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SuperMouse's avatar

Adult jellies, if you know the age of a younger jelly do you take it into account when answering their questions?

Asked by SuperMouse (30837points) April 20th, 2012
35 responses
“Great Question” (10points)

For instance if one of the younger members of the collective is asking questions about alcohol or drug use, do you keep their age in mind when responding? What if they are asking about sex or another relationship issue? Sometimes of course we don’t know the age of the asker, but if you know, or at least have a good idea the asker is underage, do you take this into consideration when composing your response?

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chyna's avatar

Yes I do. I realize they can read all questions on here, including NSFW questions, but I am not going to answer one of their questions in a crude manner.
I have many friends with kids and I know they would not want me to talk to their kids in this manner, so if I don’t do it in real life, I’m sure not going to on Fluther.

Sunny2's avatar

Yes, indeed. I also take it into consideration when they give snotty responses.

FutureMemory's avatar

Definitely. I also try to be nicer in general.

Dog's avatar

Absolutely. Age and maturity make a big difference in response. Also the consequences of actions are different for those who are younger. For instance: studies show that drinking before the age of 13 can adversely effect school performance in the later years, as well as lead to later alcohol abuse. An unplanned pregnancy can be challenging for an adult, but for a young teen it can lead to a lifetime of poverty and increases the potential for child abuse and more.

Dog (25142points)“Great Answer” (3points)
Coloma's avatar

Yes, although I am sure I have not been aware a few times of the tender age of a member.
It’s a mixed bag for this mama over here, on the one hand kids are a lot more informed these days than in my generation and I try to be open minded, on the other hand, I also beleive in keeping kids innocent as long as possible. I’ve questioned in the past and I am not sure I agree with the age limit being only 13 for membership, but, it is what it is.

16 and up I consider kids to be fairly “adult” but under 16 is a big gray area for me.

wundayatta's avatar

No. I do not talk down to anyone. If people don’t understand me, they can ask questions. I’ll answer. I don’t talk down to my kids, either.

And answer and answer and answer…. :-)

SuperMouse's avatar

@wundayatta I am not talking about “talking down” to kids or teens. I am talking about taking into account their level of maturity and some of the unique choices teens make based on their lack thereof. I have never spoken down to my children but I’ll tell you what, if they asked me how to get someone’s attention I wouldn’t suggest, even with tongue planted firmly in cheek, they grab the person and stick their tongue down their throat or jump off a roof for them. That seems even more important to me when answering a question online when humor might be harder to read. A more mature brain can see in a minute that these are jokes and not great ideas, but a less mature, hormone addled brain might see some of them as helpful and very bold ideas to get someone’s attention. To me it is important to understand that not all kids have the benefit of hands on, caring parenting and may be less inclined to make good choices.

gailcalled's avatar

Always. If they are under-age, I try to answer the question (if it is sincere) in the same way that I would have dealt with my kids.

Some of the social issues are filled with the angst and anguish that I remember suffering as a teen. Would that had been available to us. I used my gay, male piano teacher as a therapist.

zensky's avatar


Aethelflaed's avatar

Sure, but it’s not just kid-specific. It goes for everyone, of all ages.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Aethelflaed are you saying you always consider the age of the asker before answering certain questions? What types of questions would you respond to differently based on whether they were asked by a senior citizen or by a 30 year-old?

MadisonPaige's avatar

When I answer a question on any Q&A site, I’m speaking to the whole community, not just the O/P. So, no, I don’t “water down” my answer. But sometimes, if I think my answer isn’t appropriate advice to give a minor, and I know the O/P is a minor, I’ll not answer at all.

marinelife's avatar

Yes, certainly. Especially relationship questions.

Plucky's avatar

Yes I do.

harple's avatar

I do take it into consideration, and sometimes I don’t answer with my immediate thought because of it. For example, say a teenager comes on with a fixed idea in their head that they will never get a boyfriend/girlfriend, they’re not going to appreciate hearing from me that it is fairly likely they will and to just give it time as it doesn’t help with their immediate feelings. I have to switch into thinking what, if anything I can add for this teenager.

Of course, that’s something I think about for every answer I give, but with our youngest members I also take into consideration how much existing life experience they may have had.

wilma's avatar

Yes I do.

wundayatta's avatar

@SuperMouse So you would have held back that joke? You would wonder whether a person of age 13 would get that it’s a joke?

I think you would be patronizing the 13 year old if you did so. Hell. A seven year old would get that that is a joke, I think. But I don’t know. I started teaching my kids at a younger age than that to be skeptical of what people are saying. People lie. They tell jokes. They may be ignorant. My kids understand this and for me, expecting anything less of other children is talking down to them. I’m not going to do it. If I talk to someone, I’m going to treat them like a person, or I’m not going to talk to them.

I don’t know who all the kids are here on fluther, but I think we owe them the courtesy of talking to them like adults, no matter how old them may be. I will not disrespect children by presuming to know what they are capable of better than they do. It saddens me when I see other people treating children as less than human, but it happens all the time. It’s quite normal, in fact.

