Jaguar

Thoughts On R/w & Online Communication Problems

48 posts in this topic

Hi ...

 

You know me (well some do anyway) I have a tendency to ramble my thoughts without knowing at the start and this is going to be one of those times ...

 

I have a few days off work and so my radio listening and Shybi time has increased of course ... and one of the radio progs was all about the differences and similarities of online communication and real world communication.

 

I know that for instance in the real world you will have instant access to a lot of information but actually what is more interesting I think is all the information we have a tendency to forget we don't have access to ... the assumptions we make when meeting someone for the first time. eg:

 

These basic assumptions may be wrong:

  • The person speaks english (or our first language, whatever that is (assumed to be English for the sake of this thread)
  • The English speaker understands my level of English
  • The person can hear me talking
  • The person has sufficient neuro muscular control to make understandable words
  • The person has a suffiicient quality of emotional / mental health to be able to talk to me
  • etc

Then you add in all that we don't know when 'talking' to someone online:

  • The person is in a still calm environment when answering me, like I am writing this
  • The other person has time to think through there answer
  • The person gives the same meaning and value to thier online lives as I do
  • Other people will understand my slang

I find it fascinating how people communicatie and also the problems that can arise from this internet land communication. How do we cope with the flow of relationships / interactions ... how do we negotiate these things when ordinary communication is so hard in the real world let alone online ... how do we get across where our boundaries lie;

 

I read somewhere about a shift in the way some online dating sites are set up ... instead of noticeboard type forums ... some are now going the way of setting up virtual dating communities in which you would be able 'to move' towards and away from when you wanted to flirt or not with an individual .... reading this article got me thinking about the freindships / relationships that happen here and how hard it might be not to be able to see signals that we all give off in the real world (or is poss in the virtual commnunities) that would tell you warn you that the other person might be changing thier mind ....

 

I'm sure changing relationships are made harder by these things .... and I was wondering if there's others besides me who is wondering what can ease online communication when change has to happen or boundaries have to be set so the other really sees them so they can respect them ...

 

over to you ....

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Well, since the visual cues are lacking (although the emoticons can help a bit), I think you have to be clear, concise, and precise. And go slow! Even then, mishaps will occur. Like trying to figure out why dogs and speed bumps are funny :hysterical:

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I believe that the main problem in dealing with online communication is that it is difficult to read body language and facial expressions because all you are doing is looking at typed words. It is so easy to mis-take what words/sentences that are typed really mean and how that person wants it to really come out. So many typed things can be mistaken for sarcasm or anger when it is either joking or the person just has a difficult time typing what she means or is actually having a hard typing it out.

However with that being said, it does seem though that people's inhibitions tend to go away within the online community compared to the RL community. They seem to have an easier time opening up quicker and saying things or asking things that they would normally say or ask in RL, enabling two people to get to know each other more and faster. It also allows those who cannot get out to be with the person to still be able to communicate with them without having to be tied to a phone as well.

 

I think there are good and bad things about both. But with technology increasing we are allowed to have more options when it comes to communications allowing people more access to others, to meet more people from all different parts (ie. Shy's), and to communicate in more creative ways.

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yeah i agree without seeing the other person reactions it is very hard to gauge what they sometimes mean. i have found that i have a great network of frineds online, (and tbh most of my frineds are online) and that the emotions are a great way to express without getting the wrong message across, tho it does happen. but to be honest with you all i dont think its as much getting your wires crossed but how you handle the situation after

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I have a very bad habit on-line. When I am in chat I forget that people can't see me nodding away & I actually need to type something to let them know that i'm listening. In RL conversations I am able to stay silent & nodding for a long time when I am listening to others so I must just remember that it doesn't work when I am sat at my desk.

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yeah thats a hard one.l touch wood (and sorry if l have pissed anyone off)havent had a problem although thats a lie l think l have pissed someone off l am not sure what l said and in which way it was taken ,and maybe there isnt a problem at all and l just have a silly feeling yep you see if it was face to face l would know, and lm left feeling bad for something lm not even sure what it is or if l should feel bad at all. :sorry: omg anyone else with a headache now.

