What has happened to the room?

This room has seen three onslaughts since the beginning of 1997, three separate attacks with undermining and destroying the room as the objective.  The boomers allowed it by responding negatively to the intruders and  not using the Ignore button.  As a result Aol has seen fit to prioritize this room and supply it with hosts, as Aol rules and regulations state all public forum rooms will be hosted.  There is a definition of a public forum room on this page .

The room was actually closed for a short period of time 2/10/98, with plans to reopen the room only as hosts were provided.  Pressure from the Boomers resulted in the room being opened again but with a statement in the new foyer sadly reflecting and warning against the past behavior in the room.

There are hosts currently assigned to our room during peak hours, and others will appear as qualified.  The hosts are present primarily to ensure the room runs smoothly.  There is an AOL definition of a host's responsibilities on this page.

The hosts have been met with equal acceptance and hostility, making the room quite unpleasant during their shifts, and creating the largest and the sharpest division this room has ever experienced.  While the anger and feelings of resentment  are understandable, demonstrating this in the room verbally not only jeopardizes the very existence of the room, it makes it terribly uncomfortable for those who still enjoy the room.  While our generation is noted for its ability to protest and change establishment rules we find unreasonable and unfair, all of us know this MUST and can ONLY be accomplished with common courtesy, rational and appropriate methods.

Letter from Anne

I was overwhelmed by the response to this letter. My mailbox was stuffed to the brim with letters of support and love and letters of agreement. People who were shocked by the room closing, let alone the behavior of the room, and other things mentioned in my letter. I want to thank all of you for letting me know how much you appreciate the pages, the remembrances, and keeping everyone informed. I do this because I am able and I thank you for letting me know how you feel. I am not going anywhere, I am just not babysitting anymore.

Dear Boomers,

This letter is going to all 1100 boomers, and I need to apologize in advance to those who no longer visit the room and have no wish to receive mail of this fashion. I made an attempt to establish a new list consisting of just roomies but found the task far too lengthy and complicated to be done in haste.

I am resigning from the position of "Room Mother" based on the fact that I did not remember applying for the job, the interview, nor am I being paid. So...I am quitting before being fired for doing such a lousy job. Ho ho ho.... I recently was threatened to be destroyed if I published Danboy's remembrance page (direct quote) because I had not done my homework to check into who is who and who is doing who. This is not my job.   I simply don't want to know Oliver was with Martha before he was with Eleanor, so he changed his name to Orland and that Theodore not only had a thing with Elizabeth who had changed her name in an attempt to hide from Monroe who revealed his true nature as a stalker to Constance who is Oliver's current off line lover, but had gotten caught by his wife, Sharon, with Petunia, Wallace's current honey. ( Psst, don't write back "WHAT????" - these are FICTITIOUS NAMES!!!!!!!!! )

Ok, serious. I have held my tongue for a very, very long time, and can no longer. I have been appalled and disgusted by what I have witnessed in the room of late. I am sickened by the continuance of venomous behavior, words I would never allow to leave my lips let alone my fingers, and attacks on too many people to even bother listing or remembering. I have witnessed more nasty behaviour and brutality than I have ever seen in real life. Read "Lord of the Flies" again, troops.

Today, this came very close to costing us our room, and may have already in one form or another. Many of you might not even know the room was closed today with plans to reopen it only as a host was available. I know not why this decision was reversed, I suspect it was a quantity of pressure from boomers today. The original letter from Aol concerning the room's temporary closing is at the end of this letter. What we do with the room from today on forward will determine the atmosphere of the room, what is left of it. We have already destroyed the freedom of a 'host-less' room with the complaints during the Army, Clinch and other delightful disturbances that have awakened Aol to follow their own guidelines sooner than scheduled. We now have a host. That is that. There will be more assigned as Aol fills the schedule. As far as I can see the only way we can prevent or reverse this is to show them we don't need one. If I need to explain how we show Aol we do not need monitoring, then this letter is in vain. (Hint: what has been happening ain't it) Letters to Aol would be helpful as long as they are calm, polite, well written, rational letters.

Meanwhile, how we treat the host and each other is going to have to be each individual's choice, and I sincerely hope the room intelligence level and attitude returns to what is universally regarded as adult soon. We have the luxury or ignoring or blocking those who bother or irritate you here - a well thought out, perfect and simple solution. Try doing that in the real world with the pesky, nosy, rude neighbor next door.

These are just suggestions and common sense, guys, and I hope that I have not offended anyone. Bottom line is - it is up to each one of you what you want or don't want in your lives, and we all know this realm is a large part of our lives. Does not our generation, more than most, have the values and experience to direct us ?

