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#322369 - 02/16/10 11:17 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 493
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Jeff, you pose a lot of questions! lol

I'll try to answer some of them in different replies.

Why don't I want to get to know my neighbors? Personally, because of my abuse, I distrust most everyone (excluding family, therapist, and all of you); I actually do hide if someone I don't know rings the doorbell. I'm protecting myself.

In general, though, I think people don't care to know their neighbors because they see their neighbors as vastly different from themselves. 60 years ago, say, the neighborhood was more of a united society. Open backyard barbecues and dropping by to borrow a cup of sugar, etc. If someone new moved in, it was assumed that the new family were basically the same demographics as the rest of the neighbors. The people who lived near you were like you, so all of you were your own little community. Have you ever seen a clip in a movie spoof of a domestic little street (again, portrayed maybe of the 1950s) where all of the houses are the same, with the same cars parked in the driveways, and similar-looking men all wearing the same suits getting into their cars to go to work at exactly the same time, and all the similar-looking women standing in the doorways wearing the same aprons with the same satisfied smile on their faces? Everyone was like everyone else in the neighborhood. There was unity.

Now, you can be so different from your neighbors that you may not want to get to know them at all, because you can't imagine having anything in common with them. How much can an elderly 83-year-old woman who sits in her rocking chair quietly stroking her tabby cat have in common with her neighbor who is a young man with tattoos, piercings, blue hair, and driving a motorbike, while simultaneously blasting music from a boombox that to her sounds only marginally worse than a broken bagpipe and harmonica duet? And how much could he have in common with her? (These are stereotypes - not trying to be critical of anyone out there.)

My point is I don't think neighborhoods have much unity anymore because people would rather befriend someone they know they have something in common with. Living one house down from someone else no longer means they are like you.

Just my perspective. I'll get back to your other questions soon.

Bobcat





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#322403 - 02/17/10 06:44 AM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain
......How much can an elderly 83-year-old woman who sits in her rocking chair quietly stroking her tabby cat have in common with her neighbor who is a young man with tattoos, piercings, blue hair, and driving a motorbike, while simultaneously blasting music from a boombox that to her sounds only marginally worse than a broken bagpipe and harmonica duet? And how much could he have in common with her?...people would rather befriend someone they know they have something in common with. Living one house down from someone else no longer means they are like you.


in theory i agree, which is more about the perception that we must only seek out those who are like us. in this respect the 'net supports that theory and new game. leaves me out entirely. my parties are diverse, the punk rocker and the elderly woman are both present, as are the flaming liberal and ultra conservative. surprisingly no one has ever left my house without having a fabulous time... mixing.

could i add then: society fears all that is not alike?

but where did it come from? what caused it? the trauma from 9.11? reality t.v. shows? the women's movement? the internet? crime? linear thinking? 80-hour work weeks?

i'll draw upon two examples from yesterday that i think reflect what troubles me about online.

1) suggested to a professional media website i frequent to have a user board for 'meeting up' where we could post little ads, much in the way dating sites do, that says "hey all i'm here in westchester, hit me back and we can meet on saturday at X coffee house..." how great would it be to connect with others in my profession? really great.

their response: "Nearly everyone on the board enjoys their anonymity so this proposal is not likely to fly." (case closed?)

2) cruising dating ads i noticed a guy posted a photo of bryce canyon in his album, which was place i adored in utah. so - just emailed a very quick line: i love bryce canyon, great photo!" his response: "thank you but we are not a match. good luck." DISCONNECT. so, i am actually not permitted to make random comments without being taken for that perfect match.

in a bar, that would never happen. you'd chat and move on with no offense.

i think both of those examples are linear thinking and acting, which fits the new form of communication online, and removes any reasonable flexibility that we humans favored at one time.

_________________________
Jeff

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#322417 - 02/17/10 10:55 AM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 493
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Hey, Jeff. You have some good observations, man.

Maybe you are the exception, in that you get along so well with many different types of people. Or maybe I am the exception, in that I don't. But I wish more people (and I) were like you.

I think society has always feared what it doesn't understand. But I see your point - why, in an age where we are trying harder than ever to embrace our tolerance of diversity, does it seem like we are more impersonal than ever before?

I wish I had good answers for you, Jeff. My only suggestion is that, in life, perhaps we make trade-offs for our advancement.

Example 1: We have 999 (or more) channels to watch on TV now; the tradeoff - back when there were only 5 channels, you knew you were watching the same programs as everyone else, and it was more of a shared experience.

Example 2: Kids (and adults) have video games that are very fun and take weeks, sometimes months, to solve; the tradeoff - it means there are fewer kids/adults socializing on the basketball courts.

