Two kinds of stealth trolls

I think it’s relevant to post this again, since we spend so much time online these days. These are trolls that hide in the shadows. Be on guard against them.

Lucky Otters Haven

stealthtroll

In two earlier posts I wrote about online bullies and trolls (not exactly the same thing, but close enough). I won’t explain here how they differ and are the same (you can read the articles which I’ve posted links at the end of this article), but I neglected to mention stealth trolls. Stealth trolls seem benign, but can wreak havoc on web forums and social media. I will describe two types of stealth trolls. There are probably others.

The Concern Troll

concerntrolls

The Urban Dictionary defines a concern troll as:

A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere…

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Trolls and lack of motivation.

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I thought I had my lack of motivation all figured out, and thought I’d conquered it, but obviously I haven’t, since I’ve been posting a lot less than I used to and it hasn’t gotten any better. I can’t figure out my lack of motivation, because I love writing and blogging has brought me so much insight into myself and my place in the world, and even moments of joy.

I was all set to write up a new post last night (albeit, not a long one). Whenever I start a new blogging session, I always check my comments first. Lately I don’t seem to be getting as many. I have more viewers and hits overall than ever before, but fewer people are commenting. I’m not sure why. I don’t know if this is something to worry about or not. Maybe it’s silly, but I wonder sometimes if people are put off by my frankness and occasionally unpopular opinions. Obviously, they’re reading, and I do know some people appreciate my frankness, so I guess I shouldn’t worry. I know one of my most frequent commenters (who was actually my #1 commenter for awhile) is busy writing a book right now (and also hasn’t been feeling well) and even Opinionated Man doesn’t seem to be getting as many comments these days, so maybe it’s not just me. Maybe it’s just my stupid narcissism making everything all about me and taking everything personally. Maybe it’s just because I’m posting less, duh.

So anyway, last night I was going to write something about covert narcissism and avoidant personality disorder and whether or not they might actually be the same thing. After all, covert narcissism isn’t recognized as a real disorder but AvPD is. I’ll probably still write that article but I do find lately I’ve been veering away from the topic of narcissism and this blog is becoming more of a general interest blog.

I opened up my laptop, and as is my habit, checked my comment folder before starting to write. And the first comment I saw was a very trollish comment which I won’t bother quoting because of how hateful it was. I sent the comment to Trash anyway. The comment wasn’t merely critical (I’ll still approve those and usually respond to them in some way); it was an attack on my character because of an article I posted MONTHS ago. The writer of the comment objected to what she or he felt was my being too soft on narcissists. Bible verses were used to fuel their rage and personal attack on me.

I hate that. I can take criticism if it’s constructive, but can’t stand judgmental people, and I especially can’t stand people who use religion as an excuse to act like assholes. The Bible is wonderful, but so many people these days use it to back up unacceptable behavior, as if this is their holy mission and right. It’s very narcissistic. Churches are filled with narcissists who used scripture as a way to intimidate those they disagree with, so they don’t have to take any responsibility for their cruel and vicious personal attacks. The Internet is full of them too. I can’t say whether or not this person is a narcissist, but their behavior displayed splitting and black and white thinking, and the “us versus them” mindset so prevalent today. Of course, to this person, I’m one of “them.” What they’re doing has a name: religious abuse.

jesus_cares

I know I shouldn’t have taken the comment personally. I know that as a blogger who focuses on a sensitive issue, angering people sometimes can’t be avoided. People are sometimes going to disagree with you. You are going to have haters and trolls, especially if your blog becomes widely read, as this one has. It comes with the territory. I know many people read this blog and get a lot out of it, and still get far more positive comments than negative ones, so why I am allowing one stupid negative comment to intimidate me enough to make me not want to post? But that’s exactly what happened: I decided not to post anything at all last night because of that stupid comment. I said to myself, “I’m over this. I don’t want to deal with these haters anymore. I don’t think I should even blog about narcissism anymore.” It’s true that I have been focusing less on narcissism because I feel like I’ve pretty much said everything there is to say about it already. But I allowed this one comment to destroy my motivation to write about anything at all!

