The Allure of Online

I dedicate several hours each morning to writing and editing. I have a daily log of word count and make sure to spend time every day (including weekends) doing something writing related. It fills my soul and keeps my mind from whirling in unhealthy directions. What’s more fun, finding inventive ways to torture my characters or obsess about a mistake I made ten years ago that I can’t change? Anyone? Bueller?

Recently, though, I discovered Reddit. Specifically, the AITA (Am I the A**h**e) and BORU (Best of Redditor Updates) forums. When I say it’s a rabbit hole, I mean it. The seductive lure of lives gone wrong and people reaching out for advice on an Internet forum is something I never thought I’d get sucked into, but here I am.

Honestly, some of those stories make me despair for humanity. Some tales are worse than others, of course, and some are funny, but the number of stories about toxic partners, toxic parents, narcissistic siblings and crazy neighbors initially made me want to dig a bunker in my back yard and hide away from all humanity.

It’s a microcosm of the world, I realize that. Most people are decent and want to do the right thing. Even those on these subforums sometimes realize their mistakes after being piled on by a bunch of Internet strangers. Sometimes they don’t. And those stories, while often entertaining, are also sad. These are people lives being dragged down by whatever situations they are writing in about and they can be so awful that all you can do is hope that the person survived.

I haven’t been one of those people who uses research as a way not to write. I make myself finish my targets for the day before doing whatever else is on my plate. But I admit the allure of reading “just one more story” is hard to resist. I have to limit myself so that rabbit hole doesn’t become a cavern.

One thing I do know – whatever is going on in my life, I won’t be turning to a Reddit forum to find out what to do. That stuff lives forever!

What about you? Any good tales?

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4 Responses to The Allure of Online

  1. Cindy Tomamichel says:

    I limit myself by checking that account on Twitter. But yeah, Reddit is a timesuck and those ones can be demoralising.

  2. viola62 says:

    Social media can be toxic, especially in this day and age. A fellow author said she may not use Twitter much because Mr. Musk’s policies have made it a place she doesn’t feel safe with anti-Semitic slurs. I try to stay away from the haters, but unfortunately, we need those forums for author promotions.

  3. sueberger3 says:

    I adore using Google for research. But thank you for the warning about Reddit. I’m going to stay away away from that.

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