Search This Blog

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Is having an online Community healthy?

I recently was at the receiving end of several scathing comments for having typed something in a public forum that was perceived as rude. I mean, several posters were so mean and critical I literally fled the scene - well, after trying to politely explain what I had previously posted. I had just been voicing my opinion honestly, in direct contrast to the OP's (original poster's) comment, but will say that in re-reading my post I did forget to insert the IMHO clause at the beginning. So why did I let them upset me? I don't really know these people, it was an anonymous thread at a weight loss support site, so why was I putting myself out there in the first place? Is this online community I have become involved with simply a commentary on how pathetic I have become? It seems to be a rather large community - and it's only one of ... thousands? millions? I see our world wide web as a way to connect, but when you don't also have a fullfilling social life is it mentally healthy? Words continuously shared without benefit of facial expression or vocal tone? Words perhaps more harsh or blunt than intended because you can be faceless? Does lack of responsibility to what we are saying distort how it is said? Well, of course. Even mild mannered me managed to piss off a few people, how on earth did that happen? I've never been intentionally rude in my life and here were several people jumping on that band wagon and pointing at me. Me! WTF! And so where do I vent about it...not to my family, or close personal friends...but to an invisible audience, because the whole thing is rather embarrassing. Or, to be more realistic, to myslef - because I am just one of , well scads, of others who type away into the universe with no response expected - so when it comes it can be a shock.

Granted, journaling is a great way to work through feelings, and typing here I feel is better than not journaling at all. But why blog, why not just type into a work document and save like I have done so often. Connection, I think. Or trying to feel connected. So many of us have made our individual worlds so small we lack the society we need. Which brings me right back around to ... how healthy is this? Wouldn't I be better served to start a bunco group, a hiking club, or just participate more in the real world? (don't EVEN get me started on reality tv...)

So, recognizing that I spend too much time here, my goal this season (spring at the moment) is to be here less , and work on a better social life where I am more sensitive about the things I have to share. Sigh, I'm guessing my thoughts will be no better received there either.