Welcome to Nth Circle, @so2speak, and "Thank You" for sharing your opinion. Those of us who have been here for a while appreciate the many different individuals on this forum who offer a variety of perspectives (most of us, most of the time, in a civil and respectful manner).
Regarding this thread, of course "You're Welcome" to not thank anyone if you wish, but on this forum a "Thank You" is the quickest and closest thing to being able to recognize helpful posts or "like" those that one agrees with. Granted, how helpful or likable anyone's post is is quite subjective, so if you don't care for a posted comment, "Please" feel free to not acknowledge it.
Have we fallen through the looking glass into Lewis Carrolls brilliant un- utopic world?
Are un-thank yous next?
"An unbirthday (originally written un-birthday) is an event that is typically celebrated on any or all of the 364 (365 on leap years) days in which it is not the person's birthday. It is a neologism coined by Lewis Carroll in his Through the Looking-Glass, giving rise to "The Unbirthday Song" in the 1951 Disney animated feature film Alice in Wonderland.
One's unbirthday should not be confused with one's half-birthday, which only occurs once a year. Unbirthday - Wikipedia"
"thank yous", "helpfuls", likes, thumbs-up/down, etc are a subject of some consternation, disagreement, and debate, on every forum I've ever participated in-- largely because there's rarely agreement on when to apply them or what they should mean. Some want to see them as a counter of some sort of special merit-- and are distressed when thank-yous given don't seem to reflect that.
On some forums, they're simply a method of voicing agreement or disagreement-- which I have never understood the benefit of, other than keeping down the number of '+1' or "what he said" posts without real content.
I tend to give thank yous when I would do it in face-to-face conversation, because I was raised to say thanks to those who went out of their way to assist. I especially appreciate new information or info that isn't common knowledge, or an effort that clearly required the poster to spend significant time/effort to find the answer that someone needs. I don't claim that this is the right way to do it, the best way to do it, or not entirely stupid and out of line. (....but it keeps me from feeling guilty, at least).
The idea of a dedicated "Thank you" thread isn't bad-- it would restrict "thank yous" to those who cared enough to take an extra step to say thanks..
Discussion at forums IS a form of social media that predates all the fakey online 'friend' baloney.
In terms of being critical:
Too many lives are already - or well on their ways to being destroyed (socially) as folks substitute their imaginary 'friends' - replacing genuine in-person relations;
This horrid problem, as well as those who do still have some form of visiting - but sit instead, silently poking at their screens are very poor signs of these times.
THANK YOU for sharing your critique here;
I reserve the right to disagree fully with it - and actually wish that more discussion forums would have 'thank you' buttons'.