Are Forums A Safety Net?
Posted January 13, 2012on:
Don’t ask how it started, but she has become friends with several people and was “added” to a forum by a member.
Some people might have a problem with a non-stutterer being a member of such a group. Personally, I think it’s a great idea that anyone interested in learning more about stuttering be “allowed” to engage and participate in group discussions.
My sister mentioned that she has chatted quite a bit with one person, including chatting over the phone a few times. This woman who stutters has mentioned to my sister that the group has been a great source of support for her.
Many of the group members have talked her through various confidence issues and encouraged her to take chances with speaking that she previously never would.
My sister mentioned that when they have talked over the phone, this woman sounds great and that her stutter is very mild, saying, “it’s like yours, Pam.”
My sister also went on to say that she doesn’t really understand why then this person would seem so overly concerned about talking and taking chances publicly.
I reminded my sister that there is a huge amount of shame involved in stuttering and that’s why these stuttering forums are so popular and successful with people who stutter. If you look at some of the forums, it is not uncommon to see 50 or 60 responses to questions or posts by members.
Why? Because it is infinitely easier to express ourselves in writing, behind the relative safety of a computer screen, than it is to have real-time conversations over the phone, Skype or in-person. My sister said “no, that can’t be true. Look how much back and forth there is. Look how much this woman has been helped.”
I said, “yes, but it is all through writing. It is much safer to express our self in writing. We don’t stutter then. It becomes the safety net for the huge amount of shame that a lot of people who stutter still deal with.”
My sister just looked at me and said, “I never thought of that. That makes sense. Wow, you’re probably right.”
What do you think? Do you think online stuttering groups or forums become a safety net for some people, a way to not have to talk?