CS – a website connecting singles to other singles – is close to unique in having a lively blogging and forums facility. At the time I joined, around five years ago, it was international, multi-cultural and interdenominational, and the majority of the members were fairly careful not to step too heavily on the toes of others of different cultures and beliefs in the lively interaction.
At its best the CS blogs were a kind of Cheers, where everyone knew your name, long term members knew which blogs would be fun to banter on and which should be avoided (a few nutters grumbled about cliques) and people occasionally met up – I met around a dozen different members, over the five years, and enjoyed online friendships with people I would never meet, would never have met in any other way.
Joining CS changed my life. I said in a lifestyle interview that I got belatedly brave. When I joined I had become a recluse living behind my computer in Scotland, writing books and hoping if I left the real world alone it would return the favour. I only joined to ask single people questions because I needed answers for my books: the thought of going out and asking real people was unthinkable.
Now I live in Spain, still writing books in between teaching English as a second language and opening my very quirky old house up to paying guests, interacting with others every day, and all of that can be directly traced back to joining the website five years ago.
So CS was pretty special to me, and it was fun. Most of the bloggers were comfortable being single, sometimes drifting in and out of relationships while they waited without anxiety for The One, or sitting shiva for the One who had been lost, or enjoying the banter because for whatever reason real life couldn’t offer the same kind of sociability. There weren’t that many of us, a few hundred at most, some popping by regularly, some intermittently, and blog subjects ranged between being single, topical events, being single, old jokes shaken out for new readers, being single, the occasional attempt to save souls by offering various religions, being single, and every now and then some politics to spice things up. The being single thing, some blogs were happy about it, some furious and hurting, some philosophical, some raunchy, some advising. It was relevant to the site, after all. One other thing that made it unique – it was like a petrie dish of life itself, a tiny cross-section of international viewpoints from all ages on all subjects, often fascinatingly alien.
A couple of years ago disaster struck. Another blogging website for singles finally closed when it had become so toxic that it had only a handful of members left. The best of them had already come across and fitted right in but unfortunately when it closed its zombies lurched across and joined CS – for the most part the kind of Christians who would tar and feather Christ for not being American, or at least wearing a MAGA cap. They blogged relentlessly on their convictions, never joining any of the existing chats, ignoring what CS was as they determinedly changed it to what they had known (and destroyed), lost in their own obsession and speaking only to each other.
It was like exploding a hate bomb in Cheers. Politics and singles don’t mix. People obsessed with bigotry certainly don’t mix. Existing members tried to jolly them into chilling, or tried ignoring them, or disinterred unsuspected hates and prejudices to leap into the fray, exploding cyber friendships in the process. Many withdrew altogether, bored or disgusted or chased on their way by hostility and anger. So much anger, and so much of it illiterate into the bargain.
It reached a point where the minutiae of American politics accounted for the majority of the blogs – an occasional offering from a Normal always attracted comments and chat but Normals were becoming thin on the ground. (Okay, “Normals” is a loose term, we long-term singles aren’t, but some are more normal than others.)
Bigmouth launched a protest and a blog asking that politics be confined to a sub-section of the website and although many of the original members joined the protest saying yes yes YES my profile was promptly deleted by the site moderators.
End of an era. But when I say that one of the no no NO comments was “Bullshite Elegsabutt! (sic) You have a stick so far stuck up your arse you would always find something and someone to complain about,” you can see how far the change has gone. It is definitely time to go.
Please charge your glasses and join me in a toast to a singles website which changed the lives of many besides me. Thank you. No regrets – I knew when I lit the match that I was probably going to be burning my boats, but they were no longer seaworthy as they were. How nice it would have been if instead it had worked and the hate had burned instead. Que sera, sera.
And to the zombies – a pox on your houses.
The relevance to you, dear Reader, for patiently getting this far? Don’t let politics destroy your friendships and relationships. People can hold different views, despite professional and social media’s frantic attempts to set us all at each other’s throats. If you find yourself hating, it is time to re-examine your position – it may be time to walk away. When the self-obsessed media storm is over, we will still be left with each other – don’t have destroyed that.
