Posted by: Captured Angel | 2003/03/25

Why Do Forumers Forum?

I wonder what makes me come to the site to post my messages. I know I like to help people. I like having a little soap box where I can have my say too, but most people I know are not even interested in internet forums. I hate the "Is it normal question?" But I can't help wondering if there is a certain kind of person or whether generally people with a certain predominant personality trait frequent forums. Do you know of any research done?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Dang it ! The perils of this new ultra-powerful ultra-fast computer is that if one accidentally taps the wrong key, one can lose an entire carefully though-out reply, irretrievably !
Anyhow, as I was saying before I lost the message --- I have discussed such issues with colleagues in the USA who are also interested in cyber-psychology, and there seems to be no good research on the issue you raise. It'd be hard to research, because of the format and the anonymity we usefully provide ; and even if one relied on volunteers to answer a questionnaire, they'd be unlikely to be representative of the majoirty of messagers and lurkers !
Having started this Forum on the web years ago when it was a very new and original idea, I am really pleased with the way it has shaped up --- with the substantial number of regulars we have, who are sincere and kindly people ; and with how rare it is for us to be visited by the nasty and malicious types who frequent other Fora, and also how very few are the fluffy / flirty / flitty types also common in other Forums. I think such a group of decent folks tend to attract similar people, to visit and stay !

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Our users say:
Posted by: White Dove | 2003/03/29

Well said, Paul!

Reply to White Dove
Posted by: Paul | 2003/03/27


You are too cynical about people’s motives. The very purpose why the forum was created was to help people in need and this is exactly what is being achieved here. All readers benefit from the advice given, directly or indirectly.

Reply to Paul
Posted by: Tracy | 2003/03/26

What a lovely nick-name you chose for yourself, Captured Angel, I like the image it conjures up. You have received some really warm and sincere responses from people - what a nice bunch of human beings they are.

Clearly they are speaking for themselves but I suspect that there are other reasons besides these obvious ones. I have a feeling that these fora are popular because the regulars are voyeurs of some sort - they like peering into the minds and hearts of others. Perhaps they get a kick out of it, perhaps they derive some strange pleasure out of the misery others are suffering. As for those that provide advice, it may be that they enjoy dispensing it, feel good about themselves while doing it.

Reply to Tracy
Posted by: curly | 2003/03/26

Captured Angel-
I have been here on and off since I first found this sight because of the great people and the often great advice. Hats off to the Doc for "listening" to the unending posts of problems, some just needing a little advice and others a life-line. I feel like I am filled up every time I visit. I try to reach out occassionally to give back what I feel like it has given to me. In this day when so often you feel like "you're the only one" or people are so busy you don't want to be troubling them, or even sometimes you're embarassed, it's so refreshing to have a place to let that all go. The best part to me too is that you get the straight answer. So often I find people that will listen and then say what they think I want to here instead of what they really think. I don't worry about that here. I'm just plain thankful that it's here when I need it and so many others apparently!

Reply to curly
Posted by: White Dove | 2003/03/25

Dear Captured Angel/Cybershrink
Having been there myself, the world can be a very lonely place when you are having problems. Everyone wants to be a friend when things are hunky dory but there seem to be few who are willingly to be there when the chips are down. And I by no means say that there are'nt good friends around. A forum like this is wonderful for a troubled soul, even when strangers post some kindly words of support, it takes the edge off feeling like its you against the world. Some people have no one to turn to or discuss their problems with - no offense, but therapists etc. cost a lot of money and not everyone can afford it. What I see on this forum is as CyberShrink says, the regulars are warm-hearted, sincere and kindly people. This restores my faith in human beings because believe me, we have more than our fair share of the evil kind. So if I can provide a hug or wipe a tear by being here for someone who needs it, I am more than willingly.
With love & light :)

Reply to White Dove
Posted by: Zeena | 2003/03/25

Dear Captured Angel -- I happened to find this forum, and started reading the posts, and some just pulled at my heartstrings. I have no hang-ups -- I just kept coming back because I had no idea how many people had heart-rending problems and no place to go. I am criticised often for answering. I also like to try and help people. Sometimes the question is vague, and therefore my effort to help might not be worth much. I think it is the pure neediness of people that makes one come back. Love -- Z

Reply to Zeena

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