If you decide to leave a forum, what should you do?

This question stems from what seems to be a strange amount of threads that people make when they decide to “leave” an online forum.

I’ve heard varying opinions on the matter.
I heard “the goodbye threads” are lame and pointless.
I’ve heard that they allow people the chance to say goodbye to friends they made over the net.
I’ve heard that anyone who makes a “goodbye thread” eventually comes back anyway…so, wtf was the point of saying goodbye anyway?

So, my question is:
What would you do if you thought you were leaving a beloved online forum?
Would you make a “goodbye thread”?
Just leave and disappear into the mists of cyberspace?

I’d just leave; anyone who knew me enough to care about me leaving would likely know me outside the forum, and would know that I was leaving and why.

On other message boards I’ve belonged to, “swan song posts” were almost always shameless attention-grabs, and almost always ended up with the poster coming back (often, several times).

Obviously there are exceptions.

Stop posting.

Quick and dirty. Poof, gone.

Just stop posting. I did it that way at AR15.com, The High Road, and The Darwin Awards (when they still had a dedicated board) and several other boards and usenet groups. Any “close” friends one has on a board can be PM’ed or emailed about the decision, if you think that is necessary. “I’m Leaving!” threads rank high on the list of shameless attention whoring activities.

I’ve quit boards, twice now, once by writing a spectacular mega-screed detailing everything and everyone that was making it an uncomfortable place for me to post, and the other time by writing a more thoughtful, self-blaming post analyzing why it was that I had persisting in posting in a place where I no longer felt comfortable. (Two seperate boards, with a little overlapping population.)

Far as I can tell (I lurk once in a while), I’m perceived as a self-indulgent idiot both places.

Three years ago, I left a message board in which I was heavily involved for about two years. After a nasty kerfluffle with one of the mods, I simply disappeared without a trace. I am still occasionally tempted to go back there and make one last post, about the anti-intellectual, self-indulgent hypocrisy of the posters and the censorous megalomania of the moderators. But so far, I haven’t. But it’s been three years, and I’d still like to…

From my observations, people who leave Good-Bye threads are often the worst attention-whores, who mainly do it to read what others say about them - and the vast majority return within a short time. I’ve seen one particularly toxic person do this repetitively on several boards.

The people who really want to leave, just do so. No scene, no regrets - they just shake off the dust and move on.

Its probably polite to say goodbye provided:

  1. You’ve had enough of a presence that people will care and

  2. You can do it without slamming the board, the people who still participate it, or the moderators.


Hi everyone, just thought I’d let you know that after four years and 5,000 posts this will be my last post - at least for a while. I’ve really enjoyed my time here and learned alot, but I don’t have time for this right now in my life. I hope I’ll be back eventually. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me and decide I’m dead in an apartment waiting to be found months from now. So goodbye. I wish you all the best…I’d be happy to get email from anyone.


Hey everyone. You are all so stupid and the mods here are Nazis. So I’m not going to grace you with my exceptional intellect anymore. There are a ton of better places on the internet. You suck. And the mods are Nazis. And this isn’t worth paying for.


In defense of my attention-whoring, I feel compelled to add that I had begun (founded?) one of the boards I felt I had to quit, and was a very major player on the other. I certainly would have been noticed if I just stopped posting and, in an odd way, that would have probably resulted in more attention than my leaving abruptly did.

That’s funny. I’d call that a clean break. :slight_smile:

But yeah; “poof, gone” is the exit sound.

I would give a heads up via private e-mail to anyone who I’ve come to consider an online friend.

Other than that, yeah, poof, gone.

You could always get shot down in a blaze of glory, to quote Bon Jovi, by insulting everyone and everything here in the rudest and most offensive terms you can think of before concluding with “You can’t ban me - I QUIT!”.

I forget exactly what I said when I left one messageboard recently - actually the first board I’ve ever quit - but it was something along the lines of that I no longer enjoyed it. I feel that it’s impolite to just disappear.

You could always fake your own death. Stop posting, and then sign up under a guest membership as your own spouse: “Sorry, but Case Sensitive died yesterday. On his way back from the oncology clinic where he regularly donated teddy bears to orphans, he dashed into a burning building to rescue an injured swan, and was tragically run over by an drunken ice-cream truck driver on his way out. The swan survived. I know he would have wanted me to post this, as he was constantly talking about how much he loved this place and the people here.” Then sit back and wait for the plaudits to roll in.