Pay Attention to Me!

by Primula with responses

Primula:

Just thought I'd throw this out there for chewing on.

What are your thoughts on folks who post at various boards/forums/chats/etc...

--->(and NO I don't mean these - this is a phenomena that occurs on every board/community I've ever seen, so no finger-pointing here - I'm just looking at this human condition in general.)


...Whose posts could pretty much be summed us as "me! me! me! pay attention to me! me!" and little else? Perhaps you have seen these drama-queens of the online world, who seem to wither without the full glare of the spotlight, and who will go to ridiculous lengths to keep it on themselves, some laughable, some almost pathogenic, some just sad.

There is something about it that affects the others around them and it seems to be like dropping a magnet in a pile of metal bits. Depending on their polarization, folks are either drawn to comfort/support/assauge the "me-me!" or they are repelled away from it.... or it seems to have no effect. ("Seems" being the operative word, as if you were to ask them you usually find they do in fact have an opinion but are generally too polite or too timid to say it.)

Do you think the "me-me!" honestly needs that attention, that it is something their personality just requires, like sunlight on a plant? Do you pity them? Do you think the "me-me!" just needs to kind of, well, grow up? (I don't mean that in an insulting way, but I do observe that this manner of gaining a sense of importance/approval/comfort is most easily noted in children, especially the very young and the insecure adolescent.)

What does "me-me!" really want? Can an online medium provide it? What do you personally do when a "me-me!" shows up in your online world?

-----> NO names please - I am looking at the concept, not asking for a post of nasssty gossip. I know the temptation is there for all of you to start telling us about whichever one has been the bane of your life or something - instead, tell us WHY it affects you that way, and what you think would make it 'better.'

Lindorie:

I think that basically they are lonely people who despartely try to get some sort of attention...preferably positive, or all kinds of sympathy to salve their poor self esteem.

Most of them do have a serious immature streak and need to do some serious growing up and take some responsibity for things in their life.

There are others who just need to be right all the time. If they post a discussion topic, they are right and everybody else is just wrong. I think that these people probably have a need for control when their offline lives are probably seeming out of control.

Dunno that there's anything to be done for any of it. The online community seems to provide something for those folks that the outside world doesn't. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's bad, but it is.

Lady of Light:

I don't think it is a bad thing. People feel safer online I guess than when around people to open up and say what they think or how they feel. I don't think it is all just me me alot of people just want to know if they are alone in a certain problem or event. What are friends for if you can't spill your guts (and I do consider them friends) Sometimes they just need someone to listen. Without feeling threatened. Is that wrong? I know I would be there for any of my friends who need me to listen about anything. Doesn't mean I always agree with them but I will be there (childish or not). Plus I think it is rude to ignore someone who takes the time to say hello or to interact. Just a kind hello hows it going. whats so wrong with that. I hear this oh i was to busy. Then what are you doing on the computer if you are so busy to ignore a fellow human being. Just my opinion folks

Belladonna Took:

While I am most definitely guilty of doing this myself at least once when I was down, I find that the me-me constantly puts up posts saying that they are leaving for a short time or forever, in order to get a reaction. For the most part it works but sometimes it backfires and they are not given the response they expected. Especially when it had been said on a previous occasion.

There are also those that when they are not the center of attention or when a post to a thread is ignored they'll say something like "fine just ignore me" and then say something else a few minutes later, only to get angry when they still don't get a response. Then they proceed to snipe at the person who does have attention.

And no matter what you say to the me-me you are always wrong, even if you are simply stating an opinion. It always escalates into an argument where it becomes a case of this person was attacking me. It gets a little out of control and leads to hurt feeling.

Reply from Primula:

Lady-of-Light wrote:
... I don't think it is all just me me alot of people just want to know if they are alone in a certain problem or event...Sometimes they just need someone to listen. Without feeling threatened. Is that wrong?

Nope, not wrong at all! I am all for healthy friendships, and folk who are honestly hurting being able to reach out to others, especially to find others who have some insight on the same events or illness. I think the online world offers an amazing network of support for folks who feel isolated in their experiences, one that didn't used to be there except as local support groups or reading self-help books. Well-balanced real friendships are much to be sought for, and to be treasured.

I was referring to the overly-dramatic very-frequent ones who seem to hinge their entire self-worth on whether or not someone else replies immediately, for instance - and will even turn on those who are not sympathetic 'enough' like a cat who scratches you if you stop petting it. The ones who may even accuse the friend of not being a 'real' friend if they aren't always there to keep filling the emotion-bucket on demand.

