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groteske
November 10th, 2011, 11:49 PM
I keep seeing well-intentioned threads on this forum about one's memories/friends/etc. No problem, except it's about memories and friends ON THIS FORUM. Anyone else find that very strange and mildly discomfiting? In a healthy world these experiences should be happening in real life, with real friends and real activities, not some virtual cafe.

I'm a member of several different forums, and this is the only one where members place such value on inter-forum experience & relationships. The other boards take for granted that members have lives and obligations, and that their content is supplementary entertainment and knowledge. This one seems to be a primary source, for some members I've observed.

So, despite my obvious bias, some questions (in an attempt to sympathize, mostly):

Is PC the only place you feel comfortable being yourself?
Do you get regular social interaction outside of a computer?
the obvious, I suppose: why do you suppose this forum has such an emphasis on inter-forum interactions, and where do you fit in with that?

Kura
November 10th, 2011, 11:55 PM
I feel like that, too. Sometimes it's like.. the DCC is my only opportunity to talk about life outside the online world, but conversation always seems to lead back to the online world.

As for your question; not at all. I've learned to be myself offline and I am comfortable with who I am no matter where I am sitting. To be honest, I did get a lot of social interaction before the last couple of months.. but I found that I've been spending quite a bit more time on my art and I am fine with this. A chunk of my time is still spent with friends and family who I see day-to-day.

I think it's because a lot of people almost.. pride themselves in this forum. It's a large forum so if they feel they've made a presence here.. perhaps they feel some sort of accomplishment? I'm throwing guesses here but

http://doulifee.com//Storage/aceatt/GyakutenHeroes/2-15ani-mia-waitress.gif

that's just what I think.

groteske
November 11th, 2011, 12:17 AM
I think it's because a lot of people almost.. pride themselves in this forum. It's a large forum so if they feel they've made a presence here.. perhaps they feel some sort of accomplishment? I'm throwing guesses here but that's just what I think.

Agreed on each point, but this observation in particular. Pride in one's online presence is a concept utterly foreign to me. Modship here is discussed like some sort of demigod status. Things like these make me think the average member doesn't interact often and/or extensively with non-family, which would cause them to place priority towards an online forum which lends anonymity, sort-of social interaction, and, silly as it may appear on the surface, ample time to produce a cohesive, intelligent response.

Like you, Kura, the more productive I am, the less I tend to care about anything beyond what's actually in front of me.

Arma
November 11th, 2011, 01:15 AM
Right, I'm kinda glad you made this thread, I was wondering about these things too.

Is PC the only place you feel comfortable being yourself?
Nope, in fact, I'm often having trouble here being myself because some jokes I would tell aren't really that funny when you translate them in English. (I'm Dutch)
Do you get regular social interaction outside of a computer?
I got a date in a few hours, you guess :P Seriously though, I got a lot friends, and I'd rather spent my time with them then on this forum.
the obvious, I suppose: why do you suppose this forum has such an emphasis on inter-forum interactions, and where do you fit in with that?
I'm sorry, but I honestly wouldn't know the answer to that...

shenanigans
November 11th, 2011, 01:27 AM
You've made an interesting thread here, groteske. And I've thought you're onto something here since I joined tbh; it's true that, compared to any other forum I've seen, PC has a much tighter memberbase. It certainly would seem that it becomes the centre of the lives of a lot of members.

...although I don't think that's implied by how much they discuss their PC life on here. I like to think I'm fairly strong socially both online and offline, although stronger offline. But I don't imagine PC really wants to read about that; posting about your PC-related experiences is something that the rest of PC is able to relate to, so for your average member, I suppose it makes a more interesting post. Especially when you do have these members where PC = life.

Modship here is discussed like some sort of demigod status. Things like these make me think the average member doesn't interact often and/or extensively with non-family, which would cause them to place priority towards an online forum which lends anonymity, sort-of social interaction, and, silly as it may appear on the surface, ample time to produce a cohesive, intelligent response.

I couldn't agree more here, and I think that maybe this is part of why you see so many people seemingly doing so much online but so little offline. As Kura said,

I think it's because a lot of people almost.. pride themselves in this forum. It's a large forum so if they feel they've made a presence here.. perhaps they feel some sort of accomplishment?

if someone is proud of something they do then, online or offline, they dedicate a lot of time to it. I'm not sure why PC is so big on this in comparison to other forums but it could serve as a sort of explanation.