This room, thanks to modern techonology and Aol has provided us with the means to enrich our lives with some of the most wonderful people that we will ever encounter. I know so many of you would agree with me that here we have met people who have become life long friends, sisters we never had, loves and friends that we would have never dreamed of meeting ten years ago. Think about that. Why are we wasting our time on the rest of the garbage when there is SO much that we can enjoy?

I have three major beliefs in my life, and I hope you don't mind me sharing them.

* The largest most important task and purpose in life is to love, love must govern us, even the unlovables.

* Good dominos good [positive], bad dominos bad [negative] - Which do you want to send out into the world to multiply? Thoughts have as much weight as actions.

* Honesty and honour are a priority in every aspect of my life.

I am off to play a fun, good honest game of dominos and tell my children I love them. Goodnight and bless you all ***

AOL Letter 2/10/98: Please understand that the Baby Boomer's Chat Room is definitely *not* closed permanently. This is a purely temporary measure and I assure you the room will be reopened as quickly as possible. We are in the process of getting this room fully staffed with hosts. In this respect, we're no different than other forums and are following the policies of AOL; one of those policies being that chat rooms should and will be hosted. I, for one, would definitely agree with you that Baby Boomers are a very unique group. Unfortunately, however, a very small faction have resisted that idea of hosts - and resisted to the point of exhibiting an inordinate and, frankly, intolerable amount of hostility toward the one resident host we have in place, who has been there simply to gather information on what the room is like and how it could better be improved for *all* members. In an effort to educate those members or any other people who might not be familiar with hosted rooms, we have *temporarily* closed the room and given everyone that notice. I hope you'll bear with us and understand that this is, in no way, a permanent measure. We want what you want: a fun place which is safe to visit, where newbies and oldies can share their ideas without fear of disruptive tactics or harassment from folks who haven't learned (or who ignore) TOS rules. That, in fact, will be our hosts' main priority, as it is every host's priority - to assure decorum so that no one feels unwelcome or preyed upon. We're presently in lengthy discussion with our bosses about this and as soon as we know, you will also, because we will make an announcement just as quickly as humanly possible.
*** As the BoomRoom Turns *** Letter from Ech Hi all, I've incorporated my mailing list with those on the circulated email regarding displeasure of the room lately, and visits by guides and hosts to our room. I thought that all should be included. I'm sure many are missing from this list. Please feel free to forward to anyone that ISN'T ALREADY on this list. I'm not writing this to represent all, but merely adding to what's been said already and what's on my own mind. Sorry so long. Please be patient. :-). This is only in regard to the discord that's obviously present in our room and on our boards and I feel it's important enough to send out to everyone. If you agree....great. If not...fine. This is food for thought and doesn't necessitate a response...just some comprehension. Many in the room do not realize, or choose to ignore, the fact that AOL has Guidelines, etc. to go by. They are set up so that any and all persons can happily visit a chatroom or bulletin board and enjoy it. In reviewing the guidelines, myself and many, many others see that the room has reached the point to where AOL might deem it necessary to have Guides and Hosts visit the room. They didn't before, but since the room has reached that point, we're having AOL visits to our room now. Some AOL representatives visiting the room are in their official capacity, some are under their "off duty names", and others are frauds. I myself can say that I've recommended the room to many friends and relatives. They walk in only to find the room in the midst of an open orgy or an open conflict or accused of being someone else and attacked for that suspicion. They won't be returning, I thank some of you very much. How embarrassing. They're seeing a good amount of what is seen in the People Connection rooms minus all the snerts. Very recently, the room has become a noticeable thick cloud of division. OPEN CONFLICTS AND GOSSIP has caused that division. Those two alone will be our room's downfall. You know who you are. Neither are good and regular boomers are leaving as a result. We don't own the room...AOL DOES. They have a right to visit their rooms. They have a right to close down their rooms. It is considered to be a public chatroom and bulletin board area for anyone to visit without an invite and enjoy that visit. Each of us is a determining factor in how the Baby Boomer area will be viewed by AOL and those visiting for the first, and decided that it might or might not be the last, time. It is an area where a particular age-group can go and feel like they're amongst fellow boomers in good conversation in the room or on the boards. Gossip, backstabbing, open "warfare" and X-rated chat is not a good representation. Those wishing to do that, should be going to a private room (which are not governed by AOL rules and guidelines) or another chatroom with similar interests. Many good boomers have left to form their own private chats because of the garbage they witness. Why should they have to be the ones to leave? I've been in this room a very long time and have enjoyed it immensely. It's been a roller coaster ride of changes. I've sat in there with some great people, and some not-so-great. Some great conversations exist. Then some really