21 June, 2006

Chat Heat

This has been sitting in the mailbox for a while:

Dear Reality Observer-

This is a few months back and I’m in chat with a few people and it is getting late and as time goes by I find myself in chat alone with this guy (I assume it is a guy) that I’ve kindasorta had a crush on for a while now. and we get to going back and forth in a one on one kind of a way and as it gets later and as we drink some more it starts to get a little edgy and before too long oops..yup you guessed it we had some sort of chat room sex together. Nothing way too explicit but I’m sure we both got off. Now it is a few days later and I’m on the board every day since than and I’m looking for the guy (I assume it is a guy) and he is not around as much as he normally used to be and at this point not at all. And I wait a few days and a few more days and then I PM him and I hear nothing back. And then here and there I bump into him on the board but it is getting akward and I’m worried to even ask him to chat again and after a while he isn’t even loggin on anymore.

So come on! Was I a bad chat room lay? I feel like a teeny boper waiting for the guy to call..and its not like I’m a chat room whore either. I’m certainly old enough to know better This was the first time I had done anything like that before. (really) And now I feel like I am chasing after him and I don’t even know for sure if it is a him or a her and in chat it really doesn’t matter does it? It only matters if you have a way with words? Right? Eech. I feel so used. What should I do? Is there anything I CAN do about this position I am in? I’m starting to feel like a stalker. (If you are reading this, please contact me. I miss you so much. I’m sorry.) I want you to know that I am married, I’m not looking for anything and I don’t see what I did as any sort of cheating of any kind. It just happened. So what.

(Not signed)

and I won’t post the email name.

Dear Not Signed,

I don’t know what to say. I am at a loss. I think you have been played in some sort of way. Let it go and move on if you can. There are too many strange people out there. Your description of the situation does not sound normal. Take a long look at yourself. And it is cheating.
Be careful.

14 June, 2006

Getting Out

Dear Reality Board Observer,

I’m so sick an tired of the bs after seeing what happened when someone decided to leave my board an make a big deal about it. The battle lines got drawn an I got targeted an got hit. The backstabbers showed their true colors an I am so done with it. So I’m leaving also now an I am angry ‘bout it. Should I make an farewell post an spill alot of embarrassing PMs an name a bunch of names an call people out or just leave an say nothing? What is the best way to go out?

Getting Out

Dear Getting Out,

You sound angry. Take a breath. I always think it is best to just leave. I have seen too many times people pipe up and say that they are going to leave, only to come back at a later time. The people who leave and stay gone are the ones who go away quietly, so it all depends on what your true motivation is. Are you looking to find a place that you can enjoy more or are you trying to be the center of a drama storm? Perhaps you want people to beg you to stay? Here is a news flash: The board does not revolve around you. It will survive without you. But will you survive without it? Why don’t you try leaving and then don’t join another board. Did that ever occur to you? Why don’t you go out and get something accomplished in your life instead of wasting it away on childish message boards and silly drama?


12 June, 2006

Introducing Lemoore

I have added a new correspondent to the account. Now you will have more than one possible point of view on your questions. There is no need to have co-hosts with the same advice and you will find Lemoore is the flip side of the coin.

At this point, all questions will come into the same email and we will split them up according to how the letter is addressed.

In the right column, there is a new area called "RECENT ADDITIONS" where new comments will be indicated. We'll see how the new code works.

We hope to hear from Lemoore soon.

08 June, 2006

4 Letters 2 Many

Dear Reality Board Observer,

I’m in a moral dilema. I find foul language offensive. Offensive to my religious heart.. People on my board are using dirty language to an offensive excess for no reason and I don’t know what to do. I really try to not even read those specific words, but it is getting harder and harder by the post. Should I say something about it or will I offend people by even bringing it up? Most are so touchy about things that I’m afraid if I ask for a little restraint in that area that they will go into a hussy fit and do it even more. I like the board, but I am almost at my limit of what I can reasonably take. What do you think? Maybe they will read this and get the message.

