Sunday, June 22, 2008
Yeah, I think I'm largely done with online forums.
I've had quite a spate of horrible experiences this last week. I've been told I'm a homophobe and that I attack people over theology (on two separate forums).
I'm a member of quite a number of forums and really enjoy talking to people online and finding out about other people who have the same interests as me but could potentially be on the other side of the world.
The big problem is that communication between people is 80% non-verbal. This means that anything I say online can be drastically misunderstood because you can't see me smiling and holding your arm gently in a display of genuine friendliness (I like touchy-feely conversations).
And I'm getting sick of being misunderstood. It seems like you need to either grow an incredibly thick skin and understand the differences between face-to-face communications vs online communications or just get out.
Complaining isn't really my scene. This post isn't a complaint. It's a vent. A comment on the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, if you will.
I'm unsure of the future of online communications. We operate in relationship with each other. The medium shapes our communication but I'd hate for it to interfere to such a large degree that we are unable to be mutually intelligible anymore.
Hmm.. it's an interesting social linguistic problem. Can the essence of communication be altered by its medium so that normal relational structures are transformed?