I wrote this back in October 2007, about the time I joined this forum. Have just re-discovered it and thought I would share it with you all. I don't post very often now - as sometimes this forum can be a bit too rough and tumble for me.
I joined the PDS Forum thinking that it would provide support and information but never having been on one before wasn’t really sure of what to expect and I hadn’t fully read all the postings.
Slowly but surely I discovered that it was not quite like that. An analogy I can connect it with, is like going to a party where you don’t know anyone. You never know quite who you are going to meet and what will happen, or whether you will enjoy it. At parties you can usually meet one of the following types of people:-
The Wall Flower, The Observer, The Egotist, The Chatterbox, The Protagonist, The Joker, The Hostess, The Revellers and The Gatecrasher
Put all these type of people together and you have the Forum.
It does prove very useful for information – the knowledge of the people logging in is huge and experienced. It can be somewhere to go to communicate with people when you are still awake at 3 in the morning – a common problem with PD sufferers.
But the downside of it, is that the written word can be misconstrued – all it needs is a comma or punctuation mark out of place and a sentence can be read a totally different way. An opinion placed might suit someone but not other. This can lead to confrontation, which some people relish in, but some people do not.
If harsh words have been swapped - it is written down for all to see – and people tend to take sides or stay away. I believe that this puts new people off if they see the forum during one of these spells.
Healthy debate is good, difference of opinions is good but when remarks get personal, in my opinion, then it is time to stop. Having PD can alter personalities and create insecurities and along with this comes paranoia – all of which comes out in postings.
Going back to the party analogy – when it works it is great fun and all enjoy. When it doesn’t – people leave wishing they hadn’t bothered to go and leave a core of people so consumed in themselves that they don’t realise that they are the only people left!
I think it really depends on your personality and level of sensitivity as to whether the PDS Forum will work for you or not.
The only thing to do is to give it a go.
I am pleased you have posted this sensible advice.I have noticed some friction on the forum since joining this year.I personaly avoid anything which involves upset,but understand how emotions can run riot and advice although perhaps well meant can be misconstrued or turn sour.
I often get stressed just making a posting,and having not been on for four days was shocked to see there had again been people upset and wanting to leave the forum.However,i can see that the forum is a valuable help and gave me much needed encouragment at a low time in my life.Ignore the bad postings and concentrate on the good is what i try to do.
All the best
Just to say thanks for your comments.
Thats sounds like a disappointed response?
Of your descriptions and the amount of posts you have made in a 30 month period, I take it you place yourself in the Wallflower group?
Classifying people can be very antagonising in it self and can lead to conflict.
You talk of healthy debate. Just what is that exactly? Its usually a difference of opinion that nearly always results in an arguement.
Because some feel strongly about their thoughts does that make them any less acceptable to express them? Where would we be without the crusader, the patriot or the liberationists of this world? Sitting on a fence in limbo no doubt!
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