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Competition: healthy or not?

I have to say that I am not a big fan of the idea. I think I like to play things for fun and hope that everyone wins or at least has a good time playing.
This site has a bit of a competitive nature to it, is points and levelling up.

Now, I get the purpose of the idea, it's better to have interaction of someone posts and receives points for doing so. But I also see people who post endlessly just to gain more points. Or worse, putting provocative stuff on just to get everyone to comment.

I find it discouraging and I also feel the need to climb up with the points when I see people who have been here for such a short time passing mme. Or worse, asking for help from the site to get to the next level. I don't even know why it bothers me. Maybe because I have always been a person who likes things to be fair. Ha!
I never enjoyed playing against teams that were stacked with good players.

Akfishlady 8 Sep 16

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Lots of replies to this - did you post just for points? πŸ˜‰

Jnei Level 8 Sep 16, 2018

I will possibly help someone else garner points, but as far as attaining them or a certain level for myself...nah. I'm about quality human connections and I won't lower myself for anything or anyone.


Quality is always worth more than quantity. I think the majority of people here see gaining points as just a bit of fun and have a friendly rivalry with other users - so while they might talk about it and even ask people to give them a bit of a push when they get near to moving up a notch, it's not the be-all and end-all of their membership here and they make interesting posts and replies for their own sake rather than for points (in those cases, I'll often help give them the push to move up). On the other hand, there are undoubtedly a few members here who do seem to be primarily concerned with points and collect them either by making lots of fairly inane points or being deliberately provocative in an attempt to get more replies (this might also be an issue with private groups - it wouldn't be difficult to create one as a points factory, unless points were not awarded in private groups).

So in other words, I don't worry that much. I know the people here who say things worth saying and I read their posts and replies when they make them. If someone has reached a high level by posting rubbish, I'll be aware of them as someone who doesn't post anything particularly interesting and won't pay much attention to them.

Jnei Level 8 Sep 16, 2018

Your post is just a thinly veiled attempt at getting more points. Nice try. ?


No one has a performance obligation here. Those who are motivated by influencing a semi-objective measurement of desired performance (basically, engagement and commitment to site community-building) can do it. Those who aren't so much ... don't have to.

In real life (IRL) I am not a very competitive person, other than perhaps with myself. I think some people may misconstrue self-competitiveness as something to take personally though.


It doesn't bother me that other people ask for help getting points, but I think that when people gain points just for posting "like this post" garbage, it devalues the level system.

The stated purpose for points is to reward people who contribute to the growth of the site. I wonder how much does it contribute to anything just asking for help to gain levels.

JimG Level 8 Sep 16, 2018

I agree with you in that the point system generates some unwanted (really) and unnecessary activity by people who are just point whores. Personally, while I think the point system is fun (and I think I'll be stuck at L7.whatever forever, LOL) I don't post just for the sake of posting and don't comment just for the sake of commenting.


I am here for interaction, for conversation, and for pissing off conservatives. Oh wait, I meant for community. I love how the conversations can range and the stuff I learn. I love hearing the opinions of others. I love the support and the camaraderie that has developed. The points are nice, but I'm not here for the points. I am not so focused on getting points that I'm going to spend more time here. I've been out of work/retired for a week. I've got other stuff I want to get done. If I was driven by points I'd be here more. I just don't/can't multitask like that. I've been here for about 9 months and I don't have plans to drop off anytime soon. I'll just keep plugging along and let the points come as the come.


I’m not sure that points or no points makes a difference to discussion and discourse. Doesn’t make an interaction more or less valid!


I barely notice the points.. I would not care if I stayed on level 4 or 5 for the rest of my life. Never have been a competitive guy anyway...


With or without points, you're gonna get people who, in your view, post in a frivolous manner. I personally don't find it to be detrimental or distracting, but we all roll in our own lanes. Maybe the administrators can make it so the display of any points is an option you can toggle if you ask them. And honestly, I want that purple t-shirt. (Got a ways to go, however.)

@Akfishlady It's an aspect of the competitive nature of the points system that was unintended. An unintended consequence. The implication spurs a kind of "keeping up with..." reaction, that tends to make some of us feel "less than."


