SDMB Envy...or Something Like It

This probably won’t apply to 99.9% of the people who read this, as it is posted by a person who is sick of reading the SDMB. Nevertheless, I must post it anyway.

Last year and the year before, I was posting to and reading the boards like a madman. Now, I either don’t have the time (which is a good thing) or am just bored with (a bad thing) the SDMB. Some of the boredom comes from not being familiar with the posters anymore. Some of it comes from just reading the same threads I’ve read in the years past. But, I miss the fests. I miss meeting and hanging out with the wonderful people I have met on the SDMB.

So, how do I resolve this? Do I post and read more on the SDMB? No, I don’t think so. It’s just not the same. Where do I go from here? I’m happy in my life, over all. I just want to be a part of something bigger. I want to find that wonderful group of friends like the group I have met here. Geez, I don’t know where I’m going with this. What I do know is, I want the companionship that I’ve found here on the SD, but I don’t want to come to the SD to find it. Is this a pipe dream, like winning the lottery?

Where do I go from here?

I don’t have an answer, simply because I could have written that very OP.

I’m with you, Demo. I don’t know what it is either. I find myself getting the same fulfillment that I used to get from the SD from Live Journal. I guess because there it is mostly all my favourite people.

I still read the boards, but I find less that catches my interest, I post even less than I read now. Before I’d check several times a day, now sometimes days go by and I don’t even worry about “what did I miss?!” because I seem to find it’s “nothing”.

If you find the answer, let me know, huh?

Will do Mauvy. :frowning:

Count me in on that feeling too. I used to know the majority of posters here but since I don’t/can’t post as often anymore, I’m totally lost so I post more over at lj.

  1. Say your goodbyes and permanently retire your username.

  2. Take a long break from the SDMB. Read Cecil’s column, but stay away from the boards altogether. Find a new avocation, preferably something that requires fresh air, exercise, and face-to-face interaction with other humans.

  3. After a few weeks/months/years of self-imposed exile, sign up again with a new identity.

  4. Start from scratch as a newbie. Get to know all the new members and reacquaint yourself with the old regulars. Work hard at proving your intelligence and wit. Make new friends and new enemies. Amass an impressive post count and become a fixture. Get bored.

  5. Repeat step 1.

You’ve hit on something important, Demo. I owe more than most to the SDMB. I’ll stop short of saying I owe my life as it is to the SDMB, but my wonderful life certainly wouldn’t have come about without the SDMB. I’ve met my wife and son here. I am happier than a pig in shit, and the root of that happiness is here.

But…
Still…

This place dosen’t have the same feeling that it had before. When did it change? I dunno. I don’t think it’s the number of folks here, I’m always willing to meet new folks. Part of it is that many of the newer folks view this as nothing but a message board, ignoring the community that’s here. A HUGE part of it, IMHO, came about when they decided to make Mr. Asshole-Rules-Above-All-Else a moderator ( Personally, I wouldn’t trust him with a pillow, but that’s just me )and he started posting a ridiculous warning in every dopefest thread. It’s pinned now, but before the software changed, it was annoying as hell. The whole place has just assumed a more formal air. That’s not necessarily bad, but in their zeal to make the forums most accessable to everybody and still part of corporate America, the SDMB has trampled over the community that it created. It’s a shame, but there it is. We had something special for a long time, but “progress” has caught up to us. More the pity.

It’s not special anymore, it’s less than ordinary. People like Geobabe and myself have found kindred spirits for the rest of our lives. I’d be suprised if something like that happens anymore.

I’ve always been kind of removed from any deep involvement here. I don’t chat much, I’ve never met anyone from the board, and I don’t even have IM conversations with anyone here. However, I’ve had the same kind of experience at another board I frequent. It got bigger, the style changed, some of my friends had arguments with the owner, others just kind of drifted away, new people came in, and it all left me feeling vaguely dissatisfied and wistful about the good old days.

After visiting a board regularly for three years, it’s inevitable that the threads start looking alike and that people repeat themselves, so it starts getting boring. The people you loved to interact with when you started coming and it was all fresh drift away, and the new people don’t seem as interesting. Maybe just the act (or non-act) of sitting in front of the computer every day makes what’s on that computer seem boring. I’m not sure what the cure is, although seeking out new people who seem interesting isn’t a bad idea. Our environments are always changing. If we can’t or don’t want to change with them, we end up getting left behind.