I have a message for that commenter should they read this: I don’t care what you have to say. You’re a bully and a jerk. This is MY blog, and if you don’t like it, don’t read it! Go read something you agree with instead. It’s my blog, and I can write about whatever I want and you have no right to dictate to me what I can and can’t say. You may have a valid point in your opinion and the right to express it, but you have no right to personally attack me. I’m going to continue to write honestly about what I feel, not to please you. You do not intimidate me and neither do the Bible verses you spout to make it seem like you’re on a personal mission from God when in fact your behavior is itself very narcissistic. But thank you for giving me an idea for a new article.

I love blogging and don’t want to ever stop. I’m not going to let one judgmental malcontent ruin my motivation or put a damper on what I love to do. It took me too long to get to where I am. I’ve allowed myself to be intimidated by people like that for my whole life, and it’s a big part of why I never achieved much of anything and always doubted myself and eventually gave up anything I ever undertook.

Opinionated Man Update

I have no idea who is doing this to OM or why. It seems to me Jason is well liked by almost everyone and has helped so many bloggers when they’re just getting started. He makes them feel supported and welcome.

I think it boils down to envy. Jason has many followers, many more than any other non-commercial WordPress blogger I know of and that might not sit well for some. But frankly, Jason deserves the adulation because he always pays it forward and never feels threatened when another blog becomes successful. In fact, he’s more than likely to be cheering that blogger on and applauding their successes.

This is absolute bullshit and it breaks my heart.

OM, don’t let your haters get to you. You are better than them and why should you allow haters, trolls and other assorted malcontents who are obviously envious of you dictate what the content of your blog should be, or whether it should exist at all? Why give up something you clearly love doing so much?

When I was first getting started last year, I don’t know what I would have done without your help and your welcoming and supportive attitude. Not once did I ever feel like I was being dismissed or patronized because I was a “newbie.”

I feel sorry for new bloggers who won’t be able to benefit from all the support you have given me and so many others.

I want you to know I’m furious about this. I hope you stay around.

Blogging bullies and silly fights.

More about blogging bullies and stalkers in this article from http://Galesmind.com from all the way back in May! I can’t believe this one passed me by.

After you read Gale’s article, here’s another interesting one from Psychology Today called Deleting the Blog Bully

Here’s one more: Prepare Yourself for the Blog Bullies.
THIS IS A MUST-READ and so good I’m adding it to the Blogging header.
Bottom line–Bullying is inevitable, even if you try hard to always be PC. If you can’t handle bullies, don’t blog, but there are ways you can protect yourself.

galesmind

fighting cats

Honestly I don’t get people that get hysterically riled by something someone writes. Two of my favorite blogs were attacked recently. Harsh Reality and Lucky Otter. Sure they may post blogs that are controversial. I have argued with both of them. We don’t always agree. That is what makes blogs interesting. Good grief if we all agreed on subjects we might as well just shut blogs down and all go home singing Cumbaya.

Being passionate I can understand, getting upset I can understand, not agreeing, thinking the other person is a total ass I can understand. It is the personal attacks I cannot understand.

Intelligent people do not resort to personal attacks to win arguments they find better arguments. Personal attacks are a good sign the person has blown the argument and is sending up smoke screens.

If you disagree with another blogger, walk away for awhile. That other blog…

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22 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums and Blogging Communities.

honore_daumier
Honore Daumier

If we’re blogging about pathology, at some point we’ll face a critic, an accuser. This can be a bewildering mess if we assume s/he will listen to reason. If we defend ourselves, the ante will be upped. If we over-explain ourselves, s/he declares victory, becoming increasingly strident with the reward of attention and sympathy. — CZBZ of The Narcissistic Continuum.

I just read a fabulous article about how narcissism works in online forums and blogs. I think it just may be the best article about this particular cyber-dynamic I’ve ever read. I liked it so much, I got permission from its author, CZBZ (owner and author of The Narcissistic Continuum), to reblog it here.

