Which is truth?
> 12/22/2005 11:41:34 AM

There is no question that computers and the Internet are becoming integral parts of our lives.  However, how do we react when over 20 million adults in the United Sates view the Internet as an indispensable part of their lives?  It can no longer be said that within the general public there are Internet users, rather a population of Internet users have developed.  As this mediumís effect on the lives of the people who use it grows, the question becomes, what type of people would be attracted to it and what effects will it have on those people?


What began as a tool, an advanced form of communication, has evolved into a separate and unique community whose members are defined not by geography, ethnicity, religion, or gender.  Instead, the common factor which ties these individuals together is the use of the Internet.   At first, there was little difference between communicating to others via the Internet, as opposed to using the telephone or corresponding by hand-written letters.  However, over time this medium has grown into a sub-culture as its members began to develop their own slang, customs, and social graces. 


There are various forms by which people can communicate over the Internet.  Some of the more popular methods include e-mail, newsgroups, chat rooms, and more recently, blogs.  It is often in this manner that people can exchange ideas, carry on conversations, and even have heated debates over any and all subjects, without ever having met fact to face.    It is also in this manner that users, ensconced in their anonymity, can exaggerate, lie, or perhaps even be completely open and honest with each other. 


The most basic background information, such as a real name or an e-mail address, is often not required to engage in these forms of Internet communication.  It is in this type of situation especially that the anonymity aspect of the Internet allows for users the opportunity to present themselves as a different person, to others, if they so choose.  Usernames are often chosen as a reflection of the user, and will often convey some aspect of that personís personality. 


The differences in a personís personality from their everyday selves while on-line, either subtle or drastic, may or may not be done intentionally.  Perhaps it is because the animosity aspect of Internet use dampens the effect of first impression bias. Studies have shown that the face that the person presents while online is more consistent with an idealized self, with personality factors of what one would ideally wish to be.


So which is truth?  The personality that one uses while online, or the one that is used in the ďrealĒ world?  



Great post! As one with an internet obsession, I thought it was an important post.
URL: http://livingbipolar.blogspot.com
Posted by: Jon 12/22/2005 9:55:27 AM

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