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Is Skype Worthwhile in Terms of the Forum?

Jirohnagi

Braava Braava
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As the Title says. Several buddies here (well i consider them buddies but them may think rivals, enemies assailant, evil person) mentioned either in passing or with a not so subtle hint i should join skype and chat with them there. The issue i have is i have had skype before for just such a thing and every time an popular post was made people would go on skype and start being sly deceitful pieces of crud about the poster. But my question for the time being is this,. Is it worth my time?
 

Azure Sage

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Skype is ridiculously broken software in the first place, but the group chats formed by some members here have a tendency to become gossip-fests with people talking crap about other members behind their backs. Plus the fact that they're unmoderated means they can easily get way out of control. I had a lot of bad experiences with them a few years ago that ended with someone harassing me until I blocked them and me leaving every group chat forever.

So, unless you're up for stuff like that, then go for it. Though things may have changed since I got rid of my Skype, I dunno.
 

Justac00lguy

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NZ
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Thing is, Skype serves as the private area of the forums where rules don't apply. You chat to who you want, and you don't necessarily have to act nice just to uphold the rules.

The analogy I like to think of is a large circle of friends or just a large group of people. To save face, you'll probably act nice even to people you don't like and you'll dicuss more general topics. However when you're in your smaller circle of friends, you'll possibly talk about people within that large group and talk about more private/personal things. It's basically that.

Which ever way you look at, people will always talk about you behind your back and you will always talk about people behind their back as well; it happens. Whether you've don't it online, or in real life, you've done it. Does Skype encourage this? Well of course, it gives the platform for it to happen. Is Skype a bad thing though? No not really, you'll get to know people better and speak with them more frequently. People will always talk about cliques and the like, but these form naturally in a social environment anyway.
 

Djinn

and Tonic
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For the last several years I would say an overwhelming majority of the members here spend about half the time among other forum members on skype. This leads to jokes or conversations happening there to spill over here so we have threads, blogs, or groups that make zero sense to anyone not a part of that conversation. This has been a pretty common thing for a while now. It really expanded during the two times we did not have a shoutbox so people found other ways to continue chatting with each other. Some of the older members having seen times without a shoutbox now do not totally trust that it will remain there forever so they keep a goodly portion of their chatter on skype where they feel it is a bit more stable and lasting.
 

Vanessa28

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The one thing I learned is how people are in a chat and get an argue with another member, leave the chat, create their own chat and invite members and some members screencap everything you say and show it to your so called "enemy". Then another chat is created and again another chat and again another chat with the same crap happening all over again. Result? Conspiracy groups, gossips, even groups to get certain members demoted or be brought into a bad light. I dislike gossip and I dislike backstabbing members. This has happened to me many many times so as a result I never really participate in group chats anymore and hardly talk to members. I'm not really a chat person anyway so you waste your time chatting with me.
 

Malia

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I'm part of several Skype groups from another forum, and it definitely has its benefits, as well as drawbacks.

On the negative side of things, it's true that it can add to a mob-like mentality where people find strength in numbers. For example, I can't tell you how many times people who have been infracted or banned for whatever reason, show up in some Skype group, retell events in a skewed or untrue manner, and then has the support of a large group of members who then take their upset to the actual forum. Thing is, though, I honestly think this is more of a human nature thing, rather than Skype itself--when people are feel they have been slighted, they seek refuge from like-minded people, friends, acquaintances, whatever, so that they can feel better about what's happened. Truthfully, this isn't really any different from when IRC was more A Thing back in the day, and it's shifted more to Skype now. But yeah, joining a Skype group can get that way should things go sour.

It can also be a place where, when people are gathered as a group, gossip and malicious chit-chat can take place because, as I've said prior, people take comfort in having strength through numbers, so the nastier side of personalities can show when people feel they've got a solid group who has their back.

Also, as others have mentioned, there's a greater chance for the exacerbation of conflict which, again, can be attributed to human nature in that people are without censor or rules, and communication is instantaneous, can clash quickly and in a very ugly manner, whereas with posts on a forum, people (theoretically lol) can think before something is said/posted.

There have been issues of information "leaking" from private chats, and I've known it to cause much trouble among circles of friends.

