Friday, December 15, 2006

Chatrooms & connections

I've been really wondering why people reach to the internet to connect with others, usually seeking out those with similar life experiences, but often just seeking out others period. Not that finding supportive people is a bad thing. I'm extremely happy that I've found people I can actually relate to online, people that know what it's like to be mentally ill. It definitely takes away the feeling I held for so many, many years that there wasn't a soul on earth that could fathom what I was suffering with each day.

I'm talking more about chatrooms. More in the context of the fact that on a whole, the internet is actually a very cold, invalidating environment. A lot of people, particularly borderlines, come from very invalidating environments to begin with. According to the information out there, it's one of the things that made us borderline. So then why would I risk further hurt and rejection by trying to connect with people through an inanimate object?

I often ask this of myself. I've been online for over 10 years now and my first experience on the world wide web was being in a chatroom. At the time I was still gainfully employed and actually had real life friends, so I don't know what drew me to seek out relationships by fonting at people on a screen. The whole idea seems, well...weird when you really think about it.

Having seen the ugly side of chatting which includes people breaking confidences, people outright lying about who they are, people faking their deaths, people getting into the most ridiculous of arguments, people scamming others out of money, countless people hooking up in one long distance relationship after the next and so on, I wonder why I still bother. What is it I'm personally looking for when I venture into the chatroom?

At times I find myself not seeing anything more than a person's font. Forgetting that there is a live human being with feelings, wants and needs on the other end. I think a lot of people do and I base that solely on the actions and behaviours I've witnessed. The whole culture of the internet is far different than that of real life, face to face interactions. Things people say and do online, they would never dream of doing to people they encounter as they're out and about in their neighborhoods.

There was a time when I would spend hours online, in my favorite chatroom. I knew these were people I would probably not have been friends with in real life simply because we have nothing in common. But somehow we were able to share quite a few laughs during our time spent in that chatroom.

I've moved away from that now. I still occasionally go into the chatroom I used to spend so much time in, but it's just not the same. For the most part, all I do now is check to see who's in there chatting and promptly decide I'm not interested in joining in. Or if I do go in, I end up doing other things online like playing games or doing stuff around the house like reading or watching tv and completely forget I even logged into the room.

Think I'll forever be puzzled by why I got so hooked on being in a chatroom for so long, and how suddenly everything changed and it became so uninteresting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the internet allows many of us to see that we are not alone, and that is a wonderful thing. As with chat rooms and other trends, they have a fast burn-out arc. Passionately interesting then poof, the fascination wanes.

Deb at

1:26 PM, December 15, 2006  
Blogger sansanity said...

ok i typed this long response and stupid blogger didn't seem to take it. i'll come back later...


7:47 AM, December 16, 2006  

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