Group Dynamics Fall Off the Mountain

I recently left a group that was supposedly “studying” a classic book. While the five weeks of banter and commentary leading up to the start of the study was fun and enlightening, I found that after the reading started, not much of substance was said. When the silliness and off-topic discussions got out of hand, I left and deleted most of my posts and my account on the server.

I went back after about three weeks to see if anything was being discussed relevant to the book, and saw some comments poking fun about deleting posts. What fun! Unfortunately, the group still shows little substance of discussion regarding the book.

I lasted for two weeks on Facebook last autumn before deleting my account. I tried it but I did not see the point. Today, I saw an online article posted about the Twitter site and what goes on there. The point of that escapes me too. I tried the Eons forums last year just to see what they were like and found nothing of interest there either so deleted my account.

Years and years ago in the late 1990s I felt, like many people, that communication on the Internet would be a fabulous thing. It seemed like such an opportunity to share ideas and meet like-minded people, but it has not panned out that way.

I do see really interesting information now and then, but the situation in groups has been disillusioning for me. I think many people like the social aspects of groups and meeting friends or possible dates, but that was never my focus, I like information best, and information that challenges me to learn something new or explore ideas that I know little about is my ideal.

Initially, I think most groups satisfy that, but after you have the information and have learned a bit, they do not seem to go anywhere but into chat. I have met several people over the years on mailing lists and forums that I like and enjoy chatting with in private e-mails, but I do not like to chat in a group unless I am learning something.

I think my experience with this reading group will definitely be my last group effort. I must accept that lists and forums are never going to be what they state they are. This works for many people, but does not satisfy my urge for communication, experience, and learning.

As I often say to an online friend of mine: “I’d rather read a book.”

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2 Comments on “Group Dynamics Fall Off the Mountain”

  1. Lunes Says:

    Hey Judith – I have read this with interest and obviously a feeling of disappointment too. I do understand what you are saying. I belong to a variety of forums / groups and so on and I dip in and out depending upon my needs.

    As for facebook – I do enjoy the social banter which goes on there and have managed to get in contact with many people from the past – something which perhaps became more of a need for me when I moved from the UK to France.

    Don’t remain disillusioned for too long!
    Kylee

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      Hi Kylee,

      Well I think it fair to say that you’re a bit more outgoing than I in general–more of a people person which might also explain my disillusionment.

      Your comment about moving made sense to me. It’s hard to start over in a new country, and I know you speak French well so that isn’t a problem, but the culture is different and it’s not your home country. It’s nice to have the Internet in such situations.

      Nice to “see” you! You have been so busy of late I can hardly keep up.


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