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How Do We Know Our Friends Are Safe?

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posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 05:55 AM
Greetings fellow members.

I am composing this opening post, to highlight one of the many difficulties faced by any online community where a certain level of anonymity is necessary between members.

When I have not heard from a local friend for some time, say two weeks, received no texts or phone calls, I can visit that person in the physical world, to ascertain for myself that they are at least alive, even if they are not particularly enjoying that state of affairs. But when a contact whose only identity that I know of, is a handle on the net, and particularly when that member is in another country, things become very much more complicated.

People have their own lives to live, their own paths to follow, and this I understand, but I would like to know how others in this community cope, when online contacts they value, but who retain that anonymity to a degree, go dark for a period. Can anyone relate to the question, the subject matter at hand?

How are we supposed to know that our people are safe?

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:03 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Over the years, I've *lost* a number of ATS 'friends' whose presence and friendship I really valued and appreciated. Some were banned, some died and others logged out one day and never came back. It'll sound schmaltzy and shallow, but there are times when I still miss them being around. You know how it is when an old thread pops up and there's that avatar or name standing out?

It sucks.

I click on their profiles and see when was the last time they stopped by (non-banned ones lol) and sometimes send a PM into the darkness.

The best way is to swap an email address with them or hook up on whatever social media they use. Emails are harmless enough and especially when it's been established that the other person isn't a dick and is worth bringing into the trust.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:05 AM
Well it has happened to me on other sites in the past, a bit of a dreadful feeling right?
that one form of contact stopped and you are left wondering.
The way i learned to cope is to well, not really build any online friendships. i've been on this site since 2012 and keep contact with zero people from here for example.
I prefer to just put myself in the mindset that ATS is like that person you don't know but end up talking to for 10 minutes during your commute to work, once you get to your stop, you move on and forget about them.
There isn't really much you can do unless both parties decide to share more than a ats username.
skype, whatsapp etc could help create more means of contact i guess, but if it's decided that contact should be restricted to ats, better keep it casual in my opinion.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:07 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I was thinking about this very subject not long ago. There's a Mod missing and I haven't seen her on the boards for quite a while. I know we are not supposed to ask about members, but she was around all the time and now she's just gone quiet. Haven't seen Beezer around for a bit either, but he had made a thread about taking a break or even leaving us altogether. Hope all is well. About the only thing I could suggest is to send a message to another Mod and ask.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 06:38 AM
I'll be the first to say it....I miss Cheesy!!! ( sniff....sob)

TB in all reality (altho I'm naive) people I like and have proven trustworthy always have a way to contact me. Friends of mine have "gone dark" same as I have. Usually I ascribe it to Life is slapping them around an they'll be back once they get a handle on it.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 07:43 AM
a reply to: Caver78


Life slapping is always a possibility. Sometimes though, you just want to be there for people. Its hard, especially when they are the other side of the planet, and harder still when they just aren't around, because it makes you wonder what they are going through, and if they even have anyone to help them deal with it.

No one should suffer alone.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 07:48 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

a reply to: DAVID64

Great post. I have the same problem... I'm going to write a private message and hope it finds its way to her...

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 08:17 AM
a reply to: Kandinsky

I know what you mean, and there is nothing schmaltzy about it.

We are more than an assemblage of opinions, more than our arguments and our stated political beliefs. We are, before all other things, human, and we form attachments to other humans because at its heart, for all its tooth and claw, for all its savagery and vindictiveness, the human being is a social animal.

And email is all very well, but what if the individual you are trying to reach simply does not reply? Keep sending, leave it be, sit there and refresh your mail page all day just in case a response comes in?

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 08:37 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Sometimes we just have to move along.

Prompted by your OP, I counted 40 members in my wall/friends list who are banned, dead or no longer posting - gave up at 40. This is the world of internet where we form strong acquaintanceships rather than genuine friendships. Some of us have shed tears when members have passed; Jkrog, Aquarius1 and Billy recently. Despite that, it's generally the case that we come and go and our passing isn't always noticed. Members come and go and they won't always be the big personalities with the identifiable avatars; most will join and move on without regulars batting an eye.

The internet is a bug's attention span and the best we can hope is that we're remembered fondly.
edit on 10.20.2015 by Kandinsky because: typo

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 08:42 AM

originally posted by: TrueBrit
And email is all very well, but what if the individual you are trying to reach simply does not reply?

Send it without expecting a reply. Let them know that you're there, you miss them and that you care. That's really all we can do.

I'm so glad you're here, TB. I would miss you terribly if you left. Just so you know...

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 09:26 AM
a reply to: Benevolent Heretic

The feeling is mutual BH. Just so that YOU know, I have no intention of leaving this place. Ever.

I may have periods where I do not post quite as much, such as nowadays, but I will always be there, watching the boards, keeping an eye on things.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:07 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

I wish I could help you - sometimes it's like being friends with a ghost here on the internet

I had started a sort of friendship with a woman here several years ago - it was just in the beginning stages. I liked her a lot. She had health problems that she had just begun to talk about

Suddenly she was gone and has never logged in since

You know how people here are - they come - disappear for a while - then come back. I was thinking the whole time she'd pop back up just might be that real life came first, she's fine - and it just didn't interest her to come back

Hopefully your friend just needed a retreat. I took one not long ago - longest I've ever been away from ATS

On a happier note - there was another member here that I really like that disappeared for a very long time - and she is back

I wish I had a more useful or comforting answer

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:42 AM
a reply to: Spiramirabilis

Oh wow...

It sounds bloody awful, what happened with your friend in the first example. I am glad you had a more positive result in the second.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:50 AM
I guess, unless you have formed a friendship outside of the boards, it's difficult to know.

I certainly miss quite a number of members who have shared their opinions, thoughts, positives and negatives over the years and for whatever reason no longer engage on these boards.

Nice to see you back on a more regular basis TrueBrit and I hope the issues you've faced recently have drawn to a satisfactory conclusion.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 10:54 AM
a reply to: Cobaltic1978

Well they have not concluded to a satisfactory outcome, but as I suspected, and learned for certain at some considerable cost, the law is no friend to justice.

However, we are moving forward despite that.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:09 AM
I've shared Twitter accounts with one fine member...

It's good to know they're alright when they've been absent from ATS.

Anyone else who'd like to trade details message me, I'll be more than happy to share email or Twitter.

My Facebook is pretty easy to find seeing as I've used my real name here.

Great thread TrueBrit, I miss ExPat & FlyersFan to be honest.

I do so hope they're ok.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:16 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Yeah - that first one still bothers me - I finally stopped checking to see if she'd logged in - but did about a month ago - after a year or more

It's so difficult to live with uncertainty

I'm the type of person that starts to freak out if somebody is 30 minutes late :-)

But, usually - things turn out OK - hopefully for you too

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:21 AM
a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

I have neither a twitter, nor a Facebook, because I object to social media of such scope. Skype, that's a thing I have. Anyone who wants my email addy/skype contact is welcome to it.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:24 AM
a reply to: TrueBrit

Hehe that's understandable, TrueBrit.

I wasn't a fan of social media either but it's a good way to stay connected I've found.

I'll send you my Skype via pm.

posted on Oct, 20 2015 @ 11:28 AM
a reply to: CharlieSpeirs

Hiya Charlie,

I miss ExPat & FlyersFan to be honest. I do so hope they're ok.

As far as I know, they're both well and on respective road trips and that's not me breaking anyone's confidences. Someone I know has heard from FF last month.

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