Real Life Impact April 24, 2017 11:16 AM   Subscribe

Tim Carmody, posting on Kottke.org, polled about "websites that changed your life". Of the relatively small number of answers, four were from MetaFilter:

1. The Emotional Labour thread
2. For the person who's got everything, an update seriously required here: “I read this post, applied, and had a play made for me.”
3. A post by decathecting “that describes the grinding reality of daily low-grade sexual harassment.”
4. AskMetafilter itself.

What else would you add?
posted by Rumple to MetaFilter-Related at 11:16 AM (35 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

"Everyone needs a hug" at the bottom of the comment box.

All those MetaTalk threads about how certain topics don't go well. Or could we do certain topics better. I mostly point them out because I often learn that there's contention around a topic I wasn't aware of before. The one that sticks out on my head the most are the transgender based ones. Like using the proper pronouns and using chosen names.

Or the fact that gender is not a checkbox in the profile, but a free-form field.

Basically just respecting a person's identity. I like that, because you can apply it to cis people as well. Just, respect your fellow human beings. I knew that before, but MetaFilter helped reinforce it with reasons.
posted by INFJ at 11:42 AM on April 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


Just want to say that one of the linked essays:

"Encountering the Gifted Self Again, For the First Time “made me realise that I’m not just a weirdo, but all of my “quirks” actually fit together under a label, and that has made me understand myself about 10000x better.”

..was pretty shocking when I read it yesterday. Nails my experience to a T, including the crippling depression. I just started back on an SSRI over the weekend and am kind of in search of a therapist that I can print that essay out and show it to and ask for more help.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:51 AM on April 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


Things I keep meaning to skim comprehensively #n+1: The Annotated Emotional Labor Thread (MetaTalk post).
posted by Evilspork at 12:47 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Just stopping by to mention that besides those four Metafilter mentions, Carmody also lists Pixel Envy as having been inspired by Metafilter, among others.
posted by beagle at 1:02 PM on April 24, 2017


Tim Carmody is a treasure.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:04 PM on April 24, 2017 [1 favorite]


Can't point to any one particular post that had a major impact, but just generally Metafilter has, through thoughtful moderation and a generally articulate and mature population, made me a more compassionate person.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:36 PM on April 24, 2017 [25 favorites]


Can't point to any one particular post that had a major impact, but just generally Metafilter has, through thoughtful moderation and a generally articulate and mature population, made me a more compassionate person.

Me too. Seriously, I thought I was one of the good guys and then reading here I saw I did about a hundred of the annoying man things. I still inadvertently do some of them but at least I feel bad about it afterwards and resolve to do it less in the future.
posted by srboisvert at 2:45 PM on April 24, 2017 [20 favorites]


Me three, but I also now have the knowledge that I've done dumb things in the past, and been surprised when they've been pointed out (either for me or someone else doing them), but after thinking about it for awhile understood that they were in fact dumb. Now I know that despite my best efforts I may even now be doing dumb things and am more ready to accept being told those things are dumb.
posted by LionIndex at 4:40 PM on April 24, 2017 [4 favorites]


The cooter clock was a thing. I've managed to never reset it, that I know of, though was probably guilty elsewhere on the web in my youth. When I joined, I had to really stop & think about my opinion about the attractiveness of other people & how little the rest of the Internet wanted to hear those opinions. I think I got it pretty quickly.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:45 PM on April 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


"Encountering the Gifted Self Again, For the First Time “made me realise that I’m not just a weirdo, but all of my “quirks” actually fit together under a label, and that has made me understand myself about 10000x better.”

Until I found myself parenting gifted kids, and searching for resources to help them, I hadn't had an opportunity to understand myself and my own history. This essay was not only helpful for me, but now that my kids are teens, I think they'd benefit from reading it as well.
posted by Orlop at 4:57 PM on April 24, 2017 [2 favorites]


"Another marker of giftedness is a strikingly broad base of knowledge as evidenced by a client’s ability to readily connect various bits of germane information. [...] One can almost hear the cognitive and intuitive wheels spinning behind their impassioned eyes. Many gifted adults have remarkable verbal abilities and a burning desire for intense exchanges of ideas (Roeper, 1991). [...] They are articulate talkers who love a hot discussion."

Hrm, yes and no. I have a very hard time speaking -- and writing -- because I don't know where to BEGIN with all of the things I have to say, the connections I have to make. It's like there's a tangled-up ball of yarn in my brain and I can't figure out where to begin unraveling it. Then, in the middle of a sentence or thought, I'll find myself back-tracking or jumping across to something else. Pretty soon I'm caught in the middle of the tangle and have no idea how I got there.
posted by zebra at 5:46 PM on April 24, 2017 [5 favorites]


What I'm trying to say is that I'm not very articulate.
posted by zebra at 5:48 PM on April 24, 2017 [7 favorites]


Ask vs Guess Culture was an eye-opener for me.

