Online vs Real Life

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by S.J. Faerlind, Sep 23, 2012.

  1. Lady Cyllíeth

    Lady Cyllíeth WillExplodeUnderPressure

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    I am quiet and a snob! :p
    My internet and real life personality aligned over the years. I used to post A LOT and was rather outgoing online but now I'm as passive and uncommunicative as I am in real life. I'm not shy, I simply dislike talking. Since social networks (real ones, not facebook etc.) are utterly important for uni and job life, I often have to force myself to make small talk and things like that. I don't like it but got used to it because having contacts is necessary to be successful.

    I don't know why I picked a fairy as my avatar. It looked pretty...and I like fairies...yeah. >_>
     
  2. Lord Yuan

    Lord Yuan Death-Thousand+

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    I'm usually pretty silent because half the time when I open my mouth awkward nonsense flops out. In the right company it is good and fine, but anywhere serious or intense and I come across as a moonman.

    As for talking with dads, he has had late working jobs so he was mostly out of the picture in my childhood except for some good times that I remember well because they were far between. He doesn't really have any hobbies and is solely exists for his job and can be quite a downer. I wouldn't know where to begin to talk with him. I can relate on not having the same interests.
     
  3. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I don't necessarily agree with your family dynamic problem theory Sparrow. What I would consider to be worth saying would be of no interest to my father-in-law at all and making small talk about the weather or shallow, inconsequential topics doesn't interest either one of us. We get along fine and at Christmas it's heart-warming to see him sitting quietly on the couch smiling as his grandchildren open their Christmas presents. He's also the first one to volunteer to lend a hand when anyone needs something done around the house (roofing for example :)). He's simply a man who expresses his affection in other ways. Everybody in the family understands that and we regard his quiet nature as an endearing personality quirk rather than a fault.

    I think that you're right in that some people use silence to manipulate other people (the vindictive "silent treatment"). That's really unfortunate but I wouldn't assume that every quiet person is doing that unless you know they have a reason to be annoyed with you. They might just be overwhelmed. I read a book once written by Elaine Aron, phd who has some pretty neat theories on what she calls "highly sensitive people". Apparently about 20% of the population of any animal (people included) can be classified as "highly sensitive". Their nervous systems are very much in tune with their environment and they have trouble ignoring and blocking out all kinds of stimuli that other people don't even notice. They also process information more completely before taking any course of action and they are easily overwhelmed by things like noise and action. Put those people in a large/busy social group or face them off with a loud-mouthed/forceful personality and they tend to retreat into themselves and shut down from sensory overload. That shutdown has nothing to do with having nothing worth saying and it has nothing to do with giving someone the silent treatment. ;) Fortunately, as HS people get older they often learn to deal with themselves better and then they can appear more like the other 80% of the population.

    Having read some of the comments in this thread (and being one of those people myself), I have to wonder if we have a lot of HS people here online and that makes a heck of a lot of sense. It isn't overwhelming to type what you really think on a computer keyboard and you actually get a chance to have your say.
     
  4. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    Yeah but... talking to one's own family should be more important than reading the daily newspaper or watching television, it just should. Sorry, but expressing love and compassion through roofing repairs and quietly sitting on the couch is a poor substitute for being engaged with the people closest to you.

    Perhaps it's just me, but when someone behaves as if they don't give a ****... it usually means they really don't give a ****.
     
  5. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

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    I sat next to my dad 11 hours a day 5 days a week for 7 months. I've never been a talker, so I spoke as much as I wanted to. That wasn't good enough for him, and he often berated me for not speaking my thoughts on a subject. He doesn't like spending that much time with anyone who isn't interested in what he wants to talk about. I can't blame him for that. Personally, I think I was spending far too much time with him than any two people should have to spend together, and whatever conversation of substance there was had been exhausted in the first week. I can't stand regurgitating the same conversation day after day, and hour after hour, because eventually I'll just start giving the same exact responses over and over again, which will eventually be reduced to "uh huh, yeah, sure, uhuh." He hated that, but there was little I could do about it. Some people who like to talk a lot often repeat themselves day after day, and don't even realize it. If they try to impose their will upon someone of lesser stature when they do it, things could get strained.

