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josie's avatar

Is Fluther truly significant and important to some peoples lives?

Asked by josie (22950 points ) October 13th, 2010

http://www.fluther.com/100209/why-do-people-cancel-their-fluther-account-why-not-just-stop/
In a comment to one of my questions @wundayatta made this observation:

“Some people’s emotions run high around here. What happens to them here is a very serious matter affecting much of their lives.” (emphasis is mine)

Now this sort of made me stop in my tracks.
I admit, that Fluther is fun, and there are all sorts of interesting folks that participate in it. I am surrounded by computers all day, and one of them is connected to Fluther so I can watch the action-just like watching the stock market (These days, even better than watching the market).

But the truth is, when it gets down to it, Fluther is a fun distraction, a form of entertainment, and nothing more. It really does not provide meaning to my life.
I do not mean this personally- I am sure that most of you are individually nice, bright, friendly, and likeable people and if we met face to face, I am sure we could be friends.

But is @wundayatta correct?

Is Fluther a big thing to some people?
I mean, It is perfectly OK if it is, but I never thought about it that way.

Well maybe that is not true. I have considered that some people who are sick or disabled might connect to the outside world with Fluther. Fair enough

But outside of extraordinary circumstances, for whom is Fluther an important value in their life?

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45 Answers

MissA's avatar

It is a distraction alright…but, it IS beneficial to some in personal ways…perhaps just an ear or a smile.

Nullo's avatar

Fluther accounts for some 20–30% of my social life.

MissA's avatar

@Nullo

Wow. Are you home-bound or otherwise limited in accessing people in real time? Just curious.

Nullo's avatar

@MissA I have an employer who thinks that my life revolves around work. I’m not overworked, but there is rarely any consideration for social activities in the schedule planning. Almost since the beginning, I’ve been assigned the closing shift (4pm-9pm) with alarming regularity. My days off change from week to week, and the whole entire thing is subject to change without notice.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I enjoy the connections I make with people here. I feel some real closeness to a handful and a fondness for quite a lot.

What really makes Fluther special for me, however, is when I get to answer questions that hit close to home. I love the questions about sexual orientation and mental illness and writing and reading. They are when I feel I truly have something to contribute.

CMaz's avatar

I am on, because it is in front of me. Otherwise, out of sight, out of mind.

Though there are a few of you I do fantasize about. ;-)

diavolobella's avatar

I don’t think it’s Fluther that is the big deal to people. I think the big deal for them are their opinions, how they express them and react to the responses they receive. Some people are really deadly serious when expressing their opinions and much more sensitive about them, especially if they don’t have many outlets for self-expression. So, the reactions they get to their opinions can upset them if they aren’t the reactions they want or expect. Some people get so upset that they take their toys and go home. So, I think it’s a certain type of person who sees Fluther as a big deal – but Fluther is not what is affecting their lives, it’s their response to people’s criticism or support that affects them so strongly. Fluther is just the forum where this happens. It’s more about whether you want information or affirmation.

Axemusica's avatar

@wundayatta is quite correct in some aspects @josie and I’m not divulging to much into it.

janbb's avatar

Some of us over time have gotten to feel very close to other Jellies through getting to know them from their answers and PMs. These friendships can come to have a great deal of meaning and some of us have arranged to meet others in real life like @marinelife and I. I would say it is an enriching part of my life although certainly not the only significant component.

diavolobella's avatar

@janbb I can definitely see that. There is another site I’ve been active on for many years and I’ve met loads of those people in person. They mean a lot to me. If Flutter becomes like that for me, I would definitely say it would be an important part of my life and rightly so.

As far as getting upset over answers though, I think it’s how well you deal with differing opinions and whether you are looking for a genuine variety of opinions or just hoping for someone to validate your position.

marinelife's avatar

I enjoy Fluther a lot, but when I have been away from it, I have not missed it.

free_fallin's avatar

Fluther has great meaning to me. I have made honest friendships here that I know will last. I converse with a few people daily and I have begun a weekly skype call with a few friends where we watch a movie. I have also fallen in love thanks to fluther. It’s amazing to me the relationships you can form thanks to fluther. Several jellies have met in person and I am pleased to say I get to meet the most important one to me in 15 days. I truly have love for a few jellies. My life would be happy if I had not found fluther, sure, but I would not have felt the love that I feel now.

Aster's avatar

I won’t lie. I would feel physical and emotional “withdrawal” if I couldn’t access fluther’s intelligent, sweet people. In fact, I’d even miss the not so sweet ones.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

If you can form significant relationship with people on the internet (some of us can), then it can be very significant.

zen_'s avatar

Is Fluther a big thing to some people? I mean, It is perfectly OK if it is, but I never thought about it that way.

Hey, bud – I live here. What, you don’t like my home? Don’t throw stones in a glass house and all that jazz… but really – what’s the difference between a relationship here or in real life – if you spend more time here than in real life?

I am Fluther. Fluther is me. I have said this before, many times, under several aliases. It took a while, and I haven’t liked all the changes, but the bottom line is – if fluther will have me – I’ll have fluther. It’s a Catholic wedding, as far as I’m concerned.

Edit: Chaz – you gotta stop fantasizing about me – for the last time: it aint gonna happen.

