While I do not think they will just go away, I think they are fading overall. It came to me today while reading a post I thought was fairly misguided, though not offensive. For whatever reason, I posted that the poster was missing the point. He of course challenged me to prove my point. I thought about it, and then I thought: Why would I care? I don’t care to make him agree or see it my way, and I don’t care what he thinks especially to begin with, and I don’t care if anyone else on the board looks down on me because I didn’t engage him. I simply do not care. So I just told him it wasn’t worth my time, and left it at that.
It’s not that he was stupid, or that it wasn’t a debatable point. It was that the whole message board environment simply has worn down my ability to care what he or anyone else says there. And I am wondering if others sort of passed through a message board phase and lost general interest in them, as I have. In many ways, Facepalm walls and posts and comment threads seem to have taken over, and often with even greater idiocy, though at least some greater need for circumspection how one points it out. One never wants to hear from a liked friend, “Uh, that’s my brother-in-law, and while I agree he’s a fairly dim bulb, I’m not having fun reading you sending his BP into triple digits over triple digits.” Or worse: “I’m sorry about my brother-in-law. He wasn’t always this way. He got caught in an IED blast and has never recovered. Before that, though, he won the Silver Star, and was the best Little League coach ever.”
I admit that editing-related message boards seem to be a little better overall, but only by degrees. They’re still places where I say little of what I really think.
Anyway. Am I the only one out there who nowadays only bothers with message boards when he has a specific question for a specific group/subject, asks it, thanks them for the answer and then vanishes for two years?