 

Ok apart from that l have a bit of a sarcastic sense of humour (normally l think l laugh at myself which helps)so l was worried l might be taken the wrong way but infact l think most people on here take it the right way lm sure typing with a smile helps.ok funny thing this is so true at home l have a dry sarcastic sense of humour the people l live with take me way to serious and dont get me on here l feel like lm not taken so serious(which is good)and you get me .

Did l answer that right hope so

 

and with slow she seams to know what lm feeling by what l say (even when l try and hide it lol)

Edited by who me
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The emoticons on this site are fantastic, more would be great, I find there are some times i want to "make a face" that shys dosent have.

Pictures are most valuable to me online, I remember pictures well and store the meaning.

Its weird how I can share much deeper and more personal things with people online but feel closer to people I meet. There is something about a persons presence what does something to me...

hmm well its not closeness Im talking about maybe..its just that online feels so fragile, we are brought together by a thin cable..

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I think its easy for people to forget that there is a human being with thoughts and feelings on the other side of that screen...i have found online friends come and go alot like real life friends,but that does'nt mean i think any the less of them i still worry care and think about them.

 

I think its also alot easier to show a different side of yourself on line then real life,some people are more open and honest others are more shy,reserved some even mean....

 

But as in anything else you take a chance and just may be out of those hundred rough stones a diamond sparkles and you make a true and lasting friend.

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For me this is a very interesting discussion. For me, I've had more luck making and keeping friends online. Funny these people have become more friends than my r/l friends, in fact several of my online friends have become real life friends.. ie) my husband... I tend to open up more, and be me.. so when I do meet someone in real life.. they already know the real me. Many times it takes reading and re-reading messages and e-mails etc.. to get the sentiments. I enjoy people being who they are online.. and not hiding behind masks.. or whatever. And i think after awhile you can tell easily enough if someone is being themselves, and authentic.

 

I dunno.. maybe I'm just weird...

 

I always said I would never date let alone marry someone I met online.. 'cause it couldn't be real.... Guess what.. never say never.. 'cause I've fallen in love with ppl online... truly and fully.

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really interesting discussion....I find the whole subject of online communication absolutely fascinating given how much of it most of us now do and how much more the next generation will do.......email, chatrooms, MySpace, Facebook, YouTube, Messenger, yahoo messenger, Bebo, SecondLife, The Sims.......the list is getting longer every day. These modes of communication have their own issues and challenges and each of us using themhas tofind a way to navigate around those......sometimes I feel that the things that are happening online, the discussions I am having are almost more real than real life and at that point I will often pull back, thinking "This is a bit mad...." but it isn't so mad when I remember that at the end of the day there are (usually... lol) Real Live Human Beings at the other end of whatever I am saying.

 

Lainey

A Real Live Human Being (usually.....)

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I believe that the main problem in dealing with online communication is that it is difficult to read body language and facial expressions because all you are doing is looking at typed words. It is so easy to mis-take what words/sentences that are typed really mean and how that person wants it to really come out. So many typed things can be mistaken for sarcasm or anger when it is either joking or the person just has a difficult time typing what she means or is actually having a hard typing it out.

However with that being said, it does seem though that people's inhibitions tend to go away within the online community compared to the RL community. They seem to have an easier time opening up quicker and saying things or asking things that they would normally say or ask in RL, enabling two people to get to know each other more and faster. It also allows those who cannot get out to be with the person to still be able to communicate with them without having to be tied to a phone as well.

 

I think there are good and bad things about both. But with technology increasing we are allowed to have more options when it comes to communications allowing people more access to others, to meet more people from all different parts (ie. Shy's), and to communicate in more creative ways.

 

 

For me this is a very interesting discussion. For me, I've had more luck making and keeping friends online. Funny these people have become more friends than my r/l friends, in fact several of my online friends have become real life friends.. ie) my husband... I tend to open up more, and be me.. so when I do meet someone in real life.. they already know the real me. Many times it takes reading and re-reading messages and e-mails etc.. to get the sentiments. I enjoy people being who they are online.. and not hiding behind masks.. or whatever. And i think after awhile you can tell easily enough if someone is being themselves, and authentic.

 

I dunno.. maybe I'm just weird...

