I've been feeling a little off my moorings lately, adrift, directionless lost at sea, if you will. This is occurring for several reasons, I think. 1 - Some of the people I work with have been vomiting crazy all over my office, which has been a challenge, 2 - I have upcoming scans, which always puts me in a pensive mood, like it or not, and 3 - at the same time, one of my online support communities has ceased to 'do it' for me.
This last item has been a disappointment. It has nothing to do with the community as such. I think it has just gotten too big for me. In 'real' life, I am comfortable in smaller, more intimate groups. I'm learning that I have the same preference for online groups as well.
Although larger groups can increase the number of 'services' available to members, for me (and I can't stress that enough), when smaller groups grow into larger ones, they lose their unique characters. The closer relationships possible in smaller groups seem to be replaced by superficial ones. Answers to questions that used to be kindly yet honest, now are widely generalized and rather smarmy.
As I much prefer my communication to be direct and honest, my interest has faded. It seems to me that in larger groups (and society at large), people only want to feel good. It is not largely understood that negative things and feelings, although temporary, can be the impetus for some really good things. Unfortunately, to be direct and honest can sometimes be seen as negative, rude, insensitive, callous, harmful even. Consequently, you can get some pretty nasty backlash in larger online communities simply by putting an honest idea out there.
So, here I sit in my metaphorical tiny, online boat, alone, surrounded by miles and miles of empty silence - except for the click, click, click of my keyboard sending out my electronic message in a bottle adrift in the internet sea....