There are 22 “red flags” that the forum or blog you are on is run by a narcissist (or narcissists). I can attest from personal experience that every single one of these red flags is spot on. That goes for forums and blogs about ANY topic, all over the web universe–and blogs and forums about narcissistic abuse are not exceptions to this rule. You can’t get away from it.

Obviously some topics will attract more narcs than others–for example, a psychology or self-help blog or forum is probably going to attract (and be run by) fewer narcs than say, a cosmetic surgery (somatic narcissism) or political (cerebral narcissism) blog. A blog about improving relationships is going to have fewer narcs lurking about than, say, a celebrity-bashing one (like The Justin Bieber Hate Blog, as just one example) or even a blog that hates on the fans of a celebrity–yes, they do exist. But you never know where one will turn up. They could even be lurking on a charitable blog about helping the homeless.
Don’t forget that the serial killer and sexual sadist Ted Bundy spent time working in a rape crisis center!

Every forum manager or blogger necessarily has some narcissistic traits–otherwise they wouldn’t be running a forum or a blog! While not every blogger is a narcissist, there’s a narcissist in every blogger–if that makes sense. There is definitely a “me, me, look at me!” aspect to running a kind of online kingdom, even if it’s not the admin’s or manager’s primary motivation for writing the blog (or running the forum).

I’ll be the first to admit there’s some of that for me too. But I think for most of us, it’s healthy narcissism. Yes, there is a such thing. Without it, we’d all be walking around dragging our foreheads along the ground, leaving a trail of blood in the dirt, while wearing a sign that says, “KICK ME.” A little narcissism helps us survive. Without just a smidgen, we’d probably be dead. Almost anything, when there’s too much of it, turns bad. Narcissism stops being a vitamin and becomes a poison at very low doses. Think of those heavy metals in your blood–like iron or magnesium. In tiny doses they’re necessary for physical survival; but raise the levels of those metals infinitesimally, and you’re dead meat.

But I digress. I think CZBZ makes some very astute observations here about what to look for in blogs and forums to tell if you might be being taken for a ride by a narc in shining armor–or if the admin or forum manager’s intentions are honest.

I’ll also add one of my own here (although I think CZ mentions it too): Snark. The mean-spirited kind of snark. You know, the “I’m so cool/mighty/right and you’re a worthless idiot/lunatic/minion of Satan” condescending wittiness that makes you feel like the most lowly piece of pond scum in the lake–as you find yourself wondering whether the jokesters are really joking (and you’re just being too sensitive) or are just plain mean. Well, they’re actually both.

22 Signs of Online Destructive Narcissists in Forums & Blogging Communities

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Honore Daumier — “Meeting of 35 Heads of Expression”

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed finding new bloggers through the Slayer Award and reading their stories and personal insights. Ursula, the author of An Upturned Soul, posted an excellent article asking her readers an intriguing question: Online Narcissists–Does the blog you follow belong to a narcissist?

She asks:

“What if you are following the blog of a Narcissist? Does it matter? Does it affect you? Do you even notice? After all, bloggers are supposed to write about themselves, about their lives, and share their thoughts and feelings, and do so in a way which is creative and perhaps even exaggerated for effect and entertainment purposes…I think if you’ve never been in a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, then Following the blog of a Narcissist, won’t make any difference to you. It’ll inspire and entertain and that’s that. But what if you’re recovering from a relationship with a Narcissist and you follow a blog which is powered by Narcissistic Personality Disorder?” ~An Upturned Soul

There’s a distinction between trait narcissism as measured in social network studies and the “destructive narcissism” we discuss on blogs about pathology (clinical disorders). How normal narcissists affect readers and society is fascinating, too; but for today, my focus is on the impact destructive-to-pathological narcissists have on others and how we might inform ourselves before we’re harmed. So my answer to Ursula’s question is that yes, it can be dangerous if vulnerable people are “following” someone with a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

My short answer is this: narcissist’s unstable self-esteem and grandiosity is hyper-sensitive to ego threats. Narcissists are more willing to use aggression than non-narcissists. (Bushman) Narcissists are particularly likely to displace their aggression on innocent bystanders. (Buffardi) Good people serve as scapegoats because they limit the degree of harm they’re willing to inflict on others. Their private emails may be posted publicly, private pictures may be circulated on the net, hate blogs may be written—all in the narcissist’s attempt to regulate self-esteem by destroying others. If you have befriended an online narcissist, you will eventually say something perceived to be an insult and you may be treated more cruelly than you were by the narcissist propelling you to the Internet.

