When I was a member of a couple parenting boards years ago members would use PMs to snipe about other members off board. I turned it off because I got tired of getting catty messages from other members who were critical of others’ input. Like “I noticed you were chatting with Miranda, you should do a history search she also advocates putting toddlers to bed with JUICE!!! so take what she says with a grain of salt” and other assorted gossip.
In an otherwise helpful online community, that stuff was petty and irritating, so I stopped it. Can’t really see that happening in this forum, but some members may be attempting to avoid drama, confrontation, or flirting.
I’ve only gotten like 10 PMs my whole time on the message board, which is a pretty sure indication I’m not interesting or well-liked. The lack of messages has put me into a darkening spiral of self-doubt and depression, which can only be solved by jumping off this moral coil or disabling that feature.
I’ve been PM’d to alert me to a thread of interest, or that someone had ‘summoned’ me to a thread. Because someone wanted something from me (whether offered or asked), because a friend wanted to bitch slap me privately, to compliment me; or for various other reasons.
Oh no, they used this collection of phonemic transcription symbols instead of that collection which both mean the same thing but one is considered to be part of a more informal register! The shame! The mortifying shame!
I use my email for almost all of my messaging private and for work; pops right up on my phone and I usually answer it right away. For friends that do not have email I text, then again I usually answer right away. PMing and IMing just seem to me to be just another tool that covers what I already have. Doesn’t add to my life or take way from my life if I don’t use that method of communication so for me it’s like meh.
Some posters have mentioned getting hostile or stalkery PMs in the past, to the point that people were creating socks just to send them insulting messages, so turning off the PM option nips that in the bud for the rare occasion where it’s necessary.