Posing a bit of a philosophical question... - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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Posing a bit of a philosophical question...

Before I dig into this any further I want to make it known that the question I am about to pose is IN NO WAY intended as an insult to anyone on these or other forums. I've just been doing a lot of thinking about this issue and wanted to see what others' ideas are.

Why do you belong to, and spend the amount of time you do, on one or multiple forums?

I'll give you my honest and blunt answer.

Although I've been known to have a whacky sense of humor and found it very easy to carry on a conversation with almost anyone when I was younger, especially a kid, the older I get I find that I don't necessarily "fit in" to any particular social settings and I've gotten quite a bit more reserved and withdrawn as I've gotten older. I have one friend with whom I talk to on the phone and visit with face-to-face maybe only 5 or 6 times a year; we live 40 miles apart, she has her family, I have mine, and we both lead otherwise busy "household" lives.

A few years ago when I joined Cat Forum I was initially looking for a place "to belong" where I could talk with others who shared my love for cats. As my time here grew, I really fell away from cat discussion and enjoyed conversing about other everyday things that some of us share in common. Belonging to an internet forum makes me feel like I have dozens of friends all over the place and "takes me away," if you will, from reality. Another thing is that it's nice for me to not leave the comforts of home to talk with others and I don't have to worry about keeping up appearances to see other people.

However, joining Cat Forum took a lot of guts for me to do. I read posts for quite some time before I got up the nerve to actually join. I've been invited to other forums and have tried some of them but it's my reserved nature and uncomfortableness with getting to know new people that has kept me from "belonging" anywhere else.

Having said all that, I do miss personal interaction with "the girls." My maid of honor's husband is in the military and is now stationed in Italy until sometime in 2011 or 2012, the relationship with my longtime childhood friend fell apart as we got older and I just don't really talk to anyone else except for my husband, kids and my mom.

Working from home also prevents the little bit of social interaction I used to have with co-workers in the office.

I was tickled pink when Jeanie found the knitting video for me so I could "self-teach" knitting again but I wish I had the resources in this area to actually join a knitting group. There really is no such thing around here. My church group does get together once a week to quilt (the finished product gets donated to the poor) but all of those women are elderly. I don't mean to sound callus, but I'm only 33 (almost 34) and really would like to find something for my age.

For now, my little bit of personal contact with others is when we attend church (which we tend to be lax on during the summer ) and taking the kids to the park, etc. I'm really hoping that as the kids begin school they become involved in other extracurricular things that allows me to meet some other classmates' parents, etc., and I end up finding something else to do besides veg out in front of my computer or watching TV. I enjoy talking with all of you about tons of things but I feel isolated at the same time.

OK, now that I finally got to the guts to post this, I'd better get back to work. That's the BIG downside of working at home and having access to the Internet at the same time. My mind tends to shift focus throughout the day and my productivity decreases.

Please share your thoughts on this question.
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 03:59 PM
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I do it because I want to. Sorry if that's too short, it's the only reason I need.

I eat, I sleep, I work, I go out and do stuff, it's just that the majority of my time at home is spent on places like this. ( I also belong to an F1 forum and an online racing forum).
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 04:11 PM
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I don't have one single friend for 350 miles, and know no other cat lovers. Life gets a little lonely. This is the only forum I belong to, but I use instant messages and have a favored chat room. I spent hours on each. I don't get along with people all that well, I don't like stupidity or arguments. Here I can pick and choose what I'll respond with or to.


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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 04:57 PM
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I do it to pass the time at work, I rarely get on at home.

I lurked on catforum from about the time catman started it in the fall of 2002. I then joined many months later out of enragement at some of the opinions I read here.

I also belong to a many Jeep/Offroad/4x4 sites, but am not active on them much anymore. The only other board I frequent other than CF is actually a spinoff of one of those boards. A core group of longtime members like myself had grown tired of the whole Jeep technobabble and hung out in the off topic sections for many years until we were all eventually banned by a green admin on a power trip (they bought the board and decided to 'clean' it up). We started our own board just last month and already have 400 members.

Although I try to distance myself, I do find myself getting very caught up in a lot of the interaction. It can be scary at times.

But, make no mistake about it, I do love teh catforum.

-steve


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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 05:14 PM
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I have been on and off forums since 2001 when I joined a depression support forum. It felt so nice to talk to other people who understood me. I kind of outgrew that forum and found a cocker spaniel forum about 2 1/2 years ago.

I love the cocker spaniel forum and have learned a lot. I have even watched the birth of several litters via webcam. I spend a lot of time there, but much less since I found this forum.

The main reason that I participate on forums is because I am not great with face to face interaction. If I try small talk I just stumble on my words and often make little sense . At least on the forum I have the delete button.

Besides, it is so cool so to talk to people from around the world!


