Searching For Satisfaction

Posts Tagged ‘people

 

People love advice. People definitely love to give advice, but they love asking for & receiving advice even more. I see it all the time, people constantly asking for advice, for everything from the big things (like what to do with their lives) to the little things (like what to have for lunch).

This constant demand for advice & affirmation drives me crazy.

It seems to me like people are just unwilling to even attempt to live their lives completely on their own, and figure it out as they go along. Most people need a cosigner on every decision they make in life. I guess this makes them feel like they are less likely to make a bad decision? Or maybe it gives them some security in knowing that if someone else cosigns on their decision & it goes badly, they aren’t solely to blame? Either way, some people go through their day without making a single decision 100% on their own.

One of my fave bloggers is Belle from A Belle In Brooklyn. She has a Formspring account, and it’s amazing to see how many “what should I do?”-type questions she receives. Complete strangers go to another stranger to figure out what to do in their career, education, personal relationships, etc. I’m curious about the people who ask for her advice – she doesn’t know them, and only gets a snippet of their situation. What is the motivation behind asking a complete stranger what your next life move should be? Are they looking for confirmation on what they were planning to do? Or are they really so lost & unable to make a decision that they would leave it up to a stranger?

What happened to the days of people learning from their experiences? Simply going out in the world, trying different things, and learning, essentially, “the hard way” sometimes? It seems as if everyone wants a road map & GPS directions on life! Even seemingly simple decisions such as what to have for lunch or if a dress is cute can’t be made unless a council of elders gives their blessing on the decision. Every life decision is made not by the person actually living that life, but by others.

What happened to trusting your instincts?

I know everyone asks for advice, including me. I’m too much of a thinker to not get counsel on what I deem important decisions, or when I encounter a problem that I don’t hold subject matter expertise in. But I don’t live my life requiring the cosign of others – for many things as long as I’m happy with it, I roll with it & the opinions of others don’t matter. In many areas of my life, I’ve learned to trust my instincts & tap into that side of myself & allow it to move me in the direction I should move. Do I make mistakes? Absolutely. But making mistakes is a part of life, and learning from experience is a part of the road map of life that I’m developing for myself.

No one else can live my life. The experiences of others are good, but at the end of the day, only I know what’s best for me. And my experience & circumstances can turn out completely different than someone else’s, which is why sometimes gathering advice is pointless. Too often people don’t trust their instincts & intuition, which is so vitally important.

Thoughts?

The Internet, and connecting with people on it, has been apart of my life since the days of IRC and AOL chat rooms. In college, I discovered message boards, and the communities that resided within them. For the uninitiated, a message board is an environment where people can converse through posted messages. Many are organized around a particular theme – there’s a message board community for every topic under the sun, and even some communities that are solely for people to connect with each other.

My first message board experiences were as a silent reader – this was in my non-Greek days & I would lurk on a couple of Greek message boards, reading & soaking up information. Once I was able, I registered & dove right into the conversations. Over the years, I joined other message boards, including a gossip board, a couple of hair boards, and even a few “let’s just talk to each other” boards.

Every board is different, but one thing that always happens is the connection between members. Spend some time on a board, posting & reading, and eventually you’ll make some e-friends. Many people have been on the same boards for years, so inevitable for people to meet offline either one-on-one or at a meet-and-greet (MAG). At the very least, folks friend each other on FB, share emails and/or call/text each other. While friendships are made, conflict is also the norm. For every friend you made on a message board, you also found a font you couldn’t stand.

I’ve noticed that since I’ve been on Twitter, and since its explosion in popularity, my message board use has dwindled to virtually nothing. I used to be on message boards all day, everyday – talking, laughing, etc. It was a welcome diversion to the monotony of my day, and kept me entertained. We’d discuss everything, from mundane topics like what’s for dinner to the latest political controversy. Ladies shared beauty tips and men praised the latest cover of King magazine. And of course there would be those board-wide conflicts, with people instigating & laughing at all the drama.

Now, the antics of Twitter keeps me entertained.

It used to be that you had to invite your friends to a message board & encourage them to post, to get new blood on a site. If you didn’t like someone’s font or had beef, you either had to put them on ignore or leave the board entirely. With Twitter, interactions with new people occur quickly, thanks to retweets (RT’s), random conversations, trending topics (TT’s) and suggestions on who to follow. Somebody getting on your nerves? Unfollowing & blocking are quick & easy to do. Don’t want to unfollow them completely? Put them on mute for a while, thanks to several third-party services.

In a lot of ways Twitter functions like a message board, but in warp-speed. It’s constantly moving, even at 2AM. Everyone can participate in topics & discussions, thanks to trending topics (TT’s) and retweets. Information, ideas & opinions are shared so much faster, and are able to reach a much broader audience. And of course, people are able to develop connections on Twitter just like they were able to do on message boards. Many of my message boards friends are people who I chat with often on Twitter, and I’ve made connections with new people as well. Unlike a message board, Twitter isn’t insular – there are millions (if not billions) of people using it, with new members everyday. You can always find someone tweeting & talking about something interesting at any time of day or night.

Now that I’m a Twitter junkie, I’ve cut my message board time down considerably. I still lurk on a couple, but the entertainment value is no longer there. But I do think back to the years I spent as an active message board participant, and I appreciate that it allowed me to connect with some amazing people & make some great friends.

Were/are you a message board member? What communities did you post on? How do you think Twitter has affected the use of message boards?


The Blog

Ever wanted to get into the mind of a young, single, professional Black woman? Well here's your chance. Travel with me on this journey called life as I try to find the elusive state of satisfaction...I promise, it'll be a fun time....
twitter / Jubilance1922

Past Posts

The Red Pump Project