Ok. I am a newbie.
I've been here for about 6 months and not from the US so Oprah and Sandusky didn't bring me here (which is irrelevant). I have felt very welcomed and connected here - but then again I did dive in so to speak.
Just thought I would add my thoughts.
I have! noticed myself in the occasions I've wandered into ms recently, is that there are far fewer threads venting, expressing raw emotion or just asking for help than there were, most threads especially in the ms forum tend to be about specific incidents or questions. Not that there is anything wrong with this, but one thing about ms which did! help me was the ability to just turn up and say "I'm feeling bloody awful today!" and have people read, reply and listen.
Could you maybe give some examples of an 'olden days' post like that?
maybe people are taking this sort of thing more into the chatrooms (I wouldn't know myself since I do not ever use those due to access problems), however equally I do wonder if perhaps encouraging new members to just post threads that do not! serve a discussion purpose but help with emotions might be a good way to bring people closer, since I know for myself one of the things that let me be a lot more honest was seeing just how much people were! willing to freely share their emotions without massive inhibitions.
For me - I have reserved these sorts of posting for PMs with guys I have connected with and feel I can trust. I am so scared of being taken the wrong way and 'putting my foot in my mouth'.
Perhaps that is another point, maybe people are afraid that too much negativity would automatically become personal or be taken personally by another member, since usually on the net these days as much social nicety applies as elsewhere, which again is one of the distinctive things about ms.
I must say that I am now especially careful about not posting my negative stuff on the main boards. After my '10 Things I hate about Me' thread that turned into 100+ things I felt so much better because I was able to get all that junk out of my head ..... but I felt that I had achieved that at the detriment of all those who read it. I felt like I was bringing everyone else here down with me.
Anyway I am glad we are talking about this and that is my 2 cents worth.