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Internet relationships are all about the halo effect (or why I never want to be your friend)

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posted on Jan, 1 2018 @ 08:41 PM
The halo effect can work in completely random ways that go beyond what most could imagine.

I tend to obsess over things for a relatively short time then completely forget about them. If someone happened to "meet" me online when I was obsessing over a particular thing, they would get an impression of me that probably has nothing to do with me. I remember rereading some emails that I sent to someone that I met online where I obsessed about a particular topic repeatedly. The emails were completely cringeworthy and not representative of who I am at all. When I wrote those emails, I didn't know how carried away I can get when I'm obsessed about something or how that comes across to others. I had to learn the hard way (by driving the person I was writing to away from me).

I saw that exact dynamic with others too. I met a woman online who drove me away partly because her writing style would sometimes change from private message to private message so much that I thought different people were writing the messages. Only after she had driven me away from her did she tell me the unbelievable truth...

She suffered from multiple personality disorder, and she had about twenty personalities that she could shift into and out of at will. I never could have figured that out.

Then there's how hypercritical people are about certain topics. A lot of people really believe in guilt by association...

"You believe in legalizing marijuana, so you must be a drug addict."

"You believe in the right to own guns, so you must dream of killing people."

"You like pornography, so you're a pervert."

Sometimes I wonder how people have lasting online friendships, but then I look at how almost all such people post online...

They refrain from posting anything controversial, and they self-censor their posts almost all the time.

In other words, they present an inoffensive persona online that won't upset their online friends. I see that as pointless when the halo effect dominates everything online anyway. You never know what will upset someone or drive them away.

Sometimes it's not even words but simply not communicating often enough or communicating too often. I had an "online friend" try to end our "friendship" because I waited about three days between contacting her, and she thought that was too long. She sent me an email saying, "I can take a hint when I'm not wanted."

Three days of no emails got me that!

Talk about a halo effect!

I could go on and on...

posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 12:21 AM
a reply to: antiantonym

Sounds like you need to break up with your internet for a while, go explore try new things.

posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 01:46 AM
a reply to: hopenotfeariswhatweneed

I'm trying to make an argument concerning how the Internet works for everyone. I'll repeat some things from earlier in this thread to try to make my point more clear.

I don't think you addressed my argument at all. I believe Internet relationships (of all kinds) are all about the halo effect. That's a two-edged sword by the way. You can be judged to be a "good person" or a "bad person" based on irrelevant information.

For example, I was accused of seeming "worldly" because I posted about how I like a movie that glorifies loose morality. To the person who accused me of that, that was basically an unforgivable sin. However, they didn't bother to ask me why I like that movie. I like the movie because I enjoy studying different modes of life although they have nothing to do with me.

The halo effect could swing the other way with that same example. Someone could be attracted to me because I like that movie, and they have loose morality. Consequently, they may think I'm like them when I'm not.

It's all halo effect.

After seeing that type of thing all the time in my Internet relationships, I came to the conclusion that it's all a big headache and not worth it.

If it works for you, I'm happy for you. It doesn't work for me.

I became concerned sometimes when I saw that my "Internet friends" had certain interests, used certain words or phrases, or talked about certain things in certain ways.

I remember being accused of not being manly enough because I usually post online about female singers that I like. If any of the people criticizing me for that knew me in real life, they could see my collection of CDs and DVDs which is full of all types of music by men. I just don't post about that online too often.

I'm not blaming others here because the halo effect sometimes unfairly ruins how I see people too. It comes with the territory of online communication. It even can become a factor with people that we know in real life. I get confused about the meaning of online communication with people I know well all the time. It's not such a big deal there because things can be worked out in real life fairly easily.

The Internet is a paradox. It's simultaneously the most efficient way to communicate and the most inefficient way to communicate.

Let's consider my theory about how Internet relationships are all about the halo effect in terms of Plato's allegory of the cave.

1. We are voluntarily chaining ourselves inside the cave (Internet).

2. The shadows in Plato's story are the equivalent of Internet posts. Even videos posted online aren't always trustworthy because there's frequently so much deceit in them.

I think we're actually in a worse situation when we're online than the prisoners in Plato's cave. The prisoners in Plato's story got to see undistorted shadows, but there are so many lies and distortions posted online that everything has to be taken with a grain of salt nowadays.

At least the prisoners got to see unadulterated shadows that were definitely real. These days you often don't know if you're even communicating with an actual person online. Nothing can be taken at face value.
edit on 2-1-2018 by antiantonym because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 02:06 AM
a reply to: antiantonym

I think its far simpler, when interacting over the internet the person you are interacting with only sees a very small snippet of you and only has a very limited Scope to judge you with. Also the scope of our reality is vastly different on the net.

By nature we are both curious creatures and very judgemental , so naturally when we see something that triggers an emotional response we often pounce. This happens far less frequently in real life interaction as generally there are consequences to being snarky to someone, however on the internet we have full anonymity to be as rude as we feel like. The anonymity will often allow a person to say things they would otherwise keep to themselves.

