My accusations fall entirely on the shoulders of another, entirely different, online social circle, which I was involved with for two years, up to December of '08, and was sharply reminded of in a conversation with a real life acquaintance a couple of days ago. This social circle resides in the realms of the typical Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game.
These games are interesting for a whole bucketful of reasons which I won't go into. I met a great deal of fantastic people in-game, and made some friendships that still hold today. But, while a great many of the people in these games are pretty cool, many more are the dregs. They are high-schoolers and middle aged women who are completely dissatisfied with life and want the whole world to know it.
I made a fatal error which ruined the MMORPG for me. I pretended to care. I offered my digital shoulder for people to cry on. It was as if I put out a neon sign. People flocked from all over to tell me their problems. I'm not man enough to tell them that I don't care, and that I never did, so I had to wash my hands of it completely. So, a word of advice to all of you who play MMO's: be as cold as you can, because too many of those people aren't there to play the game, they are there to be a pest to whomever allows them to get their claws in.
The sad thing is, even though I quit the MMO scene a few months ago, I still seem to hear from people who are generally dissatisfied with life on an all too regular basis, in the real (non-online) world. Now, I can't cast judgement on all people who are dissatisfied with their lot, because some people's lives really are the pits, but here? In Salida? Salida, CO, is one of the coolest places on this planet. If you can't be at least a little bit happy with things here, you're pretty much screwed.