Comfortable With Conformity
January 17, 2001
I remember when the forum first began, in January of last year. (At least, I think it began in January.) I remember Joshua casually asking Tracie and I how we felt about adding a message board to the site, and how we casually thought it was a good idea. I remember how impressed I was at Joshua's and Tae-Hwan's UBB creation, how interested I was whenever my webpage got some feedback, and how proud I was of the forum's popularity in such a short amount of time.
But that was last year. Now, reading the forum is like watching the last season of Friends-- no, I take it back, Friends, even on its last legs, is way better. What once was a board to comment on writers' work is now a board devoted to pseudo-intellectual commentary and pathetic flirtations. To quote Mel C. in Spice World, "...no more Miss Nice Spice!"
I always try to dance the around the topic of the forum, saying I don't like it, saying it's not for me, but the truth is, I like the idea of a forum, but of a forum that isn't used soley to promote other people's websites, to post pictures of oneself again and again and again, to talk about how high their SAT/ACT/GPA is, to boast about their underage drinking habits, to give off an impression of coolness and sexuality when in reality, most of them are probably homely, antisocial outcasts. I'm not impressed by accounts of sexual conquests, of the color of someone's underwear, of the size of someone's breasts, of the sexual preferences of underage girls. I have never, in one single group of people, seen so much pretentiousness.
And another thing... what irks me is that I have this *reputation* for demanding people stay on topic or else, which is bullshit. When people go off-topic about silly things for no reason but to "hear" themselves talk, that bothers me. And why shoudn't it bother me? It's a waste of bandwith, virtual garbage-y chit-chat...which is fine for internet chatting, not a message board devoted to a writer's labor.
But what bothers me more is the lack of sensitiviy I received whenever I mentioned this to some people, who couldn't understand why on earth I was bothered. To them I would say, "Well, you try racking your brain to come up with an update, just to see two posts dedicated to your topic, and then 50 following posts about Jessica Alba or something totally unrelated."
Well, the forum doesn't belong to me anymore, it belongs to its members. I don't fit into my own forum, which is kinda funny in a pathetic way. Oddly enough, most of the forum members are decent, down-to-earth, intelligent people when conversing on a one-to-one basis.
Anyway...I know, after reading this entry, you think I've been thinking and stewing about the forum all day long. For weeks even, right? Nope, that couldn't be further from the truth. I've actually been really bored, looking like crazy for a job, and trying to avoid McDonalds or any other greasy fast food haven. The reason I decided to write about the forum was because last week, I noticed the condo across street from us is called...The Forum. Spooky or what?
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