    But I didn't quit that job because I didn't give a **** about my dad, or because I wanted to hurt him. I quit because I wanted him to stop berating me for being the person that I am. If I wanted to hurt him, I could have left home without a word like my sister did. But I stayed a great deal longer, helped with paying bills and other things. My dad and I have totally different life philosophies. Eventually I'm going to separate myself from someone that I have little in common with. If it's someone I care about, like my dad, I will do it to preserve what relationship we have, and to cut back on my own stress. If it's someone I hardly know, then I will do it probably because I don't give a **** Either way, things will probably progress to the point that I'm hardly talking to the person before I separate myself. But at 18 or 19, it was a difficult decision for me to quit working with him. If he needs to borrow money today, he comes to me, because there is no one else who will lend it to him. Money is easy, conversation, unfortunately, is not, simply because he believes in so many things I disagree with. I respect that he believes a certain way, and so I don't go trying to change the way he lives. In return, I expect him to return the courtesy.
     
  6. Overread

    Overread Wolfing it up! Staff Member

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    I think you might be pulling at the extremes a little here. I agree one should have a place and partake in the family, but that doesn't mean you have to be and must be a chatterbox the whole time. Some people are naturally quiet, it doesn't mean that they don't get involved in the family, it just means they don't sit there gossiping all the time.

    I know what you're saying Sparrow and I know the type of person you're thinking of when you describe someone ignoring the family for their own interests - but I disagree that its the case with SJ's specific situation. (at least from what SJ has told us of course).
     
  7. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I think you're looking at this only from your own perspective Sparrow. Too many times people forget to put themselves in someone else's shoes and look at the world from another person's perspective. That's what acceptance is all about.... understanding WHY someone is the way they and realizing that they were never trying to upset or hurt you. If someone is incapable of certain types of interaction, they have to find other ways of expressing their love. Not all of us are comfortable conversationalists..... period. Trust me, it isn't a choice to be that way or we'd all shine like the sun at parties :p
    You said yourself that being a part of this forum was the longest time you'd ever belonged to one without getting banned. Acceptance probably has a lot to do with that. Don't forget to try and understand things from someone else's perspective. There's no one right way to exist in the world. ;) And wouldn't it be boring if there was?

    I think you're proving my points Heaven's Cloud.... some people just can't understand a quiet person's perspective and then they get irritated when it doesn't match their own.
     
  8. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

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    Yes. I'm in total agreement with you, S.J. My dad and I get along okay now. I'm still just as quiet, but I have to keep a healthy distance from him. It's not by choice, really. It's either that, or endure a constant battle of wills.
    I'm too old for that sort of contest, and I'm not married to him, so there's really no need to go through it. When my mom died, I tried to open up to him more. Things quickly fell back into old patterns. Mom's death left him extremely
    religious. He had prophetic dreams of her death before hand. I'm not religious. When she actually did die, it left him preachier, fanatical almost, and unwavering in his POV. I left that life behind long ago. He's the only parent I have left,
    so hurting him is not an option if I can help it at all. But I also don't want to be hurt by him, and I won't let him push his beliefs on me. But as you said, just because people have differences, does not mean something is wrong with their
    relationship. If my dad needs me, I am there.
     
  9. Beldaran

    Beldaran Guest

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    i'm sorry but i have to answer to this, i feel a bit offended by it, though i know i shouldn't:

    my relationship with my father is very bad. i haven't spoken to him in months and sometimes haven't been talking to him for more than a year. that i don't talk to him doesn't mean i don't give a ****, on the contrary, it's one of the things that hurt me very much, because i still love him, although he is a very bad parent and not even a good friend. my dad is a very difficult man, probably with some personality disorder (is that the correct term) and he lives in a highly egocentric world.

    i'm sorry but i think you should be careful in saying such things. every person is different and every family is different. sometimes situations can get very difficult.
     
