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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What positive and negative things have you observed by interacting with people online (or simply by watching the behavior of others?) How do you think these things influence real life?
 
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Intriguing questions.

Positive: In general real life and online interactions affect each other. What's happening in real life affects what people post about and what they say. For me, a lot of my online activity won't get talked about to peers or people I see in real-time, but sometimes I use facebook to share things I wouldn't in status updates that I wouldn't say in conversation to people in my real-time social circles. For example: I am trying to go vegetarian...I am pretty scared to tell certain people about this...so I just made a status update about it. :cool:

Observation: One interesting idea I've heard is that people nowadays are more willing to make friendships and form bonds with people of similar interests online than real life....even to the point of replacing relationships with people who are in the same room. I do this to a certain extent....but not extremely.

Positive: Getting thanks (or likes on facebook) somehow energizes me...as much as I don't like to think I live for other peoples' approval....getting thanks on here or replies to things I do online makes me feel good.

Negative: There's a lot of general things that are said like people will say harsher things online...cyber bullying...whether their name is attached or not.

Positive: But I also think people may say richer things online too than what would be said in conversation. I like to use online as an outlet to do that personally or to go into things in more detail.

Lots of people like to make witty comments, and I like to read them myself! :p

That's about all for now...
 

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Negative: I've noticed that whenever I see comments on a blog post or article online, most of them are brutal, critical, and harsh. This isn't always the case, but I often wonder whether these outspoken individuals would say the same things in real life. The Internet provides people with a sort of shield, making them feel like they don't have to face the consequences of something rude they say online.

Positive: I think there is a plus side to the anonymity of the Internet, too. I've noticed that there are innumerable websites and forums out there for just about any interest, hobby, or fandom you can think of - personality cafe being an example. People are more likely to embrace their interests with like-minded people online as opposed to in real life, where they may be judged or criticized for having an unpopular opinion or unusual hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Negative or positive: Social relations are fast-paced. You are exposed to finding more people with whom you can relate or not relate. This can quickly influence real life in a good way (meeting life long friends or a SO) or a bad way (emotional affairs, catfishing, etc.) At the same time, online relations are disposable and a bit of a facade. People let you see what they want you to see, we aren't shown their negative traits that you see in real life (like picking their nose, body odor, bad manners, etc.)

On forums I always notice a small group of women who are in the race to be the most desired. They normally are very beautiful and constantly have this need to affirmation. If someone else posts a picture (and they are good looking, or receive a lot of attention from it), you can bet one of these attention seeking women will post a picture right afterward. It's sort of an Alpha-Female issue I suppose (same goes with the argumentative feminists.) It's just an odd observation.

What I do like about forums, is that the personalities behind the screennames ARE actually a huge glimpse of what is going on in that person's mind. Even the trolls ... a person who enjoys creating chaos. They may not be like that in real life, but if they are doing it online ... they are thinking it.

Another observation comes from playing games. I had gotten involved in a couple of social games b/c it was a way for me to socialize with real life friends, but the real problem was the perverts. What I have learned is how kids lie about their age in order to join an adult server; obviously if they are young enough to play the game, their parents are either clueless or don't care. I've seen so much inappropriate behavior from both kids and adults. Still, I won't allow that to negate from my own experience to be able to chat with my friends (hence blocking and reporting the behavior.) The other problem with some of these social games ... it can become a person's life. That can be positive if they don't have a life, but negative when it affects their real life (takes away time they can spend with real friends, SO or kids.)
 
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