ZEN OUT

josie's avatar

@zen_ Nobody throwing stones my brother, just getting a different angle on Fluther. Seeing if I can be a better neighbor, or if I should move out of the neighborhood. Nothing more, nothing less.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Fluther may be a distraction. Something fun to do, a way to pass the time.. but I never, ever lose sight of the fact that there are human beings on the other end of these responses. I feel like people too often dismiss interactions done online as far less important, or frivolous, or meaningless, when compared to our face to face interactions. Granted, they are not on in the same, and face to face interactions are of vital importance in our lives… there is no other way to slice it than we are all still real people behind these screens.

zen_'s avatar

Actually, @josie – though we usually disagree on much – especially my geographically challenged situation – here we disagree once again; it wasn’t an affront – notice my tone and clarification and generality of speech.

I think you shouldn’t even think that way” no-one said it’s my way or the highway. Au contraire: you are Fluther, too. Or you wouldn’t ask this, and you couldn’t;t have attracted my (and others’ attention).

CMaz's avatar

“I am Fluther. Fluther is me.”
– Zen

I want that on a bumper sticker.

diavolobella's avatar

@zen. So, is what you are saying to josie that he is your Fluther Brother from Another Mother? ;)

zen_'s avatar

@ChazMaz 5 bucks.

@diavolobella Oh, yes.

chels's avatar

I would assume it’s pretty significant and important to the guys who made Fluther, as well as the ones who work for Fluther.

Also – same goes for the mods (so I think). I mean we volunteer our time into making sure Fluther is a great place and stays that way.. So obviously it’s important to us.

That being said, I’ve met many of my great friends on here not to mention my fiancé, so yes, to answer your question:

Fluther is truly significant and important to some peoples lives.

Jude's avatar

What the penguin said.

Seek's avatar

I consider Fluther to be very important to me.

I have few close friends IRL for varying reasons, not the least of which is related to a more than healthy dose of social anxiety, and I feel much more comfortable using written word as opposed to speaking. Is it entirely healthy? Probably not. But that doesn’t change the fact that I do feel at home here. I do feel welcome here, and even when people don’t like me or disagree with me, I don’t have to see the disapproval on their faces.

kenmc's avatar

Its not so much Fluther itself as the people that are on it. Fluther is just the platform we find these people on. It just happened to be a great way to get to know people, as Q/A sites tend to be.

wilma's avatar

There is a place in my life for Fluther. I have learned a lot here and from your posts, I feel that I have come to know some of you just a wee bit. My life certainly doesn’t revolve around Fluther, but I try to check in everyday if I can.

deni's avatar

It has a place, it’s not very important or very significant, but I like it and I enjoy spending time on here. I learn new things and it’s fun to share information and opinions. But I could live without it easily.

Coloma's avatar

It’s a fun diversion, modest social outlet, I have come to enjoy quite a few people here, but…it is an internet forum and I think if anyone is too involved on an emotional level they have emotional problems. lol

Aster's avatar

^^^^^^^^ @Coloma, you may be right about that. Of course, we’d have to define “too involved.”

Coloma's avatar

@Aster

Yeah, we are sharing Jimmy Buffet, I guess I better take a look at that. lol

zen_'s avatar

@Coloma , my dear: I think if anyone is too involved on an emotional level they have emotional problems. lol

Would you like to reiterate that?

Seek's avatar

^ Hey, I’ll own it. I get cold sweats just filling out job applications, because if I put down my real phone number they might call me, and I’ll have to answer it.

Coloma's avatar

@zen_

No. I think it’s true.
It would be called ‘get a life.’ haha

zen_'s avatar

It takes one to know one, dear.

Response moderated (Personal Attack)
Fred931's avatar

People have proposed marriage here. Yes.

chyna's avatar

@ChazMaz Me? It’s me isn’t it? You fantasize about me?

zen_'s avatar

@Coloma Dear Jane: Will you marry me? Love, Dick.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I have a theory about Fluther that relates to social geography.

In real life, there exists in communities places that are defined as places where we feel comfortable. First place space is generally home, second place space is another place we go every day, like work or school. There are also places known as third place space, where go to interact with other people. In many communities these are coffee shops, parks, etc. and a places where anyone may show up, and be included. This is where news and conversation happens, both with people you know and don’t know. There was an interesting study done about Starbucks deliberately crafting themselves as “third place space.” City planners try to incorporate “third place space” into development because it creates vibrancy and sustainability. People want to come back to the area, because it’s important to them.

The need to create community is natural and inherent to people. The 90’s gave rise to a generation of latchkey children, home alone, admonished not to let strangers in or go out on their own. This coincided with computers and the internet letting the world into houses. People were no longer required to go out to have social interactions. The intrinsic need for community manifested itself from online gaming and message boards, to extended out to virtual communities like Second City, Facebook, dating sites, and communities like Fluther.

For many people, Fluther is like a virtual village. We know the people that are on here in ways that we don’t know those we come in contact with in daily life. In some ways, true selves come out. Like a third place space, people come for the interactions, and stay because, with the exception of having decent writing skills, marginal intellect and passable manners, there isn’t really any criteria for being accepted.

Coloma's avatar

@zen_ @zen_

LOL

Thats better now!

zen_'s avatar

@BarnacleBill You had me at Fluther = Cheers.

augustlan's avatar

It’s quite significant and important to me. :)

Paradox's avatar

It’s not that I consider any site like this significant as far as my life itself goes there are many topics I can’t talk about with people who are around me. It is more about being able to discuss issues in an intelligent or respectful way that is important to me since I have no other outlet for discussing certain topics that are important to me.

zzzpatzzz's avatar

lmfao no way

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