How far are we from communicating with real people when we're on an Internet forum?
Starting from the point of view of posting on an Internet forum, there are several degrees of separation that I've (mostly) experienced:
1. Communicating with Internet forum personas on a forum
Let's face it, if we're posting anonymously, we're using personas. Almost everything that happens on an Internet forum is personas communicating with
2. Communicating with Internet forum personas via private message
In my experience, most private messages one sends to an Internet persona get answered by the persona.
3. Communicating with real people on an Internet forum via private message
This happens after the people communicating aren't strangers anymore (assuming they're both being genuine). It's hard to go from step two to step
three. Going from step one to step two is relatively easy.
4. Communicating with real people from an Internet forum via email
From the standpoint of getting to know someone, this is not a very good way to go in my opinion. As with the first three degrees of separation,
there's no way to verify anything usually. And, it's ever so easy to fool people.
5. Communicating with real people from an Internet forum via an instant messaging program
This method is a lot better than the first four methods because one can often judge the truth if they have good reasoning abilities and intuition.
6. Communicating with real people from an Internet forum via a voice/phone chat
For me, this cuts through 90% of the deception that is possible with the first five methods mentioned above. The sound of someone's voice coupled with
them describing their lives is usually enough for me to make an excellent judgment.
7. Communicating with real people from an Internet forum via a video chat
This is the next best thing to meeting in person. Body language comes into play, and it's hard for most people to deceive others in that respect.
8. Meeting someone from an Internet forum in person
This is the best way to know what you're dealing with, but it's far from a perfect method.
What point am I trying to make? Communicating with Internet forum personas on a forum is so far removed from reality, I wonder if it has much of
anything to do with reality. I think it does, but only slightly.
I've started a couple of other threads that are related this topic:
The Internet as a Simulacrum of Life
Do you engage in self-censorship on this forum?
edit on 11-7-2016 by Profusion
because: (no reason given)