Saturday, February 03, 2007

Personalities of Message Boards

Message boards are funny things. Those online communities are based on a group of people who share common ground. It would appear that it is an easy way to make friends, since hiding behind a screen name can allow a ‘hidden’ personality to blossom. Message board posters often assume that they are not revealing any truths. However, once a poster accelerates the activity level, their real personality becomes exposed.

A few years ago, I ran across a site that had me rolling! Check it out: Flame Warriors

The site author has already described many of the personalities he has encountered. I recognize many of them! Since I discovered that site years ago, I have continued to participate in a variety of message boards. I think I discovered some personalities that were not covered at Flame Warriors.

Now, my disclaimer: Any personalities listed here are NOT intended to target any individuals. Don’t be an Oracle and assume that I have targeted you. However, if you think that your personality is listed, instead of flaming me perhaps you should ask yourself why you identify with that personality.

If you have a few more personalities that you have encountered, feel free to add them in the comment section. I will send this all to the owner of the Flame Warriors site.


The Drama Queen
-Every week, the Queen has a new Drama. Someone is ill in her family. Her turtle is dying from dehydration. Her car has only one functional cylinder. Her lawnmower is sputtering. Her tricycle is missing a wheel. She has an ingrown hair on her knuckle. Prayers are being requested and granted. She has hysterics if a needle falls in the haystack. Daring to ask what is really going on will cause a bout of online tears, wailing, gnashing of teeth, and Grand Proclamations that since no one Cares, the Queen is Leaving. However, it is hard to slam the door behind you, when the message board does not provide you with good sound effects.

The Journalist
-loves to give the news of the day. May give that same news on several forums in the same day. Getting the news may not be so bad, but quite often the Journalist is so quick to post the news, that The Journalist does not realize it has already been posted, and replied to, several times.

The Investigator-when one person asks a question, the Investigator is the first one to research it, and post an answer. Usually keeps Wikipedia handy, but will resort to other search engines. Thrives on discovering bad information in a thread, and rushes to provide the correct information to the Information Deprived Masses.

The Detailer-knows the history of any given subject, down to how many buttons were worn on a child’s suit 28 years ago. Woe to anyone who posts an incorrect fact, as that will cause an immediate response meant to show the original poster they are WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! because the Detailer knows All, and remembers All. But the Detailer hides under the Being Helpful disguise, vowing that the Massed need to know the Truth of Knowledge.

The Nosey Parker
- has to know every one’s business, and usually on several boards. At the slightest sign of distress or dissension, rushes to the ‘aid’ of the victim, but privately. Parker is also a saver, one who keeps an archive of all conversations, and throws them up to the pubic whenever it will make Parker look better. May be hand in hand with the Cat-Rat and the Oracle.

The Anarchist-hates authority, and hates it when that authority is exercised against the Anarchist. When blocked, the Anarchist proceeds to lob grenades and bombs at the Authority target. So single-minded, the Anarchist will continue the battle to the bitter end of a board, then move on to another board, still blindly lobbing grenades at the original Authority figure. It does not matter that the original target is not available, the Anarchist continues to throw the same grenades in hopes that one will score a hit.

The Megalomaniac – Grandiose, Self-deprecating, Righteous and Smug, the Megalomaniac will fabricate achievements, using emotional diatribe to alternately gather admirers and then alienate any and all members who threaten their importance. Always over the top, the Megalomaniac has Seen It All, Done It All, Has It All and Knows It All – anyone who differs in opinion is not worth cultivating, but will suffer shunning and verbal stoning!

The Henchman – Not intelligent enough to fight an up-front battle of wits, the Henchman will purposefully ally with the nearest victimized complainer in order to wage secret attacks against perceived perpetrators. When the Henchman is “outed” and finds the 'Champions' of The Henchman isn’t worthy of such stealthy defense, the Henchman will immediately jump ship in search of the next victimized egomaniac.

The Peck-a-Little, Talk-a-Little, Cheep-Cheep-Cheep Flock – Never happy with any change, or with anyone different. Changing the format of the board, introducing a new group, bringing in new ideas invite the Flock to get together, and proceed to tear apart whatever offended them. Amazingly, the Flock soon morphs into a pack of Wolves chasing down their prey. It is not pretty.

The Cat/Rat
-A split personality. Cat displays a cute, cuddly exterior, wants to be everyone’s best friend, and manages to purr-fectly pull all of your deepest darkest secrets from you. When you least expect it, Rat surfaces, and shares those secrets with anyone who asks. When busted, Cat laments how difficult it is to trust ANYONE!

The Romance Writer-this Personality carries on secret faked romances with a variety of A-listers. Usually the fictional romances are shared with a small group of jackal-like hangers-on, who gather to grab the tidbits and crumbs of the ever-so-secret (faked) life. The Hangers-on then create a need for more Romance, and the Writer becomes buried in Driving new plot lines. All then feel part of an inner circle. Rarely does this Romance ever last longer than a year, as The Romance Writer is too challenged to keep all of the plot lines juggled. When discovered, the Writer changes the story to ensure the heroine appears to actually be a Victim. The next step, a new Romance will be created using another A-lister as a target.

The Traveler
– Loves to meet online admirers in person. Unfortunately, this tendency allows admirers to see the REAL persona behind the online identity thus effectively putting an end to any and all admiration. Once the fantasy bubble is burst, the Traveler returns to the online forum to announce to the world how “rotten” the host was. (See Megalomaniac).

The Evil Denizen
– A mythical individual on another board who all are required to despise. Often accused of posting inflammatory lies and deceptions about another board, users are nonetheless prohibited under penalty of “forum ban” from even visiting the purported site supposedly hosted by the Evil Denizen. Those who venture in violation of the rule are often puzzled at the fact that the Evil Denizen’s site has nothing inflammatory at all, and are hugely disappointed.

The Oracle
– knows what you “meant” to say, even though you did not remotely say anything close to the subject. Will dissect every word, letter, and punctuation mark in a given post looking for a tell-tale sign that can be used to PROVE you don’t mean what you say. The Oracle will save any and all such potentially revealing posts for months, and mysteriously “recall” the outdated information at the perfect moment, using it as a club to batter the original poster into abject fear. Quite often partners with The Nosey Parker and the Cat-Rat.

The Peacenik
– Loudly proclaims “Can’t we all just get along?” Waits until the thread is almost dead, and then arrives to try and create Peace, Love, and Happiness amongst the board members. The thread then erupts again into a volcano of emotion. Being largely ignored in the midst of the thread, this enables the Peacenik to proclaim “I tried to stop it, but they would not listen!” The Peacenik then retreats to meditate on the need for Peace, Love and Happiness.

The Birds-on-a-Wire-Sleepily Lurking, they rarely land in a board, unless a post arouses suspicion that it may be aimed at one of the flock. One will then swoop in, and rush to the defense of the maligned Flock member. At the same time, the telephone wires are heating up, and soon all of the Wired Birds are in the thread. Soon, the Flock takes on the appearance of Buzzards battling over the least scrap. Good buddies with The Peck-a-Little, Talk-a-Little, Cheep-Cheep-Cheep Flock

Sybil the Seagull - Sybil has many, many personalities, and the screen ID's to match. Hiding and lurking, Sybil will finally find the perfect target, swoop in, and deposit crap on every thing in the message board. Mission accomplished, Sybil flies away cackling with glee, assuming a new personality/ID, and waits until the next opportunity to deposit more guano. Sybil always delights in leaving a stench behind, with the rest of the message board hollering 'Something Stinks in Here!"

There you have it, folks. You may know some of these. Or, you may have more to add!