Social Media? Not Much Anymore.

Today, I’m walking away from another another Internet forum that I’d been involved with for over a decade.  It’s kind of sad for me, because I used to feel welcome there and would participate pretty regularly.  But, I guess I’m just not cut out for that kind of interaction anymore. 

A wise piece of advice that is frequently given is to not surround yourself with negativity and don’t waste any time being around people who put you down and don’t lift you up.  The problem with that advice is, it leaves you with very few options, especially now on the modern Internet.  It’s pretty well-recognized that being online exposes you to nothing but anger and conflict.  Even if you are not participating, simply being exposed to it is damaging enough.

My quitting of the forum is actually the third step away that I’ve made.  The first step was when I was particularly irked that some of the moderators – the people that are supposed to keep the peace and keep the place running smoothly – were actively engaging in attacks on other members.  In the particular forum I was in, it’s kind of like the wild west where rude behavior is more tolerated, but there was something sinister about having the leadership jumping into the fray instead of monitoring from the sidelines.  At that time, I trimmed back my profile of any personalizing marks and became more of an anonymous member.

The second step was when I quarantined myself from the political section because it was doing nothing but depressing me.  Seriously, nothing but bickering back and forth with trolls (some even moderators) that can’t be defeated.  And after a while of not viewing any of those posts, I began to realize, there isn’t really anything going on outside of those sections.  I began to wonder why I was coming back if there was nothing good to read.

The final step was when I asked for some assistance with, of all things, sunglasses.  There was a discussion about sunglasses, and since the population of the forum is higher-class, I thought someone could give me a recommendation for an upgrade to the glasses I had.  To my surprise, I was insulted.  The first reply could have been seen as a lighthearted joke, the second reply asked if I was a troll or just stupid (this was from a moderator), then it became agreed upon that the style of glasses I was asking about were for douchebags.

As Eric Cartman would say, “Screw you guys, I’m going home!”

I’m sure there’s a lot of people who might look at this situation and say, “What drama!” or “The butthurt is strong in this one.”  And you know what, it’s true.  There is a lot of butthurt.  We’re talking about being in a community for a decade, where you feel you can be yourself and be accepted and suddenly, you’re not.  And adding up the other issues I’ve been experiencing there, well, it’s just not welcoming anymore.  It’s not a place for me.

Actually, this isn’t the first or worst betrayal I’ve gotten from that place.  One time in a moment of weakness, I posted a picture of myself on the forum.  One particular member made a series of photoshops of my picture and posted them.  Unfortunately, I know that those pictures will live on forever.  Since that event, I had to watch everything I said and did so that someone wouldn’t randomly repost one of those pictures and start it up all over again.  As I understand, the member that did the photoshops has since died, and good riddance to him.

And now, good riddance to that whole place.

Like the dust, which settles all around me
I must find a new home

Afterglow – Genesis


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