Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

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Sherry
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Sherry » Wed Oct 28, 2009 11:10 pm

BUMP

I wanted to see what was out there. So found this.

Oddly, while some of this still holds true a few years later, much has changed. Twitter and FB are huge. iPhones and Blackberries are all over. Its truly a digital age.

However, this forum has stood the test of time well to some degree. In others its suffered.

I'm not going to elaborate. Maybe later when I've had time to mull it over a bit more. But what I've always loved about this place is what I said in my original post.

Feel free anyone who'd like to jump in on an older convo and see where it takes us :)

closet jemainiac

Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby closet jemainiac » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:08 am

My husband and I have had this discussion before. I think all these new gadgets do have an effect on conversation, but I dont think its killing it. Being in a position to observe "tweeners", they certainly seem less patient and less verbose than me and my peers at that age (Im now 32), but Ive always been a chatty kathy who's always got a question or opinion about something so maybe my perception is skewed :D.

In the day and age of instant gratification, a lot of youngsters and even many adults (IMHO) dont have the patience to listen, consider, and retort...you know actually CONVERSE. I think with adults needing to work so darn much to support their lifestyle and families and just to make ends meet, they dont have time to opine away for hours.

I think that's where forums like this come in quite handy for me. Its increasingly difficult, as me and my friends and family get older, to get together over a meal or drink or anything in person. And my path in life has taken me farther in proximity and tastes as well. As far as content of this forum goes, there's no one in my, and forgive the description, "real life" that has the same tastes as I do, so I sought out an outlet for that different taste. And the music, movie, and book discussions that take place here are a welcome addition to swooning over 2 kiwis!

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onefeathertail
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby onefeathertail » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:27 am

Funnily enough, this very topic was the essay topic of my year twelve English Language exam.

The art of conversation has doubtlessly changed, but I think it's mostly for the better, though I stress mostly. In a forum and chat environment, responses can be thought about and considered rather than spontaneous and potentially regrettable. You can think about what you're going to say, muse about it, ponder on it and then respond or even come back and respond later. Spoken conversations often wear thin and taught, with one party growing bored or simply running out of things to say, and there's more opportunities to become riled or insulted, misunderstood or even just annoyed. Of course there's still the chance that you'll say something that can be misinterpreted or spark debate, but as a whole, it can be a friendlier environment for all involved providing the environment is friendly to begin with. Particularly in moderated forums that stick to a fairly G to PG-13 rating system, everything is so much cleaner and happier than un-moderated forums where havoc is wreaked. If you can't enjoy yourself without swearing or vulgarity, what kind of person are you, at the end of the day? That aside, forums, chat, even to a lesser extent (a much, much lesser extent) platforms such as Facebook and Myspace can encourage not only intelligent conversation but fun and creative chit-chat with endless contributing interests that are so hard to find in "the real world".

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.


I couldn't agree with this more. You took the words right out of my mouth.

Throughout my youth I was a misfit, dorky outsider who, due to a lot of factors (mainly my appearance, dress-sense and love of learning) found it incredibly difficult to make friends. A lot of the friends I did make were through an online forum medium and saved me from a lot of loneliness; I knew I had something to come home to, and that made me happy. One of the friends I made recently came down from Canada. She and I traveled Australia together; it was one of the most amazing, self-discovering experiences of my young life. Next year I'm returning the favour by high-tailing it up to Canada and traveling the country with her. Without discussions forums and chat her and I would have never met, I would have missed out on what was one of the most significant experiences of my life and what is surely to be next year. Without moderated discussion forums (the only kind in my mind) I probably would be a lot sadder than I am today.

But not only did they help me with interpersonal relationships, they helped me intellectually too. I grew up with very well-spoken, well-read individuals who loved learning and loved writing just as much as I did. I had my own group of thesauruses that leant to my life. I didn't feel the need to dissolve into abbreviations and "chat speak" to fit in, because I didn't need to to fit in.

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.


Again, I couldn't agree more. Forums I'm a part of, it's a community, it's an extended family, it's a group of friends you're excited to come home to and catch up on. And even though I haven't been an active part of the WTF community for very long, from my first post I felt welcome. I felt like I'd already been posting for years. And that's an amazing feeling.

Am I still a a misfit, dorky outsider? You bet, but I'm a happy misfit, dorky outsider who has found a plethora of not only online friends but "real world" friends, too, all of whom mean the world to me.

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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby closet jemainiac » Thu Oct 29, 2009 12:45 am

well said, OFT! :clap:

I agree and can relate quite a bit to the misfit/outsider description.

I do wish that face to face conversation would take after civilized forum discussion though...but there is always the advantage of "ruminating" on something for a bit before posting where as face to face is fly by the seat of your pants kinda thing....at least people tend to treat it that way.