Thanks for your post, Lady!


Lindorie:

I will admit that i have to sit on my fingers or walk away when we start getting a rash of ...'I'm leaving forever...goodbye cruel world" type posts. The little demon in me just wants to say....'Don't let the door hit you in the behind on the way out.' I am frequently reminded of the exasperated Major General Stanley in Pirates of Penzance when he sends the local constabulary off to fight the pirates....Constables: We go we go.....Major General Stanley: But they don't go. I try to be good and bite my tongue, but one of these days..

Reply from Primula:

lindorie wrote:

Dunno that there's anything to be done for any of it. The online community seems to provide something for those folks that the outside world doesn't. Maybe it's a good thing, maybe it's bad, but it is.

I agree that a myriad of factors that can go into creating this kind of behavior - but really what I was looking for was perhaps a little insight on how it affects the others around them. Are you drawn to support them, or to feel that it is your obligation to be there for them? Repelled by the self-centeredness or perhaps overwhelmed by the endlessness of their needing to be 'filled?' Do you feel pity for them, or just tolerate them? Or perhaps even try to drive them away?

What does it do to you? Why?

(edited to note, you just gave me a window into some of that with the post you put up even as I was typing this - thank you!)

Lady of Light:

Its one thing when people leave because they WANT to its another when people are bullied andare treated rudely and the only way to make it stop is to leave. Not that they want to leave. I am sorry but that is wrong.

Reply from Primula:

I've seen this happen too. The main problem you have there is the person who flees usually doesn't tell anyone why they are leaving - they just disappear, so it's hard to gain a grasp of the true 'casualty' list that this generates. Hm.

I know there have been times I've considered saying something (not here - at another board) but hesitated to do so because the me-me! was so skilled at turning anything on its ear to favor their own position and villify the one 'against' them. I hate to admit it, but I eventually just left too.

Emotionally and socially, I felt like a person driven from a quiet picnic spot by a burly teen with acid rock set so high it shakes the squirrels from the trees and it becomes impossible to enjoy the park.

Perhaps I should have said something, or at least told the moderators about my reason for leaving, though I didn't and now it's in the past. I'm not sure what they could have done, though- there isn't any board that I know of with a no-melodrama rule.


Belladonna Took:

Okay Prim, I used to go running to help anyone that needed it but I found that I had too much stress in my own life to add someone else's to it. I wanted to help everyone and I realized that some just can't be helped. The more you give the more they take.  Actually I usually roll my eyes and ignore it. I used to let it bother me but I don't have the time or energy anymore. Plus there are enough other people that I can spend my time talking to that I don't need to deal with it.

Reply from Primula:

BelladonnaTook wrote:
...get a reaction...when they are not the center of attention or when a post to a thread is ignored they'll say something like "fine just ignore me" and ... get angry when they still don't get a response. Then they proceed to snipe at the person who does have attention.

And no matter what you say to the me-me you are always wrong...

I've seen these go by also, in various places. What do you decide to do when it happens? Do you ignore it, get drawn in and then hurt? Leave the community yourself just to get away from the sniper? The range of reactions is quite a sliding scale - have you found something that you are comfortable with doing?

(edited to say - wow, you beat me to it, just like Lind did. Thank you for the post you posted while I was typing. Very legitimate, and a healthy boundary.)

Lindorie:

It depends...with the ones that truly are in need of some support, I am glad to offer prayers, sympathy, advice, etc...to a point. When they get to the point that they are whining and won't try anything, i've done it all, or it seems to be turning into a poor me thing, I walk away. I won't respond anymore. There comes a point where they don't really want help, they just are having a pity party.

I've run into some people who will get downright nasty when you offer advice gained from similar experiences. I don't communicate with them at all if they get that way.

I may wish that they'd go away, but that's not my place to decide. I just avoid those situations. As far as the debates where everything is an arguement. I generally, if I post anything at all, put my two cents worth in and don't say anything more. It doesn't pay to expend the energy. You can't win, so pick your battles.