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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 06:04 PM
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I am with you. When I was younger (and I mean back in high school because I am only 21 now) I was VERY outgoing, didnt care what anyone thought... had a million friends, always out doing something.
Now, I never do anything. I think choosing Engineering as a major has matured me SUPER fast. Plus. my boyfriend is the same way. We live together and right now he is in the other room sitting on his laptop doing whatever it is he does in there.

I'm not that great at having friends either. I am the type to have a couple good friends. My best friend lives in North Carolina. I might see her once a year. And talk to her once every 3 months. Friends that expect to much from me never last. Friends that get mad at me because I didnt answer my phone, or I didnt call them back, or I didnt want to go out and hang out with them never last long. I have to have friends that have their own lives and realize that you do too. I would say here in Orlando I have 2 friends besides my bf. One I rarely talked to (she also moved in her her bf and they do their thing) and another because he is my same major and in ALL of my classes.

I always say I feel old because I work, go to class, come home and do hw if I have it, make dinner, feed the animals, sit in here on the computer and go to bed. And on the weekends I clean and grocery shop. As a 21 year old I think that's pretty rare. I rarely drink and if I do it's very relaxing, like at home or with dinner. I am not the crazy college partier. I dont "fit in" that crowd at all! I got all that over with in High School.

So, you are not alone. I feel the same way. The only difference is I am not really unhappy about it. It sounds bad but the majority of people are just so stupid. And I am not the type of person who can act fake, so I cant pretend to be someones friend. And I dont do stuff if i dont want to. I know a lot of people who feel liek they HAVE to go do something if someone asks them to. I probably sound like I think I am better than people but I mean seriously, there are some ignorant people out there

Oh, and most people don't love kitties like me either. They think I am crazy. I am also a part of forums for guinea pigs, hamsters and mice just because I have all of those and think its helpful when u have a question. But this is the only one I check every day and post stuff like this, not even pertaining to cats

I definitely "fit in" here.


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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 06:07 PM
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What a neat question!

The short answer? I'm nuts.... lol!
Well that's part of it.

I have crippling social anxiety syndrome, panic disorder, depression and agorophobia, all worsened by an obnoxious spinal disease. It doesn't bother me to admit all that.
Off line people horrify me, lol!!!
I started joining forums when I was looking for a border collie rescue, I lurked for a while. Then popped in a conversation. I found people to be very nice, so I decided to look for a cat forum since I have a love of cats. I joined here, I lurked, then began posting when I first got Nala.
It's nice to be part of a community that doesn't run screaming when you say you have a bunch of cats And it's nice to "talk" with people who understand why it's good to rescue and foster.

I pretty much have no life outside of my house and computer. I don't drive and I have a service dog. Having her is a blessing, but at the same time a burden. I have found a lot of people (when i do go out to try to be social) are really put off by the fact I have to bring a dog EVERYWHERE with me. It weirds them out I guess.

So I spend a lot of time on forums. Well really just this forum, left dog forums because all they do is fight. I'm happy and as healthy as I can be given the circumstances


And besides... I don't have to actually get all dressed up for you all, because Lorna actually getting all dressed up would surely traumatize the cats...
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticborders

I pretty much have no life outside of my house and computer. I don't drive and I have a service dog. Having her is a blessing, but at the same time a burden. I have found a lot of people (when i do go out to try to be social) are really put off by the fact I have to bring a dog EVERYWHERE with me. It weirds them out I guess.
Now, see, I would see that as a POSITIVE!!


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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 08:55 PM
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Well, I showed up here when I was looking for help when Callie was sick with IBD. I stuck around because I liked the people I met here. Then, of course, the whole forum was involved in "watching Holly grow" and by then I was pretty well entrenched.

At the time I was doing a LOT of traveling for work and phasing out of volunteering for the local shelter due to my travel schedule as well as changes and personalities that were going on there. So I needed people to talk cat with. I also saw the forum as an opportunity to continue 'volunteering' and helping cats even though I was no longer involved with the shelter.

I guess I have more of a social life than some of you have talked about, but I really like my alone time. If social activity gets really busy, I tend to withdraw and really look forward to time on my own. I have my laptop set up on the living room couch, so if I'm relaxing and watching TV, it's always in my lap.


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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 09:15 PM
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i can take bits and pices from most of the post and it would be the same for me lol. im a loner. i dont have a job right now i never keep jobs i just cant stand people lol i love working but the people get to me. i have no kids just aniamls. i have one freind from high school but i rarely see or talk to her she is busy working and has 2 kids.

the first forum i visted was mostly fighting so i didnt realy care for it than i found the newfy forum and the people there were so nice and well i always said i would never meet anyone off the internet but that went out the window with the newfy forum and i enjoy meeting them.

than i thought well if there is a nice forum than maybe there is more so i looked for a cat one found this one and have stayed around lol i also joined alot of others but rarely vist them anymore. this forum and the newfy one are the only 2 that i try to check daily.
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