Loosing Humanity through Abandoning Heritage
Posted 2/23/11
Our genes have very little to do with who we are based on individual preferences, when our social environment can affect us more so than we would realize most of the time. Especially whenever we took our cultural values and meanings for granted.

Say the Internet for example, it's a part of our modern culture as a piece of technology. But it's also an impersonal socialization tool, that allows us to engage socialization virtually through what's now called "social networking." However the reason why I pointed out that this is an "impersonal" socialization is because of this paradox: our technology is making us more connected quantitatively, just not with each other qualitatively.

Think about it, as you're reading my message, you're not accessing my emotional state at all in real time. This means that whatever you're feeling as you read my message, you're supplying the emotional "coloring" through your own imagination. This could very well make you perceive my intention incorrectly, but it has nothing to do with you misreading my message; you and I are simply not connected on an emotional level. In other words, genuine apathy is the norms on the Internet.

Humans communicate their emotions more so through nonverbal means, such as their tone of voice, body languages, hand gestures, and even facial expressions. And how connected we are on an emotional level is the essential quality of our social relationships with anyone. This means that our technology is forever separating ourselves from each others on an emotional level.
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Posted 2/24/11
Perhaps thats what smilies are for.But seriously interesting post,there seems to be a lot more apathy in real life.
Posted 2/24/11 , edited 2/24/11

miserykitsune wrote:

Perhaps thats what smilies are for.But seriously interesting post,there seems to be a lot more apathy in real life.
What is the "Bystander Effect" in social-psychology.

And no, just because you can choose your expressions on the Internet doesn't mean that they really meant how you felt.
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Posted 2/24/11
^I know,I was taking the piss with that smily thing.Well theres an example,you didn't realise I was just messing.
Posted 2/24/11

miserykitsune wrote:

^I know,I was taking the piss with that smily thing.Well theres an example,you didn't realise I was just messing.
I find this [/sarcasm] to be rather useful. If not the only authentic expression on the Internet. Which inspired me to make this comment on my Internet dating profile:

I shouldn't even be here, when the majority looked so fake while they tried to show their best. Yet they all claimed to be honest, authentic, or true to themselves. I'll call a peacock when I see it.[/sarcasm]
That's the ultimate vanity filter.[/sarcasm]
Posted 2/25/11 , edited 2/26/11

DomFortress wrote:

Our genes have very little to do with who we are based on individual preferences, when our social environment can affect us more so than we would realize most of the time. Especially whenever we took our cultural values and meanings for granted.

Say the Internet for example, it's a part of our modern culture as a piece of technology. But it's also an impersonal socialization tool, that allows us to engage socialization virtually through what's now called "social networking." However the reason why I pointed out that this is an "impersonal" socialization is because of this paradox: our technology is making us more connected quantitatively, just not with each other qualitatively.

Think about it, as you're reading my message, you're not accessing my emotional state at all in real time. This means that whatever you're feeling as you read my message, you're supplying the emotional "coloring" through your own imagination. This could very well make you perceive my intention incorrectly, but it has nothing to do with you misreading my message; you and I are simply not connected on an emotional level. In other words, genuine apathy is the norms on the Internet.

Humans communicate their emotions more so through nonverbal means, such as their tone of voice, body languages, hand gestures, and even facial expressions. And how connected we are on an emotional level is the essential quality of our social relationships with anyone. This means that our technology is forever separating ourselves from each others on an emotional level.



While this is an interesting thought/phenomenon, I think you're drawing the wrong conclusions.

And while it's true a very large part of a persons traits and preferences are learned through socialisation, other traits, needs and preferences are genetically determined. Being empathetic is one, sexual attraction is another, and so is being a caretaker. Those are not traits or qualities you won't develop if you spend a lot of the time communicating over the internet.

Before humans were able to speak and make clear and understandable handgestures, our means of communication relied on other things such as smells, grunts, and to a far bigger degree, reading body language. The ability to communicate through speech has greatly made us abandon our prior methods of communication, but haven't made us any less emotional or caring.

I don't think you're right in saying that we as readers aren't accessing your emotional state when reading this post either. Clearly we're not seeing your facial expressions or are able to read your body language, but you're using words to describe what you otherwise would have said with your body.. And you consider that when you make a post like this, thus making sure to explain yourself in a way leaving no doubt about what your point/intention is. And yes, while there might and will occur misunderstanding or uncertainties when communicating online, you'll just ask in to a thing if you're not certain what the sender is trying to express. Furthermore, there is a great array of tools at your disposal for expressing yourself clearly, question mark, exclamation mark, emoticons, the "..." caps, intended typos, leet speak, etc etc. You have tools for expressing whatever emotion you otherwise would through body language.