I've sorta answered your questions in that other than the first and second part of the third one, so I'll do that now. I don't really act that much different online to offline other than I'm more likely to tell people stuff online since if something goes wrong and they tell everyone or whatever, you can just not speak to the people involved. That's a commodity of having an online life which isn't present in an offline one. But otherwise, yeah, I'm more or less the same and I don't see why I wouldn't be. If people want to know me then they should know the real me as opposed to the online me; the same goes for offline friends. Both online and offline I feel I should be the same.

As for inter-member relations? I have some really good friends on here, sure, but I don't take it to the degree that some members do. I know a lot of people here who are either in, or have been in, loving relationships with other members and as nice as that is, it's not for me. I'll admit that when I joined I was a little shell-shocked at the general type of interaction between members here, since sometimes they end up being best friends or, as I mentioned earlier, lovers. It's something I don't see often and I can't get why it's so common here but whatever. You get used to it, but I just choose not to participate in it as much as others do.

Gold warehouse
November 11th, 2011, 04:34 AM
Due to the scale of the forum if you're part of an "in" crowd or the staff, then I think some people will just naturally (consciously or unconsciously) start to consider it as if they've ascended simply because they're no longer "just another member".

I think it's because a lot of people almost.. pride themselves in this forum. It's a large forum so if they feel they've made a presence here.. perhaps they feel some sort of accomplishment? I'm throwing guesses here but
aka. this, pretty much

It's not exclusive to PC though, I've seen it on other forums. I think it just depends on the nature of the members that join and whether they manage to 'click' with a lot of other members.

Yoshikko
November 11th, 2011, 04:54 AM
I agree with you, and with the points Kura made. I don't really know how to say anything else because it all has been said already (which I'm happy about because I wouldn't know how to word it anyway lol)

Is PC the only place you feel comfortable being yourself?
Not at all, this is just such an active place and it has so many people and interaction that it is just a fun place to be.

Do you get regular social interaction outside of a computer?
Yes I do, but probably not as much as I should. But I am a very introvert person and I have always been, so that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with being online.


But yeah I absolutely agree on every point you made. Just wanted to say that haha.

Oryx
November 11th, 2011, 05:20 AM
I think that does apply to many people, but I have to disagree that it applies to the majority honestly. At least the people I talk to, sure, they're on PC a lot, but when asked they have plenty of non-PC experiences to share. For example, if you were ever on irc with me for any extended period of time, you'd hear me talking endlessly about my boyfriend who has an account on here that he never logs on to, lol. I especially disagree with this:

In a healthy world these experiences should be happening in real life, with real friends and real activities, not some virtual cafe.

This statement is making the assumption that those two are mutually exclusive; because someone is social on PC, they can't be social in real life so they should get rid of their social life on PC so they can develop a real life. However, this isn't the case at all. PC isn't the problem in the case of a person being anti-social and not wanting to interact in real life. I used to be like that, before I had PC. I was anti-social by playing MMOs almost all the time and never interacting with anyone in real life, but if someone had taken away the MMO, I just would have found somewhere else to 'hang out' on the internet because it wasn't "I have no social life because I'm playing this game", it was "I'm playing this game so intensely because I have no social life".

I was going to reply to the "people talk a lot about PC, therefore they must not be social ever" fallacy but Razor Leaf got it with "posting about your PC-related experiences is something that the rest of PC is able to relate to". That's exactly it; I talk about my boyfriend on irc because I've talked about him enough that everyone there knows who he is. But on the forum, people are far less interested in hearing about my boyfriend irl than my closest friend online because...they know my closest friend online. That automatically makes that person more interesting to them.

I guess I should answer your questions huh.
Is PC the only place you feel comfortable being yourself? No.
Do you get regular social interaction outside of a computer? Yes.
the obvious, I suppose: why do you suppose this forum has such an emphasis on inter-forum interactions, and where do you fit in with that?
I don't think it is just this forum, because I've experienced this with my guild in WoW, the two free MMOs I seriously played, even Neopets when I used to play that. I think the other places you go are exceptions, not PC. xD;

Esper
November 11th, 2011, 09:50 AM
Curious topic, especially since some people on PC have voiced concern that few members make a good effort to interact and that "everyone posts, nobody reads." Not a criticism, just an observation. I think both are valid points.

I'm comfortable enough on PC, and though I share things I also hold things back because this is the internet and I don't want to put everything of myself into it. I'll do that more with my friends in the real world. I guess my time on PC is just something I do when I have down time - not working, no other plans.

I think it's because a lot of people almost.. pride themselves in this forum. It's a large forum so if they feel they've made a presence here.. perhaps they feel some sort of accomplishment?
I think it's normal to take pride in anything you do well. If I spent a lot of time on PC and could be part of what makes other people want to come here, that is, entertaining and informing people, then I would be proud of that.