4 Letters 2 Many

Dear 4 Letters,

I feel your pain and perhaps they will get the message. People use curse words for a few reasons: (a) because they are angry and they want to add emphasis to their statement, (b) because they are very young and relish in the thought of being able to get away with cursing, (c) because they think it is funny, (d) because they are in the lower-economic strata and this is their daily communication fare or (e) they are in the Navy.

Try to understand the fact that they are "communication challenged" and give them a break. It is the best they can do with what they have. Perhaps they will give that affliction some sort of official medical name and then award huge government grants to study it and attempt to cure it.
If you are truly put off, I suggest you move to a board that is heavily moderated. You will find the same sort of language protection there that children are accustomed to.

07 June, 2006

Start Me Up

Dear Reality Board Observer,

I am seriously considering starting my own reality message board. Should I do it before Big Brother starts or wait untill the show is over?

Start Me Up

Dear Start Me Up,

You must not be happy with the board you are on right now or why would you want to leave and go through all the trouble? If this unhappiness is fueling your desire to rule your own world (and the people under you) then I would start now and get it up and running before Big Brother begins. You will get the best chance for traffic then. If it is too much work to do in too little time, (phew!) then you usually have a major board exodus half-way through the season when people get fed up with their particular board pettiness (certainly as it relates to the people on the show) and they go out looking for a new place to squat. That would be your second opportunity, but you will have to have it all ready to go in advance. Understand that most people want an audience for their posts (pats on the back) and don’t want to be at a tiny dead board, so you have to get it bubbling fast. (Cross your fingers.) Of course you’ll have to recruit some of your board friends to help. (Uh oh!) Some will stay and some won’t, that’s part of life. Are you a good judge of character? Do you have some friends you can trust to keep it quiet until you open the doors? I hope so.

In short, if you wait for Big Brother to be over, then you don’t stand a chance. Do it now or wait until next year. Good luck.

06 June, 2006

To Mod or Not to Mod

Dear Reality Board Observer,

I was offered a Moderator position at a board where I have been for a long time. Tho I have a curiosity about what secret areas they get to see and all that power over people must be sweet plus whatever other information you might get to scoop up,I also have seen over the years that it is usually something that doesn’t last forever and once a Moderator falls from grace for whatever reasons they usually leave the board and not always on the best of terms. I am worried to take it and worried not to take it. It is sort of like sleeping with your best friend. If it doesn’t work out forever then the friendship is out the window for just a cheap shag. If I don’t take it they might see my declining the offer as a slight. I can’t win. Plus won’t my other board friends be jealous of me? I feel like I wont be able to fight about stuff as much.

Do you have advice for this situation?

Not Power Hungry

Dear Not Power Hungry,

Good one. I would say that you have to ask yourself *WHY* you would want to take this position? What are your motivations? Strictly on what you wrote, I would advise you to pass on it. If you enjoy posting and enjoy your friends, then leave it alone. Nothing good can come out of it. Your instinctual perceptions of the pitfalls are pretty good. Your posting freedom will intellectually suffer as you will have to take a neutral position in any area that you have power to censor. Few people can do that and none do it perfectly. The temptation to mod someone who argues with you can be great. Power feeds power. (Root of all evil. etc. etc. etc.)
I say don’t do it. You’ll be happier. Let us know what happens if you can.

03 June, 2006

Grey Too Early

Dear Reality Board Observer,

On a innocent inspection of our family computer looking for a virus problem I discovered that one of my kids has been doing some nasty things on a number of internet boards and I am so upset about this I don’t know what to do with myself. I haven’t said anything yet and it has been hard to keep my mouth shut but I am stewing and stewing about it but now I am certainly not going to get her her own computer for her room,no way that is
going to happen She has been doing all this right under my nose and I never noticed. I am very concerned that she is getting to involved with people that according to the news can be very dangerous. I’m scared for her after all the stuff I read and I’m pulling my hair out.

