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Trust over the Internet

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 11,348
edited 06/11/2012 - 7:42 AM in Depression and Coping
I am sure that most of you have heard stories regarding how people can't trust each other online.

I think much of this started when AOL had their version of a CHAT room. I've been there so I can understand. Some person can say they are 6 foot tall, blond, blue eyes and a trim body. They do that to impress others. So, for so many it was an avenue to make themselves much better, prettier than they are in life.

Over the years on Spine-Health, I can really say that I have dealt with that type of problem with only a few members. Instead, what I do see is a bond between members. We can share our thoughts, our fears, our laughter, whatever and its not about trying to impress someone, its just a way of expressing oneself.

I have developed a number of good friends without actually meeting any of them face to face. So many say we gain acquaintances, and that could be very true. But when we spend time talking to these members, we see just how close we can become.

I have also heard about 'Cliques' within this site. This is true, no question about it. For whatever reason, people can stick with other people that they feel comfortable with and share the same views.

Is that Bad? I've heard negative posts discussing that some cliques bond together and shut down others.

To me the main thing is that we find someone, some group that benefits us. Makes us feel more comfortable and much more. This is just another benefit we can all see from
Ron DiLauro Veritas-Health Forums Manager
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • As you know, I have made some wonderful friends here, especially one member in particular who I just knew right off I could trust. She has been a guest in my home and now in a couple of months will be showing me around her home, London.

    I've also met several others from here. A few have remained friends, and unfortunately some who have drifted away for some reason or another. There are many others that I know I will only know online, but we have formed a bond and yes can appear at times like a clique, a supportive clique. We need each other's company and enjoy chatting almost every day.

    There have been some who have given false information which eventually caught up with them. Its easy for some to hide behind the internet curtain.

    But overall, this is the best site, forum and chat, for those with chronic pain, back and neck problems, etc. It has become a major part of my life and I am forever grateful.

    Best to all,

  • Ironic, I was 6' 2" Blonde hair and blue eyes :D

    Was, my eyes have faded to gray
    My hair turned from almost white blond, to dirty blonde to brown, now brown and gray.
    In the last 15 years I have went from
    215 to 240 to 186 to 260lbs.

    If that attracts anybody, well so bet it.
    But my wife would probably have a few words to say about that.

    While there are cliques, I think that things have been better the last few weeks, on the general forums. I for one no longer fear posting under chronic pain, where as before it seemed like the least little thing that could be interpreted as grumbling or unhappiness was prone to attack.

    I think the moderators have done a pretty darn good job of letting things develop fully and providing warnings before taking any permanent action against some that are having trying times and get disruptive.

    Thanks to all of you for that.

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  • thanks to this place i have found my way back because of perhaps those small group of ppl who took the time to send me pms to re-think of leaving sh forum and chat..
    most times i feel useless and when i cant do much for family..these ppl have reassured me i am helpful to this site and to them..
    for all of you i thank you
    so agree with you marianne you put words so correctly..and i hope some day i get to visit maine and you...wish i could go to london to meet with you and that great lady you speak of..enjoy your trip and hope you will share your pics..
    thank you sh
    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • I thought I was the only tall, blonde cutie! Ha!!!

    Yes a long time ago I had lovely blonde hair, which has totally darkened with age, but I fear not: for the grey is finally appearing to "lighten" things up!

    Also, by the time I've had my 3rd surgery I may be a total of 1 1/2 inch taller than my usual 5 ft.

    But I digress, Ron has such a good point, I feel so much better getting and giving support and information, there is a great number of people here ready, willing and able to help. Sometimes people click with you, maybe because of similar surgeries at similar times, etc.

    As long as we all can find the help and support we need, to give and get, I am grateful. Lisa
  • Ron,
    Many post here to be support and provide empathy, knowing that others are in need and in some way our supportive and encouraging words help ease the journey. Norming and forming are part of the group dynamic and we all play a role, ideas here are for perusal and the notion of a unique remedy for improvement is so diverse that we continually try to find the mode of best practice that is posted here.

