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Jude's avatar

Are we all a bunch of 'different folks' from the land of the misfit toys?

Asked by Jude (31966 points ) September 30th, 2010

I overheard a discussion of one of my co-workers about message boards, forums and sites much like Fluther. She said that individuals who spend a great deal of time on these sites are either a) have social issues/don’t have a lot of friends b) don’t have a life or c) like to hear themselves talk (and need the attention).

Thoughts?

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39 Answers

JilltheTooth's avatar

Well, I a) don’t have social issues/do have a lot of friends b) do have a life and c) well, yeah, I guess I do conform to that one a bit.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I get to be the funny Jack-in-a-box that doesn’t quite work right!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Yeah, and I’m sure your coworker is the epitome of well-adjustment. People sneer at the good that come of that which they don’t get it but are secretly interested in.

tinyfaery's avatar

a) I do have social issues, but many on fluther do do not.
b) I have a life. I’m here typing aren’t I?
c) Most people love to hear themselves talk.

Jude's avatar

I actually think that it’s a good question.

wundayatta's avatar

I have social issues. I don’t have a lot of friends (but I do have some). I have a life outside of fluther. In fact, that life would rather I didn’t spend so much time here. I do need attention.

I don’t see why fluther wouldn’t be a reasonable solution for these problem or other ones, including those of people who don’t have these issues. Your coworker sounds a twee bit jealous to me.

The internet does make it easier for people to meet others of like mind. That’s a good thing. Misfits need friends, too. I bet your coworker wishes she could have as many friends as we jellies do.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mama_cakes
That what’s a good question? Whether we’re all misfits – we are, in some ways, all misfits but not because we all go to Fluther or as a result of.

Jude's avatar

@wundayatta Actually, she has a pretty good life. She’s just calling them as she sees them.

She’s not jealous at all.

Jude's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir why we spend so much time on this site (and other sites like Fluther).

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mama_cakes Because we like the people…that’s why we spend time on facebook, or at parties or in clubs/organizations – we want to get together with people and talk, discuss, change minds, educate…then again, I’m not one who thinks the internet is not part of real life.

Jude's avatar

How about an interesting question…

She was talking – those who spend quite a bit of their spare time on sites such as this one. Not getting out much (time with friends, partners – real life stuff), and those who like the attention..

Just a question and was curious as to what you all thought.

Aster's avatar

What @wundayatta said. How much time would you have to spend with someone you don’t know to get to know them as well as you can get to know someone on fluther?? Months? Years? And there’s a lot of judgement going on out there. Competitions. Jealousies. Fluther has a more level playing field.
I think someone who questions an involvement with fluther is feelng envious. But why they’d feel that way I don’t understand. They’re not banned.

ucme's avatar

I just see this “shit” as sending messages on my phone too my many friends. Shooting the breeze purely for entertainment purposes. It’s like watching TV, some of it’s real the rest well, let’s pretend. Done in similar moderation, move on to the real world, enjoy & repeat :¬)

DominicX's avatar

I do not have social issues, I have lots of friends, and I most certainly “have a life”, whatever. that. means…

No offense, but your co-worker sounds like a moron. I come on here because I enjoy the discussion of issues with people, especially people from all parts of the country/world, all ages, and all backgrounds. I don’t get to do that in “real life”. Most people I know are my age, from the same area, and share similar beliefs and backgrounds. Many of them would also rather talk about drinking, getting drunk, and boozing it up. I tire of that sometimes.

Trust me, the most fun I have in life is traveling and hanging out with my friends, it has nothing do with anything online. Maybe I’m just not addicted to or dependent on it enough…

Jude's avatar

“Maybe I’m just not addicted to or dependent on it enough…”

That’s what she was talking about, those individuals who are.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I can really only speak for myself here and the first thing I’ll say is that I prioritize offline relationships. When I’m single, or in a situation like right now where I don’t have many friends to hang out with in real life, I spend a lot of time online. Yeah, I have social issues. My social anxiety can be crippling and terrifying and makes it really difficult to meet people. I find a lot of that pressure is off online because people get to know me for me, I have more time to think about what I’m going to say, more time to react, etc.

I think any sort of addiction, whether it be a substance or WoW, has a root in a deeper issue. Most people, even though they might feel they’re addicted to the internet or to a game or to a particular website, really aren’t. It’s the ones that are, the ones who let their kid cry in the other room because they’re busy online, or they never spend any time with family and friends because they prefer the online world, that are like what your co-worker is talking about. And yes, I find that kind of addiction to be sad.

To answer the question of whether we are all misfits, I don’t think so. The internet is a giant freakshow, don’t forget that! I think, on the whole, Fluther peeps don’t come close to comparing to what I would consider ‘misfits’. Some of us have social issues, sure. I know there are a lot of introverts here, which is statistically a much higher representation in one place than in the world as a whole. It makes loads of sense that introverts would gather on a site like this! :)

Jude's avatar

@MissAnthrope Great answer.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

The Guild series is a parody of the internet version of The Land of the Misfits. If you’ve ever been addicted to a computer game or web-site, it is required watching.

