Do you ever wish you could un-invent the Internet and go back to a life before message boards and email lists?
My happiness and sanity went up by leaps and bounds about 18 months ago when I finally stopped posting on a particular gaming message board. I increased my enjoyment of the webernet further by deleting the majority of gaming-related bookmarks I had saved. Now the only ones I peruse are either summary feed sites or those written by folks I've come to know semi-personally over the years.
And now it's time to purge a particular mountain biking community listserve as well. It's just not worth the headaches anymore. You'd think that even amongst a group of people who actually know one another in real life and who all donate time and energy and money to a specific cause, that a certain measure of respect would be maintained. But apparently not. And while I could try not to let it bother me or I could simply ignore the bickering and stupid remarks, that's not the point. The point, to me at least, is that it simply hurts to see people who claim to care about an organization and sport so much, act so stupid and quite literally turn people off from the organization altogether.
I didn't get this before. I've been involved in a few of the firefights over the years (and in recent weeks -- anybody have a waterbottle?). And maybe some of my own comments were a bit of a turnoff for some. But only now do I get the bigger picture.
The final straw has been laid bare and I'm done.
To see someone piss all over another's good intentions and then question not only their commitment on a personal level, but make a backhanded attack at numerous other members efforts? To question their legitimacy as if this person is somehow struck with the divine power to judge? Well, that's just ridiculous. And trust me, I'm not using such soft language here on the other side of my monitor. I'm screaming mad. It's no wonder most of the people I've come to consider friends from group rides have moved away from the organization over the past two years.
It's amazing how much harm someone can do in a public setting when left to rant unmuzzled.
If someone who made the organization as much a part of their life as I did over the past 3 years is ready to just walk away, I can't help but wonder how newcomers ever bother to stay in the first place.
I had forgotten what breaking up felt like... it sucks.
This is me, moving into the background.