Born and raised in Guess Culture. Now that I know there's an alternative to trying to suss out responses before asking, knowing that if you guess wrong, you'll likely make others uncomfortable or angry—and, of course, become the subject of much talk, etc. (so much stress and wasted energy), I would gladly support mandating Ask Culture.
posted by she's not there at 6:43 PM on April 24, 2017 [16 favorites]


Zebra: that's a lot like my description of ADD. Fwiw, I've always thought that ADD was mislabeled, i.e., it's not about a deficit of attention, it's about trying to pay attention to dozens of things going on in your head at the same time.
posted by she's not there at 6:52 PM on April 24, 2017 [6 favorites]


I've learned a lot about relationships and what's reasonable to tolerate. My standards were way, way too low in the past.
posted by AFABulous at 6:52 PM on April 24, 2017 [9 favorites]


It's like there's a tangled-up ball of yarn in my brain and I can't figure out where to begin unraveling it. Then, in the middle of a sentence or thought, I'll find myself back-tracking or jumping across to something else. Pretty soon I'm caught in the middle of the tangle and have no idea how I got there.

I've gotten very comfortable laughing at myself and saying, "OK, let me finish one sentence before I start another one." I think I benefited enormously from a TA in college who gave me feedback that writing a paper wasn't just about expressing my ideas, but about taking the reader with me into understanding. I've tried to carry that over to speaking, too, and it helps.
posted by lazuli at 6:59 PM on April 24, 2017 [8 favorites]


Computers have helped my yarn-brain immensely. I can write a good chunk of thoughts in microchunks as I think of them a sentence or two at a time, then skip around adding and editing, then once I proof I have some semicoherent stuff going on. Much like this comment.
posted by Evilspork at 8:39 PM on April 24, 2017 [3 favorites]


I'd say Metafilter has had a huge influence for me in defining what a good internet community can be. The other place I hang out online has a similar (though more chatty) vibe, and I love it. I place a high value on good moderation and low community tolerance for jerkiness. And because I joined 10 years ago (and lurked long before that) I've been able to watch the community go through some growing pains--looking back at very old threads sometimes I'm like, seriously? Yikes. But I also think the community has changed and grown and that certain behaviours and attitudes are no longer welcome or tolerated, and other good behaviours are encouraged and valued, and that is a great thing.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:41 PM on April 24, 2017


The whole concept of 'privilege' came from reading this site. I know a lot of people scoff at it and consider it to be overused but it opened my eyes so much.

When I think of how oblivious I was to this for so long it makes me feel ashamed but it also allows me to not get too shitty when I hear people who obviously haven't thought about their own privilege and I kind of feel obligated to at least try to get them to think about it.

That's me using my privilege, I guess.
posted by h00py at 1:19 AM on April 25, 2017 [15 favorites]


Computers have helped my yarn-brain immensely. I can write a good chunk of thoughts in microchunks as I think of them a sentence or two at a time, then skip around adding and editing, then once I proof I have some semicoherent stuff going on. Much like this comment.

Oh god, yes. If only I was better at proofreading, but this is exactly why I tend to either repeat words or have sentences suddenly drop off. . . I will have five thoughts at a time and all of them need to come out immediately.

The verbal version of this is that I will start to tell a story, pause, realize that there's some relevant information missing, pause, hop a little further back in the timeline and start the conversation again from there.

Anyway, I have no idea who I would be without Metafilter. I've been on this site since I was, like, sixteen. The version of me that hung out on something awful or something would probably be a lot different, and almost certainly not as awesome.

Also, AOL Message boards back in the day, where I first learned to socialize. I'm sorry, everyone.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:51 AM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


Also, this sounds strange, but Metafilter has definitely taught me to occasionally shut the fuck up and listen to other people before dumping my opinion on them. I don't know everything about everything, I don't have to know everything about everything. I certainly don't need to be telling people about their own experiences.
posted by dinty_moore at 6:54 AM on April 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


Ask vs. Guess thread.

The 9/11 thread.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:48 AM on April 25, 2017 [3 favorites]


ADD should be called attention regulation disorder.
posted by bq at 9:02 AM on April 25, 2017 [8 favorites]


Can't point to any one particular post that had a major impact, but just generally Metafilter has, through thoughtful moderation and a generally articulate and mature population, made me a more compassionate person.

I learned something fun about myself recently.

A group I'm in had everyone take the 16 Personalities test (basically a Web 2.0'ed Myers–Briggs Type Indicator) a few weeks ago. I, as am sure many would relate, was looking forward to hating on this entire exercise and I eagerly read through the profile it assigned me: ISFJ, The Defender.

So I'm reading through it expecting to get some cold reading junk about "you think you're special and misunderstood", but that's not what it was. Instead, the listing of alleged strengths was all but a list of things I wish I was better at.