rank conversations exist. I'm not looking to leave and am determined not to, but I'd also like to have A ROOM TO VISIT...not one that's been taken away from us at AOL's discretion. I've seen all kinds over the years and have discovered that most chatrooms contain some common denominators that cause a chatroom to become a lousy room to visit. Some examples are those who are blatantly trying to become a third party in a marriage, the gossip mongers, those getting a thrill out of creating (or recruiting others to help create) a disturbance, and those perpetuating an existing disturbance. Another common denominator is those wanting to form "committees". That usually breeds large egos which in turn breeds unwanted arrogance and creates animosity. We should all walk in as equals, we visit as equals, we sign-off as equals. Nobody is better than another. None of us have the right to place ourselves on pedestals. I've copied a portion of the Guidelines that are located at the entrance of the Baby Boomer area for your review. PLEASE READ IT ALL. In fact, take time out to visit the entrance area, in particular New Boom, to read what AOL's plans are for the room. My point: If you are one of these people creating one or more of these problems, you're ruining it for the rest. Again, you know who you are. I'd be VERY angry if we lost our room or many more boomers because of those that wish to totally ignore room etiquette or act like high schoolers badmouthing the rest. AOL has definitely been known to delete rooms from receiving way too many complaints or constant attacks on real AOL reps who check on the room. I'M NOT SAYING LET'S ALL BE GOODY-TWO-SHOES BUT LET'S USE SOME DISCRETION HERE FOLKS. Some of the chat just doesn't belong in the room, period. Some of the conflicts belong outside of the room, not imposed on the entire room. And believe me, it is an imposition on the majority. AOL IS TAKING NOTICE AND THIS IS NOT GOOD. I'm already angry because we've lost so many good boomers because of the current state of the room including all that never-ending gossip about other boomers without their right to defend themselves. Pick your battles wisely and, remember: there's more than one side to every piece of gossip or story. Hear all sides before making your judgments of fellow boomers. That would be the adult thing to do. Keyword: TOS for entire set of guidelines: [this section copied as-is in it's entirety. ~ Ech] C. Online Conduct. (a) Any conduct by you that in AOL Inc.'s discretion restricts or inhibits any other Member from using or enjoying AOL will not be permitted and may result in termination of Membership. You agree to use AOL only for lawful purposes. You may not post or use AOL to: (1) harass, threaten, embarrass or cause distress, unwanted attention or discomfort upon another Member or user of AOL or other person or entity, (2) post or transmit sexually explicit images or other content which is deemed by AOL Inc. to be offensive, (3) transmit any unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, hateful, racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable Content, (4) cause the screen to "scroll" faster than other Members or users are able to type to it or any action to a similar disruptive effect, (5) impersonate any person, including but not limited to, an AOL Inc. official or an information provider, forum leader, guide or host, or communicate under a false name or a name that you are not entitled or authorized to use, (6) disrupt the normal flow of dialogue in a chat room or otherwise act in a manner that negatively affects other Members, users, individuals or entities, (7) post or transmit chain letters or pyramid schemes, (8) post or transmit any unsolicited advertising, promotional materials, or other forms of solicitation to other Members, individuals or entities, except in those areas (e.g., the classified areas) that are designated for such a purpose, (9) violate any operating rule, policy or guideline of any other interactive service, including but not limited to the operating policies of the International Areas, or (10) intentionally or unintentionally violate any applicable local, state, national or international law, including but not limited to any regulations having the force of law. (i) Offensive Communication. AOL is a community-oriented service composed of many different communities of people. Our goal is to provide an interesting, stimulating and fun place for all Members. Using vulgar, abusive or hateful language undermines this goal and is not allowed. Please use your best judgment and be respectful of other Members. Remember, there may be children online. If you use vulgar, or abusive language online, even if masked by symbols or other characters, you may either receive an "on-screen-warning" by a Guide or Room Host, or in some cases be terminated immediately. A warning indicates that your language is not in compliance with the TOS or ROR. Should you receive such a warning, take the time to read the AOL Rules again, comprising the TOS and these ROR which you will find posted in the Members Services area. (ii) Harassment. When a Member targets another individual or entity to cause distress, embarrassment, unwanted attention, or other discomfort, this is harassment. AOL Inc. does not condone harassment in any form and may suspend or terminate the accounts of any Member who harasses others. You may have a disagreement with someone's point of view -- we encourage lively discussion in our chat rooms and message boards -- but personal attacks, or attacks based on a persons race, national origin, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disablement or other such affiliation, are prohibited. If you have a disagreement with someone's point of view, address the subject, not the person. (iii) Graphic Files. AOL Inc. prohibits the transfer or posting on AOL of sexually explicit images or other content deemed