Mr Cat Dog
November 11th, 2011, 11:01 AM
I think, for a great many people, PC - and internet forums in general - can genuinely be someone's life. If one spends enough time on the internet at the expense of, say, doing offline pursuits, then an attachment to an online life seems relatively normal. Not to make this too nostalgic, but I can empathise with people like this, as I was once one of those people, to a certain degree, many years ago. Like Toujours says, however, I don't think the majority of PC people see this place as their primary point of social activity (I hope not, at least).

OmegaRuby and AlphaSapphire
November 11th, 2011, 09:03 PM
I used to be like that but now I don't really care all that much about my online life here.
Some people like interconnecting with others,sometimes a site like this gives people the feeling of being linked to a world with people with different lives and experiences...or at least that's my take on it.

marz
November 11th, 2011, 10:25 PM
Interesting thought groteske, but one question for you: what business is it of yours? I completely agree that PC members are very proud of who they are and many end up making PC the centre of their lives (even I was one of those people back in the day). But people will have the friends they will have. Straight up, some of the people I've met on this forum have been the best people in my lives. Contrarily, I've also met some pretty disgusting people.

I feel a bit awkward answering this thread because as I look back on my stay at PC, I would say that I'm exactly who you're describing. I pretty much made PC my life. I'm not sure how things spun out that way but they did. Back then, besides going to school every day, I had little to no outside interaction. I had a group of friends I would hang around with but, as I can recall, hardly joined in conversation. Just listened to what they were saying and occasionally gave an input. Honestly, it worked for me though. The best part of my day was coming home, singing onto PC and singing onto MSN.

In regards to modship being viewed as a demigod status, I couldn't agree more. And not only is it viewed that way, but Administrator-status is abused that way. I personally love the memberbase here and the amount of user-generated content on this forum is astounding, but the forces running the place are corrupted to say the least. I only have respect for a select few. But that's a whole different issue. The fact that they can run a tight-knit community like ours, I suppose, may be an accomplishment. Nothing wrong with that. Again to bring up my starting point: who are you to say anything about the friends that the members on PC have, and how they openly interact with them on the forums? It's not like, by not including any out-of-forum friends in our posts are we disallowing their possible presence. I've had a real life friend of mine sign up years ago. She signed on a few times and quit. Must have not had the same interest in PC as I did.

Is PC the only place you feel comfortable being yourself?
No, but definitely one of the places where I most can. I'm in second year College right now and I'm quite reserved, and it's hard for me to feel like I'm having a good time with a group of people.

Do you get regular social interaction outside of a computer?
Apart from school, I don't. I'm honestly most comfortable at a computer. I've broken it down to the fact that you can read what you want to say beforehand, which is a virtue sometimes, and that it's okay to ignore people. If you're on MSN, you'll never get mad at someone for taking a few minutes to reply. If you're on the phone? Wait a few seconds and you'll be hearing "Hello? you there??" and in person it's even less time before the person gets angry. I'm not saying I love to ignore people, but it's just the fact that I can go ahead and do what I wanna do while I talk to you. Online communication is just so much easier.

the obvious, I suppose: why do you suppose this forum has such an emphasis on inter-forum interactions, and where do you fit in with that?

Why? Who knows. Maybe it's because everyone here is so likeable. People join a forum with the primary intent of posting and/or lurking in threads. That we can all agree on. The memberbase is what keep people coming back. PC is made up of very nice and approachable people, I find. Sure, you might find the occasional a*hole but you'll find that anywhere. Ever consider that PC's memberbase is tight-knit because it doesn't need to expand any further? What are you going to find at Serebii you can't find here? Or PE2K?

As far as posting about your real life or alternative forum friends goes, there's also a level of "who really would care if they read this?" None of you know my friends Chris, Marco or Luis. Who the hell's Karina and Olivia? But if I happen to mention Klippy or Sydian, Metatron or Igiko, some of you would recognize who I'm talking about. And would perhaps agree (or disagree) with whatever it is I'm saying about them at the time.

Nothing wrong with a tight-knit forum as far as I'm concerned.

In a healthy world these experiences should be happening in real life, with real friends and real activities, not some virtual cafe.

I can't help but take a degree of offense to that. First of all, what's health got to do with it. If you're worried about us sitting in front of a computer screen for many hours of the day, guess what people do at their desks at work? And then come home to do what? Crack open a beer and sit in front of the television screen. Otherwise, I see no potential health issues. I'll also have you know that sitting in front of a computer is not virtual. I am physically, really, sitting in front of a computer. In my actual life, I am sitting at the computer. The people with whom I am communicating, just as I exist, happen to really exist. They breathe, blink, eat, sleep (debatable), go to school and have jobs just as I do.

