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Hiding behind the cyber fence

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posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 03:10 PM
I often get into to debates here on ATS, and for the most part it seems that very little is achieved on either side of the debate, as the usually degenerate into a slanging match that is of little interest to all apart from the participants. No doubt a lot of the blame for this must be placed squarely on my shoulders. However, I was wondering how different the outcome may be if we were debating face to face rather than from the security of our cyber sphere. Would we have a better chance of achieving something more constructive, would we persist as long as we do here despite the absence of any chance of a resolution being attained or would we come to blows? It would be interesting to here other members thoughts on this, in particular, those who often find themselves on the opposing side of an ATS style debate.

posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 03:44 PM
probably alot of people would be shy and might not be confident in competitive situations. depending on the person of course.

i personally would be uncomfortable with people i do not know talking about some of these subjects.

posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 04:57 PM
On a internet forum like this you can answer at your own leisure. You have time to think up and prepare your reply without pressure.
Face to face debating would be very different. Those that can think fast under pressure would have a decided advantage over those that could not.

posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 05:04 PM
I much prefer the face-to-face confrontation. This medium removes the lifted eyebrow, the crossed arms, the rapid eye-blink, etc. that are so critical to communicators like me. I thrive on the unconscious signals people transmit. This isn't true communication. You can use all of the fancy smilies you want, but it won't replace the richness of physical interaction.

posted on Jun, 1 2006 @ 05:20 PM
I agree with MrP. This isn't real confrontation, it's mainly rhetoric, linguist posturing by a bunch of posers, the articulate have the upper hand in cyber fights.

Its' a good thing these contest aren't face to face because the computer warriors might have to put up or shut up. Bravado on the www. is so easy. As MrP says, with out the subtle cues of body language; it's nothing more than a glorified phone call.

It's great entertainment though! That's really all it is!

All this thinking has made me thirsty. hummm.....

posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 03:43 PM
I find it very difficult to covey my mood accurately when posting. Considering the fact that I have a policy of not using, smilies or internet short hand, I'm left to exclamation marks and capitalisation to undertake this task. Likewise it is just as difficult to determine the mood of another poster. Usually you get an indication, but the accuracy of this indication is often very low. I suppose face to face communication would eliminate the doubt in this regard.

posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 03:56 PM
Well most threads on this site if you walked up to some one and just started talking about this stuff, they will think your crazy. Very few people have an open mind out side the computer, the percentage of the people on this forum have an open mind because we all made our own choice to sign up and talk. So its much easyier to talk to people online on a site that promotes you to have an open mind, then to some one on the streets. With the fights, I think if it got heated in real life you would just walk away. I dont think it would come down to throwing fist, unless some one takes it to the extreme. On a site like this you should never bash any one, just tell them your theorys. Every one is right in there own way.

posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 03:58 PM
A lot of people I've come across find the smileys to be juvenile or silly, but I think they're absolutely necessary in this medium. Emotion is the essence of what body language conveys, and while the smileys may be crude over-simplifications, one has to make do with what's available.

As far as 'hiding behind the cyber fence' as you put it, it obviously varies widely depending on the individual. I have a much easier time communicating in this medium, and reaching a good understanding with people. In real life, people tend to be intimidated by my size, and as a result I have to be overly super-nice to everyone to keep from putting people off.

People are much more keen on using fightin' words on the internet than in real life. Calling someone a liar, or anti-American, or a Nazi - in real life them's fightin' words. Here, it's just a minor annoyance, which is both good and bad. It's good, for the obvious reason that no physical violence results. But it's bad in that people seem more willing to 'go there' at the drop of a hat, which always seems to curtail intelligent discussion.

It's a mixed bag, like everything in life, and just as in the real world, it's what you make of it. There are advantages, and disadvantages, and people owe it to themselves to maximize the former and minimize the latter to the greatest extent possible.

One more note: generally speaking, written communication is more in-depth, so that's a plus. With more time to explore tangents, and being able to do so without losing the thrust of the main point, I find it much easier to sustain complex arguments and explore nuanced issues in this medium.

posted on Jun, 9 2006 @ 04:11 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
A lot of people I've come across find the smileys to be juvenile or silly, but I think they're absolutely necessary in this medium.

Totally true. I've written things that were taken the wrong way that normally wouldn't were I speaking face-to-face. Smileys help.

One thing that the written forum does is leave a recorde of what's been said. You can go back and directly quote a person whereas face-to-face the other person may have a tendancy to 'forget' what was said.

That can also go against you too however...

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