The possible issue I see is people assuming those that interact a lot, whether through posting, commenting, showing appreciation for someone sharing by offering a like, or whatever, is doing it to accumulate points.

My 2 cents is on a community site, people shouldn't be made to feel like they're doing something wrong for communing. I'm assuming moderators keep an eye out for spammers.


In getting points I don’t think anyone else is losing points so I’m not sure I would call it a competition. I think of it in the way someone else here mentioned it where the point system equates to encouraging interaction. And the early levels having moderation is understandable. By encouraging participation we all win.

JDRay Level 5 Sep 16, 2018

The points and levels not really competition as I see it. The fact tht the lower levels have to have posts approved by someone in the higher levels means that the haters wont' stick aroudn here long, and the sie remains a nice place to visit.

If there is a competition, I'm not playing it that way.


I liked it when I got higher level but it was not to pass up someone else it justs shows interaction no bragging rights/


For the most part, I'm with you on this one. Not sure about it being competitive, but I do suspect there is a lot of system gaming going on. Since the site offers points for participation and perks for advancing up the ranks, there are those who would take advantage of that, but where competition would be concerned, I think it would either be easily identified and I would tend to avoid those people. Personally, I use the like feature for responses to my posts, not so much to get points, but to genuinely thank people for providing meaningful comments. I'm not a fan of the 'pointstitution' scheme and will often skip those posts. There's no rush - I'll get up to where you're at soon enough. πŸ˜‰


great photo! for some the "competition" seems to the whole point. i try to keep in mind that friends aren't a result of levels.


Very interesting point. I raised a point that displeased rather conservative members who were all to willing to send volleys of insults my way. So i got rewarded for being a shit stirrer.
I made similar experiences in real life where i was given peanuts for tasks that would have dignified an ape and for some monkey jobs i was rather handsomely rewarded.
It was as an illiterate that I was given the most financially rewarding jobs, combined with other perks. In contrast for really good work I was often not paid at all.
Here at least the points are given whether I excrete verbal garbage or something slightly better.
Pecunia non olet ... neither do points.


This site rewards people with high levels by making them work. It's fairly easy to get to level 8 without really trying. It's a long way to level 9, and IMO only obsessive people would actively work towards it.

I see level 9 as a goalpost for persistence more than something to obsess over. I expect to take 1.5 to 2 years to get there, assuming I don't lose interest in the meantime. So in a way, it's really a motivator for the site owners. Can you hold people's interest long enough for people to get to 9 and even 10? If I make it that far, I'll give THEM a gold star.

@mordant Good point


Yep, there is a lot of padding going on. Posts about nothing, not even aimed at creating any controversy. Dumb posts. Lots of stuff. I don't pay any attention other than to ask occasionally what someone means or consider why in hell they even bothered. People are people and any site represents a microcosm of our civilization. I think we're fortunate here in that, because of the site's nature, we are spared a certain amount of what is aggravating elsewhere.


Honestly, I didn't even know what the points meant. I don't think I still do (or care).


Good post. I find the comments interesting in their contradictory nature. heh


I don't think about the points as a competition. It actually pushes me to interact a bit more if I feel I've been antisocial for a little too long. If I've been hanging out at the same point level for a while, maybe I need to get more involved and share more. That's a big step for me and the points become a reward for taking that step.

@Akfishlady I’m sure there are some people who approach it that way. If it makes them feel better, where’s the harm in that? I am generally a pretty competitive person with games, but I don’t view these interactions as a competition. I don’t generally β€œlike” a post just to get/give points.


I think competition is healthy when it creates actual benefits. Athletics can drive you to improve physical and mental toughness, elections ideally give you the best candidates (I know...), competitive grants, scholarships, etc. drive is to do our best, most out-of-the-box thinking. Competition at it's pinnacle forces us to be our better selves. Are there negatives that come with it? Sure. The points system here definitely help generate some of the shallow "click bait" posts we've all come across. But in creating more interactions in general, you're bound to get some detritus. It's a case of not throwing out the baby with the bath water.


I enjoy competition, with the provision that it's not life or death so I don't take it more seriously than a fun challenge.

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