MrsPippin:

I do agree with Lady-of-light that the computer is safer for much people.
And the leaving-for-a-while-persons..I was one of them.
First times I was hurt, but then I realized that I was only making a fool of myself
I learned from the mistakes I made and it's never bad to learn!!
I have done many things to get rid of the Me-Me and I must say..I succeed!!
These people who are calling for help and have this Me-Me behaviour can have some serious trouble!!
But they also need to take care for WHAT they are saying and against WHOM they are talking to because they can also destroy your world without knowing it.
That happens to me a few times. I met some very nice people who wanted attention becaue they had troubles with their own lifes or some people on the boards or whatever and if you give them the attention they need so badly, they can destroy your own feelings.
And I think that not all the ignoring is done on purpose, but some people have been hurt very badly and I can imagine their feelings too.
My thoughts are..help the people who REally need it whenever you can, but DON'T let the personal problems come into your OWN life..it will destroy you.

Lothithil:

Ah.

Living in a glass house myself, I try very hard to respond to any post with an elevated sense of empathy, knowing that I cannot possibly be knowing all of any given situation that might inspire someone to expose their hearts.

I have begged for attention, and I still do, sometimes, though I don't bring such things to my MB's when I have LJ to dump my emotional compost!

Caveat emptor; let the Flist beware!

I don't want to criticize because I don't feel qualified to do so. But also I frequently say nothing if I have no wholesome contribution to state. In most of my own cases, time was all the medicine I needed, and what kind words that folks left me, and indeed also the firm kick-in-the-seat-of-the-trews I occasionally got were theraputic and comforting.

Just call me the Waffle Queen.

Bottomline is I do read most of the posts here, but do not comment always. If I hear that a member I consider a friend is hurting, I'd rather email them than give advice to be picked over by the multitudes. I consider advice to be a dangerous gift.

Vik:

I'm sure online communities are a great playground for these me-me personalities! It takes a little longer to "get a picture" of the people you are communicating with (online only) because you can't see or hear them and you usually don't read all the posts by all posters and create a profile.  After a while I just ignore those me-me posters - and that usually means all their posts.
There's nothing wrong with sharing joy and sadness with people you can connect with and some (((()))) or a Very Happy can make a difference sometimes!
But it's giving and taking and that's what the real me-mes don't get - virtual or in RW.

Firiel:

Thanks, Primula, for starting this great topic, and also thanks to all of you who have posted such great insights.

Personally, I also think a reason for the "me-me" attitude is insecurity. Which is something I can relate with, having had my own bouts with it. But I do tend to not reply to those sort of posts, though if I know the person who is posting, and feel like they might really need a word of encouragement, then I PM them.

Mirelena:

I was like when I first came here. And now I know it's not about me. I just needed a friend(s) and some people to talk to.

Primula:

mrspippin wrote:
I think this is a great place to help people who needs serious help...

This is a point in which we differ somewhat - I tend to be of the thought that someone with serious emotional issues or problems such as persistant depression, which may be a chemical imbalance, or someone who is suicidal should not be turning to online forums, but should seek real world, face-to-face professional help. A counselor, a therapist...something.

People who are online simply cannot know the entire story, they can't read the gestures, facial expression, voice... And they are not trained counselors. Their advice may be bunk, it may mess someone up even worse or it may give them a false sense of having been helped so they don't get the help they really do need.

There's also the problem of those extreme me-me!s who will threaten suicide just to get a reaction, or pretend they are suicidal because they know they will not be ignored with that extreme of a claim. It is unfortunate, because it can also make the legitimate suicidal ones not be believed.

I know there are many forums that state explicitly in their rules that suicidal and extremely dark moody postings are not permitted because it is not the appropriate place to express those thoughts - a real-world confidante and counselor is needed.

Mrspippin:

.I do agree.
this is my problem..you know, I can't always find the right words to make my post look a bit better, but I take words that I will use in my language.
Of course someone with suicidal problems shouldn't come here. They have to search for serious help and whatever the fanboards may be to others..we can't help them! They should go to a doctor or to some place where the people can help them.
This is a fanboard and we can only "see" the posts other people make and we don't always know what is going on in their RW.
Some people are in love and ask for advice..we can help them and we can also give some advice to people who have medical problems like not being able to sleep or something. But we can't always help those who have serious troubles with life.
But if someone has that kind of trouble, we can only advice to seek serious and professional help as soon as possible.