Example 3: Nowadays, we have a wide variety of entertainment that comes directly into our homes; the tradeoff - there is no more incentive to leave the house. (This one struck me while I was teaching; I told my students they needed a good education before they went out into the real world, and they simply said that they don't want to go out into the world - they have everything they could ever want at home.)

Example 4: Here's one I read about recently: shower stalls instead of communal showers are being put in male locker rooms so there is more privacy while showering. The tradeoff, according to the article, is that the locker room will stop being a place where boys and men can unashamedly feel bonded by their nudity and maleness. (I know that's not a technology issue, but I felt it helped demonstrate my point.)

Example 5: Again, this one isn't technological, but, for me, I find it's the saddest. You can be a full-grown adult; the tradeoff - you can forget what it is like to be a child.

Maybe it's just the path of progress? Just my thoughts, Jeff. What do you think?

Your brother,

Bobcat

_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#322419 - 02/17/10 11:32 AM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
kidneythis Offline


Registered: 11/08/09
Posts: 1558
Read Aurthur C Clark's Foundation series. I'm pretty sure thats the one where he describes exactly whats happening right now with the internet and how it might lead to distancing. There is a whole planet of people who spend their entire lives physically alone attended only by robots. All interactions are done via computer interaction. Only mating requires human interaction and that is traumatic for everyone involved. I think he's actually describing what became Skype in this storyline.
The guy was amazingly prophetic.

_________________________
As Mark Twain once quipped, history may not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

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#322420 - 02/17/10 11:43 AM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain
....Maybe you are the exception, in that you get along so well with many different types of people. Or maybe I am the exception, in that I don't. But I wish more people (and I) were like you.


well, i cannot think of higher compliment than you have paid me. and i thank you most sincerely!

in reading your examples, what struck me most is how disconnected i am from masses. i also wonder how much that plays into my current dilemma. i gave up television 10 years ago. the last video game i ever played/watched was atari in 1980something. i am entertained by the forest outside the back of the house - no t.v. show could ever bring me so much joy.

the shower stall example is very interesting. my own, and very personal opinion on that without any proof, is that the reason could be more to do with deterring the cruise for anon sex.

example 5 i can also see in that we have lost some playfulness in this mess. we are restricted by moving towards 'progress' and can't really drink, can't smoke, can't eat certain foods, much of which all centered around (rightly/wrongly) socialization of yesteryear. but there has never been a replacement for those things so the choices just dwindle.... and perhaps that time spent socializing yesterday gets absorbed now with work (that we hate), the internet, and seeking meaningless entertainment indoors - alone.

i guess i'm still waiting for everyone to live as though tomorrow were one's final day. the implication from that thought of course - has many possible outcomes.

_________________________
Jeff

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#322424 - 02/17/10 12:12 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: kidneythis]
Riley Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
I think much of it has to do with where you live and not so much the times. Where I grew up neighbors played a huge part in everyone's lives. And this was just in the 90's after the technology phase hit. I knew all the neighbors, and they were all very different, many of them from different countries. I had a family from Italy across the street, a family from Ireland next door, and a family from Scotland up the street, and thats just the families with kids. When Christmas time hit my Mom would make me bring everyone pointsetta'a, the italian family gave everybody homemade wine in the summer, when it snowed everybody helped evervyody else shovel out, and most of all we watched out for everybody else, played a HUGE part of my childhood.

When I was 16 or so we moved to the suburbs in a different state and we were not met with the same kind of community, many people were even rude, still are in fact.

Now I live in an apartment building and everybody is nice to each other, and we are very diverse. In fact I'm only 1 of 3 other people that was born in america. It's nothing like when I grew up, but everybody says high and smiles and maybe chats about the weather. We still ask for small favors, one neighbor gave my car a jump and in return I held an ice cream cake in my freezer cause hers was stuffed.

The town green where I live has a hockey rink in the winter time and pretty much whenever you go down there, you will find various groups of people playing hockey, old people, young people, and kids.

I think the internet has actually expanded our social horizons. How many of you are from different states and even countries. I would not know any of you without the internet. However, I do think it's a balance, I think we still need to strive for that community life, we still need to go to the rink to play hockey, to go to the bar rather then sit at home, to the cd store rather then use Itunes, and to be honest I think we all are.


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#322432 - 02/17/10 12:56 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: Riley]
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 493
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
Wow, Ryan. I envy you your neighborhood experiences. And you might very well be right about the area vs. the times. That was a very good point. Thanks.

