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Talking to other members outside The Mix (and why we encourage you not to)

TheMixTheMix Posts: 3,039 Boards Guru
edited February 2023 in Help Desk
We want to talk about sharing private contact info with other community members (e.g. phone numbers). The mod team encourages you not to do this, and here's why... 💭

Making friends is an integral part of any community. We can't and wouldn't want to stop you from making real connections here - it's what we're all about. That said, there are important things to think about if you're considering talking to a community member outside of this website.

Moderation and safety

When you chat to someone or support them in this community, you have the full protection of the moderation team. That means if someone starts treating you in a way that isn't okay, we can step in and make sure it's dealt with. We handle those situations so you don't have to.

If you take your communication with a community member away from The Mix, you no longer have that protection. We can't control content posted on other platforms and we usually can't get involved with situations that happen outside the community. If your relationship with a community member away from The Mix becomes difficult for any reason, we won't be able to help you.

This is an anonymous community, which is awesome - it means anyone can post here about anything they want. But it also means we all need to understand that we never truly know who we're talking to, even if we trust someone and they seem like a good person.

Nobody can predict the future

It can feel harmless to share contact info with someone you think is trustworthy. But on the staff team, we often find ourselves talking to community members who have found themselves in a difficult or unsafe situation after deciding to share contact information with another member.

Sometimes that's because the relationship has become too intense, they're feeling too much pressure to support that person, or because the relationship has broken down and they don't feel comfortable using The Mix any more because they know that person is a member.

This won't happen with every friendship taken outside of The Mix, but it is a risk.

The pressure to support someone in private

Nobody should support someone on their own. Helping others can be really empowering, but doing that doesn't make you responsible for that person's actions. It's easy to get caught up in someone's support journey and feel like you're responsible for them, but they are responsible for their own lives.

Providing support to someone privately or away from The Mix community can mean that person starts to look for support through you instead of using specialist services (like The Mix or Samaritans). That's too much responsibility for any one person to hold, which is why we encourage people to use the discussion boards and group chat instead - it means everyone can chip in to support that person.

The bottom line

Making connections and friendships is why we're all here, and whether you decide to speak to community members elsewhere will always be your decision. But please keep these risks in mind.

Nobody should ever pressure you into sharing your contact information or put you in a position that makes you uncomfortable or threatened. If this happens, please message @TheMix so we can help.
We're @Aife, @Emma_, @Gemma, and @JustV - the staff team here at The Mix.

Our DMs are monitored Monday - Friday (10am - 6pm) with limited cover on weekends. We have a great team of moderators looking after the community outside of those hours to check in on any reported posts.

We're not able to provide support on this account. If you need support urgently for any reason, please call 999, go to your nearest A&E or contact Crisis Messenger by texting THEMIX to 85258.
Post edited by TheMix on
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