It's not that people feel like they HAVE to be here, it's that sometimes some people get so stressed out by the inward pressure to get back here and catch up with a debate or whatever where they are a main player in an argument so they know what's been said to them and what they need to clear up about themselves before 10 new pages appear overnight that they have to sort through (or ask for a detailed review of what was said, which you never actually get), and these people kinda like the idea of leaving and being free of any obligations and responsibilities to online debates/discussions (and you can't get rid of that pressure.. it's just there and it's not going to go away), but then again they don't leave, because there are too many people on here that have become exactly like friends to them, who they can't be in contact with except through here. And that's what's going on here. People get stressed by the pressure to keep up with debates and high activity, but they won't leave because they don't want to turn their backs on many people here.
Just try to avoid posting topics bound to turn into near-flame-wars. That's all. And STOP LEAVING! It's your choice, but here's what happens... if people, especially old-time members, keep leaving every time a fight breaks out, TF will die. I've seen it happen on a forum I used to go to (and no, I didn't leave.. I was banned by a biased, Hitler-like admin). It was going GREAT the first couple of years into it, with few arguments, lots of old-time members and great fun. Then the amount of members got bigger and bigger and therefore there were more people to disaggree, therefore there were many fights. Then oversensitive people left every time there was a fight, and eventually the forum was nothing but a rare few old-time members, hundreds of newbies, fights everywhere, a regular war zone. Then most of the people left and it turned inactive, and then almost nobody came there anymore, and then it died. And that's exactly what will happen to TF if debates/fights keep breaking out and driving people away. I'm not against debates.. I'm fine with them. But many, many people are sensitive and will leave as soon as a fight breaks out, and they ARE leaving. Especially the newbies, because they joined during a time of forum turmoil, and the join not expecting so much turmoil, because they should have joined back when the forum was still healthy and thriving without many fights and gotten used to the fights over time, but they didn't, so they join at a time where the only people not leaving are the old-time members who are very used to the fights (which is why most of the old-time members take alot longer to scare off), but the newbies aren't, so they leave when a fight breaks out. I don't want to see TF armageddon happen. At this point and time, I'm seeing the first warning signs of TF armageddon.
Your basic forum-armageddon timeline:
Great, healthy activity and members > member count expands over time > more people, therfore more fights > old-time members leave, leaving newbies who don't yet know that the forum isn't a peaceful place > another fight breaks out and the newbies are scared off > more old-time members leave, along with herds of newbies > activity takes a nose-dive > suddenly only 2 or 3 people visit, maybe once or twice a month > forum armageddon.
We can stop this from happening to TF if we'd just pay attention to what's happening and try to not post big debates witch WILL inevitably turn into war zones and cause people to leave. Also, we need to unite and become determined to ride it out and not leave the second a fight breaks out. If people keep leaving every time there's a petty little argument, TF will die, and I don't want to see that happen, and neither does most everybody else here.