This is not a Quora problem.
This is such a common thing on the internet in general that more than one acronym exists to describe it.
They are, in no particular order after the first, which was first used way back in the 1970s🙂
- RTFM – Read The F$*%ing Manual
- RTFA – Read The F$*%ing Article
- WTFV – Watch The F$*%ing Video
- STFW – Search The F$*%ing Web
- GIYF – Google Is Your Friend
- LMGTFY – Let Me Google That For You
From the wording of the acronyms themselves, you can see that people have found this problem of people asking the same question over and over again more than a bit frustrating. Indeed, the initial phrasing was overtly aggressive.
Lest anyone think the last two are polite, they are not. They are merely passive-aggressive epithets. Offering up Google is your Friend or Let me google that for you as responses to questions is somehow worse than not answering at all.
So, to the original question of why does this phenomenon actually exist in the first place?
Actually, it has a lot to do with how we learn new things.
There are multiple factors that come together to determine what type of information someone needs to understand something (i.e., visual, auditory, experiential, raw data…)
Additionally, there are other, completely different factors that determine how a person is convinced that what they just learned is true.
A person can:
- See or watch something or someone do something (Convinced by Seeing)
- Hear about how good something or someone is (Convinced by Hearing)
- Do something with someone (Convinced by Doing)
- Read about something or someone’s ability (Convinced by Reading)
What’s interesting is that a person who is a visual learner may actually need to be Convinced by Doing, or an experiential learner might need to be Convinced by Reading about someone else’s experience before going out on their own.
The people who write answers on Quora, message boards, and even those technical manuals going all the way back to the 70’s tend to be of a similar profile in that they both can learn from and are convinced by written information. YouTube Periscope/instructors etc are for visual learners, and so on. These people have already found their home.
The people who come to ask repetitive questions are the ones who are still searching for the place that works for them.
By asking, it’s not merely data they’re seeking, it’s information plus proof that someone else has already verified it (whether or not it is someone they know) that will enable them to perceive it as a “true” answer.
I always found the easiest path was to be friendly, welcoming and answer the question even if it was for the 100,000th time (and yes, I did have a counter at Evernote.) 🙂
Originally Posted: https://www.quora.com/Why-do-some-Quorans-not-use-the-search-function-on-Quora-to-check-if-their-question-has-been-asked-before
Originally Posted On: 2016-04-02