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Re: invisibility

Posted by Dinah on April 26, 2004, at 19:27:30

In reply to Re: invisibility underthecs, posted by spoc on April 26, 2004, at 18:11:59

I remember feeling this way when I started here. I would start a thread and no one would answer. And it always seemed like my post was the last one on a thread.

I still remember with immense fondness those people that responded to me at first when I felt so out of place.

But to my knowledge, no one here is so rich in friends that they don't wish to have more. So I don't think lack of caring is the root cause. Or cliquishness. Some of the people who appear so much at ease here really haven't been here that long.

I have some general thoughts. Threads have a limited lifespan - most of them anyway. When I first came to the board I would think a long time about my response. So long that the thread had lost momentum by the time I posted. So my posts really did end threads sometimes, but more because of the life cycle of threads than for any other reason.

The board has cycles. There are times when things seem pretty jumping, then there are dry periods. Weekends tend to be quiet. Mondays appear lively. When there isn't a lot of traffic, you don't get a lot of responses.

With very few exceptions, topic is important. Most people have topics that interest them, and others not so much. I rarely contribute on relationship threads. I've been married for eons, and haven't been out looking for close to twentyfive years. I don't know much about friendship or relationships either. Sexual attraction isn't something I feel I have any expertise on, so I rarely have much to say about those topics. I'm sure pretty much everyone is the same about feeling more able to contribute in some topics than others. In other cases, there are topics some people might be sensitive about and skip for that reason. Or sometimes, people have just thoroughly discussed a topic recently and don't feel they have any more to say. So the topic, to some extent, determines response.

And then there is the individual mood and other variables. There are days when I'm "on" and I might post a ton. Other days I can barely drag my brain through reading posts. I might flag in my mind posts to come back to, but I might forget to do that. There are days when my individual mood means which posts I relate best to, based on the mood of the post. Then there are days when I either have something offline to do, or I've decided I'm online too much. I think that happens a lot. So if you're having a nice conversation with someone and it suddenly halts, chances are that something happened in that other person's life and mood. Check out the board. Did something happen to upset them IRL? Have they suddenly stopped posting in general? Do their posts have a different tone?

I doubt that I'm unique in my posting habits. And I'm mostly mentioning the reasons I may or may not post. There may be a ton more that don't even occur to me.

What it amounts to is that there are tons and tons of reasons why posts may or may not be responded to. Only a few has to do with people responding negatively to a poster, and only a few have to do with posters being purposely impolite.

So with that in mind, isn't it best to give everyone involved the benefit of the doubt? If I see a post that is on a topic that I know nothing about, I don't write off the poster. If posters don't respond to my post, even posters I've known for a long time, I don't assume that they are being stand offish. Not even if they've responded to every single other post on the board.

I'm not great at interpersonal relationships, but I do suspect that the best way to foster them is to make the most positive assumptions about people's motives and people's reactions to myself. Easier said than done, I know. Boy, do I know.

So everyone, keep posting and if for some reason, you don't get responses, just post again. Chances are excellent that it's nothing personal.




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