I've lately come to wonder about that, to what point do we have to take the internet seriously? A recent experience on the formerly mentioned Fratellis forum has led me to give it more thought.
I praised this forum into heaven and beyond in my last entry, I'll just tell you a bit more about my reasons now. I started out as a newbie, like everyone has to, but I was immediately 'taken into the family'. I felt appreciated on the forum, people praised me for my artistic skills, requested and commissioned for me to paint them something, even. Very soon, this forum felt like home. I'd ramble on there until the early hours, talking nonsense, of course, but also about the things that bring us all to the forum, good music, and the Fratellis. I felt like I had made good friends there within days.
What are you whining about, then? You might ask me that. Well, I'll tell you. Being liked on a forum makes you care, or me and least, what the other forummers think of you. You want them to continue liking you. Because, after all, you like to feel appreciated.
Yesterday, I posted a thread that didn't have anything to do with music or the band. It was in fact complete nonsense, that I had put on there to kill time. People replied to it, as they always do. But then, a couple of people lost it completely, shouting (with curses) how they thought it was 'the worst thread ever' and telling us, or me, as I felt at that particular point, to get a life. It was anything but a gentle request to stop posting nonsense. I felt stabbed, and felt like crying, really. I tried my hardest to make everyone like me, and this was what I got in return.
Soon, a general letter to the entire forum followed in which the same people who had lost their cool on my topic, inpolitely told people to stop ruining the forum. Many people seemed to agree, and some were upset by it, as well. Later, as I'd heard from the angry people, I found out that it was not aimed at me and that there had been rubbish on the forum for ages. They had been annoyed for ages and my thread just cut the wires.
My point being, really, is that I allowed myself to feel genuinely hurt by something that isn't said to my face, by people that I haven't met, or that have met me. I still feel like I'm getting to know them, however, which is why I get emotionally involved. Is it worth it? I ask myself. Do we not get hurt enough in the real world?
On the other side, people on the forum are very welcoming to the newbies, and try to keep so called rotten apples out. I wonder, I wonder, is it wrong to treat people on the internet the same as you do people in real life? Do I have to value them and their opinions any less than I do that of those I know in real life?