Nin Maldor:

There is nothing bad about letting people know you have something hard that you are going though. I, myself, love Drama, but in a way that is in movies and things as such. I try as I may, to help others in need. Many of my friends are younger than I am and do love to be in the spotlight. One can not tell a very young person to just 'grow-up' because it takes time. I learned where to stop getting drown in by the 'me-me' people and just let it go. There comes a time where I know I can't help and would only get me, and others into a bigger mess of things. The day we stop learning is the day we die. There is always something we don't know as well as someone behind us begging to be talked to. My kitten used to bit my ear in the morning when I stoped petting her. As I stoped giving into her want, she begain to grow-up and become the sweet cat that she is now. Most Humans (If not all at some point in time) have a need or want to be 'in the spotlight having everyone else cheer them on or hear there sad story. There comes a time where we need to let go to help them rather than keep feeding there want. At times I pity them but there is always half of me saying 'Aww, you poor thing...' and so on.

gentle-giant:

many of you already know i don't read very much; this thread is, perhaps, the MOST reading i've done at any one sItting in more than a month!

there are so many interesting, thoughtful and perceptive comments "above" that i can't POSSIBLY hope to express all that has come to my mind while reading ... but i would like to comment on one thing that Primula touched upon [ i'm referring to her post of 5:19pm on the 22nd ]

in that post, she touches on the MAIN reason why i tend to disregard or ignore "me-me" posts that seem to be some "cry for help" ... it is impossible for ANYONE on the boards to know whether that "cry" is real or imagined, serious or minor, etc. and, even if i were to take that "cry" as being a totally accurate representation of what is "going on", i KNOW that i am not qualified to offer any valid advice.

i CAN, however -- and DO, sometimes -- offer admittedly timid, yet hopefully supportive, comments. that's as far as i dare take it.

now, for clarification ... above, where i said "disregard or ignore" ... what that means is this:

i might stumble upon a thread and learn, upon having read it, that it is a "cry for help" of some sort. most likely, i will NOT post any comments, advice or suggestions.

THAT DOES NOT MEAN I AM NOT CONCERNED .....

Faramirgirl:

I do think that some of the post of Me Me are really a heart felt post of needs, everyone has a bad day and things go wrong and you get really upset and just want to let it out. On the other hand I also believe that some of the Me Me are from those who don't have any problems other then wanting to the center of attention and will do or say anything to be there.

I know that one day I was really mad at some Me Me in the fellowship and how some were getting attention well others were just ignored and I had said something to the fact, but it was not because I wanted attention, it was because they were being rude to others. I really did not say every thing that was on my mind, but however I did go to my LJ and really wrote what I felt about it. Another time that I got really upset with some Me Me on the boards I did not go to my LJ but to my own web site and wrote what I was feeling.

But being on the boards and really not knowing what is really going on, all we can do is pray and keep them in our thoughts that all will work out for them. Giving advise can be very dangous and we all need to watch what advise that we do give. Because we are not trained in it, and even those who are trained need to be careful.

Some of the Me Me or the Look at me post, I think that those people do need help and need to learn that they are not the only ones going through pain or a hard time in life, that we go through pain and hard times. They need to learn to listen to others and sometimes in life you must put others first and not just think about Me Me. because the world is not about Me Me and that others live in this world also.

Well that is ONLY my thoughts.

sarahstitcher:

What an interesting discussion!

I never have time to read more than a few threads at any one visit, so I probably have missed most of the "me me" stuff being discussed. I have read (and sometimes responded to) some threads where board members have discussed real life problems. If I thought I had anything useful to offer, I did, otherwise I went back to the board and read something else. I haven't gotten into (that I'm aware of) any arguments or unproductive exchanges, or had my own life taken over by anyone else. I guess I have too much going on in the RW for that. (plus, this last year or so I've been discovering Boundaries, and boy do I love 'em!!) I know I can't solve anyone else's problems, even if I wanted to, they wanted me to, and I did have some sort of super-power. Some wheels you really do have to reinvent for yourself. But writing about your problems often helps you sort them out. (I've heard that advice column writers usually have to edit the letters they print, so as to omit the solutions the writers have offered on their own behalf!) And hearing other people's take on them may give you a reality check.

But as has been noted, if someone is young, or immature, or naieve, you can't make them old, mature, or worldly just by saying, "oh grow up". They get there on their own, if they are going to, generally by interacting with other people. I guess I would be worried about someone who spent more than a couple hours a day on line, or who was so wrapped up in the on line relationships that they weren't having face to face relationships... I did read a creepy story in a magazine about a couple kids in a situation like that, just way too wrapped up in each other (and in fake online personas, too) which culminated in drastic violence. I've never been in chat rooms, so I have no idea what that's like. Here, it seems like most folks have busy, relatively productive, RW lives, and I don't imagine that sort of thing happening!! (whew!) But I also have no idea how much time anyone else here spends on line! I guess I just wouldn't know, I'm trusting they take care of themselves I guess.