Seriously though, people choose how to spend the spare time as they so desire. It seems like it is similar to money. People have a limited amount of free time in the day and a limited amount of money in their pocket. As long as it doesn’t get out of control, it isn’t hurting them or others, who is anyone to judge how someone spends their time?

Jude's avatar

Funny video!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@mama_cakes Maybe she doesn’t know any people who’re as good at multi-tasking as some of us are. I bet my life is richer than her and her two best friends combined. It’s all about quality of time spent, not how much time you spend with someone.

YARNLADY's avatar

a) yes b) I had one of those once, but I didn’t like it c) of course, doesn’t everyone?

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

a.) I do have a lot of friends, but I have severe social issues that have gotten worse in the last few years. I still crave socialization.. I am just having a hard time keeping my fear under control lately. Sometimes the internet is the only way I can handle social interaction without feeling like I’m going to have a nervous breakdown.
b.) I have no life.
c.) Doesn’t everyone?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

What exactly is the difference between having no/few friends and having no life? I’m feeling a bit idiomatically challenged here.

I’ve found that people who say stuff like that feel the need to make their path more valid than others. While if you’re avoid an issue by being on Fluther, or are really lonely by the lack of contact in meatspace, you should totally work on it, so long as you’re happy, who gives a shit? I’m pretty sure (if I understand the phrase correctly) that Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan qualify as having a life with their constant socialization, but no one’s claiming that they’re healthy and stable and well-rounded. The way she phrased it, it’s hard for me to hear it as anything but an insult towards “The Other People”, not an insightful psychological musing.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@papayalily : Thank you for introducing me to the term “Meatspace”. I’ve never heard it before, and I love it!

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@JilltheTooth I actually just heard it for the first time a couple weeks ago. It’s so much better than the awkwardness of IRL (in real life), which always makes me think “because the internet is just a dream we’re all having…?” It’s like when I hear terms like “real America(ns)” or “real people” (as opposed to all the androids we’ve got running ‘round the place…).

Jude's avatar

Don’t shoot the messenger. I put up the question because I thought that it was interesting and wanted to get your take on it.

talljasperman's avatar

actually I like answering the questions…its my passion…now I need to find a way to get paid doing it… but Attention is fine…I’ll take that for now

aprilsimnel's avatar

Yes. I’m Dolly.

I am here because it’s sociable, and that’s no better or worse than F2F. Also, I like helping people, and this site gives me the opportunity to do so every day in an environment that’s friendly (99.8% of the time for me, anyway).

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

@aprilsimnel Hello, Dolly! Well, hello, Dolly! It’s so nice to have you back where you belong!

aprilsimnel's avatar

@papayalily – heeheehee! :)

weeveeship's avatar

I call the speckled elephant. It has always been my favorite misfit toy.

“http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/59/m_11e391f20a560a818a0b8c8b992f1725.jpg”

Seek's avatar

I do have social issues. I’m starting to get over the social anxiety, but I still don’t know how to meet people and make friends. It seems like everyone already has their own groups… (it’s always seemed that way)
I don’t have many friends outside of the Internet (even my IRL friends live far away)
I have very limited social activity, and that usually includes my husband’s friends
So what if I need a little attention, goddammit? I matter, too!

Jude's avatar

I don’t want you all to think that I agree with this co-worker. She’s very opinionated about a lot of things. The sad part was, others were agreeing with her (maybe, to get her to shut up). Some people just don’t get it.

jrpowell's avatar

Well.. Hanging out in places like this has replaced my TV watching. I still have a social life. I just spent the time I used to spend watching TV on the Internet.

whatthefluther's avatar

Diversity is a wonderful thing, best tempered by moderation.
Passion can do wonders, but it best not detract from other things of importance.
Life is a balancing act…..stay aware, be agile, take care, stay healthy, be happy, learn continuously, laugh often and a lot, and most importantly, open your heart to love and love with all your heart.
See ya…...Gary/wtf
PS: I’m with jp on this one….the internet has replaced t.v. for me (more interesting, better variety and I can now listen to music as backround)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@mama_cakes I came in this morning not knowing what I was going to find after the storm we had on the East coast last night. Total stress, etc. I’ve had more laughs this morning on fluther than I’ve had in the last 24 hrs. Stress be gone. That’s why I hang here.

BarnacleBill's avatar

a) I have social issues – it’s called a 60 hour-a-week job. I did have friends, but at 10 pm, they don’t want to talk or play scrabble; most are comatose. b) I have a job/pets/garden/adult children/100 year-old house, and I go to hear a lot of indie bands. Does that count as “a life” or do I need to play bunco, go to book club, or watch a lot of reality television? c) I do like to hear myself talk. Occasionally. Of my typical 12 hour day at work, 11 hours is spent in silence. The cats and the dog aren’t always up to conversation.

cookieman's avatar

I actually have too much of a “life”.

Two jobs, wife, school-aged child, dependent elderly inlaws, cute dog, friends, needy aunt, house, niece and nephew (who mistake us for their parents)...

Christ…I come here to escape all that.

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