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#322309 - 02/16/10 11:11 AM Is the Internet actually distancing us?
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
I'm responding as a new topic to Jeff's comments in "what it means to be alone", because I feel I'm going to divert the thread in there a little. Jeff submitted the idea that the Internet is distancing us socially from each other, and that face-to-face contact is being replaced by screen-to-screen contact. (Hope that's approximately right, Jeff. If it's not, please reply to this and correct me. Thanks.)

I can understand Jeff's viewpoint - the world seems to become less personal with the advent of technology. I'm actually too young to remember cheerful neighors dropping by with pies baked from scratch, or men sitting together on the front porch, enjoying a quiet smoke while the sun goes down. I regret missing out on that kind of neighborly social acceptance. These days I don't know most of my neighbors, don't care to, and run for cover should one ring the doorbell.

I do think there are advantages and disadvantages of an Internet relationship.

Advantages might include:
- not having to worry about how you look
- finding someone to talk to any time of day or night
- learning from people from different societies and cultures
- getting to know someone you wouldn't give a 2nd look at on the street
- feeling distant enough to feel safe enough to reveal your true feelings and self

Disadvantages might include:
- not seeing the other person, which is kind of impersonal
- no reassuring physical contact, like a pat on the shoulder
- no shared experiences, like playing a sport or going to a party together, which probably create better memories
- difficult to help the other person physically, whether it be helping them fix their car or giving them a shoulder on which to cry
- easier to misconstrue and harder to glean emotion from black and white words on a screen

But I do think that the Internet is a good "wading pool" for people who desire close friendships but lack the courage to risk befriending someone face-to-face. I think if people use this medium to learn a few skills on how to develop solid, trusting, emotional connections with others, they will be ready to take the next step and join the others in the "deeper pool".

That's what I'm trying to do. Is anyone else trying this too?

Bobcat

P.S. - credit for this should really go to Jeff.


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#322310 - 02/16/10 11:15 AM I think I put a topic in the wrong place
TheBobcatAgain Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/10
Posts: 507
Loc: AZ, U.S.A.
I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place, but I submitted a new topic called "Is the Internet actually distancing us?", but I meant to submit it to all male survivors, and somehow I submitted it to the gay forum.

Is there a way to move it to Male Survivors so everyone can respond?

Bobcat


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#322313 - 02/16/10 12:33 PM Re: I think I put a topic in the wrong place [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
ComicBookGuy Offline
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MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
The mods will do that with no problem Bobcat, but it depends whether they think it's such a good topic that it goes into Off-Topic instead and then everyone can respond to it.

I'll wait for them to move it before responding, but excellent subject!

_________________________
- CBG

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#322316 - 02/16/10 12:57 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
h.beat,h.break Offline


Registered: 06/05/09
Posts: 124
Loc: New York
This is simply a different generation. The telephone diverged just as much social contact when it came out in the 1870's. Besides, there's video and voice chat available for a lot of chat rooms these days.

The teens that talk to me about who they chatted with last night do so because it's something that they are accustomed to. To them chatting is like an extension of the telephone. They still hang out with these people and they meet-up with new people with their current friends. They are very smart about it. More so than most adults who are not used to an online relationship and go to meet people out of a public environment.

Also, words, in any form, hold power to them. Some of us know how powerful certain words are. Even words on a screen like "I love you" or "you are dead to me" hold power to them. These words heighten emotions within us and make us imagine what the person on the other side of the screen must be like. It makes us desire to see the person. Humans were created to be in contact with one another. No evolution of conversation will ever change that. Humanity is filled with men and women wearing veiled slight hopes for intimacy because they desire to be close.

_________________________
Hey, if "black sheep" means you're the only non-douche of the family, take that with some pride.

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#322317 - 02/16/10 01:28 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: TheBobcatAgain]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
what you wrote bobcat really fascinated me and you get full credit bud. you started it. ;-)

no change to your assumption about my earlier post. i would add though that i argue the change has already taken place. i think i'm questioning when and if face2face will even become cool again. right now, i do not have that faith.

Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain
...neighors dropping by with pies baked from scratch, or men sitting together on the front porch, enjoying a quiet smoke while the sun goes down. I regret missing out on that kind of neighborly social acceptance. These days I don't know most of my neighbors, don't care to, and run for cover should one ring the doorbell.


you described my childhood neighborhood. :-) just add singsongs under the street lamp with my dad on the accordion, another on ukulele, and another on a sax. today... i wonder if they'd be arrested for disturbing the peace. but that is why these neighbors were our tight knit family - we loved each other and supported "the whole."

i'm not picking on you - i do ask why you do not care to know your neighbors now? me thinks that statement fits the shift i'm talking about and i want to know the root cause.

Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain
I do think there are advantages and disadvantages of an Internet relationship.
Advantages might include:
- not having to worry about how you look
- finding someone to talk to any time of day or night
- learning from people from different societies and cultures
- getting to know someone you wouldn't give a 2nd look at on the street
- feeling distant enough to feel safe enough to reveal your true feelings and self


so, here are my questions:
--who cares how you look? (not a trick question either, but i think this question says more about society than you.)
--why can't you call a friend anytime of day or night?
--why wouldn't someone give you a chance on the street? (are they too into themselves, selling their hedgefund shares on the cellphone, or is it back to 'looks'?)
--why is it important to feel distant in order to feel safe?

man, in my view you typed some pretty profound statements and i'm very pleased that you did! it provides some fascinating insight for me, at least. saddens me more than i can say, nonetheless, keep going....

Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain

- easier to misconstrue and harder to glean emotion from black and white words on a screen


agree. i'll add 'one sided.' i can be perceived as raging madman online, and yet that perception is only because i use the 'net to scream about injustice and to express my frustration as life grows near to a close. i see no point in expressing my lovable side online -- that is reserved for real life. my lovable side is also what gets me into trouble, and more than once now has left me with the broken heart.

Originally Posted By: TheBobcatAgain
...lack the courage to risk befriending someone face-to-face. I think if people use this medium to learn a few skills on how to develop solid, trusting, emotional connections with others, they will be ready to take the next step and join the others in the "deeper pool".


i'm really lost here bobcat. i do not see at all how any emotional bond can be built online (first) and then transfer that into real life (second).

what courage does it take to say "hi" in person? are we training our children (and adults) to become shut-ins? is that our future? no one can talk with anyone real time unless they are 1,000% sure there is no risk? that new person has been screened three years on facebook; have had their credit checked; are employable, cancer free, but botox is acceptable... etc. etc.

how long does it take to build these skills? how long do you intend to live? how much time is living online taking away from living offline?


_________________________
Jeff

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#322321 - 02/16/10 01:52 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
just me Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 194
_________________________
My Story

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#322322 - 02/16/10 02:02 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: just me]
westchesterguy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 421
Loc: Westchester County NY
Originally Posted By: just me


sure is. although hardly in-depth reporting.

what worries me more is that: "But some new trends, such as online social networking, may help counter the effect, he says..."

that seems to be the new answer - problem solved?

_________________________
Jeff

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#322348 - 02/16/10 08:00 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
just me Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 194
Actually I think the current thinking is that it might be just as bad(Facebook). I could send you the whole 24 page study if you'd like.

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My Story

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#322365 - 02/16/10 10:19 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
ComicBookGuy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/08/09
Posts: 443
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: westchesterguy
I think i'm questioning when and if face2face will even [ever?] become cool again. right now, I do not have that faith.

what courage does it take to say "hi" in person? are we training our children (and adults) to become shut-ins? is that our future? no one can talk with anyone real time unless they are 1,000% sure there is no risk? that new person has been screened three years on facebook; have had their credit checked; are employable, cancer free, but botox is acceptable... etc. etc.

how long does it take to build these skills? how long do you intend to live? how much time is living online taking away from living offline?


Two great points westchester, but what I will remark, is, I can't think of a time when face-to-face communication among an entire group was fashionable if some of them wanted to gossip about others - as a result I think people that do so, ganging up on individuals behind their back in a personal or work setting, they deserve whatever comes back around and cannot expect the target of that gossip to want to engage with the group after that - unless they are equally fake.

I don't know really, King Tut and I didn't really know each other when we met up for a CSA rally last year, I was only less nervous than I would've been at meeting a "new" person off the net, due to illness. He didn't think I came across as reserved which is how I thought I was, so self-perception can be what keeps you shut-in sometimes. Since Steve of Amsosa was also there he pretty much brought everyone out of their shells as co-organiser, so a third party's input can help break the ice among strangers.

Last point about neighbours (though I know you were asking bobcat), during my childhood I had one set of neighbours that are still friends for life today. Up where I live now, sadly that's not the case. If you have rental tenants as neighbours but you own your place, 99% of the time they will not want to know you and from eight years' experience, will go out of their way to cause you trouble. So when the perfect family moves in but they're only renting, you will naturally be on the defensive.

_________________________
- CBG

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#322368 - 02/16/10 10:57 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: ComicBookGuy]
Charlie24 Offline


Registered: 09/28/08
Posts: 562
Bobcat, this is a great topic, you are full of great topics man. Love the thought provoking discussions you bring up.

Yeah I think in a way it has distanced people. But I think there are blessings, both sides having benefits and consequences so to speak.

People are able to communicate at faster rates and get things done, a more global role for that, but in other ways I think it's really seperated people.

As a society we are really plugged in, I'm guilty of this as well. Ipods and computers and wireless internet practically every where you go these days.

People my age and younger and even older are jumping onto the bandwagon of internet life and connections.

Look at Facebook, MySpace, Twitter all these things that are popping up and growing.

In some ways I long for connections with people in person, one of things I like about my classes in college, I'm with other people and at times when I'm lonely I often head over to campus just to be around others. It helps in a way.

Sadly I feel like a lot of these sites just bread narcissism which isn't all that healthy, but so many companies have jumped on the bandwagon.

I finally gave in and got a MySpace, never figured out to how to use it correctly and a Facebook, got severely addicted to that site, just let it run my life and get in the way of everything, really unhealthy.

Maybe it's just part of the new reality. I really don't know.

I try to allow myself to use the internet, but try to limit my time, which I really struggle with and just often I need to get out of my apartment, go for a walk, drive, run to just be moving and out in fresh air.

I really do think and echo the comments that it may be bringing us closer in some ways but really distancing us in so many other ways.

God you are wise group of guys. Love these discussions. Thanks Bobcat.

Charlie.


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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: 507
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: 507
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: 507
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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#322457 - 02/17/10 07:13 PM Re: Is the Internet actually distancing us? [Re: westchesterguy]
michael banks Offline


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

For me my computer is just the starting point for the basis of relationships that i find online, not the end of it. In time i hope to meet and grow my relationships with the people I find on line here at M/S,facebook or whatever site.
As with any tool it has more to with how we use it and not so much the tool itself.

Interesting side note, I was listening to a program on NPR a few months ago and they were talking about how writing manually may one day disappear. Due to everyone using the keyboard. I am checking out my middle finger on my writing hand and my writing bump is near about gone.

Too me life is about perspectives and we each choose our own.

My Grandmother use to always bitch about how much better life was when she was young. But for the life of me I don't ever remember her complaining about in door plumbing.

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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