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Why Are We Here?


malign

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Okay, not in the huge sense, or we'd be here all day ...

What I'm wondering is, what are we getting from the site, these days?  Does it still provide what people need?

I guess the answer would have to be different for the two major user groups we have, the SPS guys, and everyone else.

The SPS forum continues to be active, particularly for a small number (fewer than a dozen, say) of regular contributors.  The opinions differ somewhat, as in any conversation, but the forum itself at least appears to provide its participants with what they want.

However, it's unclear whether the forum is doing what it was intended to do, which was to support people through their struggles with a mental illness or at least something like a mental illness.  The majority seem to feel that their situation is entirely physical and that any psychological effects on them are due to the actions of others.  While we can support people who are in pain, our real goal has always been to help them change in ways that reduce that pain.  If, instead, our support helps maintain them in their inaction, we may actually be doing them a disservice.

The situation for "everyone else" is even more problematic.  We get little traffic, any more, for any other forums.  Those regulars who do not identify as SPS sufferers still end up conversing mainly in the SPS forum.  There is little mental health anything going on elsewhere on the site.

It's quite possible that, had I not been absent, I might have been able to change that situation, but I don't know.  It does concern me, though, because it brings the question of purpose into fairly stark focus.  Are we doing anyone any favors keeping the site open, and how do I feel about my role in that?

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Good questions, Mark. I don't know. But to me, this site provides the possibility of written contact with some people I know a bit and I like them and I like this possibility to come when it suits me and to 'interact'. It's perhaps more like a social network / medium now. When I remember "the old times", I have to admit I liked it here much more then. But it's not because I don't like the people who are now here, just... the greater number of contributors about more diversified topics was more stimulating and engaging and, mainly, provided more possibilities to some help to emerge from all those interactions, sometimes quite profound.

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Very few things in life do what they are intended to do.  I have both seen and gotten support here.
 

The Coronavirus thread has been active - that’s not SPS.  

But you are right most topics get little to no traffic.  So it’s up to you big guy. If you wanna put the kibosh on it I would just request a ‘heads up’ so I could connect w a couple of people via email or whatever.  

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I have been a member of this community for over 10 years. I have made friendships here that have been life changing. I have learned here, both by receiving support and by giving support to others. I have journaled here for many years. Part of my story is here. I have blogs that show my experiences in real time. I can go back now and read where I was, see my struggles and see how I have pushed through and grown. I have a message space here that spans over years that I shared with a friend who has since died. I'm grateful for all of this. I would be sad to lose this site and all of concrete memories I have here.

It's true that things aren't the same on the forum as they were some years ago. I sometimes miss the old days too. I understand your concerns. I may need to allow my emotions before I can see ration clearly, though. I don't visit here nearly as much as I did for many years, life is busy and maybe I don't have as much need or energy...but that could always change. This community feels like an old friend.

I agree with Vic that ultimately it's your choice to make. I respect that. I don't have any great answers, I just would feel sad to see it go.

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I'll be honest:  I don't really know what people are using, these days.  I'm fairly old-school, and neither knowledgeable about nor interested in social media.  I would have thought that more people home idle would mean more traffic, no matter what ...

I certainly don't plan anything sudden.  I was mostly reflecting on my own feelings, in here.  Whatever I do, it will be announced widely, with a comment period in case someone has a better idea than I do.  (You'd be amazed at how often that happens.  🙂 )

Things often do things that weren't intended, but that's why we get to make course corrections.  Otherwise, we'd have to get it perfect, the first time ...

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Support service for me when I found this site. And very helpful advice. 

At moment the UK has hit it's highest covid count. So this site might help with mental

Health issues. As for Social media. Last year I saw docu about social media

Called the "Social dilemma" and well let's just say you watch that and it will scare you from using

Social media.

 

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@geronimo if you ever do decide to go on Facebook know that you can really restrict it and keep it private if you understand the settings.  
 

For example on mine no one can see my friends, no one can find me via Google, no one can see the pages I like and no one can post on my page unless I approve it. Now if I comment on a public page then everyone in the world can see that. But I don’t do that very often. 
 

Facebook has been good for me during quarantine because I love live music, I like humor and international news. And the occasional touching base w old friends.  

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Like the VHS tapes, cassette tapes, and CDS and LPs Facebook is on its last legs so.to speak 

 

In other words

MySpace = Facebook = Twitter now Twitter and Facebook are now been replaced by Mewe 

 

Same could be said for DVDs, blu ray, Cinema the dare I say it Normal TV 

 

With streaming services like Sky store, NowTV, Roku, Netflix, Amazon prime video. 

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Seems there are few places in social media where you can be honest and discuss your problems.

Most social media seems to me to be just another "competitive arena".  Part of the problem is that, more and more, anonymous participation is being pushed out for "security" and "political" reasons.  Most of us wouldn't want to discuss mental health issues on FaceBook, where anonymous participation isn't permitted, in front of everyone we know in our work and personal life.

So, I would think there would be great demand for this site.  But, I guess realizing that demand would require promotional efforts which I'm sure cost too much money.

Also, if the site got real popular, there would be pressure to censor "erroneous" or "damaging" views of participants.

I guess we are "supposed" to go to a professional psychiatrist or psychologist.  I found the ones I patronized long ago quite limiting and rigid in their thinking.  One regaled me with his sexual and competitive exploits with no understanding of those of us who have problems asserting ourselves.  Another, just listened and felt sorry.

I've found more help in sites like this, but the low participation levels are frustrating.

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Then, there is the issue that nothing on the internet is actually anonymous.  Court orders and spies can expose anyone.

So, anyone who might get tangled in litigation or become high profile for any reason, must beware.

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I use social media, but I mostly end up supporting others. I do enjoy seeing family photos and watching kids grow up. I generally wouldn't use Facebook to share a lot of problems, feels too wide open. I have always preferred to share in my blog here.

Wayless, there was a time when this site was much more active, but activity has faded as the years have gone by. I sometimes miss the interactions with community members and friends.. SweetSue, Endless Night, Luna, Danni, David O, Smallstar, Finding My Way, Jai Jai, ken Ian..

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12 hours ago, IrmaJean said:

I use social media, but I mostly end up supporting others. I do enjoy seeing family photos and watching kids grow up. I generally wouldn't use Facebook to share a lot of problems, feels too wide open. I have always preferred to share in my blog here.

Wayless, there was a time when this site was much more active, but activity has faded as the years have gone by. I sometimes miss the interactions with community members and friends.. SweetSue, Endless Night, Luna, Danni, David O, Smallstar, Finding My Way, Jai Jai, ken Ian..

What do you think was the cause of activity decline?  Problems or issues resolved?  Or, at least explored as far a possible.

I know I don't feel the need to discuss my sps issues much any longer as people have helped me look at it from all angles and it is more or less stable.  Wouldn't say I was cured, though.

I think people are more "stuck" in major social media sites now and less likely to google about for a site like this.

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I think some members may feel better, yes. Others have moved on for various reasons, I imagine. The terrain is always changing..

I have wondered why there hasn't been more new members here. The new ones don't often seem to stay either. 🤷‍♀️ There does seem to be a greater need these days for the instant gratification of sites like facebook. Though I do use FB, this place will always be my "home." I prefer a slower pace and a smaller community.

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Me too, doesn't worry me at all that the site is quiet, less to read! And if someone has a problem there are people here who can give good advice or support.

I think the lack of new members is possibly due to the forum being a little less obvious in search results? Maybe they don't stay because they observe it is pretty quiet and feel awkward?

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