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People on the Interent are...real people!

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posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:29 PM
I think this goes in this forum because it has to do with "psychology," but if I'm wrong sorry, please move.

I was thinking about the psychology of interacting with people in forums like ATS and other ones, and I realized there is a huge "dehumanizing" effect going on. Basically what happens is it is easy to treat other people online in any number of ways: you can play mind games, ego games, troll games, power games, and there is usually not much consequence for you. But there might be for the other person, which is the ugly side people don't usually want to talk about.

Part of the problem is you don't know. You don't know who is telling the truth, who is telling almost-truths or half-truths, and who is outright lying. And in addition to the truth/lie problem, there is another whole whole emotional tone issue: It's easy to act out, to go to extremes, to have a tantrum or act infantile.

I think immersing yourself endlessly in these environments can be unhealthy and lead to a blunting of humanity, a kind of sociopathic numbing. But I am also an optimist (and a lover of messageboards, ATS and otherwise) so to put a more positive spin on things, I think we can combat these traits in ourselves by taking time to remember that you are interacting with real humans, real flesh and blood people.

To this end, each day before I log on I have been trying the following visualization exercise:

1) I sit calmly for a few minutes, do some slow breathing, and say some prayers (this is in accord with my faith, but you can omit or alter this step as serves your own beliefs).

2) I next visualize a single individual as a specific person. I go over some of the things in my mind I read the day previously that I liked, or hated, or was moved by, or found somehow attention-getting, and choose one. Could be either positive or negative. Then I try to imagine the kind of person who might have written it. Not what they look like, or the specifics of their lives like jobs or clothes or whatever, but the inner forces that might have been acting on them to make them post what they did. I try to imagine them as a complex person, simultaneously full of contradictions -- good qualities and bad, unresolved conflict, expertise in one area and lack in another. Maybe I try to imagine what pains they have or where their life journey took them, or if they posted a specifc story from their lives I think about that. I think this is a real person who posted this, even if what they said isn't true, somebody still felt that this should be communicated. Why? I spend a little time trying to understand.

3) I visualize that one person at a computer, connected to mine by fibers passing energy back and forth. Then I expand the vision by imagining ten people connected. Then 100, then a 1000 (if I can manage this..I clump them into mental groups and try to view them from above, rising in height of vantage with every shift in order-of-magnitude). I remind myself that every one of these people is a complex indivdual also full of the same contradictions and struggles. I imagine this living, pulsing network cycling light and energy among its nodes (individual users). I am also part of this network, no better and no worse than others.

4) I then begin to pump with my heart a visualized honey-golden healing light that gushes through my fingers, is absorved by the keys, and is spread outwards by the cables, wires, and lines leading out of my computer. The honey-golden healing light spreads across the internet. It comes shining with a warm, pleasant glow through other people's monitors as they read what I have written and reply. The golden liquid-light bathes their faces with a healing, relaxing warmth, soothing tensions and undoing knots and kinks, bringing them peace and happiness.

5) I expand the light in my mind in both intensity and range. It changes from honey-golden to shining white, bleeding out of the lines and cables and connecting all the people, filling all the gaps. Fade to pure white. I rest in pure white for a few moments, then modulate my consciousness back to normal levels.

6) I now open my eyes and am ready to interact with people on the internet as real people, attempting insofar as is possible to respect their individuality, complexity, and uniqueness.

edit on 4-6-2011 by Partygirl because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:43 PM
Star and Flag for you!! If only they could all think as you do. I just linked your thread to another thread which i authored. I said that aliens weren't visiting Earth and got ROASTED. I told everyone in that thread to at least read the first post of this one. Much love and many healthy (educational/enlightened) debates to you my friend!!