I've unfortunately seen all of the above happen more than once over the years in regards to Skype chats and forum groups taking their business away from the forum, and I'd like to say I can just ignore it all except a lot of it returns to the forum where I mod lol, so it can be a pain in the *** to sort.

All in all, a lot of the -negatives- I'm listing really comes down to how people often react in group situations, which can be an online or offline thing so I wouldn't count it as something that's especially exclusive to Skype as Skype is just a tool, really, and this can happen almost anywhere there's a group where diverse personalities can clash in an immediate nature. Some things, like the leaking of logs and such, can be exclusive to chats.

---

That said! There are also positives to it:

I've seen some amazing community-building and planning doing in such groups. An example of this is when there are large-scale community competitions, and I've seen people get together on such programmes like Skype, encourage each other, share ideas, and just really let team work flourish over the medium.

I've seen bonds that have formed that have eventually crossed over into RL, believe it or not! In fact, my best friend is someone I prob would never have gotten as close to as I have now, were it not for a certain Skype group. I've traveled to Canada more than once, met up with him, hung out for days, and it's become something of a yearly tradition now. I'm actually going back to see him in January.

I've seen people from different parts of the forum (for example, someone who only posts in the Zelda section, and someone who only posts in the Entertainment Section), cross paths and become steady friends as they would not have otherwise as their interests do not align on the forum.

Fun group stuff can happen too like I've had voice calls with Skype groups while we all watched a movie, or played Mario Kart, or Smash, or whatever. It can add a fun interactive dynamic.

Maybe not for me so much, but I have seen it be something of a comfort zone for some people who turn to the group when they are feeling down. This goes hand in hand with the negative, actually, that I mentioned in regards to people using it to vent frustrations and stirring up a mob, but there are times where I've seen people use it to vent about RL stress, and it's actually helped them.

---

For me, personally, before I'm added to a group, I ask

-Who is already part of the group so if there is a name of someone I'm prob gonna not get along with, I will decline (or names of people I'm interested in getting to know, in which case, I may accept!)
-How busy the chat is because thing is I'm not too great with super-fast moving chats lol
-Does the group delve into much gossip. If the answer is yes or kinda, I'm likely to decline as I tend to steer clear of that

I am very picky about which groups I join, and I will be quick to exit if I think the group is deviating to a path that I find uncomfortable, because I, frankly, use the internet as an escapism from RL stress, and the good thing about contact lists is I can control who I talk to and who I don't talk to, so I make sure that that experience is kept to a positive one, for the most part. Further still, I -mod- elsewhere so I get enough complaints and anger and tantrums and fights I have to sort there lol, so no way I wanna cross that over to my IM stuff.

Do I think it's worthwhile joining a Skype chat? Sure~ because I do think it's a great way to find people you may not otherwise speak to on a forum. It's happened with me, and for all the bull**** and dumb stuff I've seen, finding that one person I call my Partner In Crime now was absolutely worth it. It's def. not without its issues, joining Skype chats, but it most certainly has benefits too (:

(Note: I did not mention one-on-one convos over Skype in any manner because I do not add people as contacts unless I know them well enough to feel comfortable with it, so all my one-on-one convos and interactions are good ones as I make sure of that)
 

Jamie

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I am in many ZD Skype chats but the only ones I actively participate are my own chat with only a handful of friends and the forum staff related chat, those being the event staff chat, the article center chat, the forum staff chat, and the zd core contributors chat. I cannot imagine participating in these areas of the site without being a part of the chats. In fact, before misskitten got Skype, it was extremely difficult to communicate with her and it was becoming a bit of an issue, gladly she has gotten Skype now and has been a fantastic help. I personally would not allow anyone to be an article editor without Skype, it would be simply too difficult.

Does Skype really have its downsides? I don't think so. Your participation in discussions is completely optional, you can still participate in every part of the site without ever talking behind people's backs on Skype. So there is only a downside if you want there to be one.
 

Vanessa28

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Of course everybody is in control for their own actions and how often you let people crawl under your skin but that doesn't mean you can control everything or have to like everything. Skype itself is not evil. I mean come on it's a program but the best thing is just to back away and not join groups if you don't want to and that's what I did. I'm in a handful of groups and some are very necessary like forum staff and some are just cool and fun to hang out without thinking about the forums.
 

