Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

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Sherry
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Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Sherry » Fri Apr 21, 2006 6:06 pm

I was reading articles online today. I often can be found doing that. And an article caught my eye. Read it here

It was however one of the comments from the public at the end of it caught my eye. It said

'Online discussion forums are helping to destroy conversation. If you've ever spent time on some, you'll find that any hint of going off-topic brings moderators down with a vengence. I wonder if this doesn't trickle down to our real life conversations, making people hesitant to take a chat off on a tangent when it strikes their fancy'

I guess this person has never been here :lol: But it did get me to thinking how the art of conversation has changed. Not only in life, out there in the big wide world but elsewhere, forums, chat, thearseoftheinter... I mean MySpace.

I started off posting discussion forums a fair few years back now. And I've stuck with them since day one. I still post a couple of forums I've been visiting since my first day online :) I find that while I post less there (this site takes up lots of my computer time now also) I still visit, read and enjoy it. I'm also lucky to have made some great real life friends from one of these forums. And we are still in touch today :) If anything, posting on these forums encouraged my creativity and my enjoyment of something. From it, with Iris, we created Figwit Lives and the rest is history :roll: It was a great deal of fun and helped me find in myself again something that had been struggling to express itself. My creativity and my writing.

For me, discussion forums had the opposite effect that what the person said above. I wrote some very short posts, I also wrote some great long efforts. It gave me the inclination to start a dialogue with people. To express myself and to read them in return. To explore avenues and other aspects of life I had not thought to yet consider. A whole can of worms.

Yes, these forums I posted on were moderated. Far more than this forum here is. We could not even use the words 'hell' or 'crap' when posting. Thats how strict it was. But adults still had fun, using clean language and becoming very inventive with some amazingly funny innuendo. ANd most there posted coherant, intelligent musings. In English that was clear and concise. Even when not their native language.

I was wondering if it was not the type of forum itself that lends itself to the loss of conversation and the multitude of '!!!!1111oneoneone' posts? The type/style of forum leads to a type or style of posting? Or is a generation thing? I'm 35 and like to read and write in English, even when I send a phone text. I don't like abbrieviations and avoid them as far as possible. But kids growing up with mobile technology are more used to such things than I.

Forums are good in that they give you time to compose and think. Chat rooms often don't lend themselves to this very well. Actually many big chat rooms are caverns and trying to have a 'conversation' is not always easy. People can get lost. in them. Or express themselves to have some pretentious arse garble on at them in return. Or not be heard there at all. I prefer forums in many ways, though have used IRC chat for about the same length of time as I have posted. Both are second nature to me but very different beasts.

I like to think a well run forum is a way to open minds and kick start conversation and not as a way to end it. I am encouraged to see people putting some effort in. Places such as myspace I feel almost encourage laziness. Forums can also to a degree, but as its the sort of thing you take more time over, you maybe sit down with a cup of tea, browse, read, think, reply... its a process and one that, because of the time invested usually means you see a return on your investment by way of posts read and replied to, and are then likely to come back and expand some more and continue posting.

When you feel part of a community also, its a great thing. To be able to log in and see people you know writing. Its a good feeling. And you want to keep going with them, to know more, to read more and to converse.

Well, I do anyways.

Ummm enough said here. Or else I'll never stop :roll:

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EvilMoose
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby EvilMoose » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:24 pm

Sherry wrote:When you feel part of a community also, its a great thing. To be able to log in and see people you know writing. Its a good feeling. And you want to keep going with them, to know more, to read more and to converse.


Right on, Sherry! I can't even begin to tell you how much this forum and the people who post on it mean to me. You all have become a part of my family. Even though I don't post much (I'm trying to rectify that), I am on here several times a day checking in on how y'all are doing.

Sherry wrote:For me, discussion forums had the opposite effect that what the person said above. I wrote some very short posts, I also wrote some great long efforts. It gave me the inclination to start a dialogue with people. To express myself and to read them in return. To explore avenues and other aspects of life I had not thought to yet consider. A whole can of worms.


If you were to walk up and try to start a conversation with me, you'd be lucky to get one sentence out of me. On here...well, I've already written a record breaking six. Not only that, I actually made an attempt at cooking :shock: and I have expanded my paltry CD collection. So to whomever wrote that article I say "Pishaw!"
To me religion seems like a bunch of people talking to their imaginary friend. - Dylan Moran

Sherry
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Sherry » Fri Apr 21, 2006 9:37 pm

EvilMoose wrote:
Sherry wrote:When you feel part of a community also, its a great thing. To be able to log in and see people you know writing. Its a good feeling. And you want to keep going with them, to know more, to read more and to converse.