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 08:54 PM
Yes its eay to forget the human element of interacting on the Internet.
The sad fact is that its used by many to make them selves more powerful then they could be in real life.
But there is still the shining lights and heros out there who dont go out of their way to make it up and rip out the rug of reality from the other users.
(interesting that the name for a computer operator is the same for a drug addict "user" but thats another thread)

Sometimes amongst the chaos and discord of the web a real story of human endeavour shows up
like this one about a kid who helped save a suicidal teen on xbox live.

I love your idea of connecting to the collective before you go online, but just dont overwhelm yourself with too many connections

as a side note , im interested in robotics and chat bots and read an article that showed that the prompting of a teenager in one online suicide in a chat room, was actually assisted by chat bots telling him to go for it and do it.
they were seeking out key words and reacting to it.
this helped him reach the tipping point.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

Dear Partygirl,

What a wonderful post and sentiment.

posted on Jun, 4 2011 @ 09:18 PM
Makes me think about my friend yesterday, he told me : "Hey let's do something BIG that is an alien hoax."
He's pretty good with video editing, 3d etc.

And I was like : "No no, I never want to disinform if I can help it."

I really try to respect people on the internet has much that I like to be respected, it's really no big deal for me to remember that the posters are real persons. If ever I manage to be disrespectful to someone that wasn't disrespectful to me, well I will be sorry.

Spread to love, truth and justice. Forums are still real people.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 01:29 AM
All we have are words on the internet, personally, I feel as if I am simply interacting with a knowledge database. In terms of the emotional connections of the internet, its basically systematic, trolls and others trying to either hack the system or use the system to siphon energy.
edit on 5-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

In terms of the connections that we can establish, it depends upon the quality of the conduits. The main problem with the system is that it is digital, and every thing has a concrete "meaning" in reference to a pre-set field of keywords and frequencies.
edit on 5-6-2011 by SystemResistor because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:13 AM
Yeah...something that probably everyone has been guilty of at some point. It's so easy to just say the first thing that comes to your mind, usually that doesn't involve the thinking process. And online it's so much easier to do that without consequence to yourself. Maybe a few extra moments to think each post through and how others might view it wouldn't be such a bad idea. "Life is short but there is always time for courtesy." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 07:15 AM
I know exactly what you are say Op. However, this is as good a place as any to see 'people' for what they are. Masks are worn in the street, at work, with friends and family, not many people know what it is like to be honest with others or themselves.
So these outlets are probably as honest as it gets.

We can observe how mind games are played and we can learn how to handle ourselves.
We can see how fixated people can be and we can learn to leave them with their ideas.
We can watch the war mongers with facts as weapons.

People on the internet 'are' real people, and if you knew them in real life they would have the same attitude. The smiley mask attitude though maybe used in civie street by small people as protection, they fear annilation. Online though they destroy others so they are not destroyed.
edit on 5-6-2011 by Itisnowagain because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:37 AM
reply to post by Partygirl

There are no words to describe how beautifully written your post is. So, I'll just say:


posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 10:57 AM
i agree with those saying that people are realy as they are online.

i see no reason to judge or treat people differently , just because they interact through the net.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:01 AM
facebook is a good example of this symptom

its a social network that people use to socialise even less.

for example: no one even bothers to at least make a call or even a text message wishing a happy birthday, nope let's just post it in their wall

the information age where everything was suposed to bring us together is in fact keeping us further separated

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:21 AM
I like to try and imagine who I am debating with, chatting with. Thats why the members photo gallery in the BTS/off topic section is so amusing.

And to the OP I am sorry you feel you have to disguise your face in your avtar. Unfortunately men are men and much of their thought, both consciously and unconsciously is preoccupied with sexual desire. Some men are not as good at others at controlling it. You see if a guy posts a picture of himself as his avtar, women cant ascertain from that picture whether or not he would make a potentially good mate. Where as a guy can see a picture of a girl and all he needs to know is they are attractive to want to date her.

