Welcome back to the Community voices! This time we are talking about Seniority.
dekorAdum - Senior, Deviousness award, fomer CV
When I was a noobie on the site I would be so excited to see that a Senior Member commented or faved my piece. Obviously I would be excited for any favs and comments - still am - but for some reason, just because they had a tick (`) I felt special. I had no clue who they are, what did they do to get a different symbol than mine.
Later on, when I got to meet more and more people and become friends with seniors, volunteers and so on, I would learn their stories, backgrounds. They didn't seem so scary anymore. They do stand out, but they are just regular deviants just like anyone else.
Some people are looking at the subject as a mission or some sort of goal. They would do anything just to get it. I think it is, in a way admirable, however if you are pretending to be helpful, supportive then there is no point in doing anything at all. It should come from your heart and naturally, not forced. Throwing a tantrum - mind you, I did it on many occasions - just because you didn't get a tick - it is a medal now - is really silly. It is a website at the end of the day. There are more serious things you should be focusing on.
I did not really receive Seniority. I stepped down as a Community Volunteer because I had to focus on my studies at the time. So automatically I got the tick. I still feel like an outsider to be honest, but that is only because of me. I feel like I have to set an example now and I don't want to ruin anything. But in reality, nothing is expected from Seniors. You don't have to do this and that from now on - or continue doing it - just because you got a medal. It is in a way a nice recognition of our work, some still keep being a voice of the community, tirelessly supporting deviants and some become silent, a mere shadow. But that is completely fine. You do you, I do me.
I have noticed that people whould treat me differently after getting the tick. Firtsly, I got tons of new watchers thanks to it. Secondly, many thought that through me they could get a tick as well
silly things people do. But overall, I am just a regular deviant. With Deviousness now, but still
Haha, when I first saw the term 'Senior', my mind translated it into Finnish straightforwardly and I was like, Grandmas and grandpas? ... Members that have been around the site since times immemorial?
Eh, I've never seen Seniors as anything special, really. They're just members among other members to me.
I don't get the 'hype' about it, never wanted to gain Seniority because I simply don't see the point in it, and I don't think it should be a goal for everyone. I don't treat Seniors any differently than others, either.
To be a Senior on DA, you should be genuinely
community-driven, encouraging and just generally really helpful to other members. (And in real life, all you need to do is to just grow old.) I've seen many come to #devart
and ask how to become a Senior, and I find that a bit off-putting: it's like they just want the title for the possible fame and online-status it can bring (apparently some people experience a surge of pageviews and watchers when they get the medal?).
If you do things for the community just because
you want the medal or any other reward of recognition, then I personally think you're doing it wrong, pal. Do things you love doing for the sake of loving them, not because of some fancy shiny 'reward'. Because what then if you never get it, despite your efforts? Will you get mad and abandon the projects you started? Or what if you DO get it? What then? What's the meaning of the 'community' projects you started then? Will you just leave them to someone else's care while basking in the rather short-lived glory?
If you ask someone how to become a Senior, please ask yourself first: Why do you want it?
But, for those who have received Seniority, congratulations.
I know a lot of Seniors and I know all of them have deserved their medal for a good reason.
Synfull - senior, deviousness award recipient, former cv
To me, seniority has always been a way for dA to acknowledge and say thank you to those individuals who put time and effort into supporting the community. Whether that is writing news articles, running groups, organising chat events or evening making art which gets the community talking - just something which helps the community in one way or another.
As a side effect of how long the site and seniority has been running, I sadly think that seniority has lost some of the specialness it once had. Around 5 years ago where the community was much smaller, it was common for you to know 80% of the people who received it and it made you proud to see deserving people finally recognised for their efforts. Nowadays, I'm lucky if I spot 2 familiar names off the list, as it's just impossible to know everyone, especially those outside of your art form.
Equally as time passes, more and more seniors are becoming inactive. It used to be a symbol that the deviant had been around a while and would possibly be able to help newer deviants learn about the site. However it now seems just as common to find an active senior as it is to find one who no longer uses their account.
Personally I don't think Seniority should be a specific goal to people. Their goal should always be to help the community, and if seniority comes as a thank you for their work, then all the better. I received mine having completed a term as CV, so while not unexpected, it was nice for dA to show their appreciation for the time I put into running things for the emote community.
I have seen in some cases that it can cause people to treat me (and other seniors) differently, though how they react can vary a bit. Some people seem scared to talk to seniors, which I always find a bit odd (though I probably acted the same when I was new). But I've equally seen people who specifically choose seniors when asking questions as they a) often have knowledge/experience having been active on the site for a while and b) are often used to helping the community and will be willing to lend a hand or at least point you in the right direction.
