Something that bothers me about "Online Community"

in General Discussion edited January 2014
So, like I said in another thread, I've been thinking a lot lately.

Online communities seem like a good thing. Take this board for example. A rather diverse group of people (age wise, geographically, politically, etc.) have come together to talk about something that we all have in common. And we feel like we know each other. We like some members, dislike others. Agree with some, disagree with others, and don't give a rat's ass about some.

I would even go as far as to say that some members have even formed new friendships with members of this board.

But what happens when one of us dies?

In a real community, everyone knows when someone dies. There's morning. Flowers. Funerals.

But I doubt we'd even know if one of us died. If it were someone that posted a lot, we might notice that they no longer post. But would probably assume that they just lost interest in the board, their computer was stolen. something like that.

And then we'd forget about them.

Am I the only one that thinks this is wierd?


  • Reply 1 of 3
    kaboomkaboom Posts: 286member
  • Reply 2 of 3
    bradbowerbradbower Posts: 1,068member
    I always thought that was weird and kinda sad too. I know if I died or something happened to me, no one would say anything to anybody online.. my Mom and my friends don't know much of anything at all about the boards and communities I go to. <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

    kaboom: that's pretty sad...
  • Reply 3 of 3
    moogsmoogs Posts: 4,296member
    The thought has actually crossed my mind before. Like Brad I don't think if something happened to me, anyone would know to post something here. The only thing you guys would have to go by is a lengthy absence of posts.

    In general though, I don't know that I necessarily buy the idea that boards like these are communities in the normal sense of the word. It has some similarities in terms of it being a diverse group of people, agreeing and disagreeing on all kinds of stuff. But for most of us who haven't met any other members in person, there's something missing there.

    We share opinions on lot's of things, but I'm not sure that's all that's required of a true "community." There's no substitute for seeing a reaction on a person's face or having been through both good and bad times with a person - those are the kinds of things that lead to communities out there in the real world. Things here are a little to artificial in certain respects, though not through any fault of our own - it's just the medium.

    Anyway, I surely wouldn't mind knowing more about which members are going through tough times (or good times) so that we could share in that a little more as a group. Let people know that even though there's no face behind the text for some of us, we still care about what happens to other members. Like when Leonis was sharing what he was going through with his grandmother...I don't know him personally, but I feel like I know him well enough that I feel compelled to share my sympathies / empathies, as did many others. I think that kind of thing brings us a little closer and makes us more community-like....
Sign In or Register to comment.