For example, "People with the ISFJ personality type can always be counted on to remember a birthday..." Nope! I am forever kicking myself about not being great at birthdays. I hate that I could remember birthdays but even if I did, I wouldn't know what to do about them for people.

Or "Rather than offering sporadic, excited rushes that leave things half finished...". I'm the king of the 99.999% and it drives me nuts.

Or "ISFJs are very imaginative, and use this quality as an accessory to empathy". I'm super-not-creative. I try to be. I almost went to an overpriced private art school. But, like, I guess I try to be empathetic and understand people.

I wrap up reading through this "freakishly accurate" description of myself and I'm more confused than anything. I feel kind of bad, if I'm being honest. I just read through a list of everything I suck at.


Later that day I talk about it with my wife, and she disagrees with me about my personality. She insists I'm great at birthdays, and really good at looking out for people.


The whole thing is just kind of weird. I sleep on it for a day or two.

And then I re-take the test, but instead of answering the questions with what my reaction would be, I answer with what my gut reaction would is. I give selfish and easy answers. And that gives me the classic millennial tech-bro answer of ISTP, The Virtuoso. The two values that flipped are about structure vs flexibility, and objective facts vs personal concerns.

It turns out that I'm bad at being an ISFJ because I'm slowly becoming one. I've had to learn to create structure in my life and not run around with half-measures. I've had to learn to stop and listen, to really understand where someone else is coming from. I've learned over and over again that sometimes often yelling facts at someone who is in a crappy situation doesn't help them. Those lessons have come from a lot of places (and probably just because I'm older), but I attribute a lot of that from learning from y'all over the past dozen years.


So thanks, MeFi, for teaching me about privilege, and emotional labor, and not sweating the small stuff, and 100 other things that I don't remember because they're just a part of me now. A+++ would be ISFJ'ed again.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 3:57 PM on April 25, 2017 [28 favorites]


wood s lot

synthetic zero

waggish

dagmar chili

robot wisdom

all back in the day, them sites.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:43 AM on April 26, 2017


Smug.

And Leslie Harpold's Hoopla 500.

This:
"Shut the fuck up and make your sandwiches."
posted by zenon at 8:38 AM on April 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


Warning: that last link was published on 09/12/2001 and titled “Morning After”
posted by zenon at 8:45 AM on April 26, 2017


It's always fun to hear about other mefites learning their Myers–Briggs type.

I wish we could somehow see a cross section of the types of mefites on a grander scale. See if the site appeals to a specific grouping of types.

I'd be willing to bet we have more I***'s than E***'s, though.
posted by INFJ at 8:49 AM on April 26, 2017 [2 favorites]


there's no one thread.

And honestly, I've been off and on metafilter a bit over the past ten years. Some times y'all got boring.

But I probably wouldn't have accepted my husband's transition if I wasn't exposed to the compassion, thoughtfulness, and values that the hivemind has taken on.

So, that's a small impact metafilter has had.
posted by rebent at 10:48 AM on April 26, 2017 [13 favorites]


MetaFilter: Some times y'all got boring.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:20 AM on April 26, 2017 [1 favorite]


I wish we could somehow see a cross section of the types of mefites on a grander scale. See if the site appeals to a specific grouping of types.


MetaTalk already did a Myers-Briggs thing! There is a graph.

FWIW, I also thought some of the "giftedness" essay stuff really sounded a lot like it was related to adult ADHD, particularly the (ugh, hate this phrase) "twice-exceptional" variety. But I'm not a therapist so shruggo.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:25 PM on April 26, 2017 [3 favorites]


Smug.

Oh, zenon, I loved Smug! That site literally changed my life -- I befriended one of the writers, who convinced me to visit NYC for a show, and when I got there I fell hard for NYC, and I finagled a job at a dotcom (because one doesn't interview at dotcoms -- one finagles), and three weeks later I moved there.

That site was cooler than cool.
posted by mochapickle at 1:24 AM on April 28, 2017 [1 favorite]


Things I've read here have change the way I behave a lot for all that i'm sometimes annoyed at the people writing them. Just because someone is smug and insufferable in the things they say doesn't mean they're not right, and vice versa.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:39 AM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]


I've had reasons to reflect on decathecting's comment a lot lately. The metaphor extends so heartbreakingly far.

"Man, I bet she loves money. She wouldn't carry a purse like that if she wasn't into money."

"She gave that guy a dollar so it's unfair if I don't get one! And that other guy just handed her a dollar without her asking, but she smiled and said thank you so she must have liked it! Who wouldn't want a dollar?"

"How many dollars do you think she has? My friend knows her and he says she has a lot. He told me she know show to spend them, too."

"Anyone work at her bank?"
posted by juliplease at 6:12 AM on April 29, 2017 [1 favorite]


It's always fun to hear about other mefites learning their Myers–Briggs type.

Just did a test for the hell of it - apparently I could be INFJ, INFP, ISFJ or ISFP. Good old borderlines.
posted by knapah at 4:01 PM on April 29, 2017


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