Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Yahoo Answers

Okay, so we’ve all been there…we’ve Googled something and the first search result is one of those Yahoo Answers pages. Often times, I’ve found that they are ridiculous in the amount of useless information and the number of people who post ignorant responses to occasionally legitimate questions.

I’m sure we’ve all seen a funny photo or two showcasing these questions: “I don’t want to live on this planet anymore” because someone posted a question about why there wasn’t a photo of the big bang theory, or some other ludicrous idea.

However, last night I was personally plagued by a health related question and was not concerned enough to visit an after-hour clinic, so I decided to post a question to Yahoo Answers. I found upon logging on that one can only post a question if they have so many ‘points’ and that in order to post more questions, a user has to accumulate these ‘points’ by completing certain tasks, such as answering someone else’s posted question. It’s almost a game and most assuredly the reason behind many of the unrelated answers to the questions. I have to admit though, I did get sucked in to answering others' questions for about an hour this morning, because, like many of us, I feel that my opinion and my way of thinking is the right way.

So, anyway, I’m browsing through the ‘open’ questions and I came across this one:

Should teenage mothers be publicly named and shamed to reduce the amount of unwanted teen pregnancy ?

Needless to say, it caught my eye, as did a few of the responses to the question. It is questions like these that spark the debate/hate/anger of online users who feel it is their duty to put down the thoughts and feelings of others.

Instead of being rude or degrading to the asker, I responded in this way:

Should drug addicted ADULT mothers or prostitutes or any other woman with a taboo hobby or lifestyle be publicly named and shamed to reduce the amount of crack babies/FAS babies born?

I feel this question pinpoints a group of mothers based on the fact that the media has exploited them for the perverse pleasure of the viewer.

While the rate of teen pregnancy is very high, so is the rate of babies born with Fetal Alcohol syndrome, babies addicted to drugs, babies abandoned and children in foster care. Children are being exploited and abused and neglected by ADULTS on a daily basis, and you want to call attention to the portion of women who gave birth too young? I would rather see a 15 year old actually hauling their child around, showing them take responsibility for their actions as opposed to seeing another news brief of a couple arrested for caging and starving their child so they could get high.

I urge you to consider which groups of parents are more harmful to the children...after all, isn't it the children's welfare we should be most concerned about?

I was 19 when I had my first child, and while I was young, I have raised my son to the best of my abilities and many women have complimented me for my patience and dedication to my can't judge a mother by her age when it's her actions that are most important.

I felt better after having relieved myself of my opinion, and now find myself checking back on that question to see how others have responded. I am appalled by the number of people who are so inconsiderate that post responses. It would seem to me, that if you don’t have something worthwhile to contribute (even if your opinion differs from mine) perhaps you shouldn’t say anything at all.

Then again, every person’s opinion matters, if only to themselves, so at what point do the responses go from being opinions to being badgering? It’s like cyber-bullying for adults.

In conclusion, Yahoo Answers…Excellent resource or lawsuit waiting to happen??

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