  10. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    OK... so here's another question regarding online vs RL:

    In what place do you spend most of your "social time"? Online or face to face with people around you in RL?
     
  11. Taliesyn

    Taliesyn It's a feral reality out there, kids.

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    Definitely online. I wish it was half and half, but the people in my life are always super busy and don't have much time for socialising. (Although when they do they always seem to prefer socialising with anyone who isn't me.) :(
     
  12. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    Aww..... then they don't know you at all Eph! (Their loss 'cause we're sure glad we know ya :))

    I'd say I spend about 60% of my "social time" online and about 40% in real life (I'm not counting spending time with my immediate family/household here). I have one really close friend that I see on a weekly basis and some that I see occasionally, plus some responsibilities in my community that get me out and about. I don't find that I have tons in common with many people that live around me at all. Most people I know are what I would call "casual acquaintances". In other words, they are people I recognize and say "hi" to in the grocery store or at the school.
     
  13. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    90% person to person or by phone, 7% online, and 3% with the invisible people who follow me wherever I go.

    I consider online/twitter/facebook to be the equivalent of having a Post-it note relationship with someone; abbreviated, shallow, temporary.
     
  14. ~Elladan~

    ~Elladan~ A Elbereth Gilthoniel

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    Agree pretty much with Sparrow if thats where friendships end, although social media could also be viewed as the 21st century equivalent of having a pen-pal too. Online friends who are local(ish), who you really get on with / share interests with rarely stay just as online friends unless you're frightened that your online self isn't a true representation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  15. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Considering i go to school or work 5 days a week if not more, 8 or more hours a day. And then hang out with friends, I'd say i mostly spend my social time IRL. Although I do have a lot of it online as well. A couple of years ago when i wasnt feeling too great 90% was online. Now its more like 25%?? maybe
     
  16. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Thing is I spend a lot of time online, due to my condition. I'm not allowed to use a car. trains, buses are not safe for me often. Which makes it very difficult to visit friends I knew from my youth. Real friends, who sadly now have moved on to another life and live in different cities. It makes it hard to visit them, so I mostly don't have a choice but to resort to online communication, also because they have fulltime jobs, while I don't. In other words, I can't give them a call whenever I want, or they're partying after work or doing something else that sadly doesn't include me. All I'm trying to point out is that resorting to online communication does not mean the end of a friendship. I'm still friends with some I know from my youth and I talk to them over the phone rarely and online, cause they're active on facebook almost as much as I am.
     
  17. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I think you hit the nail on the head when you mention "friendship"... though I've never had many friends in my life, I've always had really special friendships, people I'd do anything for and they would do the same for me. Online is still sort of remote to me, with a tap on the delete key you get to take back something you said, you get to compose your thoughts in ways that are perhaps less than honest.
     
  18. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I think that says it all... though we have all this communication technology around us, and we're all connected via satellite and other modern means, we still need to see/hear/touch each other to feel that it's all worthwhile.
     
  19. S.J. Faerlind

    S.J. Faerlind Flashlight Shadowhunter

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    I suppose it all depends on what you share with your "friends" though too... whether they be online or RL ones. We all only share what we're comfortable sharing whether that be a face to face friend or a remote/online one. I think that's the defining factor of a friend for me. I don't feel at all close to someone just because I happen to see them in person on a regular basis. If we have nothing in common, there's nothing to talk to each other about. There has to be some sort of common ground or shared interest for two people to want to be friends.
     
  20. Heaven's Cloud

    Heaven's Cloud Active Member

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    So true, S.J. I met one of my closest friends online this summer. I speak to her at least an hour each night. (or I try to) Sometimes we miss each other, and if I come online late, she lets me know it. HAha. She's married and has 3 gorgeous kids. It's not a relationship based off of physical attraction. She loves Zelda, and Star Wars, and we have so much common ground that we never run out of things to laugh at. Which reminds me, I should probably go see if she's online right now ;)