The Power of Lurking

Sunday 1 May, 2016, 3:02pm by Mrs D 10 comments

We are so fortunate in today’s world that we can do all manner of research, investigation and exploration from the comfort of our own homes. In the past if we wanted to find out what others are doing to get sober we’d have to front up to meeting rooms in our communities, or take books out from the public library.

A lot of people still do those things and gain great benefit from it.. but nowadays we have this further option which is to stay at home and safely and anonymously from behind the security of our computer screens tap into a vast array of information being shared around the internet.

And we have a choice when we do this. We can choose to share our own thoughts and feelings and communicate with others doing the same online, or we can choose to just lurk, read what others are sharing, and watch their conversations without taking part.

Our choices; we can participate, or we can lurk.

The Urban Dictionary describes lurking as ‘spying on people online, while you remain invisible’. They also list out words that relate to lurker and they include; creep, stalker, spy, and weirdo.

No!

I think lurkers who are hanging around the sober blogging and online recovery communities are actually incredibly brave individuals who are feeling a drive to better themselves while also being mindful of protecting themselves.

They’re not creepy, stalkers, spies or weirdos. They’re just ordinary people with an inkling that their drinking might be a problem. And they’re taking tentative steps towards fixing that problem.

They’re not living in denial. Someone living in denial would never navigate their way to a recovery blog or sobriety website, they’d just be boozing away merrily (or not so merrily as the case may be).

They’re certainly not cowards. Simply typing ‘how to quit drinking’ into an internet browser can be terrifying. Every click beyond that point a scary step into an unknown world.

They are not to be frowned upon, discredited or judged. No way!

Lurking is an incredibly powerful first step for people using the internet to get sober. Some lurkers might develop into active participants. Others might never ‘show’ themselves by interacting but remain lurkers forever. That doesn’t make their involvement in online recovery null and void. Far from it.

Some people can get sober only by lurking in the online recovery world. I know this because every now and then I receive emails from people telling me they have done just that. They write privately to me and reveal  they’ve been lurking for ages and have just reached their 6-month or 1 year sobriety milestone. Living proof that lurking works!

Other lurkers find that after a while they feel comfortable to take the step to ‘out’ themselves and type out an online communication of their own. That’s always an exciting day because they then get to experience the warmth and camaraderie of the online recovery community first hand.

But if you’re lurking and reading this right now.. and you still don’t feel like you want to ‘show’ yourself and interact.. and doubt you ever will…don’t despair. You are still on the right track and you can absolutely still become the lovely, calm, sober person you were meant to be.

Here at Living Sober we love our lurkers, you are welcome to read and soak up all the information you can, we encourage you to stick around and follow our conversations inside the Members Feed. There is no pressure for you to speak out or ‘show’ yourself ever. Although if you do you will be met with warmth and understanding, because that’s how we roll…..

Love, Mrs D xxx

10 comments

    1. Thank you. I am 45 days sober, and I am staying this way whether I am a lurker or a joiner. I can totally go forward on my own but going forward as part of the sober community will be much more rewarding.

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  1. Yep, I have been a lurker on this and other blogs for over a year. I just started posting in the last week. It took me that long to get to this point of joining in, and I am so grateful for being able to do it on my own time. Without the online recovery world, I might still be drinking because I don’t think I could have ever walked into an AA meeting.

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  2. Thank you, thank you, thank you for welcoming the lurkers here. It’s a massive step to enter this world, it kind of means confirming things… Accepting things… Committing. All incredibly scary if you’ve only just decided to listen to the awake-at-4am-liver-going-crazy-voice), rather than the sneaky sneaky afternoon how-nice-to-relax-with-a-wine voice. I hope to post more and share more in future but is great to be welcome to lurk and learn

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  3. Im a lurker on 3 blogs. I comment occasionally but rarely post a blog. I find by the time I come online its late im on my phone & I can’t think of anything to say. Doesn’t matter as I’ve got to 458 days so somethings working for me. What ever gets you there & keeps you there is all that matters. Lurk on

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  4. I think sometimes it takes a while to sort out where, why and how, and get your head into the right place to start to post (and maybe never post). It all helps and its all good. Thats why this site is so good, we dont judge, condemn or put down anyone on here. We all have our reasons to post or not to post, but at the end of the day, we all share a common issue and no one is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than anyone else. And acceptance is guaranteed….because thats how we roll….xx

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    1. I was a lurker. I lurked about for a while before I was brave enough to join Living Sober. When I was just at the edge & brave enough to join, within a minute or two some said ‘welcome’, and it made me cry. I hadnt realised how big a problem my addiction had become and lurking helped me see I wasnt alone. Thanks @Mrs_D

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      1. i lurked several sites for a while- finally I joined this one after getting a feel for the place.

        I’ll second bonitamel’s post, literally minutes after I joined, someone welcomed me. I was blown away and I’ve been checking in and participating ever since.

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