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Saddening ENA reviews


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I was wondering if there are any opinions on Enotalone forum online. I googled them and I'm surprised. I understand everywhere people tend to give some % of negative reviews - after all, people who are dissatisfied (justly or unjustly) have more motivation to write about it. But I'm surprised there are almost no positive reviews for so many people feeling hurt.

 

I understand people here are not professionally qualified to help and they dedicate their own personal time for free to help out somebody. It's a kind thing to do, as risky as it is to give strangers advice. However, having read the opinions, I have now doubts if this community has the healthy dynamics that people asking for advice need.

 

The problems seem to be:

- Moderation - close to 100% of reviewers are deeply unsatisfied with moderation, saying banning is too restrictive and there is no discussion possible after being banned. Some users comment on unhealthy power balance.

- Insensivity - various terms including accusations of systematic cyberbulling in private and public talk.

 

Some quotes I found on review pages:

 

"A lot of individuals on that forum lack patience, compassion, and open-mindedness-- all qualities important for a healthy, lasting relationship. If everyone listened to their advice, no one would be in a relationship."

"So the purpose of this app is to vent and my express your feelings. Well on here it's not happening as majority of the people are very judgmental!"

"(...) thin skinned people who give bad advice and are most likley bitter on life. "

" First few times I used this site, it was good. People were nice and actually gave good advice. Then everyone started giving bad advice and on top of that they gang up on you like you're the bad guy when you were the OP and just want advice. They were mean and rude and turn up against you and says it very bluntly that's its your fault. Yes maybe it is, but help guide someone to make the right decisions not freaking just blame it on them and there also very one sided."

"(...) and they do this by berating posters who they perceive as either not being as strong as the supposedly healed berater or as being someone who represents the person who hurt the berater in the past"

"made me feel harassed"

"the people on there just tore me apart verbally"

"(...) were incredibly rude and intentionally used it for nothing more than a platform on which to cyber bully. "

"eNotAlone. You have made me feel more alone than ever"

"You are NOT getting advice from any of the professionals"

"However, the people usually just bring out the negative and leave it at that."

"the people that post the most are very insensitive and suggest just about everyone who is the OP to seek therapy. Everyone should have a therapist yes. But the way they go about it is just disrespectful. "

"Very few solutions are ever presented and relentless attacks to the OP are a given."

 

Like I said, I understand that some people are bitter after not hearing what they intended to hear, etc. but the opinions are just so consistent.

 

I used this forums many times over years. Sometimes as an advice seeker, sometimes I got advice that helped me to make decisions, some advice made me feel bad for a few days, but I always was grateful for people's time and thought it's about my bad chemistry with some people, or you know, my psychological mechanisms, not about the general forum dynamics. I've been a few times the advice giver as well.

 

How do you feel as advice givers on this forum, if this is apparently the impression of so many forum users? :(

 

I'm not sure if I could do it anymore after reading that. I feel incredible guilt about idea of overusing my psychology degree to help people in ways that do not help them. While I know people here want to something good by helping others, there may be some group dynamics on this forum as well, a specific forum culture encouraging judgement/talking down to people as a means to "shake them", and other things a professional psychologist or a therapist is trained not to do with their client. Or some trends of advice in general. We are social beings after all and every group is influenced by mechanisms studied by social psychology, and not all of these mechanisms are positive.

 

 

How do you feel about it all? Do you feel with all your heart it's ethical for you to participate in a forum that while wants to help, apparently also hurts so many people? :( Do you think it could be that the "harshness" that is in fact not therapeutic (as so many users claimed in these reviews) but coming from advice giver's personal needs, is somehow encouraged in this community? That the feeling of pride of being an active member for a long time, of wanting to be "the star" of community somehow makes people less focused on the individual needs of the vulnerable person?

 

In my opinion, every good helper is a person open to feedback they get back. A person who reflects on it and tries to change something to do better next time. If you are convinced ENA community does way more good than harm, do you have some reflections what could be changed for the future to make people more emotionally safe?

