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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Checking back in after three years

   
Author Topic: Checking back in after three years
ZachC
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I'm nineteen now, so while three years might not seem like a lot of time to some of the older posters here, to me it seems like it was an entirely different person who used to post here in 2013.

I made an account here because I enjoyed reading OSC's books, in fact they probably jump-started my love of reading. Looking back on my post history I made some pretty cringe-worthy posts in discussions way out of my league, but I think they were definitely growing experiences for me. I mostly lurked though, and observed how people on here wrote and discussed their ideas. So while it is very unlikely any of you active members remember me, seeing your usernames next to the few posts that are left is a like looking through a time warp.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. This forum had a small but important impact on my growth as a person. A few of you have been posting here for over a decade though, so that certainly puts things into perspective.

I realize this thread isn't the best conversation starter, so if you'd be willing, I'd like to hear about your interactions with this community over the years. How has it impacted you? How has it/you changed over time?

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JanitorBlade
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Hey! So I've been here since 05, I've made tons of friends through this site, been helped out of some big jams because of the relationships I fostered here, I've met the Cards* because in 2010 they asked me to be the moderator here.

I still come here to read Samprimary's political commentary, Rakeesh and Dogbreath telling me that my insistence on tone in conversation is wrong at times, Lyrhawn's commentary on LOTR and his career in the auto-industry, TomDavidson's snark [Wink] , kmbboots desire that we all treat people humanely, Stone_Wolf being unfailingly nice, and a bazillion other people for various reasons.

*It was *the* most enjoyable dinner I've ever been to.

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Dogbreath
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quote:
Originally posted by ZachC:
I'm nineteen now, so while three years might not seem like a lot of time to some of the older posters here, to me it seems like it was an entirely different person who used to post here in 2013.

I made an account here because I enjoyed reading OSC's books, in fact they probably jump-started my love of reading. Looking back on my post history I made some pretty cringe-worthy posts in discussions way out of my league, but I think they were definitely growing experiences for me. I mostly lurked though, and observed how people on here wrote and discussed their ideas. So while it is very unlikely any of you active members remember me, seeing your usernames next to the few posts that are left is a like looking through a time warp.

Anyway, I just wanted to say hi. This forum had a small but important impact on my growth as a person. A few of you have been posting here for over a decade though, so that certainly puts things into perspective.

I realize this thread isn't the best conversation starter, so if you'd be willing, I'd like to hear about your interactions with this community over the years. How has it impacted you? How has it/you changed over time?

Hey, what's up!

I've been posting here for 8 years now, I started when I was a little younger than you. Like you, I lurked on the forums for about 6 years before that. I mostly avoided registering an account for so long because I felt somewhat out of my depth when it came to the conversations here.

I grew up with the majority of my friends being online. Since I was 12 years old, I've been a member of another forum which had a lot of kids and teenagers on it in the early 2000s, and they constituted my friend group throughout high school. We would hang out every evening on AIM or MSN Messenger, play games together, even ran a BBS for a while. I've met most of them IRL at this point and even got stationed with one of them in Pensacola for a while. (He was in the Navy, I was in the Marines)

We are all friends on Facebook now and still I consider them some of my closest friends, but the community kind of broke up after we reached adulthood and became busy with adult things, and so while we still have our individual friendships, we don't really have that central gathering space to hang out.

One of those friends (he used to post here as Da_Goat) turned me on to OSC, and his books and stories completely changed my life. I read Ender's Game in one sitting, and then read Speaker, Hart's Hope, the Worthing Saga, Songmaster, the Homecoming Series shortly thereafter, and got into the Alvin Maker books later. I don't think there's any other other who has had as profound or meaningful an impact on my life than OSC, except maybe JRR Tolkien.

I starting reading just about everything OSC wrote after that (something I've continued to this day - I've read every book, short story, essay, article, what have you) and started lurking on this forum, but wasn't really confident enough to post. I eventually started in 2008, mostly because I was lonely and longing for the sort of community I had at the other forum, and have been here ever since.