And my long answer is the following. Pack a lunch. This is complicated.

Read the rest of the article here: http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2014/01/21-signs-of-online-destructive.html

Also Read Part 2 of Online Narcissists: A Case Study Called Puppygate.
http://n-continuum.blogspot.com/2014/02/online-narcissists-case-study-called.html

Blogging – Be Flattered by Trolls

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Yes, trolls can be good for your ego! I sure needed this today. Thanks, OM!

And, while on that topic, I want to personally thank my own trolls and bullies who have been dogging me the past week or so. My views are going through the roof because of you! Every time you click on a post of mine so you can drone on and bloviate about how much everything I say pisses you off, I make money from you! Thank you kindly. 😉

Worldly Annoyances: “Bloggers are Narcs”

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Here’s a reposting of a short article from Worldly Annoyances–in this case, a defense of my intentions for blogging about narcissism, after I posted my article, “Replying to My Haters.” WA’s owner was angered by one one of my haters who told me to “get a real job.”

This was the comment I got that raised her ire:

All Bloggers are Narcissists. Heres some advise. Get a job or a real hobby and stop writing about things you don’t know jackshit about as if your shit doesn’t stink. Thank you.

“Bloggers are narcs.” Comments like that only serve to send up a green flag – a big one 😉

Over at Lucky Otter’s blog, she just posted some comments from people who evidence harboring serious envy-issues. Lucky has a quality blog – uhm, it’s quite obvious, she puts alot of time and effort into it. And concerning the comment about getting a real job, the little donkey-wipe who excreted that one, obviously does not care to come to grips with the reality that some people are well-gifted to do both – hold down a job AND post articles (that people want to read). Perhaps, if Lucky’s detractors started / worked on their own blogs (instead of watching the boob-tube) they’d have a better attitude.

Yeah, i’m a bit cranked. Have heard similar sheite from people (in pre-internet days) who obviously can’t stand it when someone, of whom they look down on, actually is actively interested in things other than TV. It was covertly said to me that because i don’t possess a 300 iq, i’d no business reading books about our solar-system or what earth was like long ago.

Been no contact for two years. Need it take an iq of 85 to figure 😉 But seriously, the negativity spouting from people like that, does untold damage to immortal souls, everywhere.

I appreciate this blogger’s defense of me and my motives for doing this, but honestly, I’m not really all that upset by comments like these anymore. Framed in a different way, they can be funny or even serve as fodder for new blog posts!

It’s good to remember that if your blog is growing and doing well, some people–your haters–are probably pathologically envious of you. They are probably narcissists projecting their own narcissism onto the bloggers who make them feel envious. They want to bring you down a notch or ten–and rub their hands together with glee when they see your confidence and drive crumble under their envy-fueled vitriol.
I apologize if that sounds narcissistic of me, but it also happens to be the truth. OM (Opinionated Man) has a ton of haters–people are jealous of the fact his blog has over 50K followers (and is still growing fast) and is one of the most successful personal blogs on the Internet.

The bigger this blog gets, the more haters I have. It’s something I’ve come to accept. It’s an occupational hazard (and yes, this is a job–my REAL job–even if I only make about $20 a month from running ads on this site–which is better than the $13 I made last month!)

Anyone ever notice how troll comments and hater comments almost always have terrible spelling and grammar? Basement dwellers getting their jollies from writing illiterate hate comments on blogs they probably can’t even read properly would benefit from going back to third grade. Then they’ll have enough writing skills to start their own blog about how narcissistic they think all bloggers are!
Failing that, maybe they should go outside for awhile and take in some sun for a change.

The art of blogging: new static page!

I just added this list of links to all my blogging and writing articles to the header for easier reference.