 

Would it be possible to have a section of the forum dedicated to feedback and open discussion what could be enhanced here, for these hurt users to have a space for speaking freely?

 

Thank you for reading and reflection.

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....So what's the point of your thread really? Do you want to take over? Dictate your rules? Just wanted to complain?

I have to say I think it is appalling that threads cannot and will not be deleted. I requested one to be deleted and gave fair and reasonable reasons why but was told: no. The time limiting factor of 30 minutes to edit posts is a huge turn off in posting anything personal here or wanting to seek help/advice.

 

I'll try and help people but I won't post up a thread again asking for advice knowing know it flatly won't be deleted if kindly requested. It feels a bit nazi-ish (i'll probably get a ticking off for that and more bold points now/banned, so be it). People write stuff up here when in times of emotional turmoil, I think it's horrendous that they can't erase these impulsive words after 30 mins.

 

If the actual purpose of this site is to help people, let them be helped and move on. Part of that is taking the advice on board and feeling confident it has been removed. It's peace of mind and if not adds to the distress of the OP in the first place. I find it difficult to get my head around the gain of having a forum full of posts (most obvs OP's are happy to leave up) but it all just seems a tad weird and counter intuitive to me.

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Yes, I also do not understand this rule and I have to say right now I'm a bit scared writing this, having read the opinions online.

 

I also think that many people here write some extremely personal stuff in vulnerable moment, stuff that could be used for them later if someone was to find that out.

 

There are benefits to people not being able to delete threads (duplicate threads of so called "attention seeking" users, under different user names, etc.) but that benefits do not outweight the dangers for some people.

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This rule is in effect because everyone and their dog was deleting things and saying they never said this and that and generally disrupting the flow of the forum. This rule changed 6 years ago or more .

 

If you want the power to delete pay $35 USD and be a forum supporter.

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Yes, I also do not understand this rule and I have to say right now I'm a bit scared writing this, having read the opinions online.

 

I also think that many people here write some extremely personal stuff in vulnerable moment, stuff that could be used for them later if someone was to find that out.

 

There are benefits to people not being able to delete threads (duplicate threads of so called "attention seeking" users, under different user names, etc.) but that benefits do not outweight the dangers for some people.

I have been here over 13 years never had anyone I know find out zip.

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I have been here over 13 years never had anyone I know find out zip.

 

I have been here for 2 years and I don't even care, because I tell everyone everything anyway. But just because you or me feel comfortable, it doesn't mean everyone else is safe. Some people may be genuinely afraid of someone close wanting to hurt them, etc.

 

For whatever reason, I don't think the benefits of "I never said that" thing outweight the safety reasons. Even so, if "I have said that" was the only reason, the rule could freeze the comments for a few days or weeks and then have them unfreeze after that with requested delete taking effect - or have the deleted option if someone asks the moderator precisely explaining their individual situation. If $35 can delete them, so should the special request?... And $35 is not the same amount of money for people in different countries using Enotalone (for me it's 10 dinners) and in different life situation - some of these life situations forcing people to seek advice in the first place - so the money should never be connected in any way with the safety, in my opinion.

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So if I pay $35 I can have my thread deleted? No Q's asked?

 

Personally I have never heard of a site which has this 'service'. I can't read about it in the rules. Is it legal to do this and not have it in the clauses when joining?

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I have been here for 2 years and I don't even care, because I tell everyone everything anyway. But just because you or me feel comfortable, it doesn't mean everyone else is safe. Some people may be genuinely afraid of someone close wanting to hurt them, etc.

 

For whatever reason, I don't think the benefits of "I never said that" thing outweight the safety reasons. Even so, if "I have said that" was the only reason, the rule could freeze the comments for a few days or weeks and then have them unfreeze after that with requested delete taking effect - or have the deleted option if someone asks the moderator precisely explaining their individual situation. If $35 can delete them, so should the special request?... And $35 is not the same amount of money for people in different countries using Enotalone (for me it's 10 dinners) and in different life situation - some of these life situations forcing people to seek advice in the first place - so the money should never be connected in any way with the safety, in my opinion.