The forums here (and at Sakeriver) have done a lot to change my life. In many ways it was through discussions here I really learned how to think critically and dispassionately about a lot of my social and political beliefs, and that really helped me grow and deepen intellectually. There have been a lot, and I mean a *lot* of great discussions, arguments, and conversations I've had here. My favorite ones are the ones that go off tangentially and sort of flow from one subject to the next, I feel like I learn a lot from critically evaluating things I had never even thought of before, and there are so many pre-conceived notions of the world I had that I would never have changed if not for discussions here. (If you really want, you can look at some of my early posts here. They were pretty cringe-worthy too)

Unfortunately, I never really got closely involved with the community aspect until recently. I was in the military for most of my time posting here, and was always around a bunch of amazing men and women who provided me with probably the best friendships in my life, so most of my free time was spent hanging out with them. Since leaving the military, most of them have moved on and moved away, and I'm back in situation of not really having many real life friends, and really yearning for a community to call home.

Ironically, now that I'm better situated to be invested in a community here, there isn't much of one left here. There is still a pretty active group of folks over at Sake, though. I post there a lot and had the chance to meet up with a couple of the folks there a few months ago.

As far as Hatrack goes, nowadays I mostly just hang out and harass JanitorBlade. It's pretty fun! [Smile]

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Jake
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Zach, you are deninitely an entirely different person than you were when I started posting here.
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ZachC
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quote:
Originally posted by Jake:
Zach, you are definitely an entirely different person than you were when I started posting here.

That's for sure. The internet is not even close to being the same place now as it was five or even ten years ago. To think that this forum has been hanging around for so long is crazy.
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PSI Teleport
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I think most of us can attest to a cringe-worthy past of stinking up the internet. :-)

Us as humans, not as Jatraqueros.

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Dogbreath
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Oh yeah, for sure. I've been posting as 'Dogbreath' since I was 12 years old (which also is the answer for "why the hell is your username Dogbreath?") There are all sorts of vile and embarrassing things out there with my name attached.
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CT
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Hi, Zach. I don't know if we ever "spoke," but it's good to read about your experiences.

I was reading here years before posting, and I first started posting under "ClaudiaTherese" years before this shortened moniker. There was so much lively discussion at that time.

In answer to your question, I was delighted to find people with detailed and fascinating beliefs so different from mine as well as those who agreed with me, but put those ideas better than I could. The format and culture permitted an intense and lively exchange of ideas. We did our best to live up to the motto "We speak with passion and listen with respect."

I loved that. I really, really did. I love stories, and we shared them, both our own and those important to us. We talked about ideas, and by having to write mine out and clarify them to questions, I was forced to think through them more carefully. It was really just the perfect time and place to incubate and grow as a thinking, engaged member of the world around me.

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ClaudiaTherese
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Just checking the other numbers. [Smile]


---
Edited to add: I went on a deletion spree at one point and deleted thousands of posts. Gave up with close to 14,000 still left. Holy Schnarks.

Welp, I talk a lot. Jeez.

---
Edited again to add: Crikey. We're had this conversation ten or twenty times. Deleting the posts does not effect the post number (just cheked). However, there has been occasional culling of old posts anyway, so a lot of them are gone, whether or not self-deleted. My spree was triggered by a culling actually -- it felt so liberating. I'd left pieces of me all scattered around.

[ April 08, 2016, 04:57 AM: Message edited by: ClaudiaTherese ]

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cmc
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Hi Zach!

You asked how interactions with this community have impacted life...

I came to this community when I was in a new place. I felt like I didn't know any "real" people there, and after reading through some threads here, felt like I might have a place to hold on to. I am still glad I made the decision to join.

You asked how the community/self has changed over time...

Social media grew more popular, and places with just words became less popular. Instead of wordy, thoughtful responses - folks were able to click a button to show they'd read something, without much feedback. The community has changed because many of the members made families, became busy with life and the many parts of it. The new members coming in might have been a more used to the short response, quick button clicking interaction.

I have been changed for the better for being part of this community. My eyes were opened to people different from me; in their beliefs, communication styles, walks of life.

Hope this is an at least sort of appropriate answer to the questions you were asking...


: )


.


.


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[ April 17, 2016, 11:09 PM: Message edited by: cmc ]

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Samprimary
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hi i'm sam i post stupid things here like unicode abuse
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Samprimary
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