If someone PM's me then I'll respond, but generally it's not my preference to communicate that way. I'd rather "speak" in a public forum rather than in PM. I guess I'm not actively looking to make lifelong friends. I'm just looking for a good discussion. If someone prefers to PM me though I'll oblige as much as I can.
Also I don't know if this is related, but I don't really like to talk on the phone either. Generally I try to keep phone conversations as brief and to the point as possible, because I prefer face to face interaction.
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If the PM is about clarifying a point, then I'd rather do it on the main forum. But if it's something personal, then I prefer to respond via PM. I don't shy away from it because I actually think that I'm probably more personable that way.
It's as if posting portrays your outer demeanor at a large party, and a PM is the equivalent of sitting down and having a one-on-one conversation at the party.
After reading a few of the responses here, I understand why I haven't gotten responses to some of my PMs. I usually don't respond to short rep messages, but I always respond to PMs. I initiate them fairly often, too.
I PMed all the girls on INTPc within about 2 weeks of joining. I got responses from one or two and felt awkward around the others for a while. It went away pretty quick and I laid the groundwork for friendship later on, after they got to know me a little (circa 2000 posts and a year later).
I too am skittish when it comes to sending or receiving PMs. For some reason I always get the feeling as if there is some ill intention behind the PM. Nevertheless I always respond to PMs out of courtesy for the sender. Although I definitely understand why some of you wouldn't respond.
I'm afraid of directly messaging people in most places.
I get very anxious under scrutiny, and am honestly pretty insecure. I'm afraid of being judged, I'm afraid of bothering people, and I'm afraid of looking stupid.
Now, if I say something publicly, and with a general reference instead of a specific target, there's a much greater sense of anonymity and vagueness, and it makes me feel more secure. Directly telling somebody something gives you no wiggle room.
For example, telling somebody that I like them is murder on me. Once you do that, there's no back-tracking, muddling, burrying, contextualizing, or redirecting that can save you. You commit to it, and await your fate. It's frightening.
I've never told anyone that I've been attracted to them, or infatuated wth them, or loved them. I fear rejection, the feeling of vulnerability, and the potentiol consequences of letting my feelings be known (for instance, I wouldn't want to ruin a prefectly good friendship by trying to turn it into a romance).
Now, these feelings affect me on very petty levels, even to the point that just directly messaging someone one a forum can make me uncomfortable.
Don't want them to think I'm too interested.
So, that's a pretty lengthy and deep seconding of your original post, Uber.
I have problems with it, too.
Go to sleep, iguana.
INTP. Type 1>6>5. sx/sp. Live and let live will just amount to might makes right