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Author Topic: Virtual friendships soar in popularity - but are we becoming antisocial?
Zachary Fizz
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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We are all part of this phenomenom, so it shouldn't be news to us, but survey shows internet friendships booming..

If there is a question to be asked, I think it is this: are we participating in a new paradigm and expanding the reach of friendship, or do boards like snopes and virtual worlds like Second Life simply encourage us to be antisocial and withdrawn?

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Minstrel gone caroling
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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In my case, no. I'm antisocial and withdrawn on my own. The internet has actually caused me to be less antisocial. By getting to know people online first, then I'm not faced with my usual paralyzing shyness when I meet them offline.

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Last year's goat was burned down by vandals dressed up as Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man. They were never caught.
My blog. The Adventures of the Fish O'Thwacking.
Countdown: 177 days (or less!)

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Richard W
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I don't think so in my case, either. I have an actual social life in reality... I use the board as a substitute for work, not "real life" friendships!
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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Mr Embra directed me to a MySpace site yesterday where a former student had included on his CV that he was a "founder member of the [Mr Embra] Must Die Organisation".

I thought that was pretty antisocial.

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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BringTheNoise
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Richard W:
I don't think so in my case, either. I have an actual social life in reality... I use the board as a substitute for work, not "real life" friendships!

Same here. Who needs to study when you have the ULMB?

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"The United States Government: significantly less cruel and sadistic than the Taliban." - Dara

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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quote:
Originally posted by Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet:
I thought that was pretty antisocial.

Might be time for someone to explain the difference between the US and UK meanings of "antisocial."

I have a better social life thanks to the internet - it's the best way to keep in touch with my local friends when we're all working goofy schedules and I've made new ones who I might not have bumped into otherwise.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Ana Ng
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Jeez, I should hope not.

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My great grandfather planted that tree!

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I never did have a huge circle of friends--yeah I had some in high school, but Lord only knows where they are now. However, I have met people from this board (love those Snopes get togethers), a horse racing board I visit and a gardening board I visit. Hell, my gardening buddies and I get together twice a year for a plant swap.
Methinks this is a story looking for an issue.

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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quote:
Astra said:
Might be time for someone to explain the difference between the US and UK meanings of "antisocial."

Sorry, I should have added a [Big Grin] or a [Wink] .

Most of Mr Fizz's posts today have been about the "other" kind of antisocial.

I don't know if there's a US/UK divide in the meaning - it's just that the word has 2 meanings. Perhaps the current UK media tempest about cannibalistic hoodies makes it appear that we only use the word to describe feral youths?

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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Astra
The "Was on Sale" Song


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Hehe, I figured that the smiley was implied, but thought some people might not get it. It caused quite a bit of confusion on another board I'm on a while back - kind of humorous in retrospect.

Sidetrack: What is up with the rabid teens in hoodies anyway? I've seen a lot of articles lately and the "hoodie = evil" thing is just mind boggling to me.

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This has been yet another... USELESS POST.

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Cold DecEmbra Brings The Sleet
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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"Hoodie" has become a shorthand noun for undesireable youths. Obviously a lot of people who wear hoodies don't fit this particular definition of "hoodie". And not all hoodies wear hoodies.

BTW, I love it when you repeat a word so much that it starts to sound really odd. Hoodie hoodie hoodie hoodie hoodie hoodie.

[Big Grin]

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I want you to lay down your life, Perkins. We need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war.

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trollface
The Bills of St. Mary's


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"Hoodie" also sounds vaguely rude, if you start thinking about male anatomy.

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seriously , everyone on here , just trys to give someone crap about something they do !! , its shitting me to tears.

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Archie2K
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Hug a Hoodie. *imagine a love smilie here, the site I tried bars hotlinking of images*

As far as I know there are infact three usages of the word antisocial.

1) Antisocial as in not socialising. As a personality disorder this is what would be referred to as avoidant personality disorder. This has been the most common usage in my world.
2) Antisocial as in the wild feral hoodie usage. See also: Antisocial Behaviour Orders
3) Antisocial as in antisocial personality disorder which is closer to the idea of psychopathy or sociopathy. 2 and 3 might be linked but I'd bet dollars to donuts that the majority of people receiving ASBOs aren't actually clinically sociopathic.

No, the internet isn't making is socially avoidant. I've met far more people online than I could hope to in "real life". Learning to talk to people online has improved my ability to talk to people in real life. I'd also bet dollars to donuts that people who form a majority of friendships online would infact be troubled loners were the internet not to be around.

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Vox populi vox canem

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odin343434
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Minstrel gone caroling:
In my case, no. I'm antisocial and withdrawn on my own. The internet has actually caused me to be less antisocial. By getting to know people online first, then I'm not faced with my usual paralyzing shyness when I meet them offline.

Exactly the same.

I was shy and reclusive long before I found the internet. The internet has given me a way to make friends in a much more comfortable setting. Many of whom I've met in real life after we met online.

Without it, outside of work I probably wouldn't talk to anyone.

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Cervus
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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I am far, far more social here than I am in real life. It's the comfort of not having people stare at me that allows me to make friends online. Also, I'm better at expressing myself through written words than spoken ones.

