Every Neopian Does It! (And I'll Tell You Why)
It’s a terrible thing to do, really. It’s rude, inconsiderate and can leave others wailing in frustration. Yet every Neopian does it, and does it often. So what is this crime that we are all guilty of committing?
It’s poofing from the guild boards. Poofing, for those of you not familiar with guild lingo, is leaving the guild message boards during a conversation without warning other members that you are going. It may seem like a small transgression, but when you think about how often it occurs, and the fact that everyone does it, you start to appreciate the magnitude of this problem.
Many a time I, as well as many of my friends, have asked a fellow guild member a question and been intensely frustrated to find that not only does the member not respond, but has left the board entirely without so much as a single word of warning. These questions range from the mundane, such as, “How was your day?” to the highly important, such as, “PUNCHBAG SID WAS IN THE BATTLEDOME? WHEN? WHY, OH WHY WAS I NOT INFORMED?!?!”
Even when a question has not been asked, and I or others are simply partaking in a pleasant conversation with other guild members; it is highly embarrassing to find yourself abruptly alone on the boards, talking to yourself and earning the pity of unseen message board lurkers.
The consequences of being a poofee include feelings of rejection, loneliness, confusion, frustration, anger and even questioning whether one is wanted in the guild at all. I know that I, for one, have certainly experienced this. Yet, I am also a poofer and have done the same thing to many of my fellow guild members, knowing exactly what the consequences can be. So why do we do it? Why do we leave others stranded in a lonely monologue, when alerting them to the fact that we are leaving only requires a few seconds to post a “BRB” or “Gotta go, talk to you later” message?
If I listed all the potential reasons for poofing, we’d be here until somebody figured out how to get the Chef Bonju avatar! So, I will present to you six that I have found to be prevalent in the world of guild message board poofing.
You are chatting away on the guild boards when:
6: One of your parents yells at you to get off the computer and clean the dishes/mow the lawn/wash the dog/vacuum the carpet RIGHT NOW. You begin to type a message informing your fellow guild members of your imminent absence, but said parental figure storms in and yanks out the computer power cord before you can complete it. Rather than risk further wrath, you proceed to do the chore and leave your fellow guild members hanging.
5: The school bell rings, and you realize that you have that teacher who gives you detention if you are so much as a millisecond late next period. You grab your books and sprint off, completely forgetting that you have left a conversation unfinished on the screen in your wake.
4: You unexpectedly receive a fountain faerie quest! After waiting for seven years to receive a visit from the elusive faerie, you are thrilled to see that the item she is asking for is one that you have sitting in your safety deposit box! You click out of the guild boards and into your SDB, retrieve the item and hand it in. You then proceed to browse the Rainbow Pool, pondering which colour would look the most fabulous on your pet. This takes several hours, and it is only when you return to the boards to show off the new paint job and are greeted by several angry members that you realise that you are now guilty of poofing.
3: The phone rings and you are home alone. You remember that the store where you ordered those totally cute pair of shoes promised to call you when they were in, and run off to answer it. It isn’t the store calling, but your best friend. The best friend invites you over to eat brownies, and of course you say yes (who can resist brownies?). The thought of those warm, chocolatey treats drives all other concerns from your mind, and as you leave the house, you have once again become a poofer.
2: You get three super rare bonuses in your favourite game, and it’s reset day! Instead of continuing to chat between levels, you decide to aim for that gold trophy and focus all your attention on the game. A couple of hours and an amazingly high score later, you return to the boards to brag, only to find that nobody is interested. You are receiving the cold shoulder, because you are a class-A board poofer.
1: You are struck with the most AMAZING idea for a Neopian Times article and you rush off to write it down before you forget. The idea keeps on growing, and before you know it you’ve written 10 000 words and have the beginnings of a series. NT Star avatar, here you come! Suddenly, you remember that in your excitement you left the brand new guild member you were chatting with alone on the boards. Feeling guilty about poofing yet?
So there you have it, six reasons why we poof from message boards. Sometimes (as in the parent or teacher case), there is nothing we can do about leaving our guild members high and dry on the boards, except to apologise when we return. In the other cases, however, there is an opportunity to think of others and type a quick message letting the people we are chatting with know that we’ll be gone for a bit.
It only takes a few seconds, but it really does make a difference. Consider this situation: You are a brand new member in a guild and three council members are chatting on the boards. Plucking up all of your courage, you enter the conversation and post a message introducing yourself. After refreshing for ten minutes, you are disappointed to find that not one of them has apparently bothered to respond. 99% of the time, this unresponsiveness is likely to be unintentional, but how would you feel if this happened to you? Not very welcomed and not very likely to stay in the guild, I think.
So, rather than getting instantly caught up whenever a distraction presents itself, think of the people behind the screen and try, wherever possible, to show simple courtesy when conversing on the message boards. Others will like you for it, and appreciate your basic good manners. Happy chatting!