Originally Posted by Sterling
Do you think that using a forum is a useful means of breaking my introverted nature? Or am I better off just doing it in the real world? For those who have been part of forums for a long time, have you felt that using them has helped you communicate face to face?
As others have already stated, yes, yes, yes! I think I could probably write a book on this subject.
For me, online chat rooms, IM, email and forums were my confidence builders and eventually helped me to break free (for the most part) of my shyness.
I still prefer to be the more quiet one in a group situation, but my online life for the past 15 years has totally helped transform my life. It especially helps if you're really good at communicating through the written word. That part was always easy for me, but communicating orally -- not so much.
Long story short, today I travel around the world speaking at conferences and hold my own seminars. I'm not a natural public speaker, but since I know my subject very well, I have learned to do a good job without even getting nervous anymore.
And beyond public speaking, I can generally hold my own in social situations as well. Although it helps when I'm at a social event related to my profession as I can talk about that till the cows come home!
Had the internet been available to me while I was growing up, I think my life might have been completely different. Although, I'm pretty happy with how it's turned out so far!