 

This was already fought out. The answer was , no.

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There are also forums where people are torn to shreds like last night’s pizza and moderators join in or shrug. I have seen that. That doesn’t happen here.

 

I do like the forum for the most part.

 

That's awful :( Forums like you describe should be banned by law.

 

I didn't think of Enotalone as a place comparing to what you describe, but the reviews are alarming, and in many threads I've seen some comments being more harsh than they had to. I think a few times I've been harsher than I had to, sometimes, despite my carefulness not to do that.

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Plus the site is almost 20 years old if it was so gawd awful would it still be here?

 

I don't know. On the other hand, if it was doing it's best to be the least possibly awful with every year, there wouldn't be so many bad reviews on moderation and culture.

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I don't know. On the other hand, if it was doing it's best to be the least possibly awful with every year, there wouldn't be so many bad reviews on moderation and culture.

 

Just remember these poor people are volunteers. They get NO pay. They are here, days, nights, holidays everything. The owner is here almost 24/7. I would give these people a break. Plus they get threatened and sworn at in private message by lunatics and people who want their own way.

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Thanks a lot for that. So I see there is a 14.99 fee. If I pay that I can delete my posts and threads started? Just to clarify? Many thanks.

 

Sorry to ask, I just don't really trust this site much.

No clue about the one month fee. I only pay by the year.

 

If you don’t trust it just never post.

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Just remember these poor people are volunteers. They get NO pay. They are here, days, nights, holidays everything. The owner is here almost 24/7. I would give these people a break. Plus they get threatened and sworn at in private message by lunatics and people who want their own way.

 

Of course. I'm not saying they are bad people.

 

There are two issues:

 

1. When someone asks for advice, then gets angry at responders and bellittles them: "you're supposed to help me! that kind of forum is that! what are even your qualifications?" I think that poster is ungrateful to say the least, expecting service as if they paid for it, but even if you pay to your therapist you should not treat them this way.

 

2. There are cases in life when someone wants to helps and sacrificies oh so much, but in fact due to poor boundaries or lack of proper training or other factors, their help are detrimental to the person they wanted to help. We've heard so many stories of NGO organizations, led by true angels of people, who turned out to be doing more wrong than good, despite the best intentions. There are so many online forums working like that as well - like this one forum for abuse victims known to make them victimized for longer due to its specific culture. So I think in every case, where there is an organized helping community, there is responsibility. Not of the "client getting their paid service kind", but full awareness of real effects of intended help.

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Thanks, I am aware of that. The fact you have to pay is disgraceful, but fair enough, their site, their rules.. Should a site be found out from charging for this service and not actually delete it, would imagine the legalities would be off the charts esp. in the US.

 

I won't be posting up any new threads ever again on here. But I have greatly appreciated the good advice I was given and taken it all on board. Happy to try and help other's with words of encouragement etc but I'll probably fizzle away from this site in a few days. The genuine request to have my info deleted and it being refused, left a very bad taste in my mouth. Also the moderation is off the charts. But I'm not really bothered about the latter. It's just a forum.

 

Thanks again for your help.

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Thanks, I am aware of that. The fact you have to pay is disgraceful, but fair enough, their site, their rules.. Should a site be found out from charging for this service and not actually delete it, would imagine the legalities would be off the charts esp. in the US.

 

I won't be posting up any new threads ever again on here. But I have greatly appreciated the good advice I was given and taken it all on board. Happy to try and help other's with words of encouragement etc but I'll probably fizzle away from this site in a few days. The genuine request to have my info deleted and it being refused, left a very bad taste in my mouth. Also the moderation is off the charts. But I'm not really bothered about the latter. It's just a forum.

 

Thanks again for your help.

Lucky we are not based out the US then. ;)

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