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Do you find Internet communication as fulfilling as Real Life communication?


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Basically the title. 

 

I personally prefer real life communication and interaction and struggle if I don't have it even if I can talk with people on the internet all day. I would want to know how people around this kind of forums feel about it.

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Going to be the contrarian here and say that, for me, communicating through the internet is actually the more fulfilling choice. See, while I function quite adequately in real life socially, I find mu

Fulfilling? I don't like communication to begin with, so I would say, Internet is a good as any other communication methods.

I'm much more comfortable talking to someone online as opposed to real-life due to me being rather shy, yet at the same time I feel as though I can't truly understand a person so long as I'm speaking

No, internet communication is more shallow pretty much by definition.  The only thing that makes it work at all is that people who converse over the internet always have something in common before they begin.

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More fulfilling in that it's freer and more honest, but less in that it doesn't involve actual contact. Which is important to me

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 The only thing that makes it work at all is that people who converse over the internet always have something in common before they begin.

This is very interesting. Sounds obvious but I didn't see it that way until now. 

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Going to be the contrarian here and say that, for me, communicating through the internet is actually the more fulfilling choice. See, while I function quite adequately in real life socially, I find much of the day to day conversations I have with acquaintances or customers to be rather... shallow. I like meaty, deep conversations that can go on for hours.

 

My second main reason for preferring the abundance of possible connections that can be made on the internet is because I tend to communicate better in the written form than I do in the verbal. It's easier to collect my thoughts into something substantial if I write them down first. Shooting from the lip is not something I am particularly good at. In fact, I'm quite slow to speak up in group situations where everyone is talking over each other.

 

Of course, I'm an introvert. I wouldn't have it any other way, though. I don't really need physical contact or even eye contact to feel I've had a good conversation with someone. Online, I don't get overwhelmed because typically I can take my time to absorb the information in front of me, instead of trying to keep up with a conversation going a mile a second, faster than I can keep up with. 

 

For me, the best times I spend are either alone, with a small group of close friends, or online with folks like you guys. It's not hard for me to feel closer to those I meet online that with those I know in the real world.

Edited by Glacies Frost
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I would say no, Internet interaction is not as fulfilling for one reason: personas. When you're typing on a forum or using voice chat on Discord, you're essentially placing your personality through a filter where you show facets of yourself that you want others to see, sometimes without being aware of it. Even when you use something such as a facecam some body language is left out, and you aren't seeing the person in varying environments.

 

The persona you establish doesn't have to be a positive one, either. People will post on social media or forums sometimes simply to show how depressed, jaded, and outcasted they are, and while I don't doubt some actually feel that way at the same time people may use that as an attempt to somehow establish a unique identity that makes them stand out, however cherry-picked it might be.

 

Since most people on here are teenagers or young adults, under Erikson's psychosocial stages they would fall under "Identity vs. Role Confusion". In this stage you need to resolve this challenge by exploring who you are as an individual, establishing your true identity and personality, and confidence for yourself. Interaction on the Internet is fine, but it shouldn't replace interaction in the real world or become more fulfilling. Unfortunately, it seems like a fair amount of teenagers are unable to adequately resolve this challenge and stick to their personas. (Actually if you're a young adult already you should be moving onto the next challenge, "Intimacy vs. Isolation".)

 

Inadequate resolution tends to result in these teens and young adults maintaining an unclear sense of self and low self-esteem, and if you're a young adult possibly loneliness and separation from society (because young adults have to deal with another principal challenge that I mentioned before).

 

People can still establish personas in real life communication, but it is much more difficult to hide your true personality. I think that if people try more often to find friends in real life at school or at work or outside of it, or do some activities rather than sitting on the computer or watching TV, they would feel a bit more confident of who they are as a person. I've been trying to do this for some time now by going out to exercising at the gym and watching some movies with friends or family and I can say it has made me feel much better as a person. I try to communicate with others, however awkward it can be at times (I have mild Aspergers).

 

It doesn't mean you have to abandon going on the Internet and playing video games but you have to realize that remaining on the Internet way too long is not healthy for you. People who say how bad real life interaction is reminds me of Tomoko Kumoki from Watamote. If some of your family members are assholes, go find some friends.

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Even as someone who has very little communication with the outside world, I'd have to say it's not even close to fulfilling the enjoyment of having a conversation with someone irl

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This really depends on who I am talking to. If I am chatting online with someone that I like and am friends with, I think the communication there can be just as good as real life. Beyond that it can be awkward for me, but I am awkward in real life too so there is that. The one thing that text chat does obviously lack is the ability to express myself fully, that being I often express myself with my hands as I am talking . Dunno why, that has always made it easier. Other than that I am fine with internet communication. Without it I would basically have no social life whatsoever.

