Four advice columnists, Dear Sugar’s Cheryl Strayed, Salon’s Cary Tennis, Slate’s Emily Yoffe, and The Globe and Mail’s Lynn Coady, discuss what it’s like to give advice to people online:
Are there common threads or themes that you see over and over in the questions you get? Questions that seem to be real problems in a lot of people’s lives that they keep writing in about in variations?
Cheryl: Yes, a ton. There are a lot of people with broken hearts. And they’ll never get over so and so leaving them.
Emily: Yeah, I never run those because the answer is the same and it’s very boring. It’s just, ‘Move forward.’ The guy I thought I’d kill myself over when I was 27 I can’t remember the name of now. There are some big general categories. One is cubicle land. The horrors of the farters, the breathers, the hummers, the eaters. I can only do a limited number of ‘My husband looks at porn.’