A while back I was a member on another message board somewhere and I had a particularly bad experience there. Let's just say that everyone from the members to the mods themselves were a**holes to say the least. I tried to defend myself and a friend in the process but ended up just making myself look like an even bigger fool by doing so. Since then I've had a bit of a fear of registering on message boards out of fear of being flamed. I know it's only words on a screen and it seems like a completely irrational fear to have but I'm the type of person who usually takes what others say to heart. For that reason, I always try and treat others with respect because I don't know what the person on the other end is thinking or feeling and I would hate to trigger any kind of bad feelings or suicidal thoughts in that person. I used to be a fairly frequent poster on this site. I didn't have a lot of friends on here but I had a few acquaintances I'd exchange PM's with but I haven't talked to anyone in a while because I'm rarely on this site these days, and if I am then I'm usually just lurking unless I find a post I feel like responding to. Anyway, I really want to get back into the habit of posting more regularly on here and other sites because to tell the truth, I'm lonely at the moment and I'd really like to find people I can connect with. Most of my MSN friendships have grown cold and distant and there's actually only one person I speak with regularly over there but she doesn't know about my depressive thoughts and I'd prefer to keep it that way. Also I haven't logged into facebook for weeks and deleted a ton of personal info and stuff from there because I'm no longer comfortable with people knowing that stuff in case they use it against me somehow. I just have this big fear of talking to people online these days because of that one bad experience. That and I suffer from "foot in mouth" sometimes and can accidentally piss someone off by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, albeit not intentionally. Any time I do post, I check my post 100 times over in case anyone starts calling me out for petty spelling errors and poor grammar, or in case I've said anything that could be misconstrued as an insult. Some forums I will just lurk on without signing up because I find other peoples' ideas thoughts and ideas interesting but I'm afraid of signing up to offer my own input or anything like that. I know not all internet forums are like this but there are many places out there where people have little or no respect for each other. You so much as spell a word wrong and they'll never live it down and bombard you with "Epic fail" comments and those annoying demotivational posters and lolcat pics and facepalms. There are just plain nasty people out there who take pleasure in ruining it for everyone. I can't sign up on most places to discuss my interests with anyone because most people who are into the same interests as me are way too "hardcore" and in your face and hostile to have a decent discussion with, so at the end of the day I usually just decide it's not worth the effort. Does anybody else ever feel this way?