Message Board Bitching

I belong to a few message boards, mostly as a lurker because I'm a firm believer in not posting unless I have something compelling to post.

There's this one board I belong to that's very active, people there just love to post about nothing and everything. I'm always sure to find at least one digest of postings in my morning email queue and receive up to two or three (when its busy)throughout the day. It's a publishing/writing board that wouldn't be of much interest to people who aren't writers who want to be published. It especially attracts newbies and a few published authors who use it to network.

Lately, it's also been dominated by one poster. This poster is needy and a drama queen with a faithful set of groupies who can't seem to get enough of her. When I meet up with my group of writer friends, we talk smack about her because it's practically unavoidable--we all belong to the same board and its how we met. She's one of the big reasons none of post much anymore and one of the reasons we skim the digest to see what personal non-tragedy she's managed to make the days topic of posting. I don't know this poster in real life, but something tells me she'd be both hurt and thrilled by it.

These types thrive off of being the center of attention, even (especially?) if its negative. I do my part by not bothering to respond to her exclamation point laden messages while waiting (in vain) for the usually strict board moderators to step in and finally put her in place. Then, at least, we could all go back to the business of asking grammar questions in relative peace and monotony.

A long while ago I belong to another board, not writing related, and there was another poster (again, a gal) who had such a victim complex that I couldn't help but take the bait. It went on and on until I finally posted that if she wanted to continue with the thread (something about her being snubbed by a family member) she'd have to do it all by herself which of course defeated the whole purpose of the exercise for the both of us. I wasn't willing to play my part anymore so she didn't have any reason not to shut up and stop typing. Which she eventually did. And after a day's silence, posted she was leaving the board because it was obvious she wasn't welcome and no one bothered to tell her otherwise. I ended up going back to lurking, posting occasionally and then drifting away from the board once I found I had nothing to contribute and really didn't need it in my life anymore. (Which is a good thing!)

Generally, I like boards. You can learn a lot, ask questions and be a raging, needy bitch and find plenty of company until you wear out your welcome. Isn't the Internet great?!

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