I can’t believe the feeling of euphoria that can come from as simple a thing as saying goodbye to forums. I’ve been at this a long time. I started out on Usenet in 1995. I hung out on the combat flight simulator newsgroup, and we all acted like idiots and had a good time.
Then, as the internet changed and I changed, I went from the flight sim newsgroup to the SimHQ forum for European Air War. Please note that there was a subtle shift there. I went from an “all products” flight sim forum to a forum for one simulation–EAW. That’s what happens. Over time, something keeps wanting to limit your options. “It” wants to tell you what to say and when to say it.
I spent hundreds of hours making a really cool South Pacific mod that was based on a bunch of unfinished work that had been abandoned. I released my masterpiece to a collective yawn. After that, I ran into a brick wall as I’ve described here–> The Death of Santa Claus.
I quit any and all flight-sim forums. To hell with that. I went back to my roots. I started building plastic kits again and went to Father Dave’s Home for Abused Nerds–aka “The Airfix Tribute Forum.” Father Dave and his staff of dedicated workers helped me to forum again and led me to the true faith.
You see, I had developed a serious dependency on forums. I felt that they were my real and true friends and I had to communicate with them. When the forum went down, I grieved. When there was a fight, I suffered. When things went well, I was happy. But over time, my dependency grew. I found myself having to censor myself way too often. Eventually, I felt like I was selling my integrity for a little forum time. It was like that scene from The Lost Weekend. It would have been exactly like that scene but I couldn’t figure out what “rye” was I don’t look much like Ray Milland.
But I kept on going to forums and trying–really trying to connect with other model builders and have some kind of social activity in my life other than the rats.
Anyway, I kept on trying to “do the right thing” and connect with other human beings for God’s sake and not just stay in that damned basement all day. But over time, slowly, I began to believe that it might just be something that I really didn’t need to do. I’m not really living in a basement.
I have real world friends (more than one hence the “s”) and even if they don’t give a hoot about model building they are good friends of many years. People I would trust with my life. My online relationships have been fraught with disappointments.
All in all, I began to hear a little voice. Not the usual ones. A new little voice.
“Hey buddy. Isn’t it about time you let it all go?”
So I did. A few days ago, I quit all forums cold turkey. And I felt as if I had been carrying a fifty pound rock everywhere and had suddenly dropped it. OH MY GOD! The feeling of liberation and release! (to coin a lyric). I love my new forum-free life. I may never darken the door of a forum again. I have my model blogs on FeedDemon to keep me informed. I don’t need to constantly monitor forums to hear about new releases. I can just check out The Modeling News and Aeroscale and The 72nd Aircraft News and I’ll know all I need to know.
And without that messy human contact.
I’m not rejecting the human race entirely, just a very sizable majority. As a famous man once said, they won’t have Dan to kick around any more. Hee hee!
What a feeling!