:frowning:

::sighs::

Me too. I still check here and post occasionally but nothing like I used to. Like Mauvaise, I keep up through LJ. Also #straightdope and AIM.

I keep thinking “maybe it will be better”.

I also find myself wondering if some people have an unexpressed thought or post in every goddamn thread, but I’m a bitch.

That’s a very succint observation, Internet Legend. Thanks for the insight.

Well, I just got here, and I’ve yet to meet anyone or even have much contact with anyone off-board. I know what you mean about repetitive threads and the loss of the sense of community, since I’ve felt that way on another board I post on, but we (the old-timers there) don’t post about it (to avoid making “newbies” feel unwelcome).

I think this feeling is inevitable when a community like this approaches the size it is.

I just take a break from the aforementioned board.

[ Moderator hat on ]

Dave, you know the rules. If you have a complaint or want to call names, take it to the Pit. This is not the place for it.

Thanks.

[ Moderator hat off ]

Don’t worry, Euty, he wasn’t talking about you :smiley:

No problem Euty, my bad. I apologise. Personal beefs boiling over onto the boards, it won’t happen again.

Interesting comment, Demo.

In 1992 or so, I started playing a mud with some friends of mine. There were ~100 people playing at any given time, and after months and years, I gradually got to know many of the people behind the names. The mud is based in Sweden (yet the mud was in English), and that was the driving reason for my learning Swedish and several vacations to Scandahoovia.

Around 1995, I disappeared for a year, and when I came back, I knew almost nobody. The majority of players on the mud were college-aged, and when they graduated, they moved on. I had the same feeling you described above. My reaction at that time was to refuse to give up the memories of the ‘good old days’ and I did the equivalent of posting and reading more.

New friends were made, old friends were remembered, time passed.

~1998, I started to feel that way again. There was no draw for me, there was no appeal. Another wave of friends had come and gone, and I didn’t have the energy in me to find out who everyone was again. And, of course, it felt like things had changed. It felt like what had come before was the Golden Age and now everything was in decline. I haven’t played on that mud for over four years now, but I still log in daily and idle. Rarely, very rarely, one of my old friends will log in for old times’ sake and see me, and we’ll reminisce. But for me, that online community has moved on.

I wonder what my point is, here.

As time goes on, the older posters will eventually all disappear, whether it be from meltdowns and bannings, lack of interest, or something else entirely. And for those who start to feel at home, and want the community to remain unchanged, there’s a natural feeling of loss. I’d wager that a new poster today would feel as you do in two more years.

My solution? For that mud, I had to let it go. Either I outgrew it or it outgrew me. For another online community, I’ve taken a middle ground. I’m still around, but I no longer contribute; rather, I lurk, I keep in touch with the friends I’ve made, but I can’t make a claim of being an active participant there.

Long story short? It’s your decision, and what worked for someone else may not necessarily work for you.

Having been here longer than most people, I have certainly seen some repetitive threads. In some cases, I’ve seen a topic making its ninth or tenth appearance. And by that point, even if I was interested in the topic the first time around, I have nothing left to say on the subject. Not being someone who likes to endlessly rehash the same arguments, I tend to avoid these threads.

But regardless of how long I’ve been here, I can always find something new. If nothing else there are constantly new subjects to be questioned and discussed arising out in the real world. So the secret of keeping the board fresh is staying away from the type of threads you opened in the past and checking out some new ones.

As for the people, there are certainly posters whom I miss. But fortunately this board has always been able to bring in new people.

Interesting thread! I know the feeling you describe. I’ve been through it with a listserv and another message board … it’s a common sort of internet malaise, I think.

I think some of it is that the new-ness has worn off. At first, it was AMAZING to learn that other people had the same weirdnesses and foibles that I do. I think this is especially true for people who have somewhat off-center interests, or a particularly bent sense of humor, or whatever. And in a group like this, one that self-selects for being intelligent and quirky, there’s an overwhelming feeling of “WOW I HAVE FOUND MY PEOPLE!” Then, as InternetLegend points out, as time goes by one notices that a lot of stuff gets repeated, and things don’t seem nearly as special and unique.

Also, relationships that go off-board don’t always enhance the board itself. I’ve noticed that I will keep a lot of my comments for personal emails, or Live Journal, or in-person conversations with other Dopers. Because heck, not every stranger who reads these boards wants to hear me express every thought that pops into my head, right? But it also eliminates the possibility that a stranger will read it, and post something clever and funny and interesting, and presto – a new friend! It’s a weird little cycle when you realize that that is exactly how I first met my Doper email/LJ/in person friends to begin with.

