Poof! It was gone. "Trusting a non-Verified Member" thread

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2010 12:58 AM GMT
    Well gosh! I was just responding to a thread called "Trusting a non-Verified Member" and when I submitted my response....the thread was gone. Too bad. It was a good topic. So, since I had my response, I'm going to post it in a new thread.

    To gist of question from the other member asked "How do you know if somebody online really is who they say they are?" The member went on to say that another RJ'r would not provide a picture of themselves. The member was rightfully concerned about whether or not they should trust this person.

    Here was my response. I will ask a question at the end...

    From my experience, all kinds of folks come RJ for different purposes. Some come to lurk, collect pictures, hook up, fap off to cam, fap off on cam, chat in the rooms, troll the threads and appear to be multiple people (aka "sock puppets"), some come to be creeps, and some actually come here for genuine authentic online virtual community.

    In the online world (OL) as in real life (IRL), "trust" is ultimately the confidence in the integrity of one person's words and actions. As we interact with others, trust can be built or broken. It takes longer to build trust that it takes to break trust. Trust can be broken with just one word or action. The more trust we have in another, the more the risk of the pain of betrayal. That's why trust is so important to the foundation of any relationship...even our interaction with strangers.

    And, we come to RJ as strangers. Over time, we "meet" people OL via the technology infrastructure. If we are wise and fortunate, we may then arrange to meet people face-to-face (f2f) IRL. We can then leverage both the benefits of OL and IRL to make friends and community.

    Verified status is voluntary. It is a "deposit" that people can make into the OL "bank account" of trust. It is just one effort to give to others in the community some kind of evidence that you are who you say you are. Over time, with more postings of pictures, a full profile, videos, postings in threads, mail, and participation in chats, other members get to know you and just who you really are.

    Just like IRL however, all that build up of confidence can be shattered by a single horrendous act or a string of not so horrendous but negative acts. That is where the "Block Him" and "Ignore His Posts" buttons come in handy. Members who demonstrate less than civil behavior can be isolated and ignored by others of the community who have taken umbrage or felt insulted.

    So you are smart and wise to see the a "red flag" when somebody won't prove who they are. Just keep in mind that some people really do have a strong and valid reason for discretion. For example, here in Honolulu we have a very large population of active duty military members who can have their careers ruined by circulating pictures of themselves OL. In these cases, I usually suggest an email exchange of a G-rated face shot with no suggestive text in the email in order to give some comfort to the person who may have a need for discretion due to professional or other legitimate reasons.

    For me, the bar of trust and confidence is then a bit higher for those persons up to and possibly after a meeting in a public place like a coffee shop. If we get to the point where some kind of intimacy appears to be developing in the relationship, I want more disclosure for my own personal safety and reassurance.

    For me, every and any person gets a certain amount of trust and confidence right off the bat...even strangers. Whether or not that trust and confidence grows or is violated is the dance that is human relations.

    Aloha and Be Well!

    What are some of the factors that you look for in building trust with online virtual community members?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2010 1:06 AM GMT

    I believe who you say you are until you give me reason to think differently.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 10, 2010 1:51 AM GMT
    Ditto that icon_wink.gif