Blogging

Following is a list of links to the articles I have written about blogging and writing. I hope these tips prove as helpful to others as they have to me. Some of the advice I give is really just tried and true suggestions used by other bloggers that I tried too and have worked for me, while others are just things I have picked up along the way.

As with everything else on this blog, I’ve tried to keep a light touch to balance all the deadly seriousness of the subject matter and some of these posts are more for fun than for learning.

Blogging and Writing

franz_kafka

Is Profanity in Blog Rants Okay?

Blogging is Not for Pussies

The Drudgery of Blogging

Blogging

The Narcissism of Blogging

Blogging Drunk

Blogging is Crack for the Soul, but is Blogging about Narcissism, um, well, Narcissistic?

This Blog is Half a Year Old Today

Why This Blog is Becoming Successful and How Yours Can Too

Why is Narcissism so Hot These Days (peripherally related to blogging, but it still belongs here)

The Chatterbox and the Hermit

An Open Letter to WordPress (originally posted on FishofGold.com)

Running Naked in Public

I’m Holding My Nose

A Vast Wasteland

On Political Correctness and the Inevitability of Offending People

Writing is Cheaper then Therapy or Drugs

This Blog is Growing. Your Can Too

Nano Poblano is Over. Wow, What a Ride

Three People Who Deserve My Thanks

Can I Do It? Can I Do It?

The Article That Grew Legs

Best Day Ever

This Is What I Was Born to Do

Aspies Rule the Internet

How Writing Every Day Has Changed Me

Gratitude

I’m Frustrated

My Own Little Kingdom

Nobody Knew Who I Was

7 Science Based Reasons to Use Emoticons

My Decision to Run Ads on This Site

642 Views?! It’s My Second Best Day Since Christmas!

Narcissism on the Internet: What Vaknin Has to Say

My Most Popular Posts (as of 2/19/15)

Ever Have One of Those Days?

Handling Online Trolls and Bullies

troll_dolls

Internet Psychopaths: The Difference Between Trolls and Bullies

Two Kinds of Stealth Trolls

Internet Trolls are Psychopaths

Can We Please End This Flame War?

Beware of N’s Who Use Mental Illness as an Excuse to Abuse

Beware of Malignant Narcissists Posting as Victims in the Psychopathic Abuse Community

Replying to My Haters

Replying to my haters.

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Not everyone likes this blog. I have a few haters. The following are not really troll comments (which I delete immediately or don’t approve) but criticisms of me and this blog. (A few do come close though).

It’s okay to have haters. All bloggers have them. All writers have them. I don’t expect everyone to agree with or understand my motives for having a blog like this. Having haters just means something you said pressed somebody’s buttons. It’s inevitable, especially when blogging about a controversial subject like narcissism instead of posting brownie recipes.

I decided rather than try to reply as these comments come along (which can disrupt the flow of a conversation), I would put them here in this one post. (I’ve been saving them to Wordpad). Obviously this blog isn’t for everyone. I am not identifying the handles of these commenters.

Fortunately, I have not received many of these type of comments. These are in fact the only ones I have received outside of 3-4 troll comments which I will not respond to at all because feeding the trolls is always a bad idea.

1. obviously this post is made to sympathize with you which of course I do and it may seem “callous” but you wrote this article to gain sympathy this article isn’t informative to anyone, what purpose does it have , im seventeen years old and I’ve had a turbulent life growing up to say the least , but come on woman your just giving your husband or ex the satisfaction ,he wanted you to crumble , he wanted you to feel empty , helpless , its the past , you also mentioned that you noticed several times that what he was doing was morally wrong but does that justify your actions stop making up excuses and take some responsibility ,why did you stay with him because the way you explain him makes him seem like he had nothing to offer .Also diagnosing everyone with a mental disorder I’ve noticed is quite common among America as a norm like “what a pyscho” I do not doubt that your husband was not a psychopath but labeling everyone a narcissist without actually being a psychologist is ridiculous , did you ever ask Helen why her son didn’t like her because he could have made up so many fabrications . There’s not much you can do but move on and try to improve yourself , writing articles like this just allows you to dwell in sadness and feel sorry for yourself . this article just sounds very narcissistic , honestly no matter how bad it was how could you leave your son or both children with someone who mentally fucked you up , I feel as though this post was immature and it makes me sound like a total bitch but you chose to stay with him you chose to have another child with him you chose to go out with someone who previously had alcoholism , im not blaming you for his behavior im just stating what everyone else ceases to notice , don’t reply with something about my age and how I would have no idea because that argument is invalid because I did not actively post my story over the internet , I bid you farewell and wish you the best in your future endeavors