Seniority in itself to me would mean a set of users who have achieved something really noteworthy, whether it be a high reputation as a nice and helpful person, someone who is very involved in the community and makes things happen, someone with outstanding art, etc. Or maybe that's what it should mean. I have actually no idea why some of the seniors have been awarded and why others have not had their seniority revoked. From what I understand the community (and NOT the community OF SENIORS) opinion is that seniority is nothing but another way to nourish all the cliques of dA. General users (especially in chats) are expected to treat seniors with higher respect, and often times seniors pay no price for any of their own wrong doings. Anyone with the senior medal by their name should try and fulfill the standard they're now being set to; it seems like a lot of seniors will have done whatever they needed to to get the title, and once they have it, gain a huge sense of entitlement and get the idea that now that they are seniors, they don't have to continue doing any of those things or even continue being friendly and welcoming to new deviants. Its gross to see seniors complaining about how they are expected to be nice. If they don't want to fill the mold of what dA says seniority means, then it makes sense that they shouldn't have to, and could get their seniority taken away. It has such a bad rep in general I don't think it should be a goal at all. I don't act differently towards them. There's no reason to.
Stygma - senior, alpha tester
For me, Seniority is a great mean to give a bit of recognition to those who give back to the community one way or another. It's a nice gesture to say "we like what you are doing, keep up the good work". Not everybody agrees though. I've seen some debates around. Some believe seniority should only be given to former CVs. Others don't understand why some people - or any of them - get the award. The problem is that many see seniors as super-deviants and they don't understand when a senior doesn't meet the "expectation". Believe me, seniors are just normal people.
I was really happy when I became a senior on the last DeviantArt birthday! It was a sign that my efforts to serve the DeviantArt community were appreciated. I was given the uniform to go with the job. Suddenly, I got a lot of new watchers. Some of my journals started to reach the front page. I felt that my journey in DeviantArt just started and that I had to double the effort to live up to the medal. Because, even if it's just a symbol, and even if I'm still the same hobbyist drawing cartoon characters, many see me otherwise, like I'm some DA expert. I take this as an opportunity to help even more!
My advice is: don't try too hard to become a senior; it's not about the goal, it's about the journey. Do what you like, but most importantly, share what you like. Sharing is the key! And if your passion doesn't lead you to seniority, it might lead you to something else just as great!
Seniority – to have that little medal next to your name – means to me that you have done something right. You are standing out from the crowd somehow, whether it is your exemplary behavior, your exquisite art or other things you do to make this community a better place.
When I received my seniority couple of years ago I didn't even know what it actually meant so it was a complete surprise. I had to do some searching to find out if something was now expected from me and what should I do with my little tick (like the symbol was back those days). I soon found out that I just should keep on doing what I had done so far and my seniority was kinda like recognition of "job well done". I felt special and it was great to be noticed like that. Getting seniority definitely encouraged me to be even more active!
If seniority is a goal to someone, I don't think that's a bad goal at all. Seniors are setting an example and if someone wants to do particular work to get there, that also benefits the community during the way. But I don't think it should be a goal that everyone needs to aim at; I think people should enjoy what they're doing and participate in activities as they see best and not because some kind of reward is waiting for them in the end. The reward should come from doing things itself.
I don't act differently towards senior members but of course it is sometimes fun to ponder what the particular reason they have received seniority was. There are as many reasons and stories behind those medals as there are seniors!
To me Seniority means a person who has injected some positive contribution to DeviantArt community, I think the community regards seniority as a status of recognition, as an award for the impact they have made to shape what DeviantArt is.
Seniority should not be a goal because you should not expect to have an award just because you do nice things because expecting something nice as an award makes you look slightly selfish, people should do nice things because the want to.
It was such a wonderful feeling to receive it, my notifications was flooded with 'congratulations' messages and I had a mention from fourteenthstar
, It was a lovely feeling!.
I can't say for sure how the community viewed me after getting the award, possibly a tiny bit changed like getting interviewed a lot more, which is cool, and no I don't treat other seniors any differently, everyone is the same, no one person is more special than another.
Seniority to me means having an active voice in the community and being someone who has helped the it in one way or another, be it by strong involvement, a past CV/staff member, or by sharing their exemplary art and being an inspiration to others through that. But sometimes I'm not sure everyone else sees it that way.
I've seen some describe it as an 'elitist club' (which doesn't make sense at all because they didn't choose
to become seniors) or think that they're supposed to be some sort of role model and always nice and patient and willing to chat with everyone, and that's simply just not the case. Seniors are people, regular deviants, just like you and me; treating them any differently than you'd treat someone else is just silly. And then there are people that treat it as some sort of award (the badge symbol perhaps may imply this), a sort of 'goal' to be achieved. Seniority isn't the boss level of a video game, it's an acknowledgement of someone who cares about the community. And, frankly, if you're chasing it like some sort of goal, you're missing the point of it and probably won't get it.
People should care about and help the community for the love of the community, not to gain seniority as some status symbol. After all, it's just a symbol after just a username on just a website; zero effect on your life.
Yumieo - beta tester
For me Seniority defines a person that stand out from the crowd because of their amazing art and dedication towards the dA community.
They help in making dA a better place for other deviants through their hardwork and devotion towards the community.
They promote the work of others.This is their awesome work that has helped dA in being more active and energetic! They are so helpful and provide assistance to many others.The community is getting better day by day.
The community spirit of Seniors is so great.
Not everyone's opinion made it on the article! These are the highlights. You can see all opinions here
Questions for the reader:
What does seniority mean to you?
What do you think is the community's general opinion on seniority?
Should seniority be a goal?
Do you act differently towards senior members?