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Peaches
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Peaches » Thu Oct 29, 2009 1:42 am

I think that, like 'real life' conversations...there are different forums that have different conversation etiquette etc.

I've been on 4 forums that have seriously taken over my life! But that's a good thing, you get to talk to people all over the world...and share ideas. I think forums encourage lively debate (and those that don't are usually crap anyway...). I used to be very quiet in person, but forums actually helped me come out of my shell :)

The only thing I think gets lost in translation on the interwebs in sarcasm or humour sometimes...I have a very dark sense of humour and people will mistake that as being mean...(I'm not...I LOVE YOU ALL REALLY!)

From what Sherry said about language, I agree, it gives me the shits to see people abbreviate and use TXT SPK.

Anyway, I don't have much else to add...except if done properly, forums can OPEN up conversations...not kill them off :)
"Item 4 on the agenda: Stuff you!"

"Who else? Mur.. Ray... Oh. Greg's written this, he's put the R's too far apart. It's Murray.. Murray present"


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closet jemainiac

Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby closet jemainiac » Thu Oct 29, 2009 2:06 am

The only somewhat useful way Ive heard text speak used in RL convo is I worked with a girl that would say
"WTF!" instead of say it all out loud and use the F word when she was angry at someone or something. :)

On a side note, Hubby has taken to saying "what the folk!" instead of "what the f%$^!" since I have been sharing a little of this forum with him.... :D

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mockingbird
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby mockingbird » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:41 pm

You know what's deeply ironic - I spent about 20 minutes writing out a post to this thread last night and then I had to walk away from the computer for a bit before I submitted it and when I came back I'd been logged out and the post was gone. So I would have to say yes, sometimes my attempts at conversation are killed by online discussion forums, lol. ;)

I think there's a big difference between message boards and chat rooms. I play online spades with some old friends who now live on the west coast, and there's a chat box at the table so we use that to talk to each other while we're playing cards. It's a whole different way of communicating - you can't spend a lot of time crafting replies because it holds up the conversation, so you end up using all those annoying shortcuts and abbreviations. Message boards I think encourage people to be more thoughtful and spend time thinking about what it is they're trying to say. In my case, usually how hot Jemaine is, lol. Hey it gets challenging to find new ways to say that after you've said it 500 times, lol. ;)

So, I can see how maybe if you only feel comfortable talking to people on the computer that might be a problem, but honestly I think if you feel that way then you probably don't have a lot of RL interations anyway and the computer provides a much needed social outlet. Also the thing I really like about it is being able to meet people around the world I'd never get to meet otherwise and keeping in touch with old friends who live far away. However I must confess that I hate facebook. HATE IT. I hate reading information about other people's lives without actually being in contact with that person. It's so impersonal, and then I run into them at the grocery store or whatever and I feel like I know stuff about them that they don't know if I know it or not because they haven't actually told me about it. It's weird, I don't like it so I rarely go there and when I do it's usually to take polls, lol. I discovered that I have the mom personality of Roseanne Barr and that I will likely die of a heroin overdose, and also that my literary personality is The Portrait of Dorian Grey. :lol: Are you all alarmed yet? ;)

Sherry, I've noticed that you have been talking a lot lately about how the board used to be back in the day. Have you been cleaning house on the forums and that is taking you on a trip down memory lane, like when you clean out your desk drawers and end up sitting on the floor reading old greeting cards, lol? Or are you unhappy with the direction the forum is taking?

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mohumbhai mania
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby mohumbhai mania » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:42 pm

I think conversation died when books and television were invented.
It's just been lurching around like a verbal zombie since then. :D
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mockingbird
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby mockingbird » Thu Oct 29, 2009 3:44 pm

mohumbhai mania wrote:I think conversation died when books and television were invented.
It's just been lurching around like a verbal zombie since then. :D


:lol: Nobody has had a real conversation since the middle ages, then. Just as I suspected. ;)

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Val2150
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Val2150 » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:07 pm

I used to think online forums/texting/etc. would kill conversation...until a few years ago when I started using them. I'm quite shy, and being an only child with a very small family and friends spread out all over the country.....well, it gets a little lonely and isolated for me. I realized a few years ago that despite my best efforts to tell myself I was ok by myself and didn't depend on anyone.....I really need my friends. Knowing that they're just a few clicks or a text away makes me a much happier person. :D

I know I've said it on here before, but this forum and everyone I've met here are just priceless to me. I love you guys! :bighug: Before I started posting here I never in a million years thought I'd make such wonderful friends from all over the world like I have here. :D
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby closet jemainiac » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:20 pm

Mock, to address your comment about interacting via computer and in RL....

