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#1 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 01:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Feeling analytical tonight:

1. Why do you go to online communities?
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?


Any more thoughts?

Jesse
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#2 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 01:57 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?

it's fun. i get to meet new people from all over the world and talk about things that are important to me, within a comfortable medium.

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

not really, no.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

no.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

i am almost debilitatingly shy IRL. so, it's hard for me to make new friends... and it's even harder to make new friends, IRL, who share my interests + values + beliefs... it's a lot easier to come on to a community that i know (for the most part) upholds my personal ideals... yk? MDC keeps me striving to be a better parent (what an awkward sentence; i apologize), when IRL i live in a community filled with spankers, rednecks, under-educated people, and people who don't (can't, won't) see the value of Mothering-type ideals.
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#3 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 01:59 AM
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Because I am stalking you Jesse.

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#4 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 02:12 AM
 
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I like MDC because I can find others to chat with about stuff that intrests me.

Yes, I am part of a community IRL.

Maybe I can add to my relationships through on-line chats.

Where I live, things seem extremely one way or the other;...you're either like "us" or "New Wave". There is little tolerance to change.

Often people clam up as to not offend one another IRL.
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#5 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 02:14 AM
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1. Why do you go to online communities?

Because I need some form of support and companionship

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

Not at all. I have no friends here.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

No

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

Well, friendship mostly. I am really really shy. It is hard to make friends..
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#6 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 02:34 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?

This is the only one I go to, and I came here initially to ask questions about my daughter. I searched around and found interesting topics and started contributing. I found a lot of funny, smart and nice people here so I hung around.

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

Yes.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

Perhaps. However, I feel like a blind person - I can't see these people's faces, but I am having real interaction with people. I am amazed at how close you can get to someone online.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

My 5am coffee isn't so lonely. Also, it really helps me avoid my morning yoga and my household chores.

I am here who I am in real life. I am not a shy person, and I'm very philosophical (others may have noticed that here) and it is like I have a platform for my thoughts that I have bored my friends and family with already.

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#7 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 02:41 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?
to meet like-minded people, to ask questions and learn, to help someone if i can.

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
no. i'm disabled and home-bound most of the time, so the internet is my window to the world. although i do meet many people online that i end up meeting with offline

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
no way! i've met most of my best friends online, they've even visited me from around the world. i also met my husband in an online community

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?
i hate being stuck at home so much, so i try to re-create my old life - full of friends and activities - online, as much as possible. so far, it's worked really well. i also help other disabled people get computers and get online, whenever i can.

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#8 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 02:54 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Feeling analytical tonight:

1. Why do you go to online communities?
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?


Any more thoughts?

Jesse
1. I started going, because I found the whole concept of having a conversation online novel. Like, "I can post this comment, and someone will give me feedback! How cool!" But now, it's mainly for information. I am a glutton for information about anything and everything, and here, there is a lot of info on stuff I'm interested in.

2. No, mostly, it's just me and dh. I have a group of close friends, but we're scattered over two states, and only get together about once a month. My family is also two hours away, and I see them about as often. I don't feel comfortable with dh's family, who is closer.

3. No. I'm a homebody anyway. And I'm also a huge introvert. Like, right now, I"m home with my family, and I just got back from a gathering of those friends I was talking about. But I'm really glad the party's over, because I was getting worn out from all the socializing. I would like to have one or two close friends in the town I live in that I could see a few times a week, but I'm still pretty new to the area.

4. Personally, I don't feel like any social needs are being met here. Perhaps some intellectual conversation needs are being met, because I know people here are coming from the same general direction I am. And of course, the informational needs are being met. People here are so knowledgable!

Is that what you wanted to know?
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#9 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 03:43 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?

Social reasons, to ask questions that either I can't ask in person (too embarassing) or nobody around here would "get".

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

No.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

No. I wouldn't have had many in the 1st place. I'm shy IRL.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

Social and informational.

Any more thoughts?

Yes. This is actually one of my preferred means of communication, ESPECIALLY for debating. This is because I can read what someone wrote, mull it over, write a response, edit my response, back it up with links, etc. I can't do that IRL. I can't think of the "right" thing to say in time. I can't back up my opinions with studies. I can't edit to fix an error. I can't take 14 hours to think about a conversation, then come back with the perfect response.
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#10 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 04:17 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?
I love that there is always something new to read. I love being able to connect anonymously, or not--I love having that choice. Plus coming to online forums makes it easier to find people who have similar thoughts and goals that I do. A much bigger arena

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

No, I don't know anyone here.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

No, I don't think so. I was never very good at making IRL friends before I even had access to the internet.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?
You know, I'm really not sure--maybe my need to always have something new to read? I can sit at the computer, nurse ds, and always find something interesting to read at the same time (w/out holding a book!)

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#11 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 04:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Feeling analytical tonight:

1. Why do you go to online communities?
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?


Any more thoughts?

Jesse
Hi Star! Good thread.

1. This is my only online community and I come here for the interaction. This is a much more worthwhile activity than TV. I love that I have made so many friends here!

2. Yes, but when I first started here I was alone and far away. MDC helped ease the lonliness for sure.

3. Maybe. I definitely spend too much time here. I really should pick up the phone.

4. The thing is though, MDC feels like downtime for me. Its great. My needs for quiet and relaxation are met here.

Oh yeah, and I also learn so much. That was the point in the first place! I don't have any kids yet but I feel confident in my knowledge of NFL , with just 8 months of lurking. I appreciate all you wise mommas so much.
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#12 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 04:25 AM
 
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What about you, Jesse?
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#13 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 04:28 AM
 
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For me the needs met were what others have said--more stimulating discussion than I might have with a friend face to face, and access to a wide variety of experience and viewpoints.

