Today I am lamenting the loss of what I have long considered a decent way to meet people and make friends online while avoiding most of the lunatics out there. And you know who you are so don’t look around wondering who I’m talking about. I’m lamenting the loss of forums. Before the internet, one made friends by engaging in something they enjoy doing, whether playing sports, reading books or quilting. Friendships begin with a common interest and flourish from there. In the early 90s when I first discovered the Internet, there wasn’t really a way to meet people easily; then came forums. One of the first ones I ever joined was just a general place to make and chat with friends with all manner of topics available for discussing. But soon I discovered forums focused on a particular topic of interest. They’ve also served as a place of group therapy of sorts, helping people realise they’re not alone when dealing with life’s difficulties or illnesses.
More recently, though, I’ve noticed a decline in forums. People who thrive on drama join and make a mess of things. Forums which were once focused on one specific subject broaden their acceptance of what fits that topic to cater to the whims of its membership. I also find now that there are forums I’ve joined which I don’t feel I fit into despite the forum covering a topic of interest to me. The existing members either purposely or unintentionally form a clique and exclude any new members.
So now where do I go to make new friends? I don’t know.