offensive by AOL Inc. (iv) Scrolling. "Scrolling" means repeatedly causing the screen to roll faster than Members are able to type to it. It is caused by a user entering a set of random characters or by repeatedly entering a carriage return or any such action to a similar disruptive effect. Scrolling is an expressly prohibited form of disruption. (v) Impersonation. This can involve the portrayal of another person or entity, such as the impersonation of AOL Inc. staff or an information provider, authorized Guide or Host, or communication under a false name or a name that you are not authorized to use. Members must avoid the portrayal of AOL Inc. personnel or others persons in all forms of online communication, including, but not limited to, screen names, member profiles, chat dialogue and message postings. (vi) Room Disruption. This includes purposefully interferring with the normal flow of dialogue in a chat room. Room disruption may occur by repeatedly interrupting conversation between Members, or by acting in such a way as to antagonize, harass or create hostility in a chat room. (vii) Chain Letters and Pyramid Schemes. Transmission of chain letters and pyramid schemes of any kind is not allowed on AOL. This material places an unnecessary load on our mail system and is considered a nuisance by many Members. Certain chain letters and pyramid schemes are illegal. Letters or messages that offer a product or service based on the structure of a chain letter are also of questionable legality. At minimum, they are a waste of resources and are not permitted on AOL. (viii) Advertising and Solicitation. You may not use AOL to send unsolicited advertising, promotional material, or other forms of solicitation to other Members except in those specified areas that are designated for such a purpose (e.g., the classified area). If you witness chat in a public chat room that violates the AOL Rules, you may contact an AOL Service Guide by using the keyword "Guide Pager." You may also contact AOL Inc.'s Terms of Service Staff about any violation by using the "Write to Terms of Service Staff" icon located in the TOS area of the Members Services area.
BOOMERS COMMENTS and LETTERS I have removed all the names from these letters simply to prevent difficulties. If you see your letter and prefer NOT to have it here, please let me know. I will remove it immediately. I do want the values restored. I would also like to caution all who have a grievance to take it to the person not to air it over the reply to all air waves. It does stir up problems by those who do not know what is going on. Sometimes I don't know what is going on. You guys have created this wonderful room. I only get to enjoy, so I am more than willing to listen to those of you who created this loving accepting atmosphere where I can hurt and laugh and love, and cry and sing and dance and be accepted. Love you guys. ~~~~ I guess you know I have left the room many times when I have become embarrassed. I know being raised in this area is a mixed blessing. The ****** family is an example of public vs. private behavior and then breaking out of every mold possible. With power, comes corruption. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. I am shocked the women act like whores on this site. There is no excuse for what is being said. I went into another boomer room and heard words that have not yet been said in my home. I have raised both a boy and a girl and neither would expect to live after uttering these words. There are child abuse rules, but there are also decency rules and other rules that come before man made rules. I have really loved your pages. I hope you will leave them in place. This was one place that the fat, ugly, and undesirable people could put on a mask and become gorgeous and seductive. It is a fantasy and I understand this is the only place they can pretend. For twenty dollars a month, it is a good release and I do exit quietly and feel a great sadness that this is the only place for them to have sex. I don't know if boomers is going to continue to exist. I hope it will continue because we have spent a life getting these experiences to share with people our ages. I tried to calm down these people and they insist on arguing. I was told several times, it is just bantering, but the language and the vicious digs are much too much for me to handle. They protest they are too old to be controlled and I wish to goodness they had been restricted as children. I am so sick and tired of the first amendment rules. Freedom to hit someone stops at the other's person 's nose. I have stated my opinions to the point where I am not welcomed by the sexy group. I don't want to hear their sex life. Good job on your letter, Anne. No one who needs it is going to understand. ~~~ I could not agree more with all that you wrote in your letter. I , too, hope that we get our room back and without a host , but it looks like the host will be with us for while. And, yes I would like to think that all who visit the room, all on aol for that matter, abide by aol standards and us good judgment in all they say. ~~~ Thank you for your concern and caring. What you have experienced recently I had a long time ago; that's the reason you do not have my presence in that room. When I see some of my friends are in the Boomer room, I IM them from afar and go to Boomer Time. That Boomer room has become a zoo for the last year or so. I am sorry your attempts have failed and that you had to realize there are the same A..H.... in Aol as out in the civilian ( ? ) world. ~~~~~~ I agree with you. I haven't been a regular since Christmas, but I've dropped in time to time to not find anyone I recognize. I have missed the good, caring group I met in October of last year. About the room being closed, I really find that unbelievable...Oh, I know it was but did you ever drop into OTHER rooms...they were awful. Ours has a lot....I am very