Grey Too Early

Dear Grey Too Early,

I’m sure this must be a tough time for you. Now is not the time to let your emotions take over. If you confront your daughter you will not only harm her trust in you, but you will also harm your ability to monitor her activity. Kids have access to computers everywhere; at school, libraries and friend’s houses. She does not have to use the home computer to do what she is doing. You are better off installing one of those "key stroke trackers" that keeps track of everything she types. They are small and they usually install between the CPU and the keyboard, but there are others out there that install in different ways. Using one of these devices will allow you to monitor everything she does on the computer. You will have to hold your tongue when you read it all, but be ready to step in if, AND ONLY IF, you feel like she is in any real danger.

Or you can just do nothing, stop snooping and hope for the best. Perhaps your parenting to date has produced a good kid and she will always do the right thing. Only you know what the answer is since I don’t know exactly what she was up to that upset you s much.
I wish you luck with this. Be careful.


(This entry was moved from a previous point.)

Dear Reality Board Observer,

I hope you can help me with this issue. I’m a poster at (name edited out) and recently there is this one poster who keeps following me around from thread to thread and tries to pick a fight with me. On anything and everything I post about. It is really bugging me to death and if I tell them to stop it only makes them insist that they have a right to post as I do. If I get too snippy about it the damn mods jump on ME for starting a fight and not them. It is starting to become a real problem and it is causing me to cut back on my posting. I HATE them since they are ruining my board fun and I don’t think I’ve ever done anything to them to deserve this. Sure I argue about stuff here and there but I don’t stalk someone around and disagree with everything they say just to get under their skin. HELP! (and thanks and I hope you post my email.)


Dear Frustrated,

I understand your obvious frustration. I have seen what you are describing more than I care to remember. Your stalker will not stop and the more you confront them, the more they will stalk you. I would suggest that you keep track of the next bunch of times this happens and report it to the mods at the board. Send them links to the posts in question as well as date/times etc. Ask them to send this person a warning.

If you get no satisfaction with that, then you really don’t want to be at that board, so find another place to post. If you think you can’t leave your board friends, then join under a new name and let your friends know what the new name is. Let your "stalked" screen name die and maybe you will be left alone. If your stalker figures out your new name right away, then they are in bed with the mods and that would explain the overt behavior on their part. You won’t be able to fight it. You can’t win. Move on to a new place. For every decent person on the internet, there are 100 total assholes. Remember that. Also remember that you can just try to ignore them, but that rarely works.


A Quick Restructuring

I have received a number of letters responding to emails that have already been answered. I do think it is important to validate other ideas and advice. I now think that, where appropriate, I will add new comments to the entry in question as an update. I will try to make it obvious that new material is being added.
The second entry of this blog will be edited to become the "UPDATE CENTER" and whenever a previous entry has updates, those updates will be announced with proper links in that area.

I did also receive a very interesting letter from someone who had their own advice for each and every letter I have already responded to. I will share some of those responses once I set up the proper structure so it won't get confusing. This person is now being considered for the position of "Contributor".

31 May, 2006

Reality Shattered

The following response was actually sent in from one of our readers:

I saw the question about meeting up in person when all you have is an internet relationship and I have to say a heavy NO WAY DON’T DO IT. I did it once and it was the biggest dissapointment of my life. These were people that I had known on the boards for years and then when I finally met them face to face I was shocked. I have never seen such a bunch of overweight (fat) and ugly people in my life. I had a nice image in my mind of what everyone would look and sound like and I was wrong! Not only were they slovenly, they also dressed like bums and talked like trailer trash with hick accents. I’ve never heard such low level back-woods accents.accents raspy from too much smoking and drinking..and they never stopped smoking and drinking the whole time. I couldn’t drink enough to even have a good time myself. I couldn’t get out of ther fast enough. I know this sounds shallow of me, and Im not the picture of beauty,but all I could see were those fat people sitting at their computers while they drank and chain-smoked pretending to be something else. One even fessed up that the picture they posted was from 24 years ago!
What a joke. After having the reality sucked out of me on that one trip I have never done it again and I will never do it again and I advise you not to do it either. Keep the fantasy alive and don’t bother meeting up face to face. Do you really think a good looking trim and fit person healthy person has the time to sit on the internet all day long?