    Our suggestions are given with understanding for the recipient and even when presenting alternative viewpoints, care and consideration is foremost, it is never easy changing ideas, concepts, opinions or behaviour, we share the notion of living in pain, it bonds us together.

    The diversity of comment is where the strength is, as we continually attempt to find a more equitable route. We only know each other in what we say, devoid of the traditional physical cues, anonymity bring with it responsibility to do of our best.

    We take strength from community, here more than anywhere we can be ourselves.

    Take care John

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  • This is great post Ron. I have never felt very comfortable talking about my health problems with anyone other than my family. To be able to do it with people that share common ailments, has made me feel less alone. My family and friends are great but I don't think they ever really understand what a hardship I (we) go through. I have built a great deal of trust in a few members. These are people I feel I will always keep in touch with.

    As for cliquish activity. You find that where ever people gather frequently. Since I left school long ago, I don't feel the need to participate in that. This is a support group and we all need to be supportive. Even when we may not agree with other's choices. And that's what makes this site so great. The knowledge here is phenomonal.

    Thanks for your time moderating, etc.

  • is something that is often found online where you find a forum of people that share something-be it avid cruisers on Cruise Critic, gamblers, such as in online poker, game sites like Pogo, and medical sites such as here at SH. As you said, in the beginning stages of online "chat" (ie: AOL), things were much different & personally, I found that I couldn't trust because it was blatantly obvious that people were lying about who they were, be it physically, financially, married/single, unemployed/employed, etc.

    I got my first at home internet connection (AOL) in late 1998 but didn't spend too much time online until around late 2000. I found out a lot about myself in that time-I was quite naive really. I sent money to people that had a sad story, never expecting it back but later finding out I'd 'been had' (now, in all fairness, I had a friend from SH that sent me $ once too-and I'm quite certain that person knows I've never lied about my condition/situation & I've even offered to pay it back, but was told, basically, to "pay it forward", which I have & always will continue to do as I can) but this person that 'took me' was from around 2001 I think & I really fell for a whopper-found out later on (with proof) that this is how she kept from having to work-she conned people online to send her money, so now I really have to listen to my gut instincts in such situations (as should everyone!).

    Back to the issues in general-I've poured my heart & soul out to people that I thought were my "friends" only to have them either tell the rest of the "group" behind my back, or once I was even 'set up' by my then fiancee (now ex-hubby #3). My chats were purely innocent, but I did discuss challenges within our relationship that I really had no business discussing with people that I truly didn't 'know'. I used to be a big flirt (back when I had self-esteem & the body to back it, lol), and naturally, my fiancee's friend & coworker was the "guy from 3000 miles away" that I was flirting with. While I NEVER would have cheated on him, looking back on it now, it did look pretty bad & had it been him, I wouldn't have been too pleased about him saying such things to another woman. Needless to say, all of these things caused a lot of drama in my life. I took a hiatus from 'the world wide web' for about 18 months, and then only used the internet for paying bills, keeping in touch with friends/loved ones via email & instant messaging, and playing on Pogo. Eventually I graduated to sending out jokes via email on a more regular basis, set up YM (which I've used ever since) & began doing research when Google came along on a whole array of topics, just to keep my mind from stagnating.

    I'm very careful about who I tell what online now-I think a lot of it comes from the whole 'big brother' thing first with the lawsuit against the County I used to work EMS for, & then throughout this whole SSDI/SSI process. You never know who is reading what you're putting out there, and while I have nothing to hide, I always worry that if I appear "too happy" that it can be used against me to say something along the lines of 'I'm too happy to be disabled', but at the same time, if I let out on my 'down days', people could say I'm just a 'drama queen' or seeking attention, etc. (I think all of us here at SH may have felt some of these things at some point or another-at least, I'd imagine so..?).

