So I learned even before I decided to move to Panama, that there are a lot of cyber bullies in these Panamanian Yahoo groups & Panamanian forums. They are expats (the odd local) & they are mean, nasty & often talk down to newcomers who ask questions.
I’m the type of person who asks a lot of questions. It’s in my nature to do so. That’s one of the attributes that makes me sharp & educated (I’m not talking about scholastic education) & this seems to trigger these people into putting me down.
First the problems started in the Costa Rican Yahoo group & while this wasn’t the ONLY reason I decided not to move to Costa Rica, it was a contributing factor, because I was looking to get away from nasty Canadians, not jump right into a country where they dominated & controlled the expat community. To be clear, there are plenty of nasty Americans, I have just found that the Canadians outweigh the Americans in this regard online.
Anyway, when I started researching Panama, I found the Yahoo groups to be better than the Costa Rican ones, but eventually over time that changed. It’s still not as bad as the Costa Rican Yahoo groups & forums, but I find it’s not a great place to be.
I have also noticed that a lot of people have no problem helping you with your questions, but very few want to see if a friendship can be started. I came to this conclusion after several times a person would give me the answer then wish me luck so there was no place to go from there.
I’m the type that defends myself & one thing one shouldn’t do online to bullies is defend themselves (I just learned that), otherwise it never stops. I also learned that the owners of these Yahoo groups are bullies themselves & the reason they still exist, is because these are some of the oldest groups (3,000+ members) out there & there aren’t as many Panamanian groups & forums like there are in Costa Rica.
No one ever allows bullies to exist if they themselves aren’t the same way. Of course I didn’t know this at first, I was told this later by a few members, but by that time I had already been kicked off of one for absolutely not reason & not before the owner made fun of me in front of the entire group.
I eventually started a group for “Nice” expats, but if you know anything about groups & forums, it takes a long time to get it going to the point where people actually open up & talk. You can join here if you consider yourself to be a nice person.
I also want to be clear in saying that not all the people in the groups are bullies, but the most vocal ones are. I figure the nice ones are too scared to ask questions or even give their point of view on a subject matter for fear of being ridiculed.
This shouldn’t deter you from moving to Panama if that is what you really want to do, but be forewarned that you may experience the brunt of this nastiness.