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On Newsnight last night there was a Geek Week feature that they have been doing. Last night's however took a more metaphysical turn and was discussing your sense of self and the internet.
If I was on Second Life or World of Warcraft and met someone, what part of them am I meeting?
In some way I am meeting the other people using this software. I am interacting with them and I can feel emotions from what is happening on the computer screen. But what am I talking to and in what way are they talking to me?
Taking the idea of cyberspace allows us to prohect our sense of Self into this space. Most people, whether you believe in a soul/God, have a sense of Self as being seperated from the physical body. But a big question has always been 'Then where is this 'Self' or 'Soul'?'
Cyberspace is an interesting way to depict our sense of self being projected out of our physical body.
What do you guys think? Who/What is it we are talking to on these forums?
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I'd like to think I was just talking to someone normally via writing.
However the Internet does, to some extent, allow you to project yourself in a more favourable way (if you get what I mean, I'm not very eloquent)
For example, I can't actually play the guitar. It was all a charade
People frequently confuse the medium and the message. Contact over the internet is basically just like every other form of contact we use... FtF speech, phone, mail, etc.
The only REAL way it differs is that it is slightly more anonymous than even a pen-pal you might have met thru some class project (I know... how old am I? sigh)
It is also a quicker form of communication, and a bit easier to be compromised by 3rd parties.
On the whole though, it is just the newest incarnation of long distance communication.
To sum up, you can be just as 'real' or phony by mail as you can on the internet.
The topic of 'self' is a much deeper one. Can you EVER truly KNOW another person. I think not. Unless you communicate every thought, whim, desire, urge, etc to someone in a constant stream of self-interested 'ticker-tape' (and lets face it, who the h*ll wishes to be buried in all that?) you really don't know fully what someone is.
You can have an excellent idea, and know them quite well, even on an intimate level, but there is a certain % of the self which I would argue, IS and should be, PRIVATE.
Last edited by artificer; January 11th, 2007 at 16:34.
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That is so disappointing! Especially considering that I really am a prisoner against my own will, stripped of my name, even, and can't seem to engineer a successful escape.Originally Posted by Stonehambey
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Ack! The truth ... it really does hurt....
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Funny this. The internet actually made me who I am today.
All through school i was bullied, mental and physical. I hated it an became introvert and depressed. But when I came on the net id be cocky and funny and totally different to what was my natural nature.
Then when I went to college I thought screw this, no one knows me, no one knows im an easy target, im just gonna act and behave like i do on the net and no one's gonna know its not me! Funnily enough after a few month i didnt have to act anymore, id totally became that person and still am today! And to complete the story I was one of the most popular guys in the whole college!
So when your reading me on the net, what you see is what you get. Sure I have other sides, I get moody and sad like everyone else, but the core of my personality is laid bare for all to see.
You mean like the matrix LOL just kidding.
The internet does give you a chance to be someone who you arent. The question is are the type of person who will be yourself or someone your arent. And if you are beeing someone you are not, will you become that person?
Me well im actually a nice guy if you meet me in person, but again it depends on the day.
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Paradoxically I am less articulate on the internet than I am in RL. Mainly because my spelling and grammar are pretty bad and I generally don't bother using a spell checker.
I suppose when I need too I can just about string together a coherent sentence.
In many ways I think peoples personalities on interent forums acts as a kind of strange inverted reflection of themselves, or to put it another way anyone can be an internet hardman.
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I think that in some ways our avatars/usernames/sigs are our presence on this forum.
For example, when Visitor Q posts, I always imagine it coming from the mouth of Pat Sharp, and thus have an overwhelming desire to rep every single one of his posts.
It's probably why banners seem to mean a lot to people on this site (I'm not going to lie, I love my shiny new blue badge! XD)
This is an interesting concept.
Being able to project ones mental being onto the internet through your computer and interact with the other Cyber-souls of the world.
I find that when I am on the computer I do, in fact, become seperate from my physical being. I go hours without eating/drinking/going to the bathroom and don't even realize until I sign off that I'm really hungry. I don't even need to be locked into an epic battle in some RPG, or pinned down in Battlefield 2 in order to lose touch with my body... It just kinda happens.
As for different personalities over the internet, I have to agree that some people do act much different, however, not all people should be untrustworthy. It's just like meeting people in real life, some are jack asses, others are nice people.
@Macewind. I didn't develope my personality exactly as you did, but I found I started to talk and act different after becoming a member of a few forums and IRC rooms. I was bullied, sure (Even had more than a few weapons drawn on me), but everyone has to go through that and I never took it seriously. After becoming the net junky I am today, I began to take these tings even less seriously and I noticed that my confidence did get higher... I even scored more women oddly enough O__o
I like this topic alot... It has both a technical and spiritual aspect to it ^__^