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Old 03-10-2009, 03:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Why is it easier to talk to people online?

I've gathered that I'm not the only person to finds it monumentally easier to interact with other people over the internet than 'in the flesh', so to speak.

I know why I feel this way. It's because others don't have to see my face and hear my voice, which eradicates two of the dominant problems I have when dealing with people. Not having to worry about how ugly one looks or how one's voice sounds makes conversation considerably easier; I can express myself to the full extent I wish to without hindrance.

I've actually managed to make some great friends online, thanks to being able to be open and honest and make interesting convo' (in real life, I have the social aptitude of a slab of concrete).


But what about the rest of you?
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
 
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Speaking for myself, I think maybe its easier cuz you know you can always run away. You can always turn off the IM software, delete that account, etc. I've never done that, but I think its comforting to know I can.
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Old 03-10-2009, 05:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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I've always found it a million times easier to talk to people online than in person. There's very few people I can even talk to in person. I'm just too uncomfortable with most people. I feel like I can be my true self online with people not being as judgemental as they are offline.
P.S. My butt gets real sore from sitting in this damn computer chair all the time so can someone give me a massage (female please).
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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I too find it much easier to talk, particularly about serious subjects, online. I think it has a lot to do with the removal of body language like you said; those cues can be really frustrating, especially if you don't like to make eye contact!

It's also much easier to explain away awkward silences by saying things like "oh, sorry, my phone rang" or whatever. And if you run out of stuff to say, you can do distracting things like link the other person to a silly/interesting website, etc.
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Old 03-10-2009, 06:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Someone Is Here View Post

I know why I feel this way. It's because others don't have to see my face and hear my voice, which eradicates two of the dominant problems I have when dealing with people. Not having to worry about looking ugly one looks or how one's voice sounds makes conversation considerably easier; I can express myself to the full extent I wish to without hindrance.
This pretty much describes me too. In addition to what was said earlier about knowing that you can always block an account or shut down a software programme if an online social interaction ever gets especially difficult or unpleasant - which significantly decreases the anxiety I'd otherwise feel.

It also helps that on chat forums (like this one) I always have the option of planning what to say in advance which isn't something which is always possible in face-to-face social interactions with people. However I tend to avoid chat rooms, as I pretty much have the same problem in those that I do in off line life - thinking up interesting things to say on the spur of the moment. The last couple times or so I went in one and attempted conversation I didn't do a very good job of it - and almost everyone in the chat room appeared to ignore me after that. Since I've been pretty much put off the idea of using one again.
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Old 03-10-2009, 07:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Same reasons you said. And for me, the person is not really in my space you know, I can walk away from the computer and it is not staring at me.
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Old 03-10-2009, 10:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I don't have an answer.....

I just popped in to stare at you all

It's actually myself and my friends.

Were here, always..... day and night.
It's like 100 eyeballs.

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Old 03-10-2009, 11:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashram View Post
I too find it much easier to talk, particularly about serious subjects, online. I think it has a lot to do with the removal of body language like you said; those cues can be really frustrating, especially if you don't like to make eye contact!

It's also much easier to explain away awkward silences by saying things like "oh, sorry, my phone rang" or whatever. And if you run out of stuff to say, you can do distracting things like link the other person to a silly/interesting website, etc.
I agree, the no body language factor, serious discussion accessibility & variation of conversational flow make it much easier

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...However I tend to avoid chat rooms, as I pretty much have the same problem in those that I do in offline life - thinking up interesting things to say on the spur of the moment. The last couple times or so I went in one and attempted conversation I didn't do a very good job of it - and almost everyone in the chat room appeared to ignore me after that. Since I've been pretty much put off the idea of using one again.
I've only tried the chat room here and only a few times at that. Unless it was very chill a very few people I didn't fare to well either, I'm better on msn. As you say chat rooms are like real group conversations for me, I just can't quite capture & follow the flow of things
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:38 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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For me, it's easier because I don't have to see the other people. I don't have to see their reaction to what I say, there's no awkward silences, I don't have to be self-conscious at all. Escape if necesary is always just a click away, perfect for SA.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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haha Im exactly the opposite.

I hate email, IM, text and even phone conversations. They are just to impersonal and I feel more anxious when I use them. I'm a big body language and mannerisms person and unfortunately none of those mediums convey it all that well.

