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 where we can safely and anonymously, from behind the security of our computer screens, connect with others and tap into a vast array of information being shared.

And when we do this, we have a choice. 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.

We can participate, or we can lurk.

The Urban Dictionary describes lurkers as creeps, stalkers, spies, and weirdos.


I think lurkers who are hanging around the sober blogging and online recovery communities are actually incredibly brave individuals who are driven 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 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 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.

If you’re lurking and reading this right now and you still don’t feel like you want to ‘show’ yourself and interact, don’t feel bad. You are welcome to be here, you are on the right track, and you can absolutely still become the lovely, calm, sober person you are meant to be.

Here at Living Sober we love our lurkers, read, watch, soak up all the information you can. Join the community and follow the conversations inside the Members Feed. Feel no pressure to interact or ‘show’ yourself (although if you do, know that you will be met with warmth and understanding, because that’s how we roll).

Just make yourself at home, visit whenever you like, and keep on trying to be the best version of yourself that you can. There’s no better goal than that.

Love, Mrs D xxx

  1. kazoorose 1 day ago

    Thank you

  2. savtadon'tdrinknomore 1 week ago

    Thankyou, Mrs. D for your encouraging & comforting words.
    You are truly a gift!!!!

  3. AutumnLeaves 2 weeks ago

    Great post, thanks. It couldn’t have come at a better time for my own personal journey. I joined living sober around a year and a half ago and I’ve been a lurker since then 🙂 After many failed attempts at sobriety over those 18 months, I finally plucked up the courage today to take the next step and post. So here I am. I’m super curious to see whether actively participating will give me the boost I feel I need to achieve my goals of becoming sober, and of living sober. Let’s see huh. I want this so much – both for myself and for my family. 🙂

    • mrsem 6 days ago

      Dear AutumnLeaves, just fabulous that you are here. Well bloody done! How are you feeling?
      Keep well and surround yourself with sober treats x

  4. PeterM 2 weeks ago

    “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without heart” – Mahatma Gandhi. This community is a sacred space. We each honour it in our own way. There is no judgement.

  5. petro 2 weeks ago

    Totally agree. Each person needs to get sober in their own way and time, otherwise it won’t be sustainable. One of the very best things about LS is that it’s inclusive, supportive, and non-judgemental. Strength to us all to find the right way to get and stay sober. 💐

  6. Anon44 2 weeks ago

    I cannot agree more. This is so well said. Do whatever you need to to be the best you you can xx

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