Forums and online communication relies strictly on words. If you are looking for a network or to feel a sense of belonging, forums are the absolute worst place you could look. Even here, a forum centered around a small interest group, most people are looking for some type of fulfillment. I think the expectations and disappointments we feel when engaging in online communication serve as a direct mirror onto what it is we want.
I come here when I'm bored to see if there is an interesting post. In real life, it's hard to be able to say what I mean because everyone is busy, and moves so quickly. When typing, I can think about what I am saying at my own pace, and the worst someone can do is ignore it. I don't seek connections online, just the freedom to be able to listen and respond without the overwhelming fear that I'm not saying to right thing quickly enough.
It's cathartic for me. However, it is also important to recognize that, most of the time, people respond online with what they already think. I accept that, because I am interested to learn about what a sample of random people think, and why. Any unnecessary bigotry is on them.
If you're upset with an experience online, do not first blame the platform or the individual users. You can't change people when you don't know them. Instead, use the experience as a mirror to learn about yourself. After all, sometimes the anonymity of being online makes us act and respond in ways that can surprise us.
Interesting, I find forums to be like books, without the nagging feeling of being obliged to complete it. I've been preferring reddit over this forum for the variety, in quantity and quality. There is more shit you need to dig through though.
Just joined today, hoping to- I honestly have no clue what I'm doing. I joined because I was looking for a like-minded community of "deep thinkers", people that stop and think about life, you know. I guess for personal growth among "peers". After browsing for like 10 minutes, I can already see that this kinda is a place where I can do that.
I feel like something you cannot argue is that forums like these serve as tools for us. Whether it be for understanding, connection or catharsis. However, I feel like our humanness usually gets in the way of actually using it in progressive way. No one decided what the topic of discussion or mission of this thread would be, it kinda just unravels. We can't help expressing ourselves in some way, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's a way of getting the shit out of our brains and into the real world.