unhappy about this. ~~~ I have not visited the room lately, because it had gotten really nasty, and I am a pretty open minded person, ( can tell some really nasty jokes, and I cuss now and then) But, the room has changed, a lot of young ppl have invaded it, they IM me and they are really nasty, the whole net is like that, I only check my e-mail now everyday, and I am gone. ~~~ It seems that there are lots of name changes, anger, discontent, and hostility at times in the room, and it saddens me to see so many of my associates leaving the room. I love all the boomers, they have helped me in so many ways..filling lonely hours will laughter... I do hope they all return some day, but while away, may they find peace in their lives.. that is all we all are searching a little peace, a little love, a little hope. ~~~ I haven't been in the room very much because of all the rude behavior. I surely miss all the good people I talked with. ~~~ I think that as with all things the boomers will adapt to having hosts. In a way that brought it on themselves with the attack on BBMR Dan. ~~~ I have been a visitor to the Boomer Room for well over a year, I have been shocked several times by the verbal attacks on several people that for no obvious reason were singled out. I have quit going to that room for several days or weeks at a time trying to make sense out of what was going on. When I started visiting that room, there was intelligent, mature conversation, now it is not and I don't understand how we crossed over that unseen line. ~~~ Wow, that is sad to hear it was old Boomers with so much anger and complaining to AOL. I always thought complaining to AOL was considered nothing short of a flogging LOL. Unless being really harassed personally I would never think of complaining to AOL. Thought we were all old enough to not need a "parent" or "teacher" to intervene. Such a shame. Well I hope things settle down and the room can gets back to normal, whatever that is. ~~~ It saddens me to think that what we once had is gone, there were good times, and I hope the sanity returns so the good boomers can resume chatting with good people. ~~~ I have not been to the boomer room in awhile because I felt out of place there for awhile. I really didn't have the chance to get to *know* anyone there... I had brought a friend in with me and she was asked to leave because she was not quite a boomer.... oh well.... ~~~ I lost it this morning. A lady who was using the F word in the room was saying how she is just a rebellious child. and I told her she was too young to be in the room. we are adults. and I should be able to ask others into the room without being ashamed of the sex talk. she said she was playing and I was ruining her fun. It then occurred to me that she just didn't' get it. and would never get it. and I was expecting too much from this room. ~~~ My theory is live and let live, good manners at all times, and hit the ignore button when in pain. I like to keep it simple lol. I really hate the idea of being policed, but as a majority, perhaps the tide will change to what we want. ~~~ Unfortunately this doesn't surprise me about the room. I saw it coming a few months ago. When we all discovered the room way back when what a great place it was. But this is an open forum and cause of that a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. When I heard about the room getting a host I didn't think it was a bad idea at all. I've been to other chat rooms that had hosts and they contributed to the fun of the room quite a bit. They're not the police LOL. But again because this is an open forum and chit happens someone has to try and keep things in perspective sometimes. Every room seems to have it's bad eggs and usually people just ignore them and they leave, too bad boomers in the room didn't do that more often like you said. ~~~ If any toes were stepped on, those people are blind and insensitive. We have to bit the bullet and accept the fact "we" screwed up. We made our bed and we have to sleep in it. It's an excellent time to show the powers that be that we are a mature and sensitive group that just likes to have fun and enjoy life. As always, a few will always spoil it for the many. ~~~ as you probably have noticed you have not seen me in the "BOOMER ROOM" because of exactly what you wrote in your letter. I so miss the days when everyone was so nice to each other. I was SOOOOOooo glad to find a room where the people where so nice and respectful to each other. NOW I and MOST of us old BOOMERS do not have a nice room to go to. I do miss that . well maybe some day WE can form another friendly room. ~~~ ....there certainly have been some interesting and uninteresting events in the "boomer room" but too bad .....people haven't learned to go there and just have fun....and not take everything so seriously. After all, it really is an outlet for entertainment as well as communication and sharing. Now, in a way, you know, that i go there to have fun, and still continue to do so, but...i have to admit, when the fur flies, i just leave, and let the furiers have their day without me caught up in their IM frenzy and Email craziness. ~~~ I feel sort of sad that the BBCR is self-destructing. I think that was all I was looking to avoid on the Petlist last week. I feel my inability to convey that appropriately was very costly. I am sick and saddened by our losses. I pray for the speedy return of all who left, and am thankful for all who are still here. ~~~ True we had no control over whom could enter and that was our undoing.....freedom meant we had to allow all..........now the room has changed.....and change is good but we have the freedom to be smarter to find our own again...to realize freedom is good but will require some form of control over its membership.......we have a right to pick and choose our friends...and our meeting place........paradise is only for those who can appreciate