I have a quiz for you.

In a private forum, one that is locked from public view, the discussions had by members are supposed to be the same as discussions that take place in your living room. Private. You should be adult enough to debate contentious topics and still respect the other person by agreeing to disagree when common ground can not be achieved. Debate is healthy, it helps you to grow, helps you to look at things from different perspectives.

When you are a member on a public forum like Facebook you have no expectation of privacy.

If you were a member of a private forum - one where only members can see what is said in the threads - how would you feel if someone took your "private" discussion and printed it off to take to an outsider - someone who is not part of your group?

Well, I had that happen to me. The discussion involved a question that was asked and I answered it based on my personal knowledge, experience and feelings on the subject.
I was not kind or charitable in my response - I was blunt and truthful. I was insulted by the conduct I witnessed and experienced and said so.

Someone decided to take that conversation to a public level, they did not state their position in the discussion, they did not get involved in the discussion - nope - they took it public.

In this case it backfired on the person who did this to me. I did not say anything in the private forum that I had not already told the person I had the experience with to their face.
In fact I called that person and told them yet again how I perceived their conduct - I did not apologize for my stand on the subject. My principles are MY principles - every one has them and is entitled to them. My feelings are just that - my feelings, my experience - how I perceived the subject.

The forum to which I refer is supposed to be a place where riders can inform each other about shops that have treated them well or not, where they get good food or not - what places you can wear your rider clothing in or not and generally shoot the breeze about any rider related topic.

When you are a member of a private - locked forum should you believe that your discussions about your thoughts, experiences, opinions or feelings on a subject are just that - private?

The answer would be NO.

If your private forum has lists of shops to stay away from or lists of businesses that do not appear to want riders to patronize them - beware - There is no such thing as what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas - people are people and if they do not agree with you or can not understand what you experienced, they can and will try to use your comments against you.
The biker code of conduct does not appear to apply to private "biker" forums.

If you have an opinion on how you are treated by someone - keep it to yourself - it's sadly the new rider way of doing things. Privacy of a discussion is a myth - the only way to have a private discussion is when you are on your motorcycle so that the only one who hears you is the wind.

You can not warn or inform your "friends" about shoddy behavior or treatment by a business in a private forum - that could be perceived as slander or someone could try to turn it into those lists that appear on so many rider forums - you know the ones:

Shops to stay away from...Rider Unfriendly Businesses - yah, you might want to rethink having them on your forum and DO NOT under any circumstance give your "friends" the heads up or tell them what you know or believe on any topic, because you never know who is listening or reading. They hide behind a nickname, go behind your back - do you really know who they are? Some people who sign up as members on these forums do so not to bring value to their fellow rider but to eavesdrop and see whose lives they can meddle with - they are gossips. They do not know how to handle disagreement or difference of experience or opinion in house, person to person, biker to biker for they are not bikers. Not in my eyes.

A "Biker", to me, is a solid individual. They ride a Yamaha and I ride a Harley. I dislike his choice of bike and he dislikes mine - do we hate each other? No, we respect the fact that not everyone is going to love the Yamaha or the Harley. We may tease each other and we may try to educate or win the other person over. That's what being stand up is. Agreeing to disagree, being respectful of choice.

The term "Biker" to me means friend. Someone who knows you and likes you anyway. They accept you for who and what you are because they too want to be respected for who and what they are. I don't always have to agree with you to admire or like you.

If more people adopted the "Biker" way of thinking, I believe we'd have less religious wars, less politics, less laws and a more loving and accepting society. It starts with RESPECT of opinion, it ends with respectfully agreeing to disagree when the need arises. That's what being a "Biker" means to me.

Stay safe and warm...and be forewarned that what you say can't be used against you if the only one who hears you is your best friend - the wind.

Belt Drive Betty

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  1. Right ON, girl!

    Just because people are human, does not always make them humane.

    No two people ever think alike.

    Even a husband and wife have differences of opinion, yet as long as they love each other they will work through all that.

    And as you say, Respect is HUGE!

    And trust me when I say, "What goes around, comes around."

    You have to give respect in order to receive it.