posted on Jul, 1 2011 @ 12:08 AM
OK, well, I suppose somebody is going to have to speak up for us, the silent majority of the ATS membership. So here goes... this is my first ever
I came across ATS about three and a half years ago, whilst searching for information about Pine Gap in Australia and was surprised and delighted to
discover the wealth and range of other “alternative” topics which were being covered in great detail on this site. I was in my element and became
a regular visitor, thoroughly enjoying the process of being “awakened” to what was really going on in the world.
After about a year of “lurking” I finally decided to become a member, mainly because I had read several threads discussing avatars and just wanted
to see what all those pretty pictures looked like, not because I had an overwhelming urge to dive into the debates. That was two and half years ago,
so I am not exactly a “new” member.
Since the time I signed up, I have consistently spent many hours every day reading through pages and pages of fascinating, informative and challenging
threads. And a good few nonsensical ones too. I feel that I know you all very well and have developed a deep appreciation for those members who take
the time to research and amalgamate reams of diverse information (with sources, of course) so that the rest of us could easily take on board the
pertinent facts and, if desired, do further research on the subject ourselves.
I have, during my time as a member, learnt to differentiate between a “good” thread and a “not-so-good” thread, although I do realise,
naturally, that all opinions are entirely subjective.
My point is, that even though up until now I have never uttered a word in a post, I feel perfectly qualified to click on that “flag” button and
let it be known by all and sundry that somebody considers the thread in question to be worthy of attention and either a bloomin’ good read or
important information that needs to be “out there”.
Now it would seem, however, that because I have not “proven myself” by making the obligatory 20 posts, my opinion no longer counts. I know that
this comes across as a “petty” complaint to some people but my feelings are hurt. And, to really rub salt in the wounds, in spite of the fact that
I can no longer flag a thread, I am constantly faced with that ugly, garish, red “Un-flag” button which I have no way of getting rid of!
Up until now I have graciously accepted the fact that I can’t send U2Us as the price I pay for not posting. I suppose that sending messages
could be considered a privilege but I cannot, for the life of me, see how the ability to flag a thread should be considered a privilege denied
to the “lower class” of member. After all, flagging a thread does absolutely nothing that benefits me in any way. With the number of threads I
have flagged during my time here, the only result I have gained is an almighty ache in my right index-finger joint! The only person to gain any
benefit from it is the author of the thread.
I have even flagged perfectly worthy threads which I had spotted slipping un-noticed down the boards, apparently overlooked or ignored by the
membership. I always hoped that the author in question would feel a bit better knowing that at least one person had read and appreciated what they had
gone to the trouble to produce.
Okay, so you’re probably saying, “Look, why don’t you just make the 20 posts and get it over with? Then you won’t have any problems.” There
are in fact many reasons why, up until now, I have had no desire to get involved in things myself.
Firstly, throughout my entire life, I have always been a little on the timid side and rather lacking in self confidence. I totally avoid confrontation
if at all possibe and if I were to have a post ridiculed or pulled apart by one of the more critical or condescending members, it would probably scare
me off for good. I know, I need to develop a thicker skin, and I suppose it could happen yet....
Secondly, there’s that innate fear that whatever is posted online is going to be there forever, even if tomorrow you have second thoughts and wish
you’d never said it. There’s just no way of un-saying it. I know this applies to everybody, but it just bothers some of us more than others.
Thirdly, there’s the simple fact that by the time I’ve read all the way through a thread, whatever comment I might have made has already been made
by one or more members already, and we all know how unacceptable “me too” type posts are.
There are other reasons too, which I won’t go into here, but the point is that although Greeneyedleo may dismissively ask “how hard is it for
anyone to make 20 contributing posts?” and consider it to be “easy” , the fact is that a lot of us out here do NOT consider it “easy” at
I’m fully aware that many people these days revel in the fact that they have a recognizable online “presence” and love the attention that they
get from that fact. Please be aware however, that there are also a lot of people who are the polar opposite and are quite happy to watch from the
sidelines and attract no attention at all.
In my own case, I know that I can, at least, string a sentence together but I also know people who suffer from severe dyslexia who would never post
anything on line for fear of making a fool of themselves. I also know people who dropped out of school early and wouldn’t post for fear of being
ridiculed for their lack of education. There are many reasons why people might not wish to post comments and no, it definitely isn’t “easy” for
Actually, I have always intended to start posting in threads and I certainly never planned on having my first post be a long drawn-out whine,
lol! But I did feel the need to speak up for the “silent” members, who, because of that very attribute are hardly likely to come onto this thread
and complain that they can’t “flag” any longer.
After all, we sit and look at the adverts too and I’m sure that our numbers are included in the count for advertising revenue. We read the threads
and send links to our family and friends, thereby bringing in more members. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve recommended ATS to other
people as a source of REAL news as opposed to the MSM propaganda.
The fact is that in spite of the fact that we’re not very vocal, we quiet ones can be good little members too. And we want our Flag button back!
PS. I actually like the new “Un-flag” facility very much, just in case you thought I was nothing but a “moaning minnie”.