Good online forums/ magazines/ newspaper comment sections for midlifers?
April 29, 2019 10:51 AM   Subscribe

I am nearly 50 so definitely count as middle-aged, live in the UK, I don't work through chronic mental health disability (bipolar 1), and have limited options for socialising through finances and social anxiety. I'm wondering if there are online communities for discussion or support for people my age to compensate a little for the lack of thoughtful real-life interactions.

I looked at one over-50s site here in the UK and felt a bit meh about it, there was a lot of moaning about political correctness and the occasional joke literally saying things like "Johnny Foreigner" which I found quite off-putting. Maybe people get more right-wing as they get older, like the saying goes? What I am really looking for is interesting discussions and ideally in particular some support or discussion relating to the issues of living alone in midlife.

The best things I have found so far are the site of the Washington Post newspaper, which isn't solely limited to a particular age but has lots of thoughtful articles and comments below, including ones on solo living (Solo-ish section), and The Guardian online which again has interesting comments below some articles. I am thinking of buying a Washington Post subscription for a year so that I can participate there as well as see archived articles.

Outside of newspapers, are there online magazines, communities, support groups, newspaper comment sections, which anyone has found suitable for someone in my age category? Recommendations please!! It doesn't have to a site with a name for older people, really any kind of thoughtful discussions are great, I just don't want to feel like I'm missing all the cultural references. For example, for a long time I got a lot of comfort at an old fashioned social anxiety bulletin board but I have got older while the new people joining seem mainly to be in their early twenties or at university, which leaves me feeling a bit out of place.
posted by AuroraSky to Human Relations (4 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
It might sound like it's out of left field - and it is also pretty transphobic, so I hesitate to recommend - but some of the sub-boards on mumsnet have interesting and thoughtful discussions. Overall a plurality of the posters are in their 30s with young and young-ish children, but on individual boards that's often not the case and plenty of people on there are single and/or don't have children, and there are a number in the over 50 bracket. It's not a Daily Mail reading site as a general rule and is fairly good about ableism.
posted by plonkee at 11:22 AM on April 29, 2019 [3 favorites]

I'm similarly aged and also have an invisible, chronic illness. I would recommend against joining boards for people who self-select either by age or by illness. My experience is that people who join a board for a particular illness are obsessed with that illness to the point where it forms their entire identity. (There's also a really annoying tendency for the illness to be the centre of all experiences. Questions like "I'm out of jam. Does anyone else with Bipolar I ever experience this?" would not be remotely unusual.) People who essentially self-segregate by age tend to be really backwards looking, resistant to change and just really fucking boring.

I would instead suggest joining groups based around interests. There's literally a subreddit for everything, and some of them are suprisingly thoughtful! Ask is my primary online community but I fill in with fairly heavy Reddit reading and posting.

I think though that the WaPo is a great idea for you. You can join Medium for free to comment, and you might like the topic-driven community at Quora?
posted by DarlingBri at 1:54 PM on April 29, 2019 [8 favorites]

You might like the v. busyMoney Saving Expert forums.

The Straight Dope forums have been going on for ever and are thus full of oldies!
posted by low_horrible_immoral at 2:20 PM on April 29, 2019 [1 favorite]

You may also like The Money Shed forums. I also second reddit, I really like some of the communities there.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 6:17 AM on April 30, 2019

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