for the first year or two i was here my SA still held me back, a lot. i'd purposely stop PMing people because of anxiety and i wouldn't add others when they would ask to add me to their msn. it was always just the fear of not being able to make decent conversation since i was very bad at it. i had exchanged a few PMs with others in the past but it wouldn't last long.
i think i added someone to my msn and actually started talking to them for the first time last fall which is after more than 3 years that i've been here. it took quite a while for me to do it. but i still talk to him almost daily and i have met him once in august. i've added a lot others since then and i've met more than 10 members since the first gathering i attended in february.
now there are three i talk to daily or almost daily and another i talk to whenever we can. i hang out with one friend often and another friend occasionally. i'm never sure how other people feel about me in that regard but i consider them good friends, even though anxiety can still hold me back in person and i wish it didn't. i tell them a lot more than i've told other past friends.
i think this is a really good place to meet people so i would hope others try to do the same even if it takes a long time, i'm very glad i joined this site and have been able to interact with so many here
I've met several people from this site just in the past 2 months and several of them are people who I feel perfectly comfortable hanging out with, even though we haven't known each other for long. The whole shared SA experience just makes it much easier.
Of course, these are all people I have met in person, but I feel the same is true of people I've chatted with. I would feel much less anxiety about meeting them than I would some random internet acquaintance.
I want to spend more time here, but SA does still rear its ugly head here for me, even when I know that avoiding situations isn't the best way to feel better (unless it's a specific, nasty situation). I also don't want to make a pest of myself. I mostly wait for other people to talk to me, unless I'm having a day or night when I just don't give a fig, and start typing (as I am now... ).
(*I've never considered anyone here a pest. I just feel as though I might be one, at times, when I'm feeling more gregarious.)
I got really paranoid when the site changed to this format and had friend lists and visitor messages etc. So I was quite touched that a couple people added me on theirs, then I get a bit paranoid and think what should I say and stuff. I get paranoid about sending pm's don't use it much but I'm usually responding if I do. Had a sort of argument with someone via pm, because I'd been an idiot trying to be funny and offended him, when I first joined. So that didn't help the SA and paranoia of not saying the right things. I get paranoid about requesting friends, figure they'll be like... what does SHE want... I have a couple of times now though. I used to resent all the aforementioned stuff alot but at the moment I feel like the more I get involved on here it helps. But yeah pretty much non-existant.
I don't really have any friends on here, but I feel accepted. It really feels like a community, as corny as that sounds. It's just nice to have people to tell things that you can't really tell anyone else.
My main form of contact with people from this message board is through msn & those that I speak with are nice people. I do PM people from time to time as well & again it''s friendly. I realize that some people do prefer their space or are nervous so I take that into account but I do try to get in touch with those here whose posts catch my eye. I've only met local SAS people once briefly for a movie but I'm trying to will myself to do so more, it is a struggle though, I have far more SA symptoms in life than with my net contacts
SA certainly hinders it, though not a billionth as much as offline. Mostly it stops me from initiating, and of course nobody else wants to initiate either. My friend-making rate here is really no different from any other non-SA forum where I've participated regularly (which is to say, maybe one a year).
PMs are a good start to learn about someone, but tend to run out steam quickly. I've made several IM and blog friends through the years at SAS. One I talked to a lot but no longer, the others I talk to occasionally still as always. And there's another SA forum where I made a friend I chat with all the time. It's hit and miss, mostly miss, just keep trying and you get lucky eventually.
I have also met somebody who I talk to sometimes almost daily who I consider close as a friend, although we've never met in person. There is one other I've spoken to on here and I would consider her a friend too.
Lately I've been thinking I should try and talk to more people again, but part of me feels as though I don't need it. I seem fairly content with the contact I have with those in my daily life already; my girlfriend (whom as previously mentioned I met here on SAS) and family/ others in work life etc.
I should really try getting to one of the meet ups though..
Met lots of people here who I talk to both on chat and msn on a daily basis for hours at a time. I think I have formed decent online friendships in the short amount of time here (for what they are worth), and it's really nice, to the point that I hope long after I no longer require this website I can still chat to them.