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"There is no constitutional right to sleep with endangered reptiles." -- Carl Hiaasen
Won't somebody please think of the adults!

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I think I'm gonna have to say that it works both ways.

I definitely think there are some shy people who are using the internet to maintain virtual friendships, however it is costing them in that it allows them to keep their personal shyness where they might otherwise have eventually become confident in a direct social situation.

Yet, there are others with significant disorders who would never be comfortable in social situations and being able to indirectly interact with people via the internet is something of a lifeline that allows them to at least keep in touch.

I'm certainly one of the former. I was very shy in social situations (even family gatherings). I could easily have stumbled across the internet and used virtual relationships as a means to avoid the difficulty I faced in dealing with people. Thankfully, my very first job was in computer retail -- it made interacting with people a job requirement. At first I made it through the day by wearing my "job mask" until eventually I realised I didn't need to pretend any more.

Although I'm still withdrawn and I don't socialise freely, I can most definitely hold my own in social interactions. I don't think this would have happened if I'd been given the easy out of relying on virtual friendships instead.

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Salamander
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

"We have similar hobbies" usually covers it. Unfortunately they usually have to ask what hobbies...

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"victory thru self-deception"

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Nonny Mouse, on Santa's laptop
Once in Royal Circuit City


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

Well, I can honestly say that the snopesters I know in real life, I met at the mall. I just knew them for a while before I met them.

Nonny

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When there isn't anything else worth analyzing, we examine our collective navel. I found thirty-six cents in change in mine the other day. Let no one say that there is no profit in philosophy. -- Silas Sparkhammer

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Em
Happy Holly Days


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I like it.

Thanks Nonny.

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What the NFBSK does YOMANK mean?

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

My DH's parents still have no idea how we met- and they probably never will.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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Amigone201
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by Bach_girl:
quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

My DH's parents still have no idea how we met- and they probably never will.
What do you tell them?

I met my girlfriend online. We've been together for nearly a year and a half. Some of you guys probably remember when she and I were just starting out [Smile]

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Check out my blog! http://fundiewatch.blogspot.com

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Amigone201:
quote:
Originally posted by Bach_girl:
quote:
Originally posted by Em:
I still haven't managed to come up with a non-geeky-sounding answer to "so where did you guys meet?" when speaking about the online friends who become offline friends to friends I know offline-only.

My DH's parents still have no idea how we met- and they probably never will.
What do you tell them?

I met my girlfriend online. We've been together for nearly a year and a half. Some of you guys probably remember when she and I were just starting out [Smile]

They think we met through a "friend of a friend." It almost caused a problem because my brother had a nice toast speech ready and had to nix it at the last minute because he though everyone knew how we met.

I have no problem with anyone knowing- but his parents would have been...very weary if they knew.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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MaxKaladin
The First USA Noel


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quote:
If there is a question to be asked, I think it is this: are we participating in a new paradigm and expanding the reach of friendship, or do boards like snopes and virtual worlds like Second Life simply encourage us to be antisocial and withdrawn?
I suppose it depends. I'm probably not the best example because I have a fair number of "meatspace"* friends that I socialize with. I also have online friends and I use the net to keep in touch with people I once knew in meatspace but who now live hundreds or thousands of miles away. I have plenty of social contact both online and offline.

When I was growing up, I suppose I was considered anti-social. I was in a small-town and had "wierd" interests that virtually nobody around me shared. I had a small social circle made up of the few people who shared a few of my interests, I pretty much ignored the vast majority of people who I had no common interests with. I was called anti-social for doing so. What the internet (and moving to a city) have done for me is allow me to get in touch with people who I have more common interest with and that has done a lot to make me more social.

It's easier to be social when you're a mainstream person with mainstream interests. It's easy to find people you get along with to socialize with. When you're the wierd person who likes science fiction or history or some other relatively unusual thing like that, it's harder. Prior to the internet, I think a lot of people had social circles composed of people based on proximity rather than shared interests. The internet lets people with unsual interests find each other and socialize online. I think the effect people are seeing is that some people are choosing to neglect those proximity-based social cirlces they were merely content in for online social circles that they find much more interesting and are being called "anti-social" for it.

* I don't like to say "real life" because that implies that cyberspace isn't real life and, for me, it's just as much a part of real life as visiting friends across town.

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Bach_girl
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I need to do a better job proofreading...

The toast was for my wedding. DH's parents would have been leery- no weary.


I was tired, it was late...I was weary.

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"My Very Educated Mother Just Said Uh-oh! No...Pluto..."~ Steven Colbert

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UrbanReindeer
Deck the Malls


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I found that socializing in various forms on the internet (message boards, social games, real-time chats) has caused me to be LESS shy and more assertive in real life. I think it's helped me develop a quicker wit and a thicker skin.

10 years ago, if someone made a rude remark to me or a lewd sexual comment, I was tongue-tied, embarrassed, and close to tears. These days I'm likely to snap a retort right back at them, to speak up when things are going wrong, and to assert myself as necessary.

Bach_girl there are days I've have to stop and remind myself that DH and I DIDN'T meet on the internet. It just seems like "us" somehow, but we actually met a much more "traditional" way - at church.

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"He feeds the sparrows of the field, but He doesn't sit there and cram worms into their mouths." -- Mouse

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