Why Thumb Is Not The Best Place For Serious Advice
The internet has a site for everything. If you want to go shopping, there’s a site for that… well, several hundred sites for that. if you want some information of movies, there’s a site for that. And if you just want to see someone naked, there are several billion sites for that.
Not surprising, there are a few sites out there that will allow you to solicit opinions about things. Probably one of the most popular is Thumb.it. Thumb has a simple set up. You vote on questions by picking thumbs up, thumbs down, or neutral if you have no opinion about it. There is also a space on each question to leave your own comment. These comments are open to replies by the questioner and can be rated with a star.
All of this is well and good, but you run into some pitfalls while using Thumb. First off, it censors… a lot. While the site (and the apps, available for Android and iPhone/iPod) is generally geared towards an older audience, there is still a certain degree of decorum on the site. It’s actually not a bad thing since you would probably have a whole bunch of stupid guys pulling an Anthony Weiner and asking if it’s long enough.
The problem with the censorship is that sometimes it gets a little too… censorial. There is always the possibility that a question will get rejected because you mention the name Hitchcock, or you ask about the Bond woman Pussy Galore (which is, I admit, a little questionable, yes). Many people have found ways around it, but it gets annoying when you have to ask a question like, “Is **** Cheney the worst vice president ever?”
Thumb also has a problem with categorizing. You can pick a category for your question to appear in. But, sometimes, Thumb feels the need to recategorize because the question is, in their minds, in the wrong spot. This is a problem because Thumb seems to work on key words to make these decisions, and sometimes, they just don’t have a clue. Case in point, I once posted a question asking how people like the TV series Game of Thrones. Thumb, in their infinite wisdom, thought it was in the wrong category and put it into Gaming. Obviously its engines saw the word Game and did not bother to check if there was such a show before moving it to Gaming. My guess is that you would see the same thing happen with The Crying Game, Pollack (the movie about artist Jackson Pollack) and JFK as well.
None of this even comes close to covering the people on Thumb. And I don’t mean all of them, since there are a large number of decent people who will actually give you a decent opinion on something. But there are a few on there who, if you run into them enough, will make you want to throw your phone away.
First, there are a large number of people on either side of the religion spectrum on Thumb. By that I mean stereotype Bible thumping Christians and stereotype Atheists. My suggestion if you use Thumb, hit neutral and don’t even engage them. Even better, use the filter and turn off Religion, Philosophy and Science. often, people who frequent this category are not looking for a lively debate, but a reaffirmation of their own beliefs. And if you disagree with them, just be ready for the Hell that follows.
The same also applies for politics as well. If you don’t want to get sucked into someone’s conspiracy theory about how Obama, Bush and Clinton are secretly ruling the world from an evil-looking dome deep in the swamp alongside Lex Luthor, then stay away from the politics as well.
Once all that is said and done, you might actually have some fun with Thumb… if you can get past the trolls. Yes, everyone’s favorite destroyers of forum fun have infiltrated Thumb, just waiting for you to ask a question they can pounce on. Heck, some of them even will set you up by asking a question, then pouncing on you for the answer. One person I ran into asked if people liked Doctor Who. I made the mistake of answering yes. The reply I got back was not a fun discussion of who was the best Who, but a simple one word response that crudely suggested I was gay that begins with the letter “f.”
I would also stay away from some personal questions if you are not ready for the type of responses you will get. There are times when such questions are like chum to a shark. While you may get some helpful advice, you will probably get a lot more unhelpful, and even some hurtful advice when asking personal questions.
If you can manage that, then you should be in pretty good shape. You might even meet a new friend or two.