it......the rest are tourist and spoilers who want what you have.... but do not know how to live it ....in order to preserve it. ~~~ It was always my favorite place to go on here until lately. Seems we have had a lot of new, additional folks join us, and things have changed. Things just don't seem to be the way they always were, pleasant and comfortable for ALL of us to enter into every day conversation without feeling at risk of being "hit on". Where are our family values now? Oh well. ~~~ I Love the Boomer Room. I've been with AOL for 2 years now and discovered that room not too long after signing on. It really would be sad if we lost our "Room",,,and also sad that a few people feel a need to take out their personal frustrations out on Boomer Room residents. We all have enough problems in our lives, and surely don't need to see all that crap on-line also,,,geez it used to be so much fun. COME ON BOOMERS, let's stick together here now. ~~~ I dearly miss the room the way it was over a year ago! I haven't been in except to peek in for a few moments since last year because of the behavior in there. Hopefully having a host will get it back to where it was! It's a shame that adults can't handle themselves. ~~~ I'm sorry we couldn't all get along well enough to be trusted without a baby-sitter. Remind me again...."Baby Boomers" are adults, right??? Lately, I wonder. I think the "new and improved" Boomer room will never be the same. It's a shame to see a good thing come to an end. ~~~ We always had hosts -- at least since I started with AOL ... they just haven't been visiting the room -- there were two that I remember -- you can read about them on the baby boomer menu screen where the "chat" box is -- I think they didn't bother with boomer room because it's an adult room, and only recently responded because of complaints. ~~~ I haven't gone to the boomer room a lot lately. Not friendly and, frankly, many times obscene (and, sadly, by some "old time" boomers"). ~~~ I AGREE 100% WITH YOU. IF WE DO NOT WANT TO BE INVOLVED WITH THE "HOST" FINE , DON'T BE.BUT MAYBE HE WILL STOP SOME OF THE STUPID STUFF. IT USED TO BE OUR ONLY PROBLEM WAS WITH KIDS . ~~~ I don't know hardly anybody anymore. I don't care to discuss sex all the time. So I I've stayed out. ~~~ I sincerely hope that all of the Boomers who read it will stop and think and make some adjustments in their behavior. If they don't, then they deserve whatever happens. As for me, I doubt if I will ever return to this particular room just because I am so disappointed in the overall attitude and demeanor of a group of people whom I thought to be adults. I am just glad that I had the opportunity to meet a few people with whom I continue some meager correspondence and/or contact. ~~~ I too was one to leave the room back in June. I use to be so excited to get home from work and turn the computer and jump into the boomer room for hours. But the room started changing...a lot of or should I say, too much hustling and not enough conversation.... going on so I left. I still stay in contact with many of the older gang. A lot of my email list is of the older gang. ~~~ What I don't understand is how did it get to be the way it is now. I have never been able to understand that. This room has been struggling for months and months..... ~~~ AOL has seen fit to temporarily shut down Baby boomers...AND that AOL had reason to shut us down in the first place. This also embarrasses me as well. ~~~ The room has become a place for people do dump their garbage. I think they use this as an outlet because they can not or would not say these things anywhere. I have left that chat room so furious I could spit nails many times myself. Due to the stupid remarks and ignorance of a few people. This AOL is like anything else...... a few have to spoil it for everyone. But now I put those on ignore as soon as they come in the room. I don't have time for stupid people in my life. ~~~ Rational behavior is the keyword, (although, 60's demonstrations are the first things that come to mind ) the only way to straighten this out is to straighten up our collective act, hopefully this can be done without infringing on anyones personal freedoms or beliefs. We boomers, at times, tend to be slightly opinionated, ok we can be upitty when you get right down to it, but we've had a few years to get that way, and now that we are older, we (at times) tend to rebel at different types of authority, even when it isn't actually effecting us, maybe it's time for a little self inspection. ~~~ It seems that there are lots of name changes, anger, discontent, and hostilty at times in the room, and it saddens me to see so many of my associates leaving the room. I love all the boomers, they have helped me in so many ways..filling lonely hours will laughter... I do hope they all return some day, but while away, may they find peace in their lives..that is all we all are searching a little peace, a little love, a little hope. ~~~ I agree with you and AOL. I haven't been in the room very much because of all the rude behavior. I surely miss all the good people I talked with. ~~~ I too have notice so many changes in that room...and have been embarrassed many times of the conversation that goes on..and have had many nasty things said to me...I only go back to that room because there are alot of really nice people there and I have made a few good friendships along the way....But there are your jerks too..and it seems like they like to remind you that they are jerks..every time you see them... ~~~ I HAVEN'T BEEN IN THE ROOM HARDLY AT ALL DUE TO THE ARGUING AND DIRT BEING TOSSED AROUND. I HOPE AOL CAN GET US BACK TO NEAR NORMAL I MISS MY FRIENDS ~~~ I too left the room weeks ago because of the crap that was continually going on. It's a shame that it came to this. ~~~ I just refuse to go to chat areas until people behave themselves. Boomers should be of an age to know better.