As for the "I'm leaving" posts... usually it's either, someone who is going to be away from the computer for a period of time for whatever reason (travel, homework, etc.) and I see it as a courtesy to their friends who might otherwise be looking for them; or it's the painful expression of personal struggle. In which case I feel sorry for their pain, but I don't get wrapped up in something I ultimately can't do anything about. Either this board is where they want to be, or it isn't. (go - or stay - with our blessing!)

Tahawus:

My!! Well!!! ((((Primula))) for taking on such a potentially explosive topic and helping us have a valuable discussion about it.

When I first read your post, P, I thought "oh great, here we go, there will now be a fire storm of indignant postings and hurt feelings."  I apologize for being arrogant and underestimating you all! Wow! What a great community!

What's the phrase from some movie... "Pack your bags, we're going on a guilt trip!" I know I'm involved with someone who is likely a "Me Me" when I respond and the following postings continue to be negative and dramatic - and I start to feel guilty for not being a better ... what?...person, poster, something. That's my red flag and I just stop reading and responding.

We all have very bad, horrible, no good days and venting here can help rebalance our views. I don't want people to stop being genuine (and I'm not saying I think any of you do).

That last sentence is an example of how "tricksy" this medium can be. I'm writing away, sharing my thoughts without a whole lot of editing and re-writing. Then I state an opinion, and quickly start thinking "oh dear, is anyone going to take this to mean that I think they are uncaring?" LOL! One can get so tied up in one's head trying to mind-read other people. For now my solution is to think carefully before I respond with hurt feelings to a message, because I could (probably did) mis-interpret it. Every time I've been glad I cooled my jets/fingers. And if someone takes offense at what I've written, I give it one try to straighten it out, and then it is just water under the bridge.

So, them's my thoughts....

Lithilien Quicksilver:

Some ME-MEs are like clingy cats, who wind and wind about your legs until they trip you right up! And these are the harmless ones, lol!  These are the ones who innocently just want a bit of attention, then when they get it, find it sooo nice they want a bit more. And a bit more. And a bit more. Now I like cats as well as the next person - well, nearly as well - but it doesn't take too much of that until I find myself side-stepping the cat with the merest pat on the head I can manage. I rapidly get my fill of this sort of ME-ME.  Not that I wouldn't rush to their rescue if they really were stuck in a tree, figuratively speaking, of course. I'd just be sure I saw the tree and judged them honestly in need of help first. ::raises eyebrows:: And for the young ones, I am perfectly fine with giving them a good cuddle once in a while, when I judge they really need it.

Then there are the not harmless ME-MEs... the ones who post pleas for "advise" or "sympathy", often airing in public their private fallings-out with others (usually in the same online community) - without names of course - but worded in such a way that they usually garner loads of comments about how they were done wrong and are too good for the other person. And all unknowingly, the good folk who respond are often publicly siding against someone else they know and actually like... they just don't realise it because the ME-ME has made this unknown person look like a villain!

(My word of advice to folk reading such a post is to avoid the knee-jerk reaction and either forego comment altogether or post something neutral like "hope you are able to work it out". Don't take sides! You don't know who you may be siding against, and haven't heard their perspective on the situation.)

This second type of ME-ME winds round your legs, too. Only it's like a snake instead of a cat, and though they may let you stroke them for a while, it's only a matter of time until they bite. This kind, I do my best to avoid altogether, or, at need, step upon firmly. Good thing I have my mithril boot, eh?

Shiregirl:

Usually when I see one of these ME!ME!topics,I look and see if it is someone that I am fond of personally.If it is,then I respond by a pm.If it is someone that I have not had much communication with then I usually bypass it.I have enough things going on in my own life with 3 young children and a daughter in college to reckon with.NOt meaning to sound mean or anything,but I come here to get away from the real world and escape the pressures of it not read about it here too.Even though,I myself am guilty of once of maybe twice of pouting about being left out of a loop.No big deal.It is my own fault for not remembering the back-up board!I cherish my time here when the boards are running smoothly and I love to read as many posts as I can.The young ones asking advice are fine.It reminds me of being younger.Just my opinion.Hope I didnt offend anyone.I cherish all of you and this fan club too much.We are a fellowship.