Right on, Sherry! I can't even begin to tell you how much this forum and the people who post on it mean to me. You all have become a part of my family. Even though I don't post much (I'm trying to rectify that), I am on here several times a day checking in on how y'all are doing.

Sherry wrote:For me, discussion forums had the opposite effect that what the person said above. I wrote some very short posts, I also wrote some great long efforts. It gave me the inclination to start a dialogue with people. To express myself and to read them in return. To explore avenues and other aspects of life I had not thought to yet consider. A whole can of worms.


If you were to walk up and try to start a conversation with me, you'd be lucky to get one sentence out of me. On here...well, I've already written a record breaking six. Not only that, I actually made an attempt at cooking :shock: and I have expanded my paltry CD collection. So to whomever wrote that article I say "Pishaw!"


Lovely that you think of us here in such a way :) I have to admit, I consider everyone here, the community, an important part of my life. It is like an extended family. Its a good feeling. I care a great deal about those here. People who are happy to spend some time with you, even if its 6 hours after you post. And like in life, its not always picture perfect on a forum, they have ebbs and flows, and people don't always see eye to eye, but we can stick around and work things out and support each other. Even those that have wandered off and don't post at present, they may one day be back and we'll be happy to see them and catch up. Everyone is always welcome :)

And woo cooking :cheer: And as I was saying, exploring new things gleaned from others posting, its cool. Music is a great thing to hear about from others. It might not always be great, I've been sent on some dodgy dodge type things, but hey, its a learning curve and if its a crapout, I chalk it up to experience. And never listen to them/it again :lol:

And just think, there is so much more out there to stumble across in conversation :) Happy we found you and you found us

:bighug:

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indigo_jones
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Postby indigo_jones » Fri Apr 21, 2006 10:59 pm

I think in some ways, posting on forums has made me chattier. I'm fairly quiet in person, unless I know the other people really well. Of course, sometimes my natural nature comes through and I'll read posts and think about them, but not reply because I'm not feeling very talkative at the moment. That actually happens a lot.

I've made some really good real-life friends from people I've met on a forum -- and I'm looking forward to making more very soon. For me, I find that having chatted with people online through a forum allows me to connect to a person more easily when I'm meeting them in person for the first time.

As for real-life conversations -- or even online ones -- I can go off on tangents quite easily. Nothing will kill that ability! :lol: I also only post in forums where people write in complete sentences and abbreviations are kept to a minimum. I worked in publishing for too long to abide kewl cre8tive krap. :roll: It makes me twitch.
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/me
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Postby /me » Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:13 am

'I wonder if this doesn't trickle down to our real life conversations, making people hesitant to take a chat off on a tangent when it strikes their fancy'

Rogue Modmins hiding behind street corners just waiting to pounce at the slightest hint of deviation? The writer needs to look into that paranoia complex.

Let's see here, e-mail killed the telephone killed the telegraph killed the letter and so on, television is eating away at our brains, and video games are making our children stupid, blahblahblah. Honestly, I don't understand this "the end is nigh!!" type of thinking about every piece of new technology that comes along. There are pros and cons to everything. Surgeons now practice on video games to improve their hand-eye coordination, for instance.

I especially like the current "internet is hurting social skills" claim that's going around lately because, apparently, there was no such thing as socially awkward geeks before the internets. Everybody was just instantly popular and naturally made friends with everybody else, sustaining a perfect healthy social life. Ha!

I actually think the internet can improve social skills in those who are painfully shy. Internet forums are like a giant virtual cocktail party without all the stress. You can join in a discussion of a topic you enjoy without the awkwardness of walking up to a random group of people at a party, smiling broadly (like they recommend in those silly books), only to find a heated debate in progress about the pre-biblical political leanings of pygmy goat herders or something else you know utterly nothing about, leaving you with no option but to try to stick it out and look like an ignorant hick or gracefully trying to excuse yourself....or so I've heard. :whistle:
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Johnnyp
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Postby Johnnyp » Sat Apr 22, 2006 1:10 am

The friends I've made through this and the one other forum I frequent insider.speedtv.com are priceless. In a way I think having to be careful on what and how you say it has helped me a lot to be honest. I find myself correcting my sailors tongue in my head before I speak. I'll admit I used to be more colorful with my language. I noticed that when I speak I use alternates like farkin' or frickin' now. :lol:

