I have met many people on the internet. Many of them are stereotype characters who would feel comfortable featuring in a diversity of genres; drama, comedy, horror or even pure gore. I know this because I’m one of them.

If you’re reading, don’t fret. I mention no names.  

I have to talk about this because it’s all part of the process of our road to publication; the people we meet in this fabulously strange cyber universe that is the internet.

It began for me when I joined several writing forums.

I’d never done it before (chatted to a community of peers on-line). So entering the unknown and feeling way out of my comfort zone, I approached the whole thing with a blatant wit.

My wit was, and still is, often, strangely, misunderstood (it's the way I tell 'em). So it never surprised me when i joined some groups and introduced myself like a sledgehammer breaking down a door, that I was met with some caution.

Many avoided talking to me, some just dabbled and most found me pretty uninteresting. Then someone brave came along and with no issues resting on their un-slumped shoulders, we, more often than not, became instant buddies (or ‘friends’) as they say in internet speak.

I joined one site that only had a few members, and even now, years later, the people I met there still hold a special place in my in-box. We often pass each other along the way, in other locations, sometimes when we are least expecting it. It a warm feeling of belonging and acceptance, in a place populated by millions. (Or is that billions?)

The funniest experience I had was a science forum in America. I joined because I needed some questions answered for research.

It was like talking to beings from another dimension. We spoke different languages and as the lack of understanding from both parties continued over days and days, I ended up having to leave; so great was the stress of wondering what planet they were from. I mean no derision. I fear they thought I was of alien species too…‘Planet imagine’ versus ‘planet don’t-see-it-so-don’t-believe-it’…

I write this with affection, even though I left with hot scorching heels, because, live and live; we are all different.  And they were just scientist after all. Bless em!

Another site told me they don’t tolerate sarcasm. Oops! See ya!

Another would allow no confrontations. At all! If someone said something and everyone else disagreed, that said person (me) was encouraged to shut up and roll over. I never was one for doing as I was told, so I had to leave that one too. Pronto!

Another had so many agreeable people telling each other their work was wonderful, it was like being on the set of the Stepford wives.

Another had trolls (or sock puppets as they like to call them) running naughtily across its pages.  The trolls were so great in their numbers, I was often left wondering whether I’d just answered a perfectly sensible question or I’d just been had. I still pop in there occasionally, if I want a bit of crazy banter with a woolen mit.

The common denominator here of course is moi…so I bear no grudge nor hold any remorse for my absence from any of these sites and others, but my advice (for those who want it or even for those who don’t want it)…

Tread carefully the internet social path. Use it to your advantage whilst not forgetting your dignity and your honour. Hold your beliefs true and cast your opinion openly, without reserve or worrying about who will de-friend you. Most of all, never swear. Truly bad form!

Ultimately, the friends you nurture will stand the test of time. And when you are sitting, looking at a blank screen, unable to write; they will be there to hear your pain. They will hold your hand, stroke your brow and put their arms around your shoulders, until the time comes for when you can open that word file and delve once more into your creative writing world.

Forgo foes, forge friendships (just made that up)
xx

5/23/2011

Lol... You're a real treat, me dears.

That was a fun read and very tactfully written indeed. ha ha.

You always bring a smile to my face and I thank you for that, Wendy.

Oh and BTW I agree with everything I understood in realtion to my experiences on social websites.

You just couldn't make it up!!!


XXXX STONE OF CROWS.

Reply
Wendy
5/23/2011

Thank heavens it's not just me. Lolxx

Reply
dave
5/23/2011

lovely post wendy, funny and insightful as ever!! xxx

Reply
Teresa
5/23/2011

Tactful as ever, Wendy, haha!I'm raising a virtual glass to you. xx

Reply
Wendy
5/23/2011

Thanks, Dave. xxx

Reply
Wendy
5/23/2011

hey, T. Mine's a nice cold white wine and soda, not shaken, nor stirred, just straight up so that Ii may gracefully pour it down my gullet. cheers! xx

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