30 May, 2006

Just Curious

Dear Reality Board Observer,

Who do some boards show post counts and
others don’t?

Just Curious

Dear Just Curious,

Good question. I’m personally against showing post counts on a board. They are embarrassing for both the people with very high post counts and for those with very low post counts. They also intimidate newbies from joining when they see many people with high post counts. The newbies feel like they are intruding on a private party. Keeping the post count invisible also cuts down on mindless posts that people make in order to run their post count up.

29 May, 2006

Road Trip or Not

Dear Reality Board Observer,

My board is having one of those "in person" get together thingamagigs in my area. Is it something that is too dangerous to do? Will I be safe if I go? Will they hate me if I don't go? What to do? What to do?


Road Trip or Not

Dear Road Trip or Not,
Why not go? What do you have to lose? Time? If you have the time, the money and are so lonely that you don't know what to do with yourself then venture out from your computer and see what happens. As a general rule, be careful what personal information you give out. Those who appear to be your "friends" today may very well have it in for you tomorrow. Let us know what happens.
And anyone else who has a story about meeting up with internet posters is welcome to add to this.

28 May, 2006

No Time To Post Guilt

Dear Reality Board Observer

I don’t have time to post much and the other members of a board that I post on keep asking where I have been when I haven't been around and making me feel bad when I am not around to post. They won't get off my back. It makes me uncomfortable. It makes me not want to pop in even when I have a short time. What should I do?

No Time To Post Guilt

Dear No Time To Post Guilt,

No reason to feel guilty. At least you have a real life. Relish that.

I would just pick some random threads and stick a few random smilies in each one. That's what most people in your situation do. No one will notice. Trust me.


26 May, 2006


This is the UPDATE CENTER.

When I add responses to previous letters I will add a comment here along with a link. This will indicate that comments have been added.

6.3.06 - The post that was in this slot has now been moved here:


22 May, 2006


DEAR REALITY BOARD OBSERVER was designed to be the "DEAR ABBY" of the little portion of the internet that focuses on the discussion of Reality TV and all the turmoil and drama that goes along with it.

But what if you have no idea who "DEAR ABBY" is? Well, "DEAR ABBY" is the famous iconic syndicated newspaper column that printed letters from people who had various questions about stuff, and they usually were about their love life or other personal information. ABBY gave advice to those who wrote the letters openly in that column. They were interesting.

At this site, I’ll be giving advice to those who send me emails with questions. I will not return answers directly to the sender, but will proffer the response right here in the blog.

You’ve hit a wall on your board? Should you leave? You want to know what to do? Is someone bothering you? Baiting you? This is the place to ask about it and if I don’t have the answer maybe someone will send the answer in.

We also intend to do follow-ups to see how things turned out, and we’ll report about it. We want to encourage people who have advice of their own to send it in. If it makes sense, or if it has a refreshing perspective, I’ll post it. If someone sends in consistently good advice, that person MAY be invited to become a permanent contributor here. A full staff of contributors would be a nice thing to build to.

Be warned that you may not like what I tell you and I’m not usually going to tell you what you want to hear. Chances are if you are asking the question, then you already know what the answer is- you’re just not admitting it. Rest assured, I’m going to tell you like it is as far as I see it.

I may aggregate a group of letters to use in one posting to create a theme of sorts. I may redact certain information that I deem inflammatory or illegal. Names will usually be redacted if they have no reason to be there.

Who am I? I have been around this internet stuff for a long while. I’ve been posting back when all we had were the newsgroups. I’ve been an admin or mod at more than a few boards over the years and I’m happy to say that I’m not a mod or admin at any board other than this one right now. And I don’t care to ever do it again. I feel like I’ve seen an awful lot over my years on the internet and I think I have some good advice to share.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Email me at DearRBO at gmail.com