Even from a receiving standpoint its just very hard to interpret how someone is saying something. There's just too much room for misinterpretation and misunderstanding. I think they also take away from the reality of socializing. For instance, if I've already told someone what I did today via text or email...what's the point of actually seeing them? It just makes it all that much more awkward when you meet people that you text, IM, email or even talk on the phone because they are practically getting updates in real time.
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Old 03-10-2009, 04:18 PM   #11 (permalink)
 
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I think it's easier because you don't have to humanize the person you're talking with and you can think about what you're going to say.
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:24 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian Brotha View Post

I've only tried the chat room here and only a few times at that. Unless it was very chill a very few people I didn't fare to well either, I'm better on msn. As you say chat rooms are like real group conversations for me, I just can't quite capture & follow the flow of things
Funny you should say that, as I'm better in msn conversations too. At least if they're one-to-one anyway. Somehow in chat rooms, even though it's only online, I've felt at times I'm the focus of attention as I would if I were in a face to face situation with a group - which significantly impacts upon my ability to converse properly as it causes those same feelings of anxiety.

However one thing I know I'm never likely to do anytime soon though (unless it was with someone I already knew in my day to day life) would be to have a web cam conversation over msn with someone. I don't mind putting up pictures of myself so much. But somehow I find the thought of someone watching my face on the screen as I type pretty scary. I ended up fibbing to an online person I know once - telling them my web cam was broken, who offered. I just felt that there was no way I could go through with something like that - even though at the time I was pretty good friends (online) with this person. I still feel bad about it.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
 
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In real life I prefer ono-on-one conversations.

On the net I actually freak out over one on one convos and feel much more comfortable in a group chat situation where I don't necessarily have to contribute to the conversation all the time.
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Old 03-11-2009, 08:43 AM   #14 (permalink)
 
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i definetly do feel anxoius on the computer.....i wouldn't say i have the same amount of anxiety because i am actually saying what i think..in person i cant say what im thinking..the words just wont/ cant come out
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Old 03-11-2009, 09:43 AM   #15 (permalink)
 
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I have more time to think about my response when I am online. Instead of expecting a response after asking "What did you do this weekend?", I have time to think because I know the other person will assume I'm talking to multiple people, and will not respond right away.

I also don't know their reaction to my answer, thanks to no body language, so I am more confident in responding how I truly feel/think.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black_Widow View Post
Funny you should say that, as I'm better in msn conversations too. At least if they're one-to-one anyway. Somehow in chat rooms, even though it's only online, I've felt at times I'm the focus of attention as I would if I were in a face to face situation with a group - which significantly impacts upon my ability to converse properly as it causes those same feelings of anxiety.

However one thing I know I'm never likely to do anytime soon though (unless it was with someone I already knew in my day to day life) would be to have a web cam conversation over msn with someone. I don't mind putting up pictures of myself so much. But somehow I find the thought of someone watching my face on the screen as I type pretty scary. I ended up fibbing to an online person I know once - telling them my web cam was broken, who offered. I just felt that there was no way I could go through with something like that - even though at the time I was pretty good friends (online) with this person. I still feel bad about it.
I can totally relate. The webcam thing I've never considered though as I don't own one. I bet it would be pressure if I did though
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Old 03-11-2009, 03:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
 
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it's not that much easier for me to talk to people online...
i'm definitely not as anxious as in real life, but i often don't know how articulate what i want to say/write. i guess i'm a body language-person and i'm afraid that people don't understand what i'm trying to say... or get me wrong.
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Old 03-11-2009, 05:16 PM   #18 (permalink)
 
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I can erase text before I enter it. I can log off anytime I want to. I know that if I feel like someone is going to try and make me feel nervous, all I have to do is log off. We can escape so much faster online than in the real world...
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Old 03-11-2009, 07:18 PM   #19 (permalink)
 
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It's easier for me because I have more than a few hundredths of a second to reply and I can think for a moment about what I really want to say to someone.
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:24 PM   #20 (permalink)
 
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I don't find it easy to talk to people online either. With most people I feel like I'm always the one carrying the conversation and no one else talks enough. That or they talk about stuff I know nothing about. Or we just don't have much in common and I don't know what to say. I've just about given up because its either that or I never hear from them again after the first or 2nd convo. I would give anything ANYTHING to be able to meet someone like my former friend who I could talk to for hours on end without either of us having to think any...conversation just flowed easy. Sigh. I'll never meet anyone else as easy to talk to as him again
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