Friday, November 5, 2010

Invisible

I've never really be a very social person.  I like having people to do stuff with, but I'm not good at keeping up friendships.  I'm not a phone person and somehow I got all the friends who aren't email or texters!  Either that or I must keep up a stream of stupidity that normal people get tired of hearing.  I honestly don't know.

So when I joined an online forum that had a professional focus for my type of work, I thought it would be great that I could have a place like a virtual water cooler.  I am pretty quiet when I join a new forum so I can get the lay of the land and watch the dynamics of those who are most active.  Now, I had some misgivings about a few people on this board, but I'm not very political or outspoken about personal issues anyway.  I lay low and play Switzerland most the time especially if it's work oriented.  Somehow I think that's working against me.  I'm not even sure I can explain it.

When I joined I stayed out of all the in-fighting.  I threw a few opinions out there but nothing so as to someone would side with or against me.  There are quite a few that are very outspoken and rub me the wrong way.  Yes, there is the typical clique that will even gang up on another person for random reasons.  They are new, or tried to defend themselves and didn't cow to the overloards of the board.  It's a shame when I see this but I suppose in my line of work you have to have a thick skin anyway.  I've often been afraid to post anything in fear I'd get reamed for something someone took wrong.

What's really sad is that this forum is a huge wealth of knowledge for my industry.  It's a great networking resource and for keeping up on shady contracts or companies that are hiring.  Now I don't even know if I want to be a part of it.  Not because I got what I needed from it and now it's of no use to me, but because I don't feel included.  Even though I've posted something almost every day for the past four months, I'm invisible.  I will reply to someone and include information that someone asked about and it's not acknowleged.  Then not two posts down someone else will say the same thing and everyone is quoting it and commenting on it like I never said anything!  I do not understand it.  I'm afraid to even mention it lest I be seen as a complainer.  It's a professional board so I'm not trying to have the companies that hire from it see me get blasted for whining about getting left out.  I thought maybe people are so self-absorbed they were just typing replies and not reading the previous responses, until I saw replies to other participants right after me.

I seriously feel like everyone has put me on ignore there, but it would show me on my stats if everyone had me on ignore! I don't know what I did, or if I'm being too sensitive about it.  I am probably being too sensitive.  I could easily just stop trying to post and only use it for my own research and get over it.  I don't know.  It feels like when you're in the office and everyone is at a cubicle talking and when you walk up they shut up.  When you walk away you hear snippets of conversation you were trying to interject.  I know I'm socially awkward but dang.  I can't even get included on the Internet.

Now I feel like a weirdo for writing about how the Internet is ignoring me!  Boo hoo, poor me that self-important people don't talk to me on the Internet.  This is why I'm a dork.  Really.

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