Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Somehow I ended up here, in the midst of completing my Social Theory Paper - yet all I can think about are the Twits (a new "pet name" for Twitter users... seriously, why???) and how communication in America has fallen to a new low... I was IMing with a guy from that site I'm on... We were just talking about who-knows-what, when he brings up meeting IRL (they all do... I wasn't too surprised about that...) It got me thinking -the idea of intentionally meeting someone who is (essentially) a complete stranger- or are they? How well can you know someone you meet online? Is the internet just a way to schedule a future liaison? Do we truly communicate over the internet? I took a Sociology of Cyberspace class my freshman year of college. I should know better than to question these things now... Yes, we can communicate quite well over the internet... At least, we used to. While browsing through the site, I noticed several patterns. I would get annoyed if a person did not post a picture, or only had 1 not-so-great one. I rely so heavily on body language, that I simply could not get a feel for their personality without a picture. How are they standing, what are they wearing, how are they wearing it, where are they looking, what are they doing, who are they with-- Words can't be trusted alone. Even in the age of webcams - who are you when the camera's on, when it's your face on the screen? Who are you when you're alone? Is this the same person you present to the world?

If I met you in person, would I stop to say hi, or just pass you by? Would our conversation really begin with "hi, how are you today?" If I converse with you online, for months, would I ever really know the real you? I used to think it was possible. Now, I'm not so sure.

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