Now clearly I love the Internet. Hell I'm on it right now. What I don't like is how easy it is for something to be misconstrued. When you can't see somebody, or hear their voice, you lose an important part of communication. You miss the subtle things that can totally change the meaning of the actual words.
See? No expression!
Forums sadly seem to be where most of these problems come from. As some of you may know I'm involved in a few forums. I've left a few too, but I'll get to that another time. When Rainman and I we're planning our wedding I spent a lot of time on a bridal forum. (which had some issues, I blogged about that here ) Even before we said our "I do's" I had moved onto the "sister" wives board. And I love it there. Normally there is very little drama, and we all get along pretty well (strange for a bunch of women I know). But not today.
I don't want to go into a ton of detail, but recently one of our tight knit little community has suffered some personal tragedy. We all hurt for her. Emotion has been running high. It's funny how strangers on the other end of a keyboard become like friends. I never would have thought it possible. But these women are my friends. We share our joys and our pains. And we protect each other fiercely. Normally this is a good thing. Not when we turn on each other, which is what happened today..
Somebody made a comment that was taken wrong. It was taken as light, and flippant. It was meant to be a message of hope. I got that. Others did not. So they went on the attack. I have actually had the pleasure of meeting (in the real world)the person who posted the comment that started all this crap. She is a wonderful, fun and kind person. I have no doubt in my mind as to the intent behind her comment., and it sure as fuck was not to start drama.
Sadly after the attack she has felt the need to leave our forum. I don't blame her. Not in the least. Frankly if it was me, I would have done the same. With a lot less class than this lady showed. And this has opened a whole can of worms that may see us lose more members. Women who joined after me, new wives who have just joined us. People who now feel they have to watch what they say for fear of being ripped a new one for having a opinion that may differ from the majority. It's really kinda pathetic. As a matter of fact, I'm kinda concerned about even writing this post, as some of them may wander over here and read it. But fuck it. I'm hurt, and angry. For a person who's opinion I respect, and who's posts frequently make me laugh my ass off. For the women who now are thinking of leaving. For our community as a whole.
This whole thing could have been dealt with privately. The poster did not need to berated in a public forum because some did not agree with her thoughts. That's why the forum gods created private messaging people. In all the furor to protect one person's feelings (who has not seen the post in question as of this entry) they way other people feel was forgotten, or just plain ignored. I get that it's a sensitive issue. I understand that we are all upset for a valued member of our community. But I'm sorry, the person who has now left was also a valued member. I thought we all were. I thought that was kinda the point of the board in the first place. Maybe I was wrong. And if I was, maybe it's time I also think about moving on.