Those "Net" People…

How much is too much to share on the internet?

Have you ever really thought about it? It’s really come to my attention recently perhaps because I have found myself reading posts from people on some of my online communities that seem so “out there” to me. How much would you vent? How much financial information would you share? When does sharing struggles and woes from your life become an annoyance for other people? How do you know if people genuinely are interested in your thoughts, feelings, explanations, and life stories…or if they’re just saying nice things because “it’s the nice thing to do”. Honestly….I’ve thought about these questions a while now and they are just now really sinking deeper for me.

I’m sort of an anxious personality. I prefer to have fewer good trustworthy friends then a whole bunch of friends that I can’t trust or who would just talk nice to my face and criticize me behind my back. So…how much of the “everybody’s your friend” attitude of the online world is real? When you make a post on a message board, a blog, a forum….and you get 20 responses…are those 20 responses regurgitated answers? How many of those responses are spewed out just because it’s the “nice thing to do”.

Here’s what I think about the whole situation – after pondering it for a bit and comparing it to my own actions on the net. I can usually tell who the people are who genuinely seem interested in my life – their responses are thoughtful and their questions are inquisitive. These are the people who share more happiness then frustration so that when they do post about something tragic, sad, frustrating, etc…you know that they are definitely experiencing a situation that warrants a response.

But what of the people…who are constant complainers? What of the people who day after day share the woes of their tragic lives with everyone on the boards….do you think they are lonely? Looking for attention and not sure how to get it? do you think that they really have such crappy lives that everyday they have something crappy to report about it? My gut instinct is to think that it is impossible for a life to be filled with so much shit that there is not an ounce of light to be found anywhere….

Even in the darkest, most depressing days of my life….I could still find something in my life to be thankful and joyful about…perhaps it was a friend who was just there to listen…or a funny comic strip in a newspaper…

Here’s what I have to say I suppose…I’m not sure where any of this came from. The above statements are not brought on by any person in particular from any of the online communities I frequent…but…I suppose I just don’t understand…why say anything at all if you have nothing nice to say? And in that sense…why say something nice if you really don’t mean it?

I’m confused by my own post…are you too?

2 thoughts on “Those "Net" People…

  1. You raise some interesting comments that I have also found myself thinking. How much do you share? That’s been a very very big deal with me. When I started my blog, it was just to keep friends and family up to date about my pregnancy. Then my pregnancy became a high risk pregnancy, then we were in the hospital so long, then it became a way for the caregivers we had came across to keep up with us, then it became my outlet for grief. Now I write it for me.

    I think in the case of JM, it’s by nature of the forum a “nice place”, an if you can’t say anything good, don’t say anything at all type thing. A lot of the responses are just regurgitated responses, and that’s what some people need. I’m guilty of using it as a outlet to vent because the responses give you the idea that someone is listening, and people, I think are listening. Some people become addicted to that support and use forums to complain about everything. I try not to respond to someone if it’s just a one liner. I read a lot, and respond less than I read because if I don’t have something worth typing, I don’t type it…. chalk it up to laziness.

    I too can pick those out genuinely concerned, and develop an interest for those people outside of forums. I answer their PMs, read their blogs, and even exchange personal email addresses with some. Kaija has become a good friend through JM because I know she’s just not fluffing my pillows.

    But, I do know what you’re talking bout.

  2. I agree with everything you said Manda..so much. I honestly try not to “fluff soo many pillow’s” as you call it…because if I can’t be me and be real about who I am…then why even bother. Yanno? It makes sense to me… to just be me. I’m learning so much about being a mother by just “letting go” of these ideas that everyone has about how it should be…if that makes sense.

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