This leads to the basic factor of time – as friendships form, and you spend more time getting to know the more intimate (I didn’t mean it like that, you pervs! ;)) things about your new friends via email or ICQ etc etc, that’s less time you have to participate in the boards. Sure, you can keep both up to a point, but a day is still 24 hours long, and you have to sleep and stuff.

Solution? I don’t know. If you’re not quite ready to leave the boards yet, maybe focus on getting to know a few new people who spark your interest. I suspect that a lot of newbies would welcome that. If you find yourself in an interesting conversation with a friend in email or LJ, maybe decide to bring it to the boards, so that other people can chime in. Be wary of falling into the trap of “all the old people were cool, all the new people are boring, the boards have changed.” Sure, the boards have changed, because the people who made up the old guard have changed. You have changed. It seems that it’s often easier for people to gripe about “how things have changed” than to do something that steers one’s experience with an internet group to a place that one enjoys.

Oh, I didn’t mean “you” as in you, Demo …just a general you, when I think of the people I have known from various internet communities who endlessly lament the cyberglory days of yore.

As noted, the board has gotten a lot bigger and the rules have evolved. There’s nothing in the rules that bothers me, but I certainly understand what the large membership can do to one’s appreciation of who’s here.

I’ve several times been surprised to notice a poster for the first time when they’ve already got 600 posts. And occasionally I suddenly realize that so-and-so has just plain disappeared; well, and sometimes they pop up again a year later.

My interest waxes and wanes, and it’s really GQ that keeps me coming. MPSIMS, where I’ve certainly spent some time, does get quite mundane. I don’t think I’ve even looked in the Pit for weeks. And something will happen to reinvigorate my interest - say the biannual question that I actually know something about.

But everything changes, and somethings change to a point where they don’t mean the same thing to you anymore. I played drums for 25 years - played in many bands and even managed to make my living at it for a while. That was a part, a big part, of who I was. And other aspects of my existence kept moving along until finally I realized the musical part of my life was completed.

College was an experience that was both quite fun and somewhat of a burden, and a lifestyle, and then it was over. And new stuff comes along. But, I also still have several good friends from college days.

As I glance over this thread, I think I’ve met about half of the respondents IRL (heh - and not a one of you a Texan), and I’ll quite possibly see some of y’all again.

I don’t know how you rekindle your interest Demo, pal, but at the least the positive experience you’ve already had with the board will always be part of your life.

[sub]I’m not sure I made a point…[/sub]

I think I understand where you’re coming from, Demo, and I echo the sentiments of Weirddave and others in this thread.

As can be observed from my registration date and post count, I’m not one who’s been heavily involved with the SDMB, pretty much ever. I’ve been coming since the AOL days (which, I believe, makes this either my 4th or 5th year on the boards), and the closeness is certainly waned. There are so many new posters, constantly, and those of my generation (so to speak) have faded away, changed screennames into something I’m unfamiliar with, or been banned. Some of my favorite posters, in fact, are rare sights here anymore.

Even DopeFests are losing their fun for me. They’re real life counterparts of what I see happening on the Board–many, many more people I don’t know, and oftentimes have never heard of, and fewer and fewer of the “old timers” that I interact with on the SDMB.

GQ keeps me coming, as well, and every now and then (this is a now period) I’ll get into MPSIMS or IMHO mood.

But no, it isn’t the same. It’s much less personal for me, and I can’t say I feel as though I have many friends around here. It’s more a fun place to bouce off ideas and share information with what continues to become a group of strangers.

So perhaps my days are winding down, too. I’ll likely become one of those who fade away, unnoticed by most (if not all) here.

It’s kind of sad, but the SDMB is a very different place than it was when the AOL board was up…or even when this site first went up.

I know of no solutions. I suppose all I can do is identify with you (all), and commiserate.

This October will be my fifth anniversary of Doperhood (I took off a year in the middle, though). And people have been saying pretty much the exact same thoughts expressed in the OP for as long as I can remember. Sometimes I feel that way too, but I always wander back. I’ve met so many fabulous people as a result of this MB, I wouldn’t want to abandon it completely. I don’t really feel the need to psychoanalyze my relationship with this message board, though.