Friday, September 14, 2007

CHAT FORUMS/MESSAGE BOARDS: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING?: A CONCLUSION

There are a LOT of new topics and themes that I want to get to, but I thought it was important to wrap up this conversation about message boards.

And what a subject it's been! I'm glad that you guys have voiced your opinions and observations. Everyone obviously has a different story to tell, and experiences to share, so it makes for a more fruitful discussion when I can hear others' recollections.

The bottom line, I think, when it comes to chat forums and message boards: USE THEM AT YOUR OWN RISK--BUT HAVE FUN WHILE YOU DO!!

Sometimes, like Dataceptionist noted, there can be bitchiness abounding on the boards. It's so unnecessary, and frankly, pretty crass for people to make themselves feel better about their own decisions at others' expense. Unfortunately, there will always be bad (and totally unconfident and lame) apples in the bunch. I guess it's something to keep in mind for those of us that are particularly sensitive to (unwarranted) criticism or off-handed remarks that are far from helpful. Of course, one should take everything said on this on-line, anonymous community with a little bit of cautiousness.

On the flip side, as Sarita noted, the boards can be great when people on-line are helpful and friendly, and can provide a fresh perspective.

The most important thing to take away from all of this? No matter WHO says WHAT (whether on-line or in person), your choices are your choices---and as long as you and your fiance are happy with them, then that is all that matters!

Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

CHAT FORUMS/MESSAGE BOARDS: TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING? PART II

I've been hitting up the boards the past few weeks in order to get a sense of what general themes/concepts I could glean from my on-line surfing.

What I found surprising is the polar opposite issue which I discussed in my last post: I've found the "oh my god I love/adore your wedding dress/bridesmaid dress/ceremony decor/wedding theme, etc. etc. etc." statements run rampant on the boards. So my question is: how do you know when a poster is being honest?

And honestly, should you even care?

In a sense, I guess some brides are trying to get opinions and honest feedback from hopefully impartial observers. Makes sense, I guess. But is this really the place to get honest feedback?

One can argue that people are shielded by their anonymous screen names, and people will speak freely. Sometimes, as Megan indicated in her comment, TOO freely (Megan, I think that is so crass from the poster who made that comment to you - amazingly classless).

However, for people who use these boards frequently, posters seem to "get to know" others in the same thread. There's a constant back-and-forth, and it seems that many of these women become on-line friends--which sometimes translates into "meet and greets" for those constant communicators -- whether it be at a neighborhood bar, or at someone's home (I'll get to that in my next post). With that kind of constant communication, I imagine it must be hard to do anything but be overly encouraging.

I think that the "ooohs" and the "aahhhhs" on these boards are frankly, a little bit tiresome. While I think it's great for brides to get honest feedback (in a classy manner), it seems like the boards have become more of a "pat on the back" type of forum than a place to get real advice.

Maybe it's an unfair assessment, but I found that dose of sugary sweet commentary to be a bit tedius.

There HAS to be a happy medium between obnoxious, in-your-face honesty posts and overly congratulatory ones.

If you find that somewhere, please let me know!

Stay tuned!