 

I always said I would never date let alone marry someone I met online.. 'cause it couldn't be real.... Guess what.. never say never.. 'cause I've fallen in love with ppl online... truly and fully.

 

I'm more likely to make friends online than I am to make friends in real life, since I'm so shy about approaching people. But I am more likely to keep them only if I meet them in person, because I tend to feel that a person does not find me interesting or important enough to meet if they aren't willing to meet me in person or if they say (whether it's true or not) that they are unable to meet in person. Self-esteem issue, I suppose, I don't know. But I do agree that the biggest communication barrier when communicating online is the lack of the ability to read body language and facial expressions. I myself tend to be very sarcastic. Another issue is people who cannot spell and refuse to worry about whether or not they are spelling or punctuating words properly, or using the correct form of a word (for example, using "there" or "they're" as a possession word instead of using "their," or using "it's" as a possession word rather than "its" and vice-versa). You'd be surprised how terribly you can be misunderstood just by misspelling a single word, or leaving out a single comma (or worse, putting it in the wrong part of the sentence). Yes, I am very picky about spelling, grammar, and word usage, and everyone else should be too, if they expect to be understood properly.

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This is an interesting topic..

I have been chatting online for about 12 years now... whether it be on the mIRC channel, ICQ, online games like UO / EQ / LOTRO hehe

I even married my man after meeting him from mIRC.. I feel I can know someone much more intimately from online banterings, in depth discussions, you can kind of get a feel for the way people are feeling by the way they type, you can gauge if they are consistent and honest by what they write over time.

I must say I am an observer, I like to look into the way people speak. In rl, I also observe, not that I like to make a judgement, but I find its harder to interpret what people are sayng, they may be in an environment which is uncomfortable for them, they may feel like they have to live up to someone else expectations in that social setting, they may be wearing a mask in hope that their true self is not known for whatever reason it may be.

 

Online, people are comfortable within their home, they feel safe, secure, and they are able to speak to those who they feel they have an infinity with, without fear of retribution or judgement..

 

Thats what I think anywho hehe

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My first bf I met online. It wasn't a dating site or something like that. Only in a regulary chat that we start to talk to each other much and he start to flirt with me. He was sensitive, romantic, bla bla. In our relationship he was unable for him to stay this way. I could say he was too lazy for it! And than, when our relationship should come from a long-distance to a short-distance he left me for an other woman. Next bf I met online too and we have had a good relationship but its broken because all his feelings for me were real but he only could express it fully online because his parents hated me! I would try it again, because I knew you can find somebody very nice and lovably in it. But I would be very careful. It's difficult to express you do in normal talks but I am always so honest I can. Even it would be much easier to betrayal. But I hope that when I am honest others will be it also. Oh and I have to admit here I am much more openl than sometimes in rw. In rw I have problems with being openly when I am frightend of the first reaction for something. Here I dont see it and with reread or thinking about some minutes my talkpartner can think about reaction. You know? Sometimes you have to think about it more than a second.

Mhmm, I hope yyou understand what I mean. *lol*

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Wow, I think this is such a good topic. I think, very recently, I felt hurt and offended and the person's intentions were very different than what I read coming from them. She was probably being very sarcastic and dry and I was taking it as an attack. It is very difficult, and I think sometimes I am too busy to properly assess where the person is coming from. I also think, that sometimes when you are conversing with someone with a very different lifestyle, that they don't understand that you have 2 or more kids running around behind you asking questions, getting on your nerves, jumping on the bed. So a lot of time my responses are brief but only because I don't have the time or the stamina to be as intelligent and wordy as say a university student in a quiet dorm room.

 

I'd really love to know what the solution is. Perhaps those dating sites have it right. It would be nice to know if someone was backing up or moving forward with me. I mean really you would have to hit me over the head, :hiya: because if someone who you talk to everyday stops writing, well it doesn't mean they are backing up. They could be sick or busy. So if you continue to message them, and they don't get back to you, well I guess you know eh?

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The emoticons on this site are fantastic, more would be great, I find there are some times i want to "make a face" that shys dosent have.