I also imagine spending too much time in the www can be damaging to real world relationships, especially if the lines are blurred, hence why my original statement was to break up with the internet.

posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 02:19 AM

originally posted by: hopenotfeariswhatweneed
By nature we are both curious creatures and very judgemental , so naturally when we see something that triggers an emotional response we often pounce. This happens far less frequently in real life interaction as generally there are consequences to being snarky to someone, however on the internet we have full anonymity to be as rude as we feel like. The anonymity will often allow a person to say things they would otherwise keep to themselves.

You're a lot more cynical than me. Do you have any paychological studies or anything like that to support your opinions on this topic?

I can't imagine that people are that bad. I am nothing like that, and while I have known people like that in real life, it's been the exception rather than the rule. I'm sure it's dependent on culture and age to a great extent.

The thought that people are covering up their nastiness because of social norms to this extent is new to me. Do you have any sources that elaborate on that?

posted on Jan, 2 2018 @ 02:43 AM
a reply to: antiantonym

No sources, it's nothing more than my opinion that has formed through my experience. I used to facebook among other social media, I am now only on Ats as far as social media goes and I suspect I won't be here much longer simply due to the lack of new conspiracy topics and the overload of political tripe,well that and my gf gets cranky at me for spending too much time atsing.

posted on Jan, 30 2018 @ 04:56 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Feb, 12 2018 @ 02:13 PM
a reply to: antiantonym

Internet relationships can be amazing. I've experienced true love through Internet relationships, and I've had incredible discussions. I've felt more free and happy than I've ever been in "real life" through Internet relationships.

No, you haven't.

You've engaged in back and forth story telling that was enjoyable. That's it. Nothing real about it. Nothing wrong with it, but it is what it is. Thinking it is more than that is just delusional.

May come off as "mean", but I'm just spittin' truth to ya...
edit on 12-2-2018 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2018 @ 09:59 AM

The thought that people are covering up their nastiness because of social norms to this extent is new to me. Do you have any sources that elaborate on that?

Existing on this planet for over 4 decades. That should be enough to fully substantiate the truth of the statement.

People DESIRE to be inherently good, but typically are not, and often cover this up to comply with social norms. This is why in an anonymous forum like this, you'll see far more truth than coddling your feelings. Because the need for those norms is stripped away.

Take the gentleman above with the gal in the Ukraine, for example.

1 of 3 things are going to happen. The first 2 are the most likely. The 3rd is remote, but it is honestly what I HOPE happens for him.

1. He spends all this money to meet her, only to find that in person, they just don't have "it", and it breaks his heart.
2. He meets her, she puts on a front, he marries her to get her in the country, and once she's here, it's adios sucker! (and it breaks his heart)
3. They meet, hit it off, marry, have kids, grow old together.

See? Brutal honesty, stripped of societal needs. Of course, he's thinking of the same possibilities....he's just assigning incorrect percentages to each possible outcome.

edit on 15-2-2018 by Gazrok because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2018 @ 01:04 PM
I've had two social media flings - the one from Indonesia, and the over from Jordan.

I can't really say I have much of a halo effect (I mean I'm not horrendous, but certainly not deceptive as far as my habits go). After a while, I don't think they were lying or cat-fishing either.

It's just, what's the prognosis?

It's like mutual gay post-colonialism.
I can't migrate to you (too much of a doo-doo hole), and I won't advise you to migrate to me (also a doo-doo hole).
But maybe one day we meet half-way, and we can paint Zanzibar pink.
(Joke - I would highly advise against it.)
edit on 15-2-2018 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 25 2018 @ 01:55 AM
I don't trust internet and never will be.

posted on Jun, 13 2018 @ 06:51 AM
a reply to: antiantonym

When you talk online to person you should meet each other on video, and then in person - always! Otherwise - these relationships is something you made out in your head

posted on Oct, 2 2020 @ 04:19 AM

originally posted by: skunkape23
You can't download a nice warm hug.

There are 'virtual' hugs, and what you experience in spirit is more important and can be more vivid and real than someone's sweaty blubber oozing all over your body.

Or a sweet kiss.

I beg to differ - a 'virtual kiss' that happens partially in your imagination, can be more enhanced exactly because it's "not real". With actual kiss, you don't have to imagine anything, you just let your hormones provoke their hormones and vice versa. While the experience is intense, in an imagined kiss, something softer than hormonal lust can be cultivated, and it can be more enjoyable and deeper experience, in the end.

Also, researc 'Tantric sex' just for a sidenote..

To add, 'real kiss' has a possibility of germs, smells, sloppiness, saliva, vomit, bad breath, cigarette taste, and annoying sounds. It's also time-tied and local. A 'virtual kiss' you can always enhance every time you experience it, you can possibly save it and experience the same kiss many times, at your own pace and convenience, and you can imagine the 'optimal kiss', while a 'real kiss' will always be 'sub-optimal'.