Letter from Don


First of all, this email will not reach as many people as Lady's email did. I'm using my list, which basically is a core group. Although I have not been with "this" group all that long, I have made some observations since I first started coming here in August of last year. I first came to the boomer chat room in Nov '95. Like the current group, we were a rambunctious and risque group of people, who enjoy life and being with people sharing the same commonalities. There really is no difference between the two groups. However, of late, I have noticed a dramatic change in the room atmosphere. I have felt and noticed a great deal of distress. I was in the room only once when BBMR Dan was there. It was horrific to say the least. I was angry too that we had a host and I got my barbs in too, which I deeply regret. Let's face it people. "We screwed up. To paraphrase a saying, "we" made our bed, now we have to sleep in it. Whether it was one or two or however many people who caused a lot of the troubles, it was representative the group as a whole. We allowed these things to happen. We tolerated belligerent and obnoxious behavior. Yes, the ignore button can help make things go away, but the point is, the problems are still there. The people still show up and still create the chaos. Why are we tolerating it? We shouldn't be letting a couple of members sending letters regarding TOS violations. We should be doing it "en masse." Dammit, we're boomers. We are a group. We are unique, unlike any other group on this planet. We are the makers and shakers in this world. For all intents and purposes, we are the beacon, providing direction and guidance for all to follow. So, what's with this tolerance and attitude? I'm not putting myself above all this. I stand guilty. I haven't done my part. No more. We are in control of our destiny now. We must prove to AOL and whoever else, we are a force to be reckoned with, yet able to deal with life and its stresses compassionately, humanely and justly. Our common goal is to be successful and enjoy life. We should be good to people. But before we are good to people, we must be good to ourselves. We have a host. Accept it. Let's exhibit the maturity, experience and common sense that makes up the core of the baby boomer concept. I agree we shouldn't have a host. But we obviously didn't do it right, because we have one now. I love this room. It's the only place I go. It's the only reason I have an AOL account. We can do this, boomers. We can demonstrate to ourselves, AOL and the world that we have every reason to be proud of ourselves, by letting our actions speak for themselves. And I mean that in a good way. We don't need private rooms, although that is every person's right and a form of protest that is reasonably prudent. We need to band together and show them who really stands tall around here. If I stepped on any toes, too bad. I don't care. I will apologize though, if you are offended with my apparent lack of insensitivity. But you know, it's what makes this country great.... the right and ability to speak our mind, something we, as boomers, do quite well. I want to be proud to be a member of this chat room and not hide my head in shame. I am embarrassed having a baby-sitter. But maybe that's what we really need. I'm tired of the bickering, hurt feelings, problem children and the overall direction this room is taking. I am not pointing fingers here. "WE" as a group are the problem and it's up to us to remedy the problem before it gets out of hand. Remember, I am a boomer too and am not above any of this or any of you. I am just one of you, a part of the machinery that keep this room running on a daily basis. I am ready to get busy. Are you? Don