Bobcat

_________________________
You don't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

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#322434 - 02/17/10 01:03 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: Charlie24]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Jeff,

This is a great topic. But I for am finding that my social circle is not restricted as it once was by personal contact.
I love facebook because I have gotten into and am staying in contact with people I have not seen since the late 70's.To be honest with you I would probably would not bother to walk down the street to talk to them if that is what was required. Facebook is nice for a quick catch up on these people. Plus you can leave them a message and they can respond at their leisure.
Also you can get to know people anywhere as long on as they have a computer and the internet.Distance does not restrict your ability to interact with others. Plus you can meet more people whom share your interests and views.
I have met several of the guys from here at m/s and have become good friends with them. I was in recovery for almost 20 yrs before I was able to find a group of men addressing the issues of being sexual abused as a child. And i am hoping to meet allot more of the guys here in the future as we heal and become stronger in our support of each other and M/S as a whole.
Since I got on the internet I have pretty much stop watching t.v. because I find it to be allot more interesting surfing the web.

As for our society and it's changes. I will use my grandfather as an example. He was born in 1910 on a farm in eastern N.C.. His family and all the others around him had to farm in order to survive. From sunrise till sunset the men worked the land and the women took care of the house. During harvest time it became critical for neighbors to help neighbors in harvesting their crops. In order to survive it was important to come together as a group. Which in turn cause them to have a great deal in common and gave them reasons to bond with each other. Not so with our society we are more individualistic with the need to interact with others in order to survive not being so critical physically. But emotionally I think we are seeing that we still need others in our lives to be healthy ,happy and wise.

Mike

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#322442 - 02/17/10 02:45 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: michael banks]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: michael banks
...Not so with our society we are more individualistic with the need to interact with others in order to survive not being so critical physically. But emotionally I think we are seeing that we still need others in our lives to be healthy ,happy and wise.


i hear what you are saying mike. i must not be individualistic enough for 2010. i feel a misfit to the new social trends in that i do need people around (strike 1). i *need* the social interaction (strike 2). it doesn't help that i'm a 100% mobile employee either (strike 3). wish i could go into an office, but it requires a plane trip to a far off land. :-)

i'd be happily helping your grandad 100 years ago... and during the farming down time, i'd be the one organizing a barn dance on saturday night.

that is what turns me on. that is what gives me a reason to live - real people, real time, real places, real interaction. now, i clarify for sake of this being unemotionally digital, i'm not suicidal; but i do not care to live a virtual life. if it means i'm alone for the rest of it - god, i guess i could adopt a lot of unwanted dogs for companionship?

i still pen my own letters. i hate email = it is not real to me for the very reason that people hide. "i love you but i can't see you ever again..." is in the inbox when it should have been stated on the doorstep. (this just happened to me btw.)

life online is as unfulfilling to me as an addiction.

what were we taught about surviving and rebuilding human relationships and our level of trust after sexual abuse?

raped at 15, sex searching at 25. at 35 the horrible past had been put to bed by having learned skills necessary to move on, trust again, and seek healthy relationships of all kinds.

this recovery could not have happened, in my strong view at 45, without 1) real faces before my eyes - fellow survivors and 2) therapists who 'got it.' nothing replaces the healthy, caring, deep emotional bond created just by standing inches away from another man you trust.

the internet removed the most important social reason for why i made the choice to recover. (think about that statement.)

but yes, the internet enabled me to get "a taste of love" again after 10 years, which, when this round ended this month certainly set off an avalanche of doubt, soul searching, and re-examining of these options/tools available.

from what i seem to be reading here, and from what i see online -- its all virtual baby. get over it! set up that webcam and have virtual sex with some guy(s) in oregon. hey, its great! painless! you'll never get hurt! and its safe! yippee. no emotional connection required -ever. just set aside five hours every night (after mr. oregon) to build the facebook following of your dreams and voila! you are popular and happy once again. (do understand i'm quite calm, but extreme sarcasm seems to fit me at this moment.)


_________________________
Jeff

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#322456 - 02/17/10 06:52 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
i had another thought to add to this discussion. it is about communication.

speculative, nonetheless, worth stating. i draw upon this very short relationship that just ended. he wrote the most flattering and intense emails "about us and our future," on a fairly regular basis. and yet when we were together the conversation was mostly all about him. i didn't mind that because i was totally into him.

he tended to not remember anything i "said," during those conversations, but he did very much recognize that my emails to him were always short, punchy, and gave him the impression that i was not interested.... i would say "of course i am, 'you are my guy' and we'll be seeing each other tonight (and i can't wait) and we can talk all you want. in person."

after reading what you've all posted, i am beginning to question whether he had become so accustomed to the electronic communication as the only way to express his feelings, that face2face played less of role in the actual relationship. and face2face was only meant to be for dinner, to kiss, and sit by the fire together.

unfortunately i'm never going to know the answer in this case. but if that conclusion is true, and the email thing "is the only way" to express one's feelings forevermore in new age relationships.... eyeye.

_________________________
Jeff

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