A Link In Time

Break the Ice!
ZD Legend
If you want to use Skype for text chatting only, it's not something to go crazy over. The recent update has made the PC version more similar to the mobile version and quite a bit more unstable. A lot of people in my contacts have experienced similar issues.

I enjoy using Skype for the voice and video chat functionalities as well as screen sharing. Text chat gets dry after a while.

I actually think smaller groups of friends are a lot more enjoyable than larger groups as people have more in common and any arguments that result among a few people can be more easily calmed.

An application is only as good or bad as the people who use it.
 

Mellow Ezlo

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Personally, I quite like being able to use Skype to chat with and get closer to people that I mean online. There are several people from this forum that I've become great friends with, and I seriously doubt we'd even be as close as we are without being able to chat either privately or in small groups. I am a member of both several small chats and also a few larger chats, and I have to say that I much prefer the smaller chats because they're more personal. I'm not a huge fan of one-on-one IM-ing, but sometimes things like the SB get too crowded to have real civilized conversations. Small, personal chats with your close friends are great for that reason.

Skype's also cool for the ability to voice chat with people. It can be awkward sometimes with people you don't know IRL, but it is certainly nice to be able to actually talk to the people you chat with.

You say that you dislike Skype because of the talking behind people's backs and starting rumours, but how different is that really from real life? On the contrary, I'd actually say that happens more often in real life. In my honest opinion, Skype is very worth it.
 

sailormars109

Finding Love by the Moon
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May 28, 2012
Location
Macy, Indiana
In all honesty, and this is going from past experience, Skype isn't really worth it. It glitches to death half the time. Plus, I've found that a lot of the group chats for people on these forums end up in a lot of drama and spam. While the group calls are fun, it's just not worth it. I use a thing called Tiny Chat to talk with some of my cosplay friends and it works like Skype except you don't have to download anything and it's more spam proof.
 

misskitten

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Location
Norway
Maybe it's just me getting old, but with skype and skype-like mediums I prefer the one to one interaction and the forum for group interactions. But that can also be because of how I prefer real life interaction to be one to one and not so much in group settings...
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2011
No. No. And even more, NO. Skype changes people and turns them into...ugh, I don't even have a word for it. All I know is I've watched otherwise good members become gawd awful once they joined Skype; perhaps it's the bad influence that all the drama-starting, foulmouthed, fake, backstabbing, craptalking cowards have on them that causes the otherwise good member to go astray. They get into their head or something. I don't know. I've always disliked social networks, and it took forever before I decided to join Skype—with a bit of coercing from a certain someone. I actually left Skype for nearly a year once because of its crap, though. I could say it was one of the biggest mistakes of my life had it not been for Big Octo—who I got to join during a time when I was disillusioned into thinking that Skype was actually a good idea. Now, though, he's the only person I talk to besides the two other group chats I recently (albeit reluctantly) joined but rarely chat in. Fark everyone else.
 

Sydney

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Mar 20, 2012
Location
Canberra, Australia
Skype is very hit or miss with most of us: you're either in no chats, one or two chats, or upwards to 10 chats, and things can get incredibly hectic (if you don't like logging on only to have chats load 999+ messages, either disable notifications or leave the chat). For the most part, no rules apply on Skype (unless the maker of the chat says otherwise, but nobody really cares nor listens). Skype changed me, and it changed me for both better and for worse. On the plus side, I got a chance to talk to some really sweet people, got to know them, and made some rad friends. It's also useful when people don't use the forums that often, and Skype is typically a better route to contact them. The downside is that, like with what others have said, **** happens on Skype and it's usually some pretty nasty ****. No rules means that people can say whatever they want to whomever they want, and there's really nothing you can do about it. AFAIK, moderators can't ban someone for something they've done in a group chat or call, so really you're on your own if someone ends up harassing you.

My advice is yeah, get Skype, but be careful with it: monitor the chats that people add you to, be careful of who you add, and watch what you say. If you can do that, then Skype should be an enjoyable experience overall.
 

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