Lindorie:

HaldirOfTheWoodlandRealm wrote:
i think another reason why it happens here is because we all are moving away from the topic (meaning the middle earth forums)... i think if we all tried to collectively work harder and do more posts in middle-earth things might change Very Happy

Sorry, Haldir, I can't agree with you here. We are a community that is varied. The thing that ties us most together is LOTR, but all of us are so much more than that. We come here for lots of things. Sometimes the LOTR stuff isn't as high up on our list of priorities...real life doesn't always allow us the time to contemplate on the intricacies of Tolkien's work, but we do still have issues and needs for companionship, assurance, etc. The PP board has ALWAYS been busier than the ME boards even in the old format and nothing will change that.

All of us need a helping hand once in a while or an ear. I needed one this weekend and had to go to Firiel's board. Just the act of putting in words my fears and concerns helped. I hope it didn't seem like a me-me sort of thing.

I think that usually we can tell when someone really needs help and 9 times out of 10 it's a short term thing that they just need someone to hear them out, kind of like I did over the weekend. Sometimes some of us have experience with deeper issues and can help with something more complicated, though almost always those include the words...see a doctor, or get some counselling. Not always what those people want to hear, but the way it must be.

We are a version of crisis intervention. We all need it from time to time, but it can be abused. I have witnessed the whiners, the blamers, the snipers around here. This is the only message boards I go to so I can't comment on others like some of you can.

If you want more focus on M.E. stuff, you have to put your effort there. create topics, respond to others, and make it a place to go to. That won't draw people away from the PP though. It's kind of like Cheers. We all need a place 'where everybody knows your name.' Sometimes at the end of a long day, you don't need intellectual stimulation, you need friendly faces and a tall cold something and a friendly 'bartender' to lessen the stressors of the day.

MrsLGreenleaf:

i know i've been guilty of the "me-me" type posts. lol. i haven't lately though.i really didn't do it for reaction though, ya know? i know that last topic i posted was about my family situation. i was mainly seeking prayers, and i got those. i also got advice and encouragement. really good advice too. that is what i love about coming here. there are some very wise people. i wouldn't say to stop the "me-me" posts, just do it wisely. it's nice to come here and know that people care and will pray for you.

Frodosmiss:

One of the best things about these boards is the fact that so many of its members are very close- when you post, it's almost as though you are sitting in those comfy chairs (please don't hit me with a soft pillow!), pulled into a circle around a cozy fireplace. However, not every one's chair fits in the circle, for whatever reason. When you are in a chair just outside the circle and want to be IN the circle, you may tend to do things to call attention to yourself so that you may be drawn in by necessity. We've all seen this in the RW- a group of good friends are together, talking, when another acquaintance comes up and laughs too loud at a joke or tries to trump someone's story with one of their own, just to fit in. This may be one cause for the me-me's you see. This close knit group, although very welcoming to new people, can be a thing to envy when you don't yet share what the others have...you know, private jokes, shared experiences, even opportunities to have met! It takes a while and some genuine effort for any new person to assimilate themselves into a group of friends. Patience and understanding...and possibly a gentle nudge, an elbow in the side or a swift kick in the pants...may help. I'm one of those new folk who just doesn't have the time or energy to post often (with the exception of the March poems that Prim started- I am soooo enjoying that!), so my chair will likely be outside the circle, but it's my own doing, not because none of you would scoot over to make room!
Perhaps I have oversimplified a rather complex question- it's just one possible reason of many. Let's face it, there will always be those who have to be the center of attention, but we've all learned to roll our eyes and ignore them in the RW. (Egad, I hope I never cause a set of rolled eyes! )


Primula:

Thank you all for your posts - some good feedback and reflections on the use of healthy boundaries, the natural need of the youth for that little extra from time to time and the dangers of getting pulled under by being too involved.

One thing that I note is most of these posts are about the "crisis intervention" or cry-for-help type of postings, which can range from 'I have a cold' to 'I'm about to kill myself' and everything in-between. While this is a percentage of what the attention-seeker may use, the ones I had in mind were more the ones who will post often in volume and with increasing dramatics as a habit.

Not as the occasional "I'm having a bad day" (goodness, who doesn't?) but the kind that will seek responses for everything from a splinter in their toe to their toaster burning their bagel. If that doesn't work, another minor crisis will be cooked up, followed by a moderate crisis and so on.