People think they are protecting kids. I think it is the opposite. I think adults are protecting themselves, usually from embarrassment, but also from the responsibility for raising kids that can actually handle themselves in this world. I believe kids need more information, not less. I know this is an unpopular view. But I think it is a very serious problem in our society that people think kids are kids, and should not be respected in the same way they would respect an adult. It is this kind of attitude that leads to child abuse, which is ironic, since I think people do it because they think they are protecting kids. It makes me kind of ill, actually. Well-meaning people on the exact wrong track. Innocence is a dysfunctional myth, and a deadly one, at that.

cookieman's avatar


You know how good Pixar movies function on different levels. Children enjoy the story one way while, at the same time, there a tidbits in there for the adults?

I try to write like that. I’m never overly explicit. I mostly avoid NSFW questions. I rely more on innuendo and humor to make a point.

I also agree with @wundayatta about talking down to kids.

Furthermore, as a member of the community, I don’t feel it’s my job to police other members. I don’t flag answers either.

It’s also my experience that teens are far more mature than we often assume.

So, no.

ucme's avatar

As a matter of course, yes.

Blackberry's avatar


SuperMouse's avatar

@wundayatta yes, I would have withheld that joke. I just don’t think it is safe to assume that everyone’s parenting philosophy is the same as yours. I also don’t believe that expecting children to react to jokes with anything less than the maturity of a grown adult is talking down to them. Whether we parents like it or not we have to meet children where they are; doing so is respecting them not talking down to them.

JLeslie's avatar

Yes. If the question was for advise on a serious subject and they are young I am more careful of possibly hurting their feelings. Also, I would tend to steer clear of sarcasm. On lighthearted questions, probably no difference young or old.

tinyfaery's avatar

Hmm…I only know of 3 jellies that are minors and they happen to be the children of my fluther friends so I am definitely aware and cautious about what I say.

However, I am certainly not the morality police. I was doing all kinds of very adult things at a very young age. I am in no position to judge the maturity of anyone. I’m not here to say what’s right or_wrong_ for somebody else, regardless of age.

CWOTUS's avatar

I try to evaluate the writer’s ability to write and comprehend Standard English. Based on that I may add or subtract detail and embellishment. If the question is age-related (or experience-related, which in some ways amounts to the same thing), then I try to tailor the response that way. Otherwise, I just try to be honest. Or funny. (And believe me: I understand how sad and pathetic ‘trying to be funny’ is. Some days are just that way, though, and I roll with them all.)

Seek's avatar

I don’t go out of my way to memorize the ages (or even the age-ranges) of the other Flutherites. Ageism is a major pet-peeve of mine, and I don’t believe in denying good advice because it comes from someone younger than me.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Yes, it would be irresponsible to not consider the needs, experience and capacity of the questioner in formulating a useful, sensitive answer.

woodcutter's avatar

I treat everyone the same. Easier that way, and besides this is the internet you really have no proof of anything about anyone you don’t personally know. It’s pretty easy to tell the approximate age of people just by the way they write though. I avoid the “does he love me?” questions without even clicking on them because they are just plain stupid.

augustlan's avatar

It depends on what type of question they’re asking. Things that would be just fine for an adult are not necessarily so for a teenager, especially one on the younger end of the scale. I do try not to talk down to them, and to give them real, helpful advice, but I would certainly not recommend, say, a one-night stand to a 13 year old. For an adult, I might.

Bellatrix's avatar

Yes I do. There are some very young people here and I think as responsible adults we should take care about how we answer questions when we are aware of the poster’s age.

I don’t think it’s about talking down to them. I think it is about being respectful. I don’t usually get involved with talking about sexually explicit topics here anyway but I certainly wouldn’t with a minor. In addition, I would be careful about how I discuss issues like drug and alcohol use. I don’t suggest we should censor topics, but just be mindful about how we discuss those topics.

Paradox25's avatar

Sometimes it is difficult to tell what gender/sex some people are on here, let alone their age. Not everybody is open about their age either, including some posts which I’ve suspected to be typed by minors. All in all I usually go out of my way to avoid their posts/threads, unless it is something that I’ve been through myself and I feel I can help them with.

janbb's avatar

Yes, I certainly will try to show more compassion toward a kid asking what I might consider to be a “dumb” question from an adult, remembering what it was like to be a teenager. I don’t consider that talking down, I consider it empathy.

Ron_C's avatar

I have to admit that I seldom check the profile for the people whose questions I answer. I probably should. There are some people here that I know. A couple are in their teens, many are middle aged, and a few of us are in the senior range.

I tend to tell it how I see it so I don’t usually temper my answers for the young. I will, however reserve criticism when I see a young person trying to ask or answer a question they think is important.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t really know which flutherites are kids. I know some who are not kids, but I guess most I just guess at approximate ages based on the questions asked and the manner in which they are posed. So no, I don’t change my answers, but the questions that are obviously asked by young kids don’t usually intrigue me (what does it mean when a boy ignores me), you know the kind I mean.

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