Saturday, 20 October 2007

Internet relationships

No, I'm not talking love or sex here. I'm on about how people relate to each other when dealing with each other on-line. As I always say, you miss 70% of the conversation when you just read. You don't hear inflections of the voice, do not see the facial expression or as a whole their body language. People read what you write and sometimes jump down your throat purely on the basis of that one entry.

I'm not talking about myself, incidentally. Gerry (Daughters of the Shadowmen) penned down a conversation she had with her deceased sister, which sparked off a debate with one commenter. For myself, I did not comment on that entry. It was a deeply personal entry, and Gerry has had far more than her fair share of things to cope with in life. However, it's not just Gerry.

When I first joined AOL in 2004, I went into a chatroom. That was a jungle. A chatroom is much closer to real-life conversation - but again, you miss the non-verbal communication, and can cause offense without even being aware of it. You don't know the person behind the screenie. You don't know anything about the other guy/gal, unless they see fit to tell you.

This applies to journals too. Some people have no problem to write down their daily life or life's history. It is a way of dealing with past or present. Others are far more reticent and deliberately do not mention certain things.

Point I'm making is adequately summarised by this quote:

You don't know what goes on behind closed doors.

If someone keeps a door closed, you cannot know why they write the way they do.

Please be circumspect.


  1. This is so true. i use a couple of the chatrooms on here and although in the main quite good you get the rogue element, then the sparks fly and of course when you can't see facial expressions body language it's easy to take offense.
    Also of course you get those who just want to vent and then i would rather not see facial


  2. Good point well made Guido , Jan xx

  3. so true Guido... so true...  great entry

  4. This is sooo true! I am frequently misunderstood when I write, I try hard but can't seem to convey my feelings well in writing.

  5. Guido,  what a good article..I have only used one chat room and although all started well after a year or so the rogue ellement signed in and some very offensive things were said. Happily by then a few very good friendships had been made and we continue to chat today   and meet up...( this is done not in the chat line site)  I think your words are a timely reminder for everyone  Thank You  Sybil

  6. seraphoflove900121 October 2007 at 01:46

    Boy do I agree with you! I really felt bad for Gerry and what the reader was putting her through. Sad. You do need to see expressions and the tone of your voice. A video entry is a good thing, then they can see you.

  7. So well stated.  Folks should keep this in mind before going on the attack.

  8. So very true.....June:)

  9. Well put.  It's good for all of us to remember.