Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hi, My name is Laura, and I am a message board addict..

Or, I hope to say soon, I am a recovering message board addict. Who would have thought, back in 7/2000, when I stumbled across my first message board (Parent soup's Aug98' playgroup) that I would become hooked.

It started easily. I was googling for some information on my then two year old's constipation. The second hit was the Parents Soup message boards. I got an account, logged in, and embarked on 2 year love affair with this group. It was so darned interesting-reading about the trials and tribulations of others...who were raising children exactly my son's age. I admit, I would sometimes get up at 2-3 AM just to "check in" on what the London Moms were talking about. An addiction was born. Only I didn't realize it.

I joined the Expectant mothers group for Oct'01 during my time at Parents Soup. I loved that group. I loved the set up (this was before the crazy odd way they have it going now), fell in love with the leaders, cried over early losses (while secretly running out to get another pregnancy test, just in case). And then, we lost the baby. And I posted about it and read, re read...and then re read again the condolences. And got angry because I felt they didn't really "mean it", I mean, I bet they were gleefully rubbing their bellies, being glad it wasn't them. At least, that's how I felt. So then, I lurked on that board. Yes, I confess, I could not stay away. It was completely the pulling of the scab off to examine the wound, and perhaps pour a little borax in.

and then, joy of joys, I found the TTCPL group (trying to conceive after pregnancy loss) Of course, this was a stupid move, because my husband was already hoping for the vasectomy he was already sure he was going to have. I lost myself in this group. They,alone, knew what I was feeling. They bolstered me, cried with me and ranted about the vasectomy the day that it happened. I made a few very close friends there that I am sorry I didn't keep up with, because now I feel I used them.

Moving on, for we must confess it all to be truly cleansed ( I hope) of the addiction...

Sometime after September 11th, and the fear, anger, disbelief, we all went through, I found a place called DemocraticUnderground. At the time I first found it, they were not accepting new registrants, as the whole blue v. red thing was heating up and there were a lot of trolls around. Finally, in March '03, I gained access to this site. This is when my addiction heated up like the bottom of a coffee pot with no liquid in it. In 4 years I posted 40,000 times. About politics, my family, name it. I posted it. Even the baby panda from the San Diego zoo got equal time. I moderated, fretted, wrote and rewrote posts, placed people on ignore (only to un-ignore them to see what they were talking about) donated, stayed up way too late etc. I literally spent hours on this site. Until I realized the toll it was taking on my family. Even then, I still logged in three times a day, for an hour, to check up on "friends", post responses, read private messages, and the like. Then, one day, I realized I was no longer there for the reasons I had joined. I had joined for activism, change and politics. I ended up staying for the gossip, intrigue and high school popularity contests.

It has been 3 months since my last post. I only went there twice this week. I have not signed on to another message board...okay, I'm lying there. I'm a member of the Detroit Tigers message board, but I rarely post, and that's sports so it'

I can see where message boards are both productive and harmful. I've experienced both. I am happy for the experience, yet relieved I appear to be done. For one, my kitchen is a hell of a lot (okay a little bit) cleaner.


Michael C said...

I've never done much on message boards, but am way too addicted to blogging! The addiction actually scares me a little.

Michele said...

I found yahoo message boards back when I was struggling with infertility. Joind one for infertiles, then "graduated" to their infertile-now-pregnant group, and then eventually graduated to "same=people-but-now-bitching-about-sleeplessness" group. They all served me well for those stages.

Now I am blog-addicted, but also occasionally blow an hour or two in the Urban Baby message boards. They crack me up - so many pampered rich moms who are so needy "What should I eat for lunch today if I had half an egg and a tablespoon of grapefruit for breakfast?", being responded to by sarcastic lurkers with answers like "two lines of coke and an olive". Its my guilty pleasure.

Gina said...

I was on a message board for 02 Babies, and I agree, it can get a bit addicting. But, they were all big George Bush fans and I was one of the few sane people, so I left and switched to blogging.

Shari said...

I think being hooked on blogging is enough. I am on some online mailing lists that I will either lurk or go on "no mail" when school starts for me. I will just keep the low traffic ones. It does take up too much time.

nik said...

yeah...those Tiger's message boards can be addicting ;)

MrsGrumpy said...

michael-I think communication and connecting with people is my one true vice.

michele-congrats on your almost makes the sleepless nights worth it. and I couldn't resist the urge to snark on a board like that either.

gina--The George Bush factor would have made it easier for me to stay away too.

shari-I once joined a freecycle email group and was overwhelmed by the amount of "needs" (people posting for something they wanted, much like an adult's Santa's list) over the "offers"...and then it took me weeks and about 500 emails in my inbox, to figure out how to unsubscribe.

nik-you gonna call home sometime today?

Bonita said...

I suspect that the message boards have contributed to your ability to write beautifully, poignantly, as I saw on 'Life With Hannah and Lily'. I was so touched by the care you expressed, and also by the depth of your spiritual/religious convictions. You've come far.

compartments said...

Message Boards are becoming an addiction for sure. You should see the compulsive posting by men on boards about their "hobby," prostitution: