I’ve had this little bit of an issue that I have always wanted to belong to a community. I wanted to be a part of one, contribute, meet new people through one, etc. My problem is that I never really end up staying current and being active for very long in one. Either, I end up feeling like an imposter, or I’m insecure about what I say in the community. Sometimes I think I’m just talking into a void. Eventually I just stop. The longest I’ve kept up with one is probably the kinda funny community and I sort of just stopped talking a lot within there because I felt like it was getting very toxic especially when Colin left and then divide that caused. Even here on waypoint a site I love and whose fans seem so great. But I honestly just forget to even get on the forums or twitch chats, discord. It’s like I just overlook it and forget. I was very excited when the forums first started up and tried o be active but that lasted a couple of days and then I went back to occasionally lurking. In 2018 I hope to get better at it. I wrote this out because I was wondering if others have similar problems and why. Do you ever feel like you really have to push yourself to interact? If so, how do you go about doing that?
I’ve honestly always had similar problems getting into online communities. I’ve been a bit involved in Waypoint and I’ve always wanted to, but maybe it seems a bit abstract for me. So I don’t know if I have any advice, but I’m willing to try it if you are!
I used to be part of an online community for years. It wasn’t too big, but it still had hundreds of regulars and was pretty close knit. Even made a couple of real life friends off of there.
Though over the years the place became kind of filled with cliches, and as someone who has never felt a particular attraction to social cliches I wasn’t super happy about it. Then my friends left, and I decided I had enough and left.
Since then I’ve tried a few different places.
I was on Reddit for a while, but their sort of toxic mentality started to have an effect on my relationship and I flat out dropped it.
Since then I’ve never really found a solid community to be a part of. Most gaming communities are at best a bit abrasive, and at worst a pit of hatred.
I guess I’m attracted to this place because of the very thorough CoC and that Austin and Patrick have seemed like cool people that don’t get easily rilled up and start fires to get attention on things that don’t really matter, but people who are thoughtful and want to help create a reasonable discourse and community.
Also I work in the game industry now, and the ideas a lot of people have about the game industry and the people in it are so far off base that I have to wonder where people get these ideas from. This place doesn’t seem as bad as the rest of the places I’ve seen in that regard.
I find it kind of hard to be a part of online communities. It might come from being in my late teens or so when the internet really started taking hold, so most of my knowledge of how to socialize was formed and solidified in a pre-online community world. It’s hard for me to really forge those connections or personalize words on a screen because that’s just not the world I knew. It’s not like I don’t realize there’s a person on the other end, and I try my best to be respectful and mindful, but it takes mental effort to visualize someone on a forum as an intact person when I know nothing about them but an avatar and what I can glean from their posts.
The online communities I’ve been a part of for the longest are just ones I’ve kind of stumbled on and never left. I’m a member if a fairly long running gaming forum that spun off of IGN back when that imploded, and the only reason I was even on IGN is my brother bought me a membership as a gift because he liked it. I still don’t really interact with those people on a hugely personal level either. I rarely know their real names and I almost never share mine. Lots of them have met in real life and all that, but it’s just nothing I really got involved with either.
I guess the bigger question is what are you looking to get out of the whole experience? I like having a place to talk about games and other media along with relatively like minded people and have those more nuanced conversations because most of my in person friends just aren’t in to games.
I’m someone who wants to interact with a lot of people with no clue how to approach it.
I used to have no problem getting involved in online communities when I was a teenager, and I was definitely one of those people who just jumped into any and all conversations, so everyone on the forum(s) knew me. It’s a lot harder to do as an adult. Personally, I think the reason is twofold: 1) I’m no longer an attention-starved teenager and have become more self-conscious (in a good way, potentially?), and 2) a lot of communities I join tend to be close-knit and already well-established, which I’m more cognizant of now, which makes it more difficult to have a sense of belonging.
There was actually a fairly long period of time where I focused all of my energy into the relationship I was in and that, combined with the place I frequented most being shut down, made me “regress” socially. When I finally wanted to be a part of a group (legit, any group) again, I had a much harder time feeling like I fit in; I no longer feel like I have the right to be in a particular space, and it’s often to my detriment. I now feel obligated to contribute something of substance/prove my worth when getting to know new people, so there’s a lot of pressure, too. Again, part of that might be from maturity, but I certainly don’t think it’s a good thing. Not for me, anyway.
Those were a whole lot of words to essentially say “I also have a hard time doing this thing and have zero answers because I’m not quite there yet, yo.”
I’ve bounced off of a lot of Forums and stuff over the past few years and have felt one of the main reasons is that it’s hard to fit in with already established communities. Especially for someone like me who perhaps doesn’t feel the need to check in to these places.
Like a few people this was a problem I didn’t really have when I was quite a bit younger. I used Tumblr big time when I was in my early teens (now I’m 19) and that was the last time I felt I was heavily involved in an online community. However I really threw everything about me into it in an almost unhealthy manner where it shaped who I was a bit too much.
I’m kind of happy where I am now with posting regularly on these forums, It’s a great community for a great site. I am starting to feel after a while being part of an online community again after quite a while, not in a massive way (I hardly know anyone), but it’s nice to have a different avenue to talk to people, and to talk about interesting topics.
Sounds t’me like we might have a case of Let’s Be Nice to Each Other and Sometimes Play Games Together.
I constantly second guess and delete posts, here and in any forum. It’s not a bad thing!
I feel like I could give advice here, and initially my response was much more cynical and negetive, but I deleted it, and it’s probably for the best!
Approach any online community in your own terms, don’t worry about lurking or having to interact.
I have that problem with twitter in a major way. I only use it to browse, almost never posting anything at all because no one knows I have it, and I practically always delete any tweet replies I have. It just feels weird and personal in a way I’m uncomfortable with.
I feel very similar, glad you said this.
Hey! I had the same feelings about most online communities, my advice is if you want to play a specific multiplayer game join the Waypoint discord and see if any folks are down! Its a great way to meet people and learn more about the community. I lurked really hard on Waypoint until I started playing PUBG on the discord server.
Back when I played WoW what I’d do was just pick someone cool in my guild or whatever and try to get to know them and if we hit it off eventually once other folks saw two people hanging out others would want to join too! I think a lot of folks sit on the edges till they’re asked to dance ya know, the cool thing is on the internet its much lower stakes to ask someone to dance than in real life
Hey! I am 100% there with you, in that I’ve longed for online connection to people through gaming for most of my life but have never really been able to attain it. I have a peculiar condition where I’ve been deeply involved in in-person communities for years, but the minute I’m interacting with strangers online my anxiety drags me off a cliff. Something about not having the full range of body language and mannerisms available leaves me feeling extremely vulnerable. The feeling is similarly triggered by talking to strangers on the phone, which I know a lot of other people share.
I recently spent a week playing Dead by Daylight which culminated in being invited to a discord channel with a few people I got matched with. They were very nice and supportive and we had a fun time, but I spent it all pretty uneasy. After we wished each-other off very pleasantly I never logged into the game again for fear that they would want to talk to me. Less severe but similar things have happened in other games like Dark Souls.
Ultimately I’m here to say that I wish the best for both of us, and anyone else with similar complications. I’m new here myself (first post!) and it’s reassuring to know I’m not the only one that struggles with these issues. I hope you can find a comfortable place here and maybe even play some games
I’ve had this issue as well. I’m having it now, even, drafting and redrafting a casual forum post
That said, I think my struggle with online gaming/nerd communities has largely been one of ceaseless toxicity. Nearly every corner I turn to seems to have normalized crappy behaviors that I’m either silently enabling or constantly arguing with. The former is morally compromising and the latter is an exhausting way to spend my free time when social interaction is hard for me in the first place.
I’ve been lurking on the waypoint forums for a couple weeks now occasionally, trying to find an “in,” but I don’t really know how to throw my hat in most of the time. Regardless, this seems like an excellent community that I’d like to try and contribute to!
Feel free to add me on steam/bnet/whatever else interests you if you would like to play something with a similarly struggling stranger.
Looking back on what I wrote yesterday, it seems overally negative when the OP is looking for encouragement.
And it’s basically the same reason I joined this forum, to try and stop lurking so much and contribute!
So anyway, I’ve got my own issues with the way the internet has evolved to basically commodify and monitize our very human and basic need for community.
That’s a whole separate thing.
This forum seems acceptive of newcomers, and has a very active mod presence to weed out the bullshit. So it’s a good place to start if you want to stop the lurking habit.
I agree with Sputnik above. I’m usually kind of the lurking type myself when it comes to online communities/forums, but I decided to just give Waypoint a shot and it’s been a pleasant experience so far . From my experience, people here are quite nice and accepting, just look at the posts in this forum topic as an example! So if you find yourself in a situation where want to post, but are feeling a bit hesitant, I say go for it!