I find that I want to engage people in RL more now than before I joind a forum. AND, that I often seek conversation with folks that I might not have approached before. BUT, maybe Im annoying, or I smell, or I take too long to respond, but a lot of folks just dont seem to have the patience for a good discussion on anything (except maybe the latest celebrity scandal and the trashiest new reality show). I attribute that to the instant gratification that new gadgets bring (and energy drinks :D).

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onefeathertail
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby onefeathertail » Thu Oct 29, 2009 4:25 pm

closet jemainiac wrote:well said, OFT! :clap:

I agree and can relate quite a bit to the misfit/outsider description.

I do wish that face to face conversation would take after civilized forum discussion though...but there is always the advantage of "ruminating" on something for a bit before posting where as face to face is fly by the seat of your pants kinda thing....at least people tend to treat it that way.


Ditto, that. ;)

And I agree. I find it difficult with my friends to talk anything more than waffle or phatic chit-chat. Unfortunately they're more interested in partying, boozing up on tequila shots and pretty much everything I don't like to do, which makes meaningful or even interesting conversations difficult for me. That's not to say I never have a good conversation, I have like-minded friends who sit in with me while the rest "booze it up", but it makes it hard when they're preoccupied with what embarrassing antics they got up to and how many people they made out with. Come up people, forum it up in the real word. :lol:

mockingbird wrote:I hate reading information about other people's lives without actually being in contact with that person. It's so impersonal, and then I run into them at the grocery store or whatever and I feel like I know stuff about them that they don't know if I know it or not because they haven't actually told me about it.


Yes. I'll admit I go on more than I like to, but generally to waste time on the applications or keep up with friends I don't have the pleasure of seeing. But it has made everything so impersonal. I have friends who don't even bother meeting up for a coffee or a social catch-up, they just "catch up" over Facebook-- even though they live minutes away from each other. :bang:

MM, :roll2:.

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deliriumtree
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby deliriumtree » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:01 pm

mockingbird wrote:So, I can see how maybe if you only feel comfortable talking to people on the computer that might be a problem, but honestly I think if you feel that way then you probably don't have a lot of RL interations anyway and the computer provides a much needed social outlet.


I seem to only be myself online. I've had online friends meet me and be stunned at the difference. A rare few that I've really clicked with have gotten to see the real me. Mostly I disappear in person. I have a pen-pal of sorts and I was e-mailing him the other day and telling him about this phenomena in my life. He had brought up that he suspected that I was either not allowed to or not used to being myself very much. Both are true. Online seems to be where the real me reigns. Most people in my real life couldn't tell you my favorite color if pressed. I can go for weeks without saying a word and it's just normal. There's some sort of disconnect between the me you know here and being able to express that in the physical world. Here I'm the me that's stuck inside my head.

Being online, especially here, it does give me an outlet that I didn't have. It's not forums have killed conversation, for me it started one, in a normally silent world. It's given me a place to speak. That has carried on in little strides into my real life, spilling over. For one who is hidden, seeing that you don't need to hide via a safe vehicle does give you a grain of confidence. You start looking around to see who else might like that once silent self, perhaps try new things. That's the effect our little community has had on me.

As far as facebook, myspace and twitter go. I'm not really sure what to do with them. To me those don't lend themselves to expression the way a forum does, or even e-mail. I use twitter to blow off steam, flirt and mouth off. My myspace is for my art and to get information on bands I like. Facebook turned me off due to the whole having to use your real name thing. So I deactivated mine. People who know my real name are for the most part, ones I don't want to connect with. :lol: Chat rooms used to be fun for me, but they seem to be lacking in chat in these times. Unless you count "Asl baby?" as truly riveting conversation.

Don't know anything about texting as I've yet to be yanked into the modern age. My phone has a cord and is attached to a wall. I may have the occasional urge to yell at kids to get off my lawn, but to me that's the way a phone should be! The chat speak with the 1111's I can't even begin to wrap my mind around. Neopets is full of it. I'm very glad we can all form sentences here is all I can say on that. 8)
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Peaches
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Re: Are online forum discussions killing conversation?

Postby Peaches » Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:37 pm

deliriumtree wrote:
As far as facebook, myspace and twitter go. I'm not really sure what to do with them. To me those don't lend themselves to expression the way a forum does, or even e-mail. I use twitter to blow off steam, flirt and mouth off. My myspace is for my art and to get information on bands I like.


Same :) And to be honest, who doesn't like finding out what celebrity...or what kind of saucer/plate/cutlery you are on those quizzes :P

Like I said before, I find forums a great outlet. And I've been on ones where my boyfriend is on, and it's just not the same....perhaps I also like the freedom I have :eh:
"Item 4 on the agenda: Stuff you!"

"Who else? Mur.. Ray... Oh. Greg's written this, he's put the R's too far apart. It's Murray.. Murray present"


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