    I'm also very cautious with people in general-online & in person, and this stems from 3 failed marriages (well, the first one I often forget to count as it was nothing more than a teenage mistake-how can it be a 'failure' when it was doomed from the start, if that makes sense?) and a few failed long term boyfriends; girl friends that have stabbed me in the back (some even slept with one of my husbands!), 'online friends' that I would see on other sites like Facebook talking smack about me yet pretending to be my friend on the site we 'share' as friends, and speaking of Facebook-our children are so tech savvy these days that we also have to be cautious of what they could read! These are all, in a way, variations of the 'big brother' concept if you think about it...Always having to look over your shoulder.

    Groups like we have here at SH may be "common" to some people, but to me, they are one in a million! I've not yet met any members in person, but I have mentioned MANY times, and will continue to do so, that we should try and set up a "face to face" meeting with each other (we've done this in a group I belong to on Cruise Critic-it's worked out several times-sometimes it's only for a weekend-other times it's been 4-5 days or more, plus we change the location every time so that it's more fair (We've met in VA, Chicago, AZ, AK, Canada & even the UK & Germany!), we even do voting on some things AND we've had 2 real cruises together & are in the midst of planning #3... it has always been a wonderful time with that group & I know this group would be wonderful too! I'd even be willing to take the lead (with others to help of course) if the time ever comes that we want to have our 1st Annual SH F2F!). Now, this could also be done on a smaller scale, for instance, there are a number of us that live in FL that I've hoped could find a 'central meeting place' among us & spend a day or weekend together-but MY hope is that we can one day make this a reality for ALL of the members here at SH! I realize that right now, $ is an issue for all of us not just b/c of our disabilities, but also because of the economy, but it IS something I hope we will continue to discuss, think about & plan for with the understanding that not everyone can make it to every F2F-that's just how life is, but when you do it annually or even every 2-3 years, it increases the chance of seeing other people that couldn't make it to previous gatherings.

    Anyway-I just want you all to know how much you mean to me, and for as long as I've been around SH (I think I joined on the 'old site' in 2006-I know it was when I was still with my boyfriend & that ended in 2007, so it's been awhile-lol) I don't think there is anyone here that I don't feel I could trust. I wouldn't be at all worried about getting together in person because so many of us have been in this group 'together' for so long, it'd be as if we'd known each other 'for real' all along-especially those of us who have seen actual faces to go with names, rather than just an object in our avatars (that does help). I dont know about the rest of you, but I can think of many other websites that I visit that I definitely do NOT feel the same way about & some, in fact, I have no desire to even MEET some of the people there, lol. (I would think we all have that at some places on the internet?) Maybe it's just because I've been here so long that I've developed that trust with all of you here, but I think it's more than that-I think it's because we can all relate, in one way or another and often many ways, to each other. I am very grateful to have a place like SH that's like "home" and members here that are my "friends", whether we've met in person or not! (I know I'm not the only one who feels this way-in fact I'd say the majority of us do!) I hope that you will remember that when I'm maybe having a 'down day', or if I've closed myself off (as I so often do) & just know that it's my way of dealing b/c it's the only way I know how to deal (and after having read some of the things that have happened, you can hopefully understand WHY it's the only way I know how to deal, especially when it comes to my pain-both my physical pain as well as my emotional pain.

    I feel very blessed to have SH, and all of you, in my life.... =)

  • Edited by Z06. SPAM.
  • spine-health was the first place i ever chatted on a forum and i do have to honestly say it changed my life!! to chat with people that were on the same pain level as myself just made me feel humane again.
    i spent a lot off time here and grew close to some people. i have always been 100% honest with information i provided about myself because thats the kind of person i am.
    unfortunately something went wrong along the way and to be honest im not exactly sure what started it all but in fairness i have to say spine-health done wonders for my life. i just find it sad that some can create false images off themselves .....why i have no idea.this happening has made me dubious off people and i have felt this for a good few months now hense the no postings from me so i think this is the ideal opportunity to thank all those people who have made my presence on spine-health a good one.
    so ron i found this a perfect post for me to let it be known how i feel and that i am still hanging around ...just a little quieter.

    LOVE P
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