The Power of Lurking

hands on keyboard

We are so fortunate in today's world that we can do all manner of research, investigation and exploration from the comfort of our own homes. In the past if we wanted to find out what others are doing to get sober we'd have to front up to meeting rooms in our communities, or take books out from the public library.

A lot of people still do those things and gain great benefit from it.. but nowadays we have this further option which is to stay at home and safely and anonymously from behind the security of our computer screens tap into a vast array of information being shared around the internet.

And we have a choice when we do this. We can choose to share our own thoughts and feelings and communicate with others doing the same online, or we can choose to just lurk, read what others are sharing, and watch their conversations without taking part.

Our choices; we can participate, or we can lurk.

The Urban Dictionary describes lurking as 'spying on people online, while you remain invisible'. They also list out words that relate to lurker and they include; creep, stalker, spy, and weirdo.


I think lurkers who are hanging around the sober blogging and online recovery communities are actually incredibly brave individuals who are feeling a drive to better themselves while also being mindful of protecting themselves.

They're not creepy, stalkers, spies or weirdos. They're just ordinary people with an inkling that their drinking might be a problem. And they're taking tentative steps towards fixing that problem.

They're not living in denial. Someone living in denial would never navigate their way to a recovery blog or sobriety website, they'd just be boozing away merrily (or not so merrily as the case may be).

They're certainly not cowards. Simply typing 'how to quit drinking' into an internet browser can be terrifying. Every click beyond that point a scary step into an unknown world.

They are not to be frowned upon, discredited or judged. No way!

Lurking is an incredibly powerful first step for people using the internet to get sober. Some lurkers might develop into active participants. Others might never 'show' themselves by interacting but remain lurkers forever. That doesn't make their involvement in online recovery null and void. Far from it.

Some people can get sober only by lurking in the online recovery world. I know this because every now and then I receive emails from people telling me they have done just that. They write privately to me and reveal  they've been lurking for ages and have just reached their 6-month or 1 year sobriety milestone. Living proof that lurking works!

Other lurkers find that after a while they feel comfortable to take the step to 'out' themselves and type out an online communication of their own. That's always an exciting day because they then get to experience the warmth and camaraderie of the online recovery community first hand.

But if you're lurking and reading this right now.. and you still don't feel like you want to 'show' yourself and interact.. and doubt you ever will...don't despair. You are still on the right track and you can absolutely still become the lovely, calm, sober person you were meant to be.

Here at Living Sober we love our lurkers, you are welcome to read and soak up all the information you can, we encourage you to stick around and follow our conversations inside the Members Feed. There is no pressure for you to speak out or 'show' yourself ever. Although if you do you will be met with warmth and understanding, because that's how we roll.....

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. Trijntje 2 years ago

    At the moment I can only “lurk” There has something gone wrong with my account. Can this be sorted? Trijntje

  2. Luke 2 years ago

    Thank you very much, Mrs. D. This website has been a great blessing. I will be completely sober for 157 days tomorrow. I have always come back to this website to give myself motivation and inspiration. You are a hero to so many people who have started on the path to sobriety.

  3. Rosieoutlook 2 years ago

    I am more of a lurker than a contributor. Im not one that’s on social media as it’s just not my thing. But 7 years ago I joined this website and it was a godsend. I don’t come on often and if I do, I tend just to read Lotta’s Blog. I’ve just celebrated 7 years of being AF and I love it!!!! So lurking can definitely work😊

  4. savtadon'tdrinknomore 2 years ago

    Thankyou @Mrs.D.
    I’m am on the verge of tears after reading your post.
    From the sheer beauty, validation & acceptance that you always have shown & express in your unique way.
    Thankyou, Thankyou Thankyou!!
    I am not a frequent poster.
    My year sober is coming up Aug. 2nd.
    & we are moving that day to a new neighborhood
    If that ever was a trigger!!!!!!!

    • dmivy 2 years ago

      Oh my goodness it’s your anniversary of 1 year sober today….CONGRATULATIONS YOU BEAUTY!!!!!
      I hope that your move is going well and that when you fall into bed tonight you feel powerful, connected and full of self-love
      I can’t wait to get to 18.03.2022 to feel that way myself 🙂

  5. annkarels 2 years ago

    Great post, Mrs. D. You are spot on when you talk about how lurking can be helpful at the start. I did for a bit, and it allowed me to see for myself others going through a lot of the same battles and thoughts and doubts that I was. Once I realized I was not alone, and saw the support the members were showing to each other in their posts and comments, I was ready to become part of the community. And it has been a blessing to me since I started posting. Thanks for this site and for sharing your wisdom.

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