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jm513
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Postby jm513 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 2:20 am

Until I found WTF, it had been years (YEARS!! as in ummmmm 12 years) since I chatted online in any kind of forum/chat room. I met some wonderful people in the place I frequented years ago but life went on and I got out of the habbit of using the internet for anything like this.
When I found this place and started chatting in here I remembered just how much fun this can be! (my husband thinks I'm crazy, but whatever :rolleyes: )
However, I don't really have anything to compare it to as I don't frequent any other types of forums. So, maybe that writer just visited some strict forums? Who knows? I know that from being here, that is not a comment I would ever possibly agree with.
Personally, well - I'm not shy, but I'm not a total extrovert (anymore) either. I'll talk with someone - but they need to start the conversation. In this kind of environment that wall is removed and I think it's a great thing!
I also think that as we get older it becomes (I think I have said this before) more difficult to make new friends. I don't know why this happens. And maybe I shouldn't say make new friends - but make new good real friends - the kind that will stick around. I think places like WTF open up that possibility and that is a wonderful thing! I think it can be hard to really take the time to meet and get to know people on an everyday basis, in our everyday lives, but because this is somewhere you can come from the comfort of your own home it is not so imposing. The atmosphere lets you relax enough to let go and open up.
So anyway.......what Moose said - Pishaw!!! (I just like that word!! :lol: )
"I can't brain today - I haz teh dumb"

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Postby Deirdre » Sat Apr 22, 2006 6:30 am

This place is like "Cheers" to me. :partyman:

"Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name. And they're always glad you came."

I was not that into the show, but I understand it now. Can you believe I was a little too young for it? :que:

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jm513
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Postby jm513 » Sat Apr 22, 2006 12:51 pm

I LOVED Cheers! I still watch it when I can catch a re-run!=-)
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Andria
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Postby Andria » Wed May 03, 2006 6:57 am

I am much more chatty online than I am in real life. I withdraw a bit when in large (meaning more than two or three people) groups. Stop putting my ideas and opinions forward, etc.

Discovering a place like this has been good for me (I think.) I am more apt to speak my opinion now. I fill a bit more free, for some reason. I am thankful to have this little community to be able to hang out at. There are so many great people here! :)

On the other hand, I am less inclined to put up with crap from friends that I may have gotten through before. Therefore, I see less of friends in 'real life'. Good thing? Bad? I dunno. And, I suppose my family sees a bit less of me than before last October. ;)
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fawad-oh-so-prescient
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re: are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby fawad-oh-so-prescient » Sat Jun 10, 2006 8:24 am

i certainly think so, yes.

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Pineapple
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Postby Pineapple » Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:48 am

To that article - PISH TOSH! (I don't know, I like saying it :shock: )

I can post things on forums I would NEVER say in real life to people I know who already have their perception of me, because they would be surprised by a side of me they don't usually see. And eventually, the things I say in forums I accept to be part of me and then I might admit them to people I talk to face to face. That's positive, right?

I think the internet helps people feel free enough to say what they really feel, without fear of hearing 'But you said to me ---!' or 'No you don't!'. They have the chance to say what they believe. And I think that's a great thing.
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Jantje
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Postby Jantje » Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:23 am

I don't have conversations, they tire me, fall asleep most of the time, I'd rather say something stupid, off topic and I feel glad when I succeed in that *feels glad*
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Fiddle_Tunes19
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Postby Fiddle_Tunes19 » Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:22 pm

I think they are killing convos. I have a good friend who's been teaching public school for many years. He's working on a study, trying to prove that his students are getting less "personable" and less "communicative" (or whatever you want to call it) in class as the years progress as a result of computer using. It's interesting.

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Postby thefiteboy » Wed Aug 01, 2007 9:37 am

Yeah, I gotta agree with Fiddle, here. To the extent that people feel comfortable telling others the truth about themselves only when there's a buffer of space and some anonymity....Nah, that can't be very healthy.

Sure, it's human nature to want to diminish consequences of actions-even when it comes to holding a conversation. When you're face-to-face, you may have to deal with repercussions from ticking off the wrong person, or, a host of other negatives. I completely get that. Plus, I'm a rather private person, too, and I don't just up and talk with strangers in my vicinity, either. I don't shy away, though, from making my point when I feel it's necessary for me to do so. Of course, when I'm not interested in someone's opinion, I keep in mind that the converse of this also at play.

Bottom line: While I'm sure online discourse makes conversing easier, that doesn't necessarily mean it's better.


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