I've met several people from this forum. I spent a beautiful week in California that I think back on and miss at least once a week. To meet who? A real person I met on PC sitting at my real computer with whom I communicated with while he was sitting in his real chair at his own real computer. As far as activities goes, the ball's in your court. Can't be doin activities like that with online friends. But hey! I don't care. That trip to California? Costed me nothing. No more than the plane ticket there and back. Had I not come to PC, I never would have had the luxury of going to California for that cheap. I was just outside Los Angeles. Do you know how expensive a hotel is in LA? And I took a drive up to San Francisco and also stayed there for $0. So hey, I'll take a real activity travelling to sunny California over daily activities with my "real" friends any day.


Also, I'd like to point out what severe irony this thread contains.

2Cool4Mewtwo
November 12th, 2011, 12:53 PM
Unlike many others in this forum, I don't have much time to be active with all the "virtual friends" in this forum. I do occasionally post (like I just did now), but I'm not as active as I quite used to be in the summer.

Truality
November 15th, 2011, 04:58 PM
I think, for a great many people, PC - and internet forums in general - can genuinely be someone's life. If one spends enough time on the internet at the expense of, say, doing offline pursuits, then an attachment to an online life seems relatively normal. Not to make this too nostalgic, but I can empathise with people like this, as I was once one of those people, to a certain degree, many years ago. Like Toujours says, however, I don't think the majority of PC people see this place as their primary point of social activity (I hope not, at least).Rationally thinking, this would be mostly my answer.

However, from the very beginning, I've felt that this specific site is giving me different vibes than the ones I get from your average community. I can't really explain it, but I like coming here even if I have no reason to. (Much like my fridge - ehh?) It's not about the people in particular, but here, I've experienced certain interaction elements that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Online activity was always intriguing in its own way. I suppose that PC just brought mine to a different level. I don't go with long-scale posts often so I just summarized my thoughts.

Trance and Moss
November 24th, 2011, 07:03 PM
I've only been on this forum for 2/3 days, so it is definitely not the place I feel most comfortable etc.

I used to essentially "live my life on the internet" when I was in High School, but not anymore.

I honestly don't feel that there is a difference between the internet and real life...besides the fact that the internet allows you to connect with people from far away easier. We are all real people, and we gather together, so it really isn't much different than any other social situation.

groteske
November 25th, 2011, 09:15 PM
Huh, forgot about this thread. I see Penatrait exemplifies what I'm talking about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

T&M, I suppose if you're used to Skype/etc there really isn't such a large difference. I'm curious as to the satisfaction, though. That's really the crux of this thread. For me, I'd be much happier grabbing a beer with someone and bullshitting around rather than type them a dozen messages.

Oryx
November 25th, 2011, 09:25 PM
Huh, forgot about this thread. I see Penatrait exemplifies what I'm talking about. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

T&M, I suppose if you're used to Skype/etc there really isn't such a large difference. I'm curious as to the satisfaction, though. That's really the crux of this thread. For me, I'd be much happier grabbing a beer with someone and bullshitting around rather than type them a dozen messages.

There is a noticeable difference, even between Skype and rl. If you spend a lot of time online over irl, you don't learn the essentials of body language, presentation, what's "alright" to say and what's not (different online and irl surprisingly), and how to talk off the cuff instead of having the ability to think long and hard about it. The effect is worse if you're not using Skype at all, because then you lose the 'tone' which is even more important.

I think where this thread goes wrong is that it assumes that if you're proud of what you've done on PC, or have friends on here, or spend a lot of time on here, that you automatically have no life irl or no friends. I would say I spend a lot of my time on PC, but I also have a boyfriend and friends and classes I go to and homework that I do and a lot of people are also like that, lol.

Edit: Just realized that I said the same thing in my last post. Oh well it was a while ago don't judge me

groteske
November 25th, 2011, 09:37 PM
There is a noticeable difference, even between Skype and rl. If you spend a lot of time online over irl, you don't learn the essentials of body language, presentation, what's "alright" to say and what's not (different online and irl surprisingly), and how to talk off the cuff instead of having the ability to think long and hard about it. The effect is worse if you're not using Skype at all, because then you lose the 'tone' which is even more important.

Of course, hence "..isn't such a large difference," meaning with Skype/similar you can at least decipher tone accurately and gain a rudimentary knowledge of how to better interact. Given the vast, vast diversity among people, I don't find it a substitute for real-life interaction, something I see we're agreed on.