I also have always thought of online communication as a way to meet other people in my community. I met my husband online and got in contact with friends in my area by joining a Yahoo group. I have also been to get togethers IRL with people I've talked to online.
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#14 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 07:32 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?
So I can ramble on lol.. really it's just fun and enjoyable (99.9 percent of the time)

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
Not currently, no. We've almost lived here a year, and I can't get a real feel for the people or place. I like how liberal it is though. We are moving in spring anyway to somewhere that I feel I *do* have something of a community IRL.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
Not really. Define "real" though, ya know? There are so many different kinds of relationships to be had IMO.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?
Conversation with mostly like minded, friendly, insightful people. I go to other communities (and volunteer at one as well). Common interests and having something to relate to with other people.

"The true measure of a man is how he treats a man who can do him absolutely no good."
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#15 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 09:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Feeling analytical tonight:

1. Why do you go to online communities?
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?


Any more thoughts?

Jesse
1. It's an easy way to find people who are interested in some of the same things I find are a part of my life. Here it is the way I choose to raise my children. I have another online community I have been a part of for four years and that one is health related.

2. No. We move so much. I do have one friend here in town, but she works full time now, so we don't see each other much anymore. I have friends from other places I've lived and I keep in touch with them by phone or by e-mail. My family I see now and then. They all live pretty far away.

3. No. It's actually a help to me. I have health issues and being around "real" people can sometimes be problematic. Their perfumes, fragrances from their laundry detergents, household cleaners they use or air-fresheners ,etc.can cause problems for me. I am an extrovert mainly ( I do have my quiet days now and then ) and it was a hard adjustment for me to be so cut off from people. I had expected to be working part-time or doing volunteer work while both my dc's were in school. I do get out, but am not dependable as I never know if it will be a good day or a bad day.

4. Social and informational needs. Also, it's just fun!

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#16 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 10:28 AM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?

I enjoy self-selecting communities with a strong statement of purpose that serve to educate and build ideas that I can interact with at will.

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

Yes, several.

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

No, although I have in the past. I am only online at times that it is convenient for me, including the times I would not be interacting in 3d, ie early morning, late at night.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

People with a strong passion for a singular interest. I don't participate in more general forums because they tend to run the gamut, and put me in conversations with people I'd rather not spend time with.
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#17 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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#18 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i'm hearing:

Online communities provide an outlet for social interaction for those whom it is either impossible (physically) or uncomfortable (shyness).

People like to be able to discuss things anonymously or semi-anonymously, people like to read a variety of topics and be challenged in ways of thinking, doing and feeling.

"Real" relationships are sometimes formed out of online communities, but for most online communities act as either a subsitute or supplement to real-life communities.

People seek information from others who have BTDT and often stay because the board fills a need (see above)--in essence, they were not seeking the community aspect of it initially, but liked what they saw and stayed.

I'll answer my own questions:

1. Why do you go to online communities?

I came for information and stayed because at the time (I was pg with my eldest dd--this was in 1999), I knew no one IRL who was in the same place. I went to Babyzone.com and became a part of their due date club board. I'm still a part of our own private board from that group. I also spent many hours in those early years in chat--I had a job where I was not expected to do anything for vast amounts of time during the day and could chat for hours. Making instant friends, at least superfically, was exciting. At the time, I was one of the only people on Babyzone who was planning a homebirth, so I became the voice for homebirth, and later for informed choice on vaccinations. Ultimately, I left because I was tired of fighting the fight with mainstream mamas.

2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?

I have a few key friends but I do not have my ideal community--and if you've read any recent posts from me, you know how that makes me feel!

3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?

I would admit that it has over the years. I wonder if I would have invested the time spent online in fostering friendships, if things would be different. That being said, I have made some incredible friends online and wouldn't trade them for the world. I am going to be really aware of not shutting myself off in the future--maybe it's been easy for me to have an outlet here and because of that, I don't seek out the physical, IRL support I need and want.

4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?

I feel welcomed, valued and appreciated. I also feel inspired by other mamas and papas who work hard to raise good people. I don't feel isolated in my parenting choices, and know I can call on my MDC family for support if needed. I still seek out information from other wise parents and know that without my online communities, I would be very sad!

I'm so interested by how online communities have filled a social niche for women and men in the last 8 or so years--what universal needs are being met, how were they met before, what is universally missing from our social structure that so many are drawn to this kind of outlet (not a judgement at all--just a question), how online communities have shaped parenting practices....

So here's a question: if your social life (I've also referred to this as a social landscape) was perfect, would you still frequent online communities?




Jesse
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#19 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AdinaL
Because I am stalking you Jesse.
You can stalk me anytime, baby. I think you're keen.
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#20 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 06:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Funshine, your sig cracks me up.
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#21 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indiegirl
Feeling analytical tonight:

1. Why do you go to online communities?
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships?
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities?


Any more thoughts?

Jesse
1 to hang with like minded people but unfortunately I don't find many of them.

2 Yes

3 No, online is real IMO

4 I don't know, sometimes seems like it's more annoying than enjoyable.
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#22 of 22 Old 12-30-2004, 07:24 PM
 
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1. Why do you go to online communities?
Because, here, I feel that my parenting choices are validated. It's also easier to connect with others in my actual community.
2. Are you a part of a strong community IRL?
No, not really.
3. By going online, do you think you are cutting yourself off from "real" relationships? No, in fact it has helped me make new and lasting friendships.
4. What needs are filled by coming to MDC or other online communities? Again, I get validated, I have somewhere to rant, rave, celebrate, etc. I just don't really have that here.
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