In a scientific experiment, a researcher sent a good looking guy to bar, where he would approach women and ask if they wanted to sleep with him that night. None of the girls wanted to sleep with the guy. The scenario was reversed, so one attractive girl approached men and asked the same question, 9 out of 10 men agreed to sleeping with the girl. Just trying to help you understand the way in which males and females respond to attraction.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 11:31 AM
You make some very good points in your OP above. My code of conduct online has always been: Don't say anything you wouldn't say to someones face. Its all about respecting people simply for being human.

I play a lot of online gaming (xboxlive/ and I see all kinds of disrespect and hate online. I guess its the competitive atmosphere that brings out peoples true colors. Personally, I try to have fun and enjoy myself, considering its a game, but some people get WAY too into it. Every time I see someone "NERD RAGE" I'm always like "why?" Is it really that big of a deal? Is it really worth your time (and money since you have to pay to play) to make someone feel bad, or to take someone down a peg?

If people would only get that angry at the government!!

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:35 PM
reply to post by Partygirl

I think some people are quick to be victims they do not realize all we have to go on is what they post alone. So, when they get a negative post back they are quick to become a victim instead of thinking why did that person post that, you know what did I say that made them say what they did. and the hole thing could be resolved with a simple explanation.

But still I agree with you some people are fully aware of what they are doing and trying to hurt people.
edit on 5-6-2011 by Doublemint because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 12:40 PM

Originally posted by The_Phantom
Yeah...something that probably everyone has been guilty of at some point. It's so easy to just say the first thing that comes to your mind, usually that doesn't involve the thinking process. And online it's so much easier to do that without consequence to yourself. Maybe a few extra moments to think each post through and how others might view it wouldn't be such a bad idea. "Life is short but there is always time for courtesy." -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well put. I have had too many knee jerk reactions to some posts,and tend to let my emotions get the better of me. Not to say that I shouldn't make the point I need to make , but choosing the words well to make your point , is definitely wise.

Beautiful words from the OP.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:08 PM
Good thread!!

I think many people do forget that the person behind those words they are reading is a living breathing person!

I don't understand why people attack others so much online, you know they wouldn't react that way in person. Well some probably would but not the majority. It's like they hide behind their screens.

It's funny I try and imagine what poster would look like from their posts or avy that way they have some kind of form to me. I am way off at times lol but at least in my mind they have a human form besides just an avy and words.

I have been on forums where it seems all people to is argue and hurl personal insults, I have seen it on here as well.

It doesnt do any good to harass or judge someone based on a few internet postings. The way someone thinks on here doesn't necessarily show or represent how they are as a whole in person..Hope that made sense
Cold meds are making my brain a little swishy
Anyway, I try and treat every one with the same respect I would give someone I meet in person.


posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 02:37 PM
You should play xbox live then you would have something to complain about it is madness. As soon as you say anything out loud boom you get cussed out like a mad all the time.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 03:44 PM
I think that anything I say online, I would say in person , because I am a straight from the gut type of person.

Just like in real life , I can pretty much see phoney on the net . Someone who talks the talk, but clearly can't see their own faults.

I think you can judge a person by their posts , because it does show character quite obviously at times.
Getting back to what the Op said..yes..they are people, and thats why their attitudes and characters can get our goat so easily.

While it is better to be kind and considerate , we also have to look at calling a spade a spade...otherwise we would have a lot of repressed emotions and thoughts,on the net ,as well as in real life.

Some people are too blind to see how they offend others,then wonder why their posts get commented on , and play the victim .

edit on 5-6-2011 by gabby2011 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 05:50 PM
I think more importantly...the people on the internet are YOU, with a different physical appearance and different experiences.

We all have the same basic needs ...we just go about obtaining them different ways.

posted on Jun, 5 2011 @ 06:02 PM
I've noticed this and i'm hard pressed to think its going to stop anytime soon. I think we're going thru some kind of social evolution. We're at a stage where the intimacy of human interaction is failing. Its time to learn some new people skills and apply them to how we use our social media. You did a great job of presenting this info.Very interesting....

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