in great demand-though.

 

Just my .02c

 

Mike

post #4 of 58

This is a tremendous pet peeve of mine; people seem to feel entitled to buying advice.

 

That's one of the reasons for my taking down the list of gear from my profile. I'm always reluctant to dispense advice, especially for stuff that costs a lot of money, and really I dislike telling people how to spend their money in general. When it comes to gear, I think my priorities are kind of an outlier in this hobby anyway. However I try to frame my impressions in such a way as to let people come to their own conclusions, as I like being helpful, but even then it's still something I'm not entirely comfortable with doing.

 

Some folks want easy answers, flat out requesting I tell them what to buy. Other folks seem to already have exactly what they want in mind and are merely looking for validation. In both these cases, I find they can sometimes get impatient or frustrated when they aren't hearing what they think I should be telling them. Also some people seem to think we live for sitting around giving advice to strangers on the Internet, and they get impatient when their PMs aren't replied to fast enough for their liking.

 

People need to realize that most impressions from fellow hobbyists are a gift, freely given in the spirit of generosity, and as such they should be respected. I think perhaps there is a growing trend for people to see hobbyist "reviewing" in terms of commodity. Perhaps it stems from a growing number of people entering this hobby trying to give semi-professional reviews? Anyway, the view is that reviews are given as a service in exchange for notoriety in the form of thumbsups, e-props, viewership, subscriptions, etc. In this formulation, people send out PMs not as someone respectfully requesting the advice of someone with more experience, but rather on equal footing, as in "you give me something, I'll give you something" even if it's not explicitly stated.

 

I've gotten plenty of PMs from well-mannered, nice and friendly individuals however. I am grateful for that.

post #5 of 58

I do not think they are that clueless, more they are just that disrespectful.  And do not have tact enough to understand they need to use manners when talking to a person that they do not know, even if it is on the internet. 

post #6 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylab View Post

I receive a lot of unsolicited PM's asking for advice about gear. I try to offer some reply to most of these, although I don't always have time.
But I have received quite a few recently that there was NO WAY I would answer. Why? Because the people PMing me more or less demanded advice from me. Several of these PMs were basically like "tell me the difference between headphone X, Y, and Z, when used with amp 1, 2, and 3. Focus your answer on technospeedmetal cuz that's what I listen to". Not a single "please", "thank you", or even "I would appreciate it". Just "tell me what I want to know".
Are some people truly that clueless?
Folks, if you are asking someone you do not know to do something for you...you might try asking NICELY.

 

x2.  I received a very similar PM in that format. It starts with "tell me......", no "please", no "thank you", ect. As if he is my boss assigning my daily schedule. I actually kindly replied to his first PM. Then he PM'ed again, with more questions, in the same format. 

 

I don't know guys, maybe I am an old "old school". Nowadays, some people behave as if they have not gone to school to learn some manners. I am not here to provide an infomercial, as plenty of those can be easily found.


Edited by zzffnn - 9/21/12 at 1:12pm
post #7 of 58

It is possible that low cost of entry into this hobby means a lot of younger users, some quite young.  They may have not really acquainted themselves with proper e-tiquette, or it could be they consider PM's like instant messaging.  They also may not consider themselves "hobbyists" - they just want to take five minutes on a Sunday before they go to Best Buy to see what they should buy - they look at a thread or two about "best headphones", find a "honcho", and ask for recommendations ASAP.  In and out of a whole hobbyist niche in five minutes flat is what some expect.

 

This does not excuse their actions or their attitudes. 

post #8 of 58

Heh, I've done this too except i always say "please" and "thank you" and sometimes "sorry to bother you." I can definitely understand the part of wanting to know what's the best thing to get. Part of the problem is people don't know enough to ask the right kinds of questions to get the answers they want, another difficulty is that most of the hobbyists on here tend to focus on sound signature rather than direct sonic differences in terms of quality.

post #9 of 58

I read too fast to notice if they said it or not but some people's attitudes in the first PM just gets off as very irritating. However after asnwering their question, most are pretty nice.

post #10 of 58
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kost View Post

Heh, I've done this too except i always say "please" and "thank you" and sometimes "sorry to bother you." I can definitely understand the part of wanting to know what's the best thing to get. Part of the problem is people don't know enough to ask the right kinds of questions to get the answers they want, another difficulty is that most of the hobbyists on here tend to focus on sound signature rather than direct sonic differences in terms of quality.

That's really all it takes - a "please" and a "thank you". It's not more complicated than that, so you have it figured out wink.gif
post #11 of 58

The sad thing is that you even had to make a post like this. You don't seem like the snooty kind to get pissed off over a rare occurrence. This must have happened MANY MANY times for you to even post this.

 

I personally feel this isn't even a rant. Its more like a PSA or a lesson in proper communication for people who don't have the basic decency to be appreciative of the help they are requesting of a complete stranger over the interwebs.

post #12 of 58
Thread Starter 
You are definitely right in that for me it has been very far from a rare occurrence. That said, many people and incredibly polite and kind when asking questions, and I surely endeavor to answer those people, even though many times I get asked, even politely, to comment on gear I have never heard. But that doesn't bother me at all, since there is no way for them to know whether I have heard it or not.

All I ask for is a little civility smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 58

Thanks again for answering my PM yesterday Rob.  ksc75smile.gif

post #14 of 58

popcorn.gif

Dr. John Moulton

Here at Noble, we craft some of the finest universal and custom in-ear monitors available today. 

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post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Radio_head View Post

It is possible that low cost of entry into this hobby means a lot of younger users, some quite young.  They may have not really acquainted themselves with proper e-tiquette, or it could be they consider PM's like instant messaging.  They also may not consider themselves "hobbyists" - they just want to take five minutes on a Sunday before they go to Best Buy to see what they should buy - they look at a thread or two about "best headphones", find a "honcho", and ask for recommendations ASAP.  In and out of a whole hobbyist niche in five minutes flat is what some expect.

 

This does not excuse their actions or their attitudes. 

 

 

Great observation, I wholeheartedly agree. 

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