Justin Hall at XOXO



As an introvert, I’ve repeatedly found myself working for the extrovert who basically brags about his rotten childhood. When someone launches into that story about their childhood when you first meet them, do other people notice, or does it flicker across their radar screen and then go down the memory hole? Because when someone does that it makes a huge impression on me.

Even though I’d probably make a different decision than he 99% of the time, I find it pretty fascinating to see someone play this game of life in a totally different way.

And for people with abandonment issues etc, the internet is not a substitute for an effective recovery program or support group. For most people, the internet is a serious roadblock on the path to recovery.

Thanks for the post and the thoughts here -

Preston I think most folks have some kind of childhood trauma; can we ever get enough love or fulfillment of our particular dreams? Some are worse than others, but I believe in avoiding comparative trauma competitions.

For some folks, that trauma remains a defining event worth sharing with strangers and new friends. I used to be more like that; as I’ve aged and more varied things have happened to me so I have a wider range of smiles and frowns to share.

“For most people the internet is a serious roadblock on the path to recovery” you say - that’s strongly worded! I would like to believe that the internet can help people find common community with survivors of similar suffering. Sure there are trolls and distractions and misinformation, but most of what I’ve found when I’ve searched for an illness or something giving me grief, I’ve found more context and experience shared by other humans and I feel less alone.

You were speaking about abandonment issues in particular; perhaps that’s a unique form of suffering that isn’t soothed by virtual community?


While some people find support and information on the web, most people just use it as an outlet for compulsive activity and their only steady source of positive reinforcement of pointless behavior. Personally, I believe that the majority of the millions of people ranting incoherently on the internet have similar family backgrounds of loss, addiction, or abuse. This includes what is probably all the trolls, most of the obnoxious drunk uncle personalities, probably most single issue activists, and conspiracy nuts in general. Consider just the Birthers and the folks who spend every waking second hating Obama - the internet has literally consumed years of their lives as they try fill the entire web with their hatred. Many people have commented on the mental decline of their parents and relatives.

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