You are seventeen and obviously too young to understand what I am trying to do here. I am not an expert or a mental health professional, and I never pretended to be. My disclaimer in the header explains all that. It’s not that I don’t “take responsibility.” I’ve been hearing that shit all my life by my abusers (my mother and ex, but others too) and have been badly damaged emotionally. I take responsibility where it is necessary to do so.

I blog about my experiences not to get yours or anyone’s pity (I hate being pitied) but as a form of self therapy. It helps me. It helps others too. Think of it as a public journal. I am not “wallowing in sadness” at all. Writing this blog in fact makes me happy. Being that I cannot afford therapy, writing this blog has helped me sort out all the things that happened to me and has made it so much easier to deal with all the toxic emotions we victims of narcissists had to deal with all our lives. There are plenty of other blogs like this one. I realize that a blog like this can seem narcissistic. I get that and I get why. But before you judge, why don’t you try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes instead of making snap judgments about things you obviously know nothing about.

2. This post seems like the pot calling the kettle black. Anyone who would write about such personal matters on a public website and then invite people to “comment” and “Like” your personal dirty laundry seems like a narcissist to me. I think all bloggers are narcissists but especially bloggers who air their dirty laundry all over the Internet.

I “air my dirty laundry all over the Internet” as a form of self therapy, not because I want attention and sympathy. It’s helped other people too. If you don’t like what you read here, you are certainly free to go somewhere else. As for the comments, I have that option because allowing comments builds a community. Sometimes that’s the only way we can talk to others who have gone through similar experiences. The option to “like” does not have to be checked. Most bloggers use a “like” feature. Sorry, there is no “dislike” function.

3. I don’t like the way you and all the other idiots with these sort of blogs make fun of people with NPD which is a real mental illness. You say you have empathy but then in the next breath you are calling people with NPD “Narcs” and N’s and other horrible names like devils or posessed by satan. I don’t have NPD but they arent devils they are human like everyone else. They deserve the same respect like everyone else. Not everyone is all bad, you know.

I have had this complaint a few times. I do not hate narcissists and “narc” is really just a shortcut term we ACONs use–maybe it has become a pejorative over time, but that’s not the reason I use it. I rarely use “N.” I have said many times that narcissists are not devils or monsters but they have a disorder which makes it impossible for them to feel empathy for others or even act like very nice people. Some of us were raised by narcissists or were married or in long term relationships with them, and it’s definitely no picnic.

Like you said, most narcissists probably have some good qualities. They might have a special talent or dress well or are good cooks, and some non-malignant narcissists can even sometimes be genuinely nice. But only sometimes. Malignant narcissists and psychopaths are something different and I do think those people are actually evil, even though they still may have a good quality or two. Hey, even Hitler loved dogs.

If you are offended by my joke page, its purpose is not really to make fun of people with NPD, but to make them seem less dangerous to people enmeshed or trying to escape a relationship with one. The jokes help make them seem less frightening. Sometimes it helps us to laugh.

4. What the hell is it with you and that idiot Sam Vankin? Why do you post so much of his shit and talk about him so much? That convicted criminal is a charlatan and faked his degree, Everyone knows that. You seem intelligent, but why would any smart person read his garbage is beyond me. He’s an idiot. I bet he must be paying you off to promote his shit here. He is also a horrible writer. JMO. Sorry I like your blog but it had to be said.

