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Can MN ever be a viable / safe alternative to asking for RL advice?

(11 Posts)
Momentumista Fri 11-Nov-16 09:27:55

Worried about the slew of threads recently discussing the fact this is a public forum and moreover, that threads about relationship issues are getting harvested by the DM.

Some posters rely on MN for advice when they are isolated and have few RL support networks. sad

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Fri 11-Nov-16 09:31:33

I never use MN for relationship advice as it's a public forum and imho, not safe. I think it has helped a lot of people though so I'm not surprised people take the risk.

honeyandvinegar Fri 11-Nov-16 09:53:40

MN is not confidential and isn't a particularly good place to look for serious advice. People jump on the bandwagon with their own projections and prejudices and in any case often start out with limited and skewed information. It can never substitute for RL counselling or advice.
It can be okay to offload in an emergency as long as you are aware that your user name can be easily seen through if anyone cares to look and you could end up in the press.

Truckingalong Fri 11-Nov-16 10:40:11

I think it's a valuable place to come, as so many people in RL still have the view of put up and shut up and don't recognise abusive behaviour. They can also inadvertently provide advice that could end up being potentially risky or dangerous. It can be tough reading on here for people at times, to be confronted with the reality of their situation but it can help them to start thinking differently and taking steps to get out.

forumdonkey Fri 11-Nov-16 10:44:44

I find that people will often give opinions as facts eg there was a thread on here recently and people with absolutely no knowledge of the workings of social services and the care system were giving advice as to what would happen, which contradicted the advice of posters who knew actual facts. Many times I've seen posters advise as facts when they haven't got a clue. That is dangerous.

On the other hand I think it's helpful, to gauge support and opinions from people who are more objective than friends and family or when people feel they can't or don't want talk to people they know.

LoisWilkersonsLastNerve Fri 11-Nov-16 11:35:36

Exactly donkey. In general the good advice outweighs the bad but not always.

magoria Fri 11-Nov-16 11:40:29

I think it is helpful in that you get the opinion of people who don't have any vested interest in the situation.

At the end of the day if someone stays or goes it doesn't affect other posters.

Friends/family are not quite as detached. As a PP a lot of mind set is stay and try, generally for women. Where as here you can get validation it is ok to go.

Safe? No way.

Anyone can find this and then you get the lazy paper that lifts stories and basically just c&p the opening post and a selection of the replies with a small overview. They must be so proud to be journalists!

IPityThePontipines Fri 11-Nov-16 11:44:21

Many times I've seen posters advise as facts when they haven't got a clue. That is dangerous.

Yes, I see this a lot.

Also, people don't read the OP properly and will respond accordingly.

Then you have pile ons.

MN can be very good for support, but advice, not so much, it can be very dangerous.

TheNaze73 Fri 11-Nov-16 14:20:26

I think you have to pick & choose what advice you heed. I find myself nodding with a lot of suggestions however, there are quite a few loaded & biased opinions that make me think WTF?

This can never replace real friends though as you in the vast majority of cases, don't know the credentials of who is saying what.

Anniegetyourgun Fri 11-Nov-16 15:31:57

It's like anything on the internet, though, isn't it? Like relying on "Dr Google" for a health diagnosis. It can point you in the right direction, but is no substitute for a genuine expert.

HummusForBreakfast Fri 11-Nov-16 15:46:57

It depends doesn't it?
I've seen plenty of women managing to finally get married to of an abusive relationship thanks to the support on here.
I have asked myself and the advice/comments I got was at odds with what I could see. I did question myself, decided to follow my gut feeling and found out I was right.
Basically because it's impossible to explain in a few posts what is actually happening. Also because yes a lot of people are posting with an agenda (it happened a lot at some point when people were posting saying 'I'm struggling in my relationship and I think my DP is on the spectrum' for example) or when they think they know but don't.
The other thing I have seen happening often atm is people reacting on one sentence and forgetting the rest of the post so the advice just doesn't make sense.

Basically, I think it CAN be a starting point but I would still thread very carefully.

Re threads being in the DM.... yes you need to be aware of that possibility. It's crap but yes. But yu can also help by avoiding very identifying aspects, name changing etc etc.
I rarely post about my RL life situation for example, number of dcs, sex, let alone type of work. If I was posting about a relationhisp issue, I definitively change those details....

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