The good old days of CS. Never took to the forum myself, even before all the hatred you’re describing. I did cherish the chats though. Pity you were driven away from the special times and the fun you enjoyed in the forums, but glad for you that you’re safely away.Shall drink to you (and CS) later with a fully charged glass. Salud from the Emerald Isle!
Cheers Mike, slàinte mhath! 😀 – well I suppose I should now be saying saludos
Slàinte and saludos. We’ll have to have two drinks so… 😉
Sounds a plan 🙂
Hello, dear Elegsabiff,
I was Innocentia00122 on CS. I left the site last year, I think, because I could not watch a certain situation in the forums anymore.
Today I read around there after a long time. It is insane that the moderators deleted your profile and not the ones of the people who make with their stupidity the time stand still. I can´t believe how wrong this all is! Your blogs and everything you said there, was great, and I always liked so much to read your words.
Thanks Innocentia! I should have left a year ago too, but it seems I am more a creature of habit than I realized 😀 safely away now.
Hello, dear Elegsabiff,
I don´t know if you remember me – I was on CS Innocentia00122. I left the site (last year, I think) because I could not watch anymore a certain situation in the forums.
I just took a look at CS after a long time again and read also around in the blogs. It is insane that your profile was deleted by the moderators, and not the ones of the people who make with their stupidity and negativity the time stand still.
I am sorry that CS moderators have such a strange look at the world. Your blogs were all so great always.
Fantastic blog, great way to share your life.
“Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you.”. Nothing gives more pleasure in life than living by our own values/principles. Keep it that way. !
I hope you’re having an A+ week, outside the “shallow” CS world.
Thanks Al, I was a bit taken aback by the bizarre ‘bio’ and more than a bit taken aback by the link – funny that the CS mods have allowed that to stand, eh? but very much appreciate your comment. 8) My life is not at all what I expected 5 years ago, but better than I could have dreamed x
It’s sure good to read this Biff, and I couldn’t agree more re the political hatred. I’m so sick of their whining and hating. Unlike the US, most people don’t view them as anything other than another country. We don’t care about their stupid politics. I’m really sorry that you’re gone, as you were one of the dwindling few that could actually write an interesting blog.
And yes, you are right about the other site having been destroyed by the politicos. It was, and yes, they are bound and determined to do the same to CS, because they have no concept that there are other people that don’t want to know or care about their hate-filled political whining. As soon as I saw one member join CS relatively recently, I knew right away the site was done for. (Yes, the same person that you brought up to show how many blogs were political). He’s the typical arrogant, ugly American. I’m at a loss as to how anyone could be proud of that.
I’m guessing from this blog that you won’t be back, and I’m really sorry to hear that. There are a few that I’m glad are gone due to their toxicity, but I do miss TR and his wonderful excursions. More people in the US should try travelling and being on the receiving end of the hatred and prejudice they so easily spew.
Anyway, I’m glad a link was given so I could read this. Know that there are many people that do agree with you. Take care.
Imp – nasty shock to see the link had been put in but trolls gotta troll 🙂 Thank YOU for your comment and all the best with your future, which sounds rosier every time you blogged. Some of my friendships did cross into real-life so I’ll be hearing all the more interesting updates. You take care too x
A comment on another blog far far away – Etherna, or Deedee, or whatever name you’re using from minute to minute – you’re projecting again. Take your troll-management meds, hon. You’ll feel better when you do.
Great post Elizabeth! Some are just gonna hate and that’s how it is sad to say –
Susan, so true, but it does seem in the past we were slightly embarrassed by hatred, looked askance at haters and were shocked when we realized we could be judged perilously close to hating in some of our views. Now it is defended as freedom of speech, very nearly flaunted as a virtue, and everyone quotes that phrase which makes me twitch – “I have the right”. Everyone (oh yes including me!) believes our rights trump anyone else’s rights …