This wouldn't really affect others who are simply not going to read it if (and here I admit I am looking for any good ideas - I do admin and mod multiple sites) - if the software didn't bump the topics to the top. This one feature makes it so the 'most popular' topics are bumped above the 'less popular' ones. Unfortunately what I see really happening is the 'me-me' folks are always at the top, and the others who post in less volume and less dramatically fall into neverland. Soon the forum becomes percieved as only being about the handful of topics the resident "Me-Me" posts on (often topics they themselves started about their own issues)and it begins to lose people's interest, and atrophy.

Add to the loss of interest because of the 'hogging' of topics by the "Me-Me!" the tendency of the Me-Me types to present themselves as long-suffering angels and any they disagree with (or whom have not given them "enough" attention) as villians (borrowing Lith's term)... well, they can pretty well be a slow death-knell for a community.

What then?

I do not have an answer. Perhaps none of us does, but I would hope to gather some other views, some other thoughts to help find a balanced idea of what the most healthy thing would be to do, not only for the individuals that are contributing to the problems, but for the entire communities that are suffering because of it.

And also - I am very proud of you all for the manner in which you've been able to keep this even-keeled. Thank you for "showing your quality."


Shelob:

personally, i believe it would be a better real world and virtual world if everyone got out of the 'me" and into the 'you' - stop thinking always about what others can do for you and start thinking about what you can do for others - kinda like the old JFK quote "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" - and the old spider very seldom comments on any of the 'poor, poor, pitiful me' posts - (oft' times tho' i don't comment on much of anything because of the slowness of the boards and my very limited pc time) - but, this item caught my multi-faceted eyes - LOL - and so, there you have my comments for what they are worth - i love these boards (not as much as our old Pony threaded thing) but the people are still the BEST.

Strange Elf:

I think we need to exercise a certain amount of patience with the younger posters. The teenage years can be a trial, and we would be better off remembering our own and not come down too hard on the young ones.

I deleted my previous post, becasue it seems that I am alone in my views. but I find I cannot keep quiet.

I have always been an attention seeker.Someone wanting to be in the centre of it all. I haven't posted me me posts but I have been rather outrageous in other ways.

The world is made up of all kinds of people, the attention getters (like myself) are part of it. We all make the world go round.

Lindorie:

The question is: How can we get everyone to respond, or not respond to the drama queens/kings? We've had some in the last year that could really carry on but then got nasty when someone said something they didn't want to hear. People would still respond to their frequent 'I'm so misunderstood, etc' posts with sympathetic responses even though it was becoming quite clear that ignoring them would have been a better response.

Doctor Gamgee:

I may be in the minority here, but I feel that there is a difference between folks who share their happenings in life by posting and sharing news (more a "hey, y'all") and those who spam the board with tons of posts about the dramas in their lives (most of which they bring upon themselves just to create the drama so that they can post more 'me-me' threads). I realize that this may sound harsh, and you are certainly welcome to disagree.

Folks who stop by and ask for prayers, guidance, celebrate birthdays, etc. are being part of a community of sharing individuals, and usually, they post meaningful responses to the threads others start as well. That is how friendship works. Sometimes you are the topic, sometimes you are the audience. I would hate to think that folks who came and ask for occasional support would feel odd about doing that. And I would be sad if folks stopped wishing happy birthdays to one another.

However, the problem arises when someone (regardless of age) finds that if someone doesn't post a response to their posts they need to up the posting until they get a response (whether by number of posts or by dramatics). These folks are not 'community' members. They are only comfortable playing the lead role, and never the audience. Worse, is when folks who have this bent, decide that there must be 'sides' and everyone must choose one. And if you don't choose them, they send you PMs or Emails with either abusive 'Get out of here, you're not my friend' messages, or email you viruses in an effort to remove you from the board.

9 months ago, I had a moment when I was ready to walk away from the boards, turn in my moderator badge, and never return. Thankfully, a few close friends here convinced me otherwise. But they did it by Email. I never posted it on the boards, because I knew that I would start a huge mess that would only get worse. We can all use a little less 'Drama' (and this from an OPERA SINGER!).

Perhaps it is a question of 'self-awareness' that is missing. We must all be aware that when we post, others will read it. And if you are angry when you post, then perhaps waiting until the need to hurt others before you post would be the best rule. I grow weary of having to go in search of my friends who were made to feel unwelcome here by immature actions.

Thank you all for reading this.