There is nothing with me and Sam Vaknin. He doesn’t “pay me off” LMAO!
For awhile I was writing a lot of articles about him because of my own fascination with him. You may not like his writing or his ideas, but he’s no idiot with an IQ of 180. He knows a lot about narcissism, probably more than some mental health professionals. That being said, he’s controversial and not everyone likes his ideas or agrees with him, and as a self professed malignant narcissist/psychopath, he’s not that nice a person either. There are a lot of smart people who read his stuff. I don’t agree with all his ideas, I just think he and his ideas are interesting. I don’t care about his criminal past or his degree status. It’s of no consequence to me. I think he’s as qualified as anyone else to write about narcissism because he has the disorder and can write about it from an “insider’s POV,” which someone who isn’t a narcissist cannot.

That being said, I am trying to focus on him less because of the fact he’s so controversial and there are many other people who have contributed as much to the field as he has.

I’m glad you like my blog though.

5. All Bloggers are Narcissists. Heres some advise. Get a job or a real hobby and stop writing about things you don’t know jackshit about as if your shit doesn’t stink. Thank you.

Excuse me, this IS my job (although it’s not paid) and my real hobby. It’s what I love to do more than anything else. No, I am not a mental health professional (which is stated in my disclaimer) but I do read a lot and I also think my experiences having been raised by and married to malignant narcissists makes me qualified to write a blog about this disorder. I write about a lot of other things too.
Also, learn how to spell or use Spellcheck. Your grammar could use some improvement too.

6. What gives you the right to act like your some sort of expert. Do you have a pyschology degree? If not then stfu and write about your kids school projects or something.

[This is the same person who write comment # 5.]
I never said I was an expert, but I do think I’m qualified to write about the things I write about. I do have a BA in psychology.

Sorry, but I will not “stfu” and I don’t want to write about my kids’ school projects. They’re 21 and 23 and are adults so they wouldn’t have any school projects anyway.

BTW, in your first sentence, you should have used “you’re,” not “your.” I hate grammar nazis but that drives me insane.

A vast wasteland.

Wasteland-03-Digital-Illustration-by-Atelier-Olschinsky
Wasteland 03 by Atelier Olschinsky

I remember when forums were a thing. So much has changed in the past 5-10 years, with the proliferation of social media and the enormous popularity of Big Brother Facebook, which started its unholy takeover of the Internet in 2008. Twitter is getting almost as bad.

Forums still exist, but most of them are dead or dying. The last one I posted on was about a year ago. It was a political/history related forum that had been in existence since 1997. I started posting there in 1999, and was on-again, off-again for the next 13 years. That forum (as far as I know) is still in existence, but when its only moderator left and was never replaced, the site was overtaken by trolls who proceeded to destroy the site by running off its regular members. Last time I was there, it was a shell of what it once was. There were about 3 intelligent people still posting there. I had to leave; it had become mind numbingly boring and too sad to stick around.

Another forum I used to be active on has about a tenth of the activity it once did. All you can hear is the crickets there now.

I see this sort of thing happening all over the web. The Internet is littered with dead and dying forums. They’re a thing of the past, really a relic of the last century, when the Internet was still new and social media was still just someone’s bright idea. They remained popular during the first decade of this century, but seemed to start their decline in about 2007-8, when Facebook made its debut. As content management systems became easier for the average person to use, blogging gained popularity too. Blogs are probably as numerous (if not more numerous) than forums were 8-10 years ago.

I always liked forums because of the way they were organized by topic, but they did have their problems. Blogging is more appealing and much more creative and rewarding for a writer than posting on forums is. You don’t have to worry about going against the status quo because you have an “unpopular opinion.” You don’t have to censor your language (although I try to use decorum). You don’t really have to worry about bullies ganging up on you or trolls invading or hacking into your site. Moderators weren’t always your friend either; sometimes they even sided with the bullies.

The Internet is a mess with the debris of dead forums, but there’s also a wealth of information on them if you look. It’s fascinating to read a decade-old thread about a topic that interests you, and you might find out some things you never would have known otherwise. Reading old forums is like reading the memoir of someone who has passed on. You can learn so much. It’s incredible how fast history moves on the web.