I think where this thread goes wrong is that it assumes that if you're proud of what you've done on PC, or have friends on here, or spend a lot of time on here, that you automatically have no life irl or no friends. I would say I spend a lot of my time on PC, but I also have a boyfriend and friends and classes I go to and homework that I do and a lot of people are also like that, lol.
That's your connotation and not what I intended; lord knows I don't want a laundry list of justifications from people who assume I'm targeting them. This thread was created to make the observation that this community is significantly more tighter-knit than many others. I assumed that this was due to the userbase age and now I remain unconvinced that that conclusion's off-base.

Oryx
November 25th, 2011, 09:48 PM
[FONT=Calibri][SIZE=2]That's your connotation and not what I intended; lord knows I don't want a laundry list of justifications from people who assume I'm targeting them. This thread was created to make the observation that this community is significantly more tighter-knit than many others. I assumed that this was due to the userbase age and now I remain unconvinced that that conclusion's off-base.

So when you said that "In a healthy world [one's memories and friends] should be happening in real life, with real friends and real activities, not some virtual cafe", you didn't mean that someone having memories and friends online was unhealthy from your point of view? Well then that's very, very heavily implied in your OP and you might want to rethink how you've presented your question, lol.

I can't speak on the issue of age because no matter what forum I've been on, I've always ended up gravitating towards people in their late teens/early 20s no matter my own age, so that's the only age group where I've had any experience. Although it's interesting that most "adults" (using the term adult to mean over 30 here), you can tell that they're adults by the way they type - I can't really give you an example, but it's kind of like squares and rectangles. Everyone who I've ever seen type that way have been adults, but not all adults I've met type that way. It's generally...kind of unnatural in an online environment and makes it more difficult to interact.

groteske
November 25th, 2011, 10:04 PM
So when you said that "In a healthy world [one's memories and friends] should be happening in real life, with real friends and real activities, not some virtual cafe", you didn't mean that someone having memories and friends online was unhealthy from your point of view? Well then that's very, very heavily implied in your OP and you might want to rethink how you've presented your question, lol.

I see what you're saying, but picking apart my posts isn't promoting discussion related to the OP. While we're searching for straw needles, I should've indeed clarified that the majority of one's social interaction should come from face-to-face conversation - the reverse situation is what I'm interested in, as it relates to PC. I never implied that interacting online was a negative, only in the instances where said interactions provide one's only source of social experience. I've said all this before and gotten a few enlightening replies. Meanwhile, repetition grows weary.

I understand what you mean about age, interesting description. Most of my friends are in their thirties and forties, and the difference in mindset is what piqued my interest in the first place.

TRIFORCE89
November 25th, 2011, 10:11 PM
I'm not opposed to online interactions, friends, or socializing. I am guilty of such. However, the growing trend of it being the primary outlet is worrisome. We'll eventually lose what it means to be human and interact on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Having intellectually stimulating conversations or being able to communicate through body language, speech, and a physical presence.

PC isn't the only place I feel comfortable. Nor is online. I'm comfortable... where I'm comfortable. What the online environment provides is anonymity for that initial breaking-the-ice moment. If I screw up, no biggie. So, in that sense I'm probably more out-going. Offline, I usually let people approach me first. But in either case, once the interaction begins I'm the same person.

Kura
November 26th, 2011, 01:41 PM
I'm not opposed to online interactions, friends, or socializing. I am guilty of such. However, the growing trend of it being the primary outlet is worrisome. We'll eventually lose what it means to be human and interact on a deeper and more meaningful level.

Having intellectually stimulating conversations or being able to communicate through body language, speech, and a physical presence.

PC isn't the only place I feel comfortable. Nor is online. I'm comfortable... where I'm comfortable. What the online environment provides is anonymity for that initial breaking-the-ice moment. If I screw up, no biggie. So, in that sense I'm probably more out-going. Offline, I usually let people approach me first. But in either case, once the interaction begins I'm the same person.


Knowing you IRL I agree with this entirely. Though I also know people who seem to portray a different "persona" online than they do offline. In this case it may be worrisome because I think people SHOULD be comfortable in their own skill in front of people, to a degree.
I think the easier people can interact in front of other people IRL, the more willing they will be to contribute actively to society because they wont feel like they have to hold back in certain situations. I think the phrase "You can talk the talk but can you walk the walk?" applies here. I think it's more meaningful to do, and some people are losing that and the importance of that. (Like why don't many people ever like to send cute snail-mail to their online friends? It's a nice gesture that shows that you care, more than a means of communication!) It takes more effort to do than to say, and THAT'S why I agree that it's worrisome that online relationships may take precedence for some people.