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In my view communication is no different between internet and real life scenarios. For me, either one can equally as fulfilling as the other. Just depends on the individual experience itself.

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i would love (and prefer) to talk to people in real life... but the simple answer is... this is more convenient, more accesable. also easyer to find people who WANT to talk to me, about the things i want to talk...

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I burn out pretty quickly when it comes to social interaction. I personally prefer just to have time to myself, without the sound of others around me.

Because of this, I find internet communication a lot more liberating and enjoyable. It allows me to interact with others(something I do still like to do), but at a casual enough level that I don't get too tired of it. I can switch between having a conversation and playing a game/watching something/etc., without any hassle. 

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I actually find it more fulfilling.

 

Here, I have time to think before I speak and articulate my response. I'm not under pressure by the listener, waiting for a response, and I have no need of worrying about things like non-verbal cues or the volume and tone of my voice. I also get to avoid unnecessary small talk. Straight to the point. And if I don't feel like talkign anymore, I just say I'm leaving. Can't do that IRL. 

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In my view communication is no different between internet and real life scenarios. For me, either one can equally as fulfilling as the other. Just depends on the individual experience itself.

 

I would nearly agree with that. You don't get all the senses - but it can be equally as fulfilling - </aforementioned>... 

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I'm much more comfortable talking to someone online as opposed to real-life due to me being rather shy, yet at the same time I feel as though I can't truly understand a person so long as I'm speaking with them without knowing who they really are. People tend to have completely different personalities online as opposed to their real-life selves--I'm certainly guilty of that--so when you speak with them, you only know the assumed identity rather than the real thing.

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I'm much more comfortable talking to someone online as opposed to real-life due to me being rather shy, yet at the same time I feel as though I can't truly understand a person so long as I'm speaking with them without knowing who they really are. People tend to have completely different personalities online as opposed to their real-life selves--I'm certainly guilty of that--so when you speak with them, you only know the assumed identity rather than the real thing.

I feel the same way too. It's a double edge sword as a form of communication.

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My second main reason for preferring the abundance of possible connections that can be made on the internet is because I tend to communicate better in the written form than I do in the verbal. It's easier to collect my thoughts into something substantial if I write them down first. Shooting from the lip is not something I am particularly good at. In fact, I'm quite slow to speak up in group situations where everyone is talking over each other.

 

This!

 

There's something about having the person's words organized in front of me that makes it easier to respond to. You don't have to worry about forgetting what the person said earlier because of the message history.

 

While good points are being made about online personas, I think that the anonymity might encourage someone to open up more about themselves provided you give them ample time to grow accustomed to you. You're taking them on their word, but we do the same thing IRL to some degree depending on the relationship.

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I like to talk to people in person but being just text on a screen makes me a lot less uncomfortable. I also don't like talking on the phone or video calls too much for some reason. I can handle phone calls but video calls creep me out. 

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(edited)

Thank you all for you answers.

I must say I feel identified with many regarding a couple of things. I also think it's easier to find people of your same interests on the Internet and that it's easier to make friends here because of that and a couple of more reasons (at least for me). 

 

I don't have social anxiety nor timidity but I grew up relatively isolated from some customs so it seems almost impossible for me to find people IRL as attached to me as the ones I find on the internet. And even though I admit it's easier to achieve all of this on the Internet, I still feel like it's a very empty experience compared to what it could be IRL. I'm growing fed up of socializing with friends only through a screen while time goes by in life and wanted to know how many here identify with this or don't care. The result wouldn't help me, it's just curiosity of mine.

Edited by Ando333
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Then there is the other question...  Do any of the people you know on the net truly reach the level of being friends and not simply high acquaintances?  I mean if you don't even know the person's real name, and have never met in person, can they be? 

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Then there is the other question...  Do any of the people you know on the net truly reach the level of being friends and not simply high acquaintances?  I mean if you don't even know the person's real name, and have never met in person, can they be? 

 

Usually, given enough time, I start to learn my online acquaintances' names. Those who I consider friends are typically the ones I maintain permanent, continuous contact with for a period. Once considered my friend, you do not get downgraded back to acquaintance regardless of the amount of time it's been since we were last in contact. It takes you doing something to significantly hurt me to get downgraded, and then I usually just drop you entirely.

 

I have learned that "friend" doesn't necessarily have to be someone super close to you. It could just be someone you enjoy chatting with once in awhile, or someone you share an interest with who you also don't mind just hanging out with. I used to consider friends only those who were closest to me, those few who had penetrated my inner circle. I now call those people family. Nowadays, and yes, partially due to FiM, I consider most people and almost all ponies as friends or at least potential friends. I don't need to know your name to enjoy spending time hanging out with you...

 

In short... I believe you can make friends and not just "high acquaintances" online, but it's a matter of perception really.

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