Host Responsibilities What are hosts? That's a great question with dozens of answers! :) To explain what hosts are, however, one must first know the definition of hosting. Essentially it is, "the art of helping others enjoy their time in an online chat room." Hosts are, therefore, expected to greet people who are entering the room and monitor what's happening with the conversational flow within that room. Hosts must also take action if a particularly troublesome guest is disrupting that flow of conversation - for example by the use of language that is TOSsable or by scrolling (using macros that fill the screen up so that no other guests can "talk") or by making a general nuisance of him/herself 1) if other members voice legitimate complaints to the host about that guest's behavior, or 2) if the host perceives that other people are being bothered yet are not complaining directly to him/her (the host). Hosts also need to be knowledgeable about AOL since members often ask them questions; not only about the host's own forum but about other forums or areas. To a certain degree, hosts should also answer any queries about their own duties when a member asks. However, when repeatedly questioned by several people who are demanding immediate answers which a host feels are either too personal or too time-consuming, they are trained to try directing the conversation elsewhere. The reason for attempting to direct the conversation elsewhere is simple: Repetitive or hostile questioning of *anyone* in a room - whether host or guest - is not only disruptive to other people who are trying to chat; it also violates the Rules of TOS. And hosts, like any other member, do have their right to privacy. Lastly, hosts are *unpaid* volunteers who must undergo rigorous online training before they are ever allowed to do any hosting. And, after such training, they remain unpaid volunteers. Thus their services are offered solely because they want to make a positive difference - and because they believe in the principle definition of hosting already quoted above but worth repeating: "The art of helping others enjoy their time in an online chat room." Hosts in the Baby Boomers Forum, once fully trained and qualified, will work a two-hour shifts, and their shifts will be posted for everyone to view. The chat room will only be hosted for four hours per night from 8-12 p.m. EST. Hope this gives everyone a better picture of what hosts and hosting are all about. However, I'd welcome any further queries or comments. :) ~Margaret Forum Liaison, Ages & Stages
PUBLIC FORUMS - WHAT THEY ARE AND WHAT THEY'RE NOT! Many people have written to ask the difference between a public forum and a chat room. One basic definition for a forum is "a public assembly, lecture or program involving audience or panel discussion". In AOL terminology, a public forum would be synonymous with a public chat room wherein a specific topic or lifestyle or public interest is discussed between members. Baby Boomers falls within the Ages and Stages Community, and is specifically (but not exclusively) for Boomer-aged folks. I say "not exclusively" because teens or other older adults are always welcome; provided they enter with the specific intent of learning more about the Boomer era from those who've "been there", and provided they abide by the few simple rules listed below. (The Boomer forum, however, wouldn't be suitable for younger children - since many of them would be bored with what the "old" folks have to say - which is why AOl supplies areas for the kiddies' to enjoy.) One of the chief reasons for having public forums hosted is that hosts are trained, regardless of their own age, to interact with the members. Hosts, therefore, should be considered a part of the room, and, if allowed the chance, you'll discover they can contribute to the flow of discussion by occasionally tossing out a question or comment of their own to the members. Not only does this serve to get conversation back on track (or keep it from lagging), but it is also ensures that no one ever feels neglected. This particularly applies to newbies who might have something to contribute to the group discussion, but feel overwhelmed, shy or uncertain how to proceed. Certainly we're not suggesting that everyone must limit their discussion to talk of the bygone days when they were Boomers. Current events or other themes are equally acceptable; and this is especially true if their topic involves issues which all Boomer-aged people are presently facing in their everyday life. The sharing of ideas or events, both current and nostalgic, are what the Boomer Forum Chat is all about! The difference then between public forum chat rooms and freeform chat rooms lies in their concept. Here are a few examples: AOL's lobbies would definitely be considered a freeform chat room. People who enter lobbies do so largely just to see who's around before they move off to wherever their interest lies. (Some people even remain in the lobbies permanently, simply because they actually like them, but I don't think I'll elaborate on *that*!) :) Within People Connection there are many forum-based *and* freeform-based chat rooms: The Red Dragon Inn is a forum-based chat where role players - *including* the hosts - are all in character (i.e. playing a role). The Hub (still in People Connection) would be considered a freeform-based chat since the members who frequent it are there specifically to chat about any and every topic under the sun and include all ages groups (again with the exception of children.) To sum up, a chat room on AOL can either be forum-based or freeform-based. However it cannot be both since that would destroy the room's continuity and purpose. (For instance, if a person went into the Red Dragon Inn and just wanted to chat, the role players or host would have to take time out to explain the purpose of the room - and doing so would spoil the fun of the majority of members in that room.) This is a good segue into those few rules I mentioned before - which I've copied directly from AOL for those of you who may not have previously seen or read them: "Netiquette, the conventions of politeness in an online community, varies from one part of People Connection to the next. Preferred conduct in one chat room might be rude in another, so pay attention to where you are. Lurk a bit and find out who is around now and who was there before you and what the topic is before you jump in.
Here's a short list of netiquette Do's and Don'ts:

* DO express yourself clearly and succinctly when chatting. 
* DON'T type in all caps.  IT'S CONSIDERED YELLING.

* DO offer answers and help if you are in a position to do so. 

* DON'T scroll your comments.

* DO treat others as you would like to be treated. 
* DON'T use offensive language.
* DO think of a chat room as an actual room. 

Thank you for the opportunity of sharing this with all of you. If you have any questions or comments, I'd also like to hear from you. ~Margaret (Grymaulkin@aol.com) Forum Liaison, Age Stages

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