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huh-hamsterOnce again, I either have too much time in my hands or am procrastinating.

Thing is, I’m thinking about the seemingly overwhelming need some internet users have to perform the (always welcomed) cyber flounce.

In my relatively limited experience (I’ve been online just over a dozen years, but mostly I have stayed put in my little corner of the intratubes, so… limited experience), there are two main types, whether performed on a blog or wider forum.

The brief one consists of a relatively short post, usually ending with, “and I’ll never come back here again!” (for a recent example, check out this comment)

The… well, I’ll call it epic flounce, for it’s really much bigger than the previous one. The epic flounce has a few minor variations, but for the most part it’s a longer post (or even a series of posts) giving a helluva lot of unasked-for information, explaining all the reasons that have led the poster to “never come back here again!” (In a few cases, it can be about how other people have forced the poster to close her blog, or to make it private—after posting all about it, of course— or how she’s been banned by the mean girls, etc.)

And I have to wonder at the need to point out that a person is “never coming back here!” Wouldn’t that person’s absence say it for her?

I mean, what is the advantage of announcing one’s departure, “never to return”, on an online venue? Particularly for a self-professed lurker. We have all seen those comments, haven’t we? “I have read this blog faithfully for years, and this is the first time ever that I post, but after *this* I will never come back here again!” Well, how does anyone know whether a) you had even been here before, b) you come back? You didn’t post before, you say you are not posting again—and the difference would be… what, precisely?

Then, once the comment is posted… what? Seriously, what are the flouncers hoping to accomplish with those posts?

Are the blog/forum owners supposed to rush forth, begging the person leaving to stay (or return)? Perhaps change the community to suit the needs of that one person?


Yeah, perhaps I do need to get a life, but these are the kind of things that make me scratch my head and wonder.


  • The flounce barely registers with me at this point. Except maybe thinking to myself ‘and good riddance!’ Because nine times out of ten it usually isn’t someone you’re sorry to see disappear (ie, Maille), but someone who has been disagreeable and obnoxious. In the case of the lurker flounce, I just shrug. They’ve said their piece.


  • in 18 years of being on the net in its various incarnations, I’ve seen more flounces than I care to think about.

    What you posted is the basic flounce.
    Complex flounces are the fun stuff.
    Sockpuppets saying so and so committed suicide over your harshness are less fun.

    Peopl do it because they are drama queens.

    When I leave, I usually just vanish.


  • I always figured it was a variation of the retail flounce where shopper who wanted a policy change made for her “very special case” makes sure to inform every employee that she’ll never shop there again when she doesn’t get it.

    It’s a cue for her ass to be kissed and all rules thrown out to keep her very important business.

    And they always come back. So do the Internet flouncers, even just to see if anyone reacted.


  • Jenns
    March 1
    6:41 pm

    I’ve seen the flounce on almost every Net community I’ve spent time on. And you know what? I’ve only seen one or two actually follow through with the threat.
    I don’t know why they do it. It always feels to me like a
    kid threatening to go home if you don’t play the game they want. Maybe they feel the need for attention.


  • Goodbye Cruel World!

    No no no no, MORE DRAMA!
    Give me MORE. Make me believe it!

    I want rending of clothing, running mascara and torn nylons! Go back and try again.


  • You know, this is something I’ve often wondered about, too. Why do they even bother? Especially since 9/10 times they don’t really disappear forever and ever amen.

    Mostly it just makes me laugh.


  • West
    March 1
    9:03 pm

    I really think they want the attention. They don’t have any intention of leaving, they just want everyone to either rush forward and stop them, or for the others to start arguing about it.

    I’m with Angelia- when I leave a board, I do it quietly. If I’ve been a long time member (as is the case recently with a BB I’ve been on for quite sometime), I’ll privately message the people I’m closer to, make sure I have their email addys, and let them know that I’ll be communicating through email from then on. And then I just leave.


  • Jenns
    March 1
    9:19 pm

    @ Teddypig: The coffee I’m wiping from my nose and laptop
    screen has your name on it! lol. Thanks for the laugh. I
    needed one today.


  • Las
    March 1
    9:20 pm

    My favorite is when they do their “GOODBYE CRUEL BOARD!” post, and then come back less then a day later, claiming that they got so many pm’s begging them not to go that they decided to stick around.


  • Throwmearope
    March 2
    12:36 am

    I saw a (I think New Yorker) cartoon with a woman walking down the street talking into a cell phone. The tagline was something like: “I’m afraid I don’t have time for your drama today. But I can pencil you in next week.”

    My 16-year-old daughter and I have been adopting this philosophy lately and it’s really been helpful.

    Our drama-loving friends always seem to have something going on when we find time to get back to them. But they don’t disrupt our lives when we have a lot of stuff going on.

    I take the same approach to the internet. Sometimes I dig in and enjoy the drama, other times not so much.


  • Grace
    March 2
    8:33 pm

    I think the flounce is just part and parcel of the Internet dynamic. I suspect we’d see a lot fewer of them if the people indulging in them sat back and thought about the reaction, or lack thereof, from others. Most often it’s either crickets chirping, a muttered “Good riddance,” or a more enthusiastic “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass going out.” All three cases imply the same response–an uncaring shrug.


  • Keishon
    March 3
    1:27 am

    Well, the person who says “I won’t ever come back” again do it to obviously gain attention and sympathy. It really baffles me that the commenter would think anyone would actually care (blog owner/message board moderator, etc perhaps but probably not) Like the Nike commercial says, ‘just do it’, no need to tell the world about it. Same goes for people who blog, who decide they won’t ever blog again and they…still…blog. Nuff said. So, no, I never take such declarations seriously and no, I don’t care either. Later and it’s quite likely that I will probably come back again, too.


  • Anon76
    March 3
    7:14 pm

    What would be truly funny would be to have the host of the site ban the addy of the “flouncer”. “Okay, you want out, you’re out.”

    No lingering deaths, just, POOF.

    Bet there would be a lot less flouncing.


  • Coco
    March 4
    11:56 pm

    Are the blog/forum owners supposed to rush forth, begging the person leaving to stay (or return)? Perhaps change the community to suit the needs of that one person?

    Yes. They are. At least in my experience as a forum moderator and later admin, that’s exactly what they want. I had to abandon online forums entirely for just that reason. And I didn’t post a flounce, either. Ha.


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