I find that, just like in the real world when talking with someone and picking up on their subtle hints and little tells, indicators of interest or the opposite, you can very clearly read that out of a persons written language. It takes for a certain amount of experience talking through written language of course, just like conversation in person does. And it's the same rules that counts.. The better the sender is at colouring his/her message, the less the receiving part needs to imagine or figure out him/herself.

And I find that there's something fundamentally wrong in claiming internet communication ain't qualitative. Quite the opposite. When you're having a conversation face to face with someone, you're much more likely to be shy, more likely not to express your honest opinion, but mirroring the other, not to do or say anything the other/the group finds unacceptable. When you're face to face you're constantly seeking others accept and approval and you'll go a long way to acheive that. If that means restraining yourself, expressing to have a somewhat different opinion or really doing something you're against, many people happily do so in order to find acceptance.
On the internet however, you can let the mask slip. People are more likely to be accepting, as they don't have to worry about how they appear in the eyes of the group. They don't have the assumed and superficial opinions and restraint you find in RL, They are actually their own self. This allows for a far more honest, open and deep conversation, where people get a chance to reveal their actual selves. That makes for a very qualitative conversation or interaction, one you're very unlikely to find in RL.

It might be true that the hours spent face to face with other people is decreasing, but I think communication over the internet brings with it a lot of benefits and positive side effects. Staying in contact is far easier and you're much more likely to keep friendships you otherwise would have lost, resulting in more long term friendships. Arranging meet ups have become easier, resulting in more frequent gatherings in larger groups. This'll increase the amount of people you're exposed to and increase the chance of forming new friendships. The anonymity the internet makes it easier for shy people to open up and talk with others, and that reflects on their social skills in real life as they are gaining 'conversational skills' an alternative way.

And very often I find, the ultimate goal of socialising over the internet is to carry it into real life. Humans are emotional, sensual beings and the chance of real face to face contact disappearing, I see as an impossibility.
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Posted 2/26/11
I really dislike Smartphones. I don't like the idea of being able to talk with people on the internet the whole time. I also dislike social networks. All this is making the human live faster, you don't travel to your friends anymore and have fun, you just sit back and write a message. I think everything went wrong when we began using the internet to chat with people we could also visit.
Posted 2/26/11 , edited 2/26/11
There is little doubt to the advances technology has brought us regarding the ease and expansiveness of online communication. It is the overuse of technology that seems to cause the most problems. Many people feel a need to be connected online all the time, that they would miss out on something if they cannot read status updates at a given moment. Social networking sites that are easy to use facilitate this.

Additionally, these sites have redefined the word "friendship" by making it a status symbol. As DomFortress mentioned, it is a quantitative increase in friendship as well as a qualitative decrease. The system itself does not seem very different to real life, in which popularity is a symbol of status but the sheer number "friends" a person can make online dwarfs anything possible in the offline world. There is also the ability to manage and rank friendships online. Again, this is not very different from real life but the major difference is that it is done publicly. The constant access and overwhelming number of contacts leads to a devaluing of genuine relationships.

Not being able to accurately discern the emotions/intent of an author is a problem inherent in any text. I think this really comes down to author's intent (is it to deceive and control the audience or genuinely communicate an idea for mutual understanding) and his/her effectiveness as a writer. Online, 3-D avatars attempt to alleviate this problem by simulating physical actions that occur in an everyday conversation. This causes its own issues like whether or not such things could essentially replace physical interaction, or does it make being deceptive easier?

What I find most interesting in online socialization are user profiles. Many people claim that the online environment allows a person to be themselves; there are a plethora of websites dedicated to certain interests where like-minded individuals can interact. I feel that a user profile is more indicative of how a person wants to be perceived than being true to oneself (though that desired perception can be telling of a personality too). Recently, I've been exploring this to a small extent in an esoteric manner.

Don't get me wrong; I think the Internet is a great place to share ideas and make friends (some of which carry over into the physical world). Online and offline environments are similar to each other in many ways. It's just the online environment seems to simulate the real world in overdrive and tends to be overused. As long as people temper themselves and don't let things online take precedence over the physical world (which frequently happens) it should be fine.


Dabrush wrote:

I really dislike Smartphones. I don't like the idea of being able to talk with people on the internet the whole time. I also dislike social networks. All this is making the human live faster, you don't travel to your friends anymore and have fun, you just sit back and write a message. I think everything went wrong when we began using the internet to chat with people we could also visit.


The reference to Smartphones made me think of Blackberry Messenger commercials; I just sigh whenever I see it.

Edited for spelling errors.
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