 

I completely agree, and as a smiley addict, I've got one for every emotion under the sun. Mods, if there are any specific ones you'd like to add, just let me know and I'll give ya'll a link. :) Actually, I think I'll start a new thread on this so I don't completely hijack this one!

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Without having the option of being able to see another persons body language, I thinks it's very easy for misunderstanding to occur. Which is why it's so important to make sure what you type conveys what it is you're trying to say. Even then misunderstandings can happen.

 

Tricky one this.

 

Riv x

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I agree, on-line communication can be tricky and be miss-understood, but I love the freedom this site has given me, I have said far more than I would do in real life!

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I so agree with what you are saying. I have a really bad habit of jibbering online and then when I read it back I realise that no-one will have a clue what I am trying to say. (and this is from a supposedly educated woman). Emotions do help but how do you get them in halfway through a sentence. I can only get mine at the end. In fact I'm not even sure if they appear then. Ha Ha

 

X X

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I think this post is really important and Jag I think you covered some really great points that people may misinterperate or not consider when talking/debating online.

 

I think when you spend a lot of time socialising online (ok lets rephrase that and say far too much time online!) you really start to crave the attention of the people you talk to and you dont always consider how much time/effort youre/theyre putting into their posts/blog whatever so you feel abandoned or unloved if they dont get back to asap with an answer or if their points arent clear or well thought out. All too soon a fly away comment can become a full blown riot or a mild flirtation becomes a marriage proposal! :)

 

I think also the fact that you dont get someones vocal tone or physical communication its much easier to misunderstand or misjudge someones point. Because of this apologies can go unnoticed / seem insincere and a debate can seem like a personal attack. :D

 

Also online you dont understand how people can take a disliking to you because they dont ultimately know the 'real you.' But what you portray online is all they are able to see. In the 'real world' people dont always get along. In fact often we take a disliking of someone because they are too brash or opinionated or have annoying mannerisms, so why should we all get along online?! :wub:

 

I do feel that it is important that the mods keep people in line but without creating a clique environment*, which again u often find online. You begin to feel like everyone is sat in the same room together and you are left outside tapping on the window! :(

*Not suggesting its like that here!

 

Anyway that was quite a ramble! tada! :D

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I really enjoy communicating with others online, and those interactions aren't meaningless or necessarily superficial... but RW communication beats it hands down, every time. You miss all the physical cues such as tone, body language, and vibes...

 

On the other hand, online communication can allow for a greater honesty on certain topics because one doesn't feel inhibited by the immediacy of the presence of others...

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I know I am definitely guilty of most of these, I get a mental image of who I am speaking to and am always shocked if the reality is different. I think we assume that whoever we are talking to is someone like ourself.

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I've done some research on this for work. There's something called communication mixture richness that's lacking in online convos. That's why people are EXTREMELY likely to misread online or purely textual speech. Best thing you can do is practice typing exactly what you mean, and read something a couPle of times before assuming emotions. Easier said than done though

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Jaguar,

 

You're absolutely right! Everyone makes certain assumptions in every social interaction, and that is probably why social queues are so important. When you're online, those social queues are either very subtle or nonexistent. What I usually try to do when talking to a new person online is let them talk a bit more than I do so I can get a feel for what sorts of slang and idioms they use. From there, it's easy to figure out if there are other differences.

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Some people's written voice can be so different than their real voice. I often judge people by how they write, like if they use tons of abbreviations then I think they must be online a lot. Or if they don't use punctuation or capitalize or anything, I think they are on the lazy side and wouldn't put much into a relationship as well. Or that might come across as someone trying to be too informal right away. Also, if there are a lot of spelling errors I wonder how smart someone is. On the flip side, a well written post or personal ad definitely catches my eye above anything else,....er....except maybe a hot pic.

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While communicating with people on-line does present some challenges, with a little time and effort things can become easier. It is very easy for words alone to become misinterpreted, without the accompaniment of gestures, facial expressions and tones of voice. Over time, I still believe it's possible to become familiar with someone and gain some understanding of the manner in which they chat. It's simply another way of getting to know someone, but it's still very valid. Although I've found that some people who have difficulty communicating in 'rl', experience the same difficulties in communicating on-line, I have also found the exact opposite to be true.

 

Take me for example ....... :th_help:

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