Although some things should go without saying...
There are about three ways that I would like to go about what I am going to share. I believe that each will serve its purpose to reach the same goal, but in slightly different ways. I hope that you will understand.
Let's start with a definition.
Etiquette is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group.
For those of you who are thus far unaware, @papa-pepper is part of a social website and I have certain expectations about the behavior of others on the site. I am not alone in this. Truly people are completely free to do as they see fit, and I am in no way attempting to infringe on their freedoms. I am simply encouraging them to recall the fact that actions have consequences.
Now that we have gotten a proper definition of etiquette, let us move past this foundation.
Imagine if you would for a moment that you are a business owner. Exactly what the business is does not particularly matter, but for the case of this example let us say that your business has a storefront and sells something. As is common with businesses that sell things, people interested in your wares come into the store throughout the day, examine your wares, and then perhaps purchase some of them if they like what they see.
As far as you can recall, this is the way that it has always been. Sometimes other shop owners who sell different wares stop in and purchase some of yours, and sometimes you also visit their shops and purchase goods that are different from your own. There is of course no obligation for you to purchase any of their goods, and they have no obligation to purchase yours. From your point of view, this is how running a business should work.
Then, one day, a new shop owner moves into town. Before you even notice that they have arrived, they burst into your store, shout "Nice Store! BUY MY GOODS!" and walk back out. There was no introduction, no examination of your goods, and no real interaction. Just a blunt message. You even wonder if they could have meant "Nice Store," because they were not really in your store long enough to draw a real conclusion.
Besides that, the "BUY MY GOODS" demand seemed very inappropriate and out of place. Simply put, that is just not how people should run their businesses.
When we view steemit through the mindset of our example, we see something interesting. Just like a scenario where several business owners all have the opportunity and freedom to spend some of their own money purchasing goods from other shop owners, we, as steemians have an opportunity.
When any one of us makes a post or comment here on steemit, others have the opportunity and freedom to choose to spend the time reading it, and to choose where or not to give an upvote. Since there is a financial side to both owning a business and to posting on steemit, I think that this example fits well.
Just like no business owner is going to immediately rush next door to spend their money simply because someone burst through the door and shouted the comment, "Nice Store! BUY MY GOODS!" people on steemit are not going to rush over to give upvotes to someone just because they commented "Nice Post! UPVOTE AND FOLLOW ME!"
Such is not proper etiquette.
Real, valid comments that make sense may encourage an author to see who left them and possibly support that user with a follow or some upvotes, but rude selfish comments discourage people from doing so. It is counterproductive.
When such comments come at a high enough frequency or at a short enough time period after a post is published to demonstrate that the user making the comment could not have even read the post that they are commenting on, it shows that they do not even care about the author, but just want to get upvotes from them. "Who cares about you, help me get paid" is the underlining message if we read between the lines.
I grow tired of your foolish ways.
Lately, many of us have seen the lame comments being spewed into every corner of steemit. Someone who has never, ever commented on a single one of your posts makes the comment, "I comment on your posts, but you do not comment on mine. That makes me sad. Please support me too."
Then, after you post a 10 minute vlog, another user comments, "Excellent video. I really appreciated it" thirty seconds after you post.
You make a silly post featuring a funny meme and another user stops by to comment, "Such good and important information. The world is better because you share this truth."
Yeah, suddenly your life, and your steemit experience becomes a whole lot lamer than it once was.
What can be done?
Personally, I have yet to throw a flag here on steemit, so for me downvoting the user is really not an option. Even if it was, I would hate to flag a new user who is learning the ropes.
There are also only so many, "Please don't waste your time making comments like that, people will flag you for it" comments that one can make. Therefore, I've chosen a different approach to encourage others to make real comments.
I have recently made a fun little GIF. The GIF is flashy and it catches the eye. I have been choosing one comment per post to give a FULL POWER UPVOTE to. If my vote was worth more I would decrease the percentage, but at $2 -$3 currently my 100% upvote is not what I consider to be too much.
Basically, when I make a new post, I try to see who makes a real comment on it. Then, to reward the user and to use it as an example for others, I give it an upvote at 100%. After upvoting, I'll put the GIF in a reply to their comment with a short message explaining what I am doing and why.
I figure if others see that @papa-pepper is rewarding people for making real comments, perhaps they won't waste their time making the other kind comments, although there is a high probability that some won't even read this post and will reply with "follow me I follow you," "upvote my latest post," and "follow this link to support me" comments.
We will see how it works as we move forward, but so far people seem to like it. Hopefully, a few will even get the point.
I understand that such an idea is just one small idea in the giant sea of steemit. However, I think of it as taking a good, solid step in the correct direction.
Let's all remember what behavior is proper when dealing with others here on steemit. If you are guilty of spam-linking or leaving foolish comments, I suggest to you that now is a great time to stop.
I have to give credit to @dwells for inadvertently inspiring this comment upvoting idea too. In one of the STEEM-Pocalypse Strategy Discussion posts that he posted, he mentioned wanting to get the "@papa-pepper full power comment upvote." Honestly, I had given out a few as a way to encourage proper commenting on my STEEM-Pocalypse game, but it wasn't really "a thing." I figured, if it works for the game and people are actually noticing it, why not use something like that for more of my posts?
I love this community and the people in it, and I enjoy actually interacting with you here. Hopefully you feel the same, and I look forward to our future together. Steem on!
Until next time…
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