Involving your imagination and spirit in kindness and love-based communications can actually lead to higher energy flow and more cultivated experience than purely animalistic slobbering over each other with no mental, emotional or spiritual connection. When you can turn on someone with your words, gestures and presence, the effect can be more intense energywise, even if a physical experience would be more intense hormonally.

We are multi-dimensional, multi-faceted beings, capable of adjusting to all kinds of environments, also 'virtual'.

Any discussion and kindness is good, regardless of the format. In real life, you have to take turns, in the 'virtual version', you can actually communicate simultaneously without having to stop to wait for someone else.

Real people are much nicer.

Are you saying people become 'unreal' just because they use a non-localized communication format? So if someone calls someone else, the people talking each other become 'unreal' somehow? Get real.. (:

Also, 'nicer'? You are being a formationist, suggesting that people that use the internet to communicate, are somehow 'less nice' than people that don't. Think about what you are saying for awhile.

To add, 'niceness' is not a good quality, as it's basically fear-based social manipulation aimed to force people to like you by behaving in expected way.

posted on Oct, 2 2020 @ 04:35 AM
I don't know what you mean by 'halo effect', but this topic is actually complex, and very interesting, as there are so many different facets to it, and so little written about it.

Firstly, any social life is social life, regardless of communication format. If someone says something to you, I don't care if it's text, voicemail, phone call, face-to-face, or a painstakingly written letter - someone reached out and said something to you.

To me, it's all "real", and the people that use the internet to communicate are just as real as people who only talk face-to-face.

There is so much to say about this topic, I hope I can do it justice.

Many people seem to regard only 'face-to-face' communication as something real, and on the surface, it's easy to agree. But think about it a bit more.

People have hang-ups, fears, social phobias. People have all kinds of 'blocks' inside of them - some are good, of course, so people won't just beat each other up each time they disagree. There are things someone would never dare say or do in 'real life', that they happily and easily do in the internet.

This makes 'face-to-face' communication always a bit fake. Most people always have a bit of a mask on, a little bit of 'politeness' or some other manipulation going on. What you see is NOT what you get in 'real life'. There's no similar need for such direct, automated pretense in the internet, so people can be more direct and honest, and more 'themselves' in the internet. They can reveal their true selves and thoughts, takl about real topics with real opinions through anonymity.

Of course this also frees complete jerks to reveal themselves to be amazingly toxic and hostile, especially towards people that never lash out on others, but try to keep at least some kind of civil conduct going without sacrificing the directness or the honesty.

So, you could make the argument, that people are _MORE_ real in the internet, because they don't have to pretend anything, or be 'socially pleasing'. They don't have to be afraid that if they say something out loud, someone will punch them in the face.

There are taboo topics and 'dangerous' discussions that could never be had in purely face-to-face situations - without any anonymity. The internet allows such discussions to take place, and this can only enrichen (if such a word exists) humanity.

The thing about internet is, it opens these possibilities, but it also opens the door to many, many other possibilities that people just don't think about. For example 'cyberstalking' is possible, if people really are stupid enough to constantly broadcast their current location (Phone Losers of America has done many prank call episodes about this, and those people freaked out - they should've freaked out BEFORE broadcasting their own locations to the whole world to see, though).

There's nothing wrong with using the internet as a communication format. Before the internet, we had newspapers, TV, radio, amateur (HAM) radio, BBSes, telephones, and so on. They're JUST as 'real' or 'non-real' as the internet.

I don't see how a video chat through internet is any less real than a phone call through phonelines before the internet.

A message is a message, communication is communication, social life is social life, regardless of how PHYSICAL it is.

Isn't it amazing that in 2020, people still WORSHIP the most animalistic side of themselves, the most temporary, the most illusory, that can be compared to a vehicle, like a car? No one thinks they are their car, so why do people think they are their body? Why is only bodily pleasure worshipped and appreciated, but a spiritual connection between people isn't?

There's a lot that can happen through the internet that you might never be able to get going in 'real life'. What if two shy people meet, but are never able to talk or look at each other much in 'real life'? But in the internet, they can talk about philosophical things they didn't even realize each other was thinking about!

Cypher made a good point about The Matrix; it can be MORE real, because it offers much more, and it allows more honest and direct discussions.

Why anyone would attack a FORMAT anyway.. people won't become good or bad just because of the FORMAT they use to discuss with each other. A jerk will be jerk in the internet and in real life - the difference is, the jerk might be afraid to SHOW their true selves when there's a social situation going on, so you might not KNOW they are a jerk.

A good human being will be a good human being in real world and in the internet.

There's nothing wrong with communicating, regardless of what FORMAT you use.

If someone tells me something interesting, I don't care what format they used. I would probably PREFER something I can save for later, and observe more often than just once. I would probably PREFER something I can experience 20 years from now and reflect upon what they wanted to say.

'Real-life' communication can always be interrupted by so many things, it's a miracle that anyone gets any communication done that way. But try to interrupt my text here while I am typing this! You can delete this message, but you can't stop my typing right now, or my saving this message for future reference.

People should focus on people and the message, not the FORMAT they're using.

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