Archive for April, 2010

A day without the internet…

Well, I decided to do my experiment on a Saturday since it’s one of those days when it should be easier to do without the internet.  I actually wasn’t in pain throughout the whole day as I thought I would be. None of my studying required going online so I just spent my time reading for classes and studying for some exams. The only time I did find myself wishing I could use the web was when I wanted to find a good Chinese food place around my house. I was so tempted to just go and do a quick search but I was able to stop myself. My next option was to look through the yellow pages but then I realized we didn’t have a book like those around the house because we don’t really use them anymore. Instead, I ended up just going to Panda Express and calling it a day. So my day without the internet wasn’t too harsh but that’s just probably because I’m not as attached to it as I thought I was which, judging from this weeks reading, is something the man who wrote the book would applaud.

I thought this week’s reading was full of a feeling of paranoia. The man seemed to see television as a device that had the power to suck the lives out of everyone. As I was reading I was wondering what he might think of our situation now with the internet. Just as television seemed to be very prominent during the time the book was written, I believe that the internet has become just as prominent or has even come to surpass television. Although it is no lie that many people spend a lot of time watching television or browsing the web, I don’t think it is exactly television or internet that are holding us so attached but rather those who use it are the ones who impose such importance on it. I think that the amount to which people feel they need the internet really comes down to how much they can hold back on using it. Of course, I know I’m biased because my attachment is different from every one else’s but I think that, in the end, as long as television or internet aren’t acting as our sources of oxygen, we don’t have to succumb to their “forces.” Do they help us? Yes of course! And I am ever so thankful for all of the help that television and most definitely the internet have given me but I do understand, as with other people, I think, that these two media sources are not our lives and they are not as evil as the author wishes everyone to think.

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Hooray for Psychology Forums! I’m not the only worried one…

Before this assignment,  I had never even thought about posting questions or comments in a forum. Whenever I look for something up on the internet, they always come up and sometimes end up confusing me because answers oftentimes contradict and I’m left wondering, “which is the best answer?” After doing the assignment, I realize that forums, although sometimes so full of information that you don’t know where to start, can help a person not feel so alone in certain situations. Take me, for example: I am about to graduate from college in a little over a month and I’m trying to find a job that will help me gain more experience in psychology before I apply to graduate school. It can be very scary when you think you’re the only one going through this but once you find someone in the same boat, you realize that the problem is faced by many and, therefore, most likely conquered by many. In the psychology forum I registered for, I found that there are many other people just like me, confused about what to do with their lives after leaving the large comfort blanket that is college. Although no one has answered my question yet about good after-college-but-before-grad school- jobs,  I found comfort in being able to tell others even more scared than me that it will be ok, that grad school is still a possibility (if you haven’t enrolled), that there are always options, etc. Suddenly, the fear diminshes.

It’s very interesting that we read about Cybercity because I find that forums, although full of people wanting to help and inform, are not places where you necessarily go to meet people. It is definitely not impossible but I feel that people don’t usually go onto forums to make friends but rather they go on to find answers (or comfort). Cybercity, on the other hand, seems to be a place specifically designed to meet different people from all over the world in a comfortable setting.  Forums and Cybercity do seem to be similar in one characteristic: the level of comfortableness in being part of these online groups or communities. In forums, one has the advantage of being able to ask questions to many people from all over the country or the world without having to leave their homes or having to go around looking for people that can answer your specific question. In Cybercity, as stated in the article, people can meet others  at home and don’t have to worry about others’  opinions about their physical characteristics. All in all, both forums and communities like Cybercity can help  people connect with others that they may never have come in contact with in the first place but differ in the level of intimacy that grows out of them.

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Talking to Strangers is Strange but Educational Sometimes…

I just finished doing  my experiment and, let me tell you, it was really hard for me to get started! At first I was going to pretend to be a guy from Spain but then it felt too weird so I decided on taking on the personality of a 27 year old Colombian dancer. What was interesting is that none of my chats lasted very long before someone started getting… well… a little too graphic. Some people even go as far as to make it a point to let you know first and foremost that they are in the mood for a little action. This in itself was extremely disturbing because some even said they were 15 year old girls looking for sexy men. After finding someone who seemed alright (and with whom I could have a decent conversation to post), I took on my role as a Colombian woman. It all seemed alright until I mentioned that I thought the person I was talking to was not weird. That’s when he decided to show me that he was otherwise and ended the conversation.

It’s interesting that my conversation with this person ended up in such a disgusting way because he seemed pretty decent (if he really was a he!). As I took on my fake persona I realized that it is not too hard to make others think that you are someone you are not. It’s as the reading said, people can put information on personal web pages that can make them seem very different from what they really are. All of a sudden, you have the possibility to create your ideal self without actually having to sound or look like it because you are not really face to face with the person you are communicating with! Furthermore, I saw the danger in this type of messaging because many people just go on to find anyone who wants sex and, many times, these people may find that person willing to give it to them! Even scarier is the fact that these people, like I personally experienced, are not always who they say they are.

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Conversation with a seemingly nice person takes a twist…

Stranger: hi 🙂
You: hello
Stranger: how are you?
You: i am doing well how about you?
Stranger: i’m great thanks 😀
Stranger: a/s/l?
You: excuse me?
Stranger: age sex location?
You: oh sorry =/ 27/f/colombia
You: you?
Stranger: 19 m uk
Stranger: and its ok 😛
Stranger: you come on here alot?
You: no. it is the first time. my friends in the united states told me about it
You: do you?
Stranger: nah not rly
Stranger: been on once before with a friend
Stranger: but this is first time just me haha :p
You: oh =D so what do you do?
Stranger: i’m a student at university
Stranger: in london
Stranger: doing acting and dance
Stranger: and you?
You: that is very cool! =D I dance too! what kind of dance do you do?
Stranger: i do contemporary haha
Stranger: not so interesting 😛
Stranger: and you?
You: no i think it is! I like to do jazz and hip hop =D
Stranger: ahh cool
Stranger: i like hip hop :p
You: i am starting to learn a little of martha graham
You: i love hip hop.
Stranger: ahh martha grayham
Stranger: expressionis
Stranger: modern
Stranger: haha
Stranger: love it…
Stranger: :p
You: yes. i did not think I would like modern but i did
Stranger: well each to their own :p
You: yes! very true! =D
You: do you travel a lot?
Stranger: i dont sadly
Stranger: haha
Stranger: no monet
Stranger: money**
You: oh! yes same here
You: i was able to go to the states because my family paid
Stranger: ahh right
Stranger: sounds good :d
Stranger: :D*
You: =D
You: how is university you attend?
Stranger: its hard haha
Stranger: hard work
Stranger: but all good fun 🙂
You: yes. university is a fun time =D i miss it
You: sometimes 😉
Stranger: haha :p
Stranger: so what you come on here for?
Stranger: just meet new people?
You: yes. just to meet new people. it sounded like fun when my friends told me
Stranger: ahh right
You: sometimes you can find weird people
You: i dont like those
Stranger: haha the pervs? 😛
You: yes!!! =D i had to start so many new talks to find someone not weird
Stranger: no im actually masturbating now….
Stranger: i just came
You: oh…. well, i guess i misjudged you….

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First blog! Status updates help get comments!! =D

So things have been interesting today. I started to update my facebook from the moment I woke up (something I rarely do!) and a bit later, I get a comment from someone I haven’t seen since the 6th grade! All of a sudden, I found myself having a conversation with someone I never thought I would see again. After i updated my status the second time, I got a comment from yet another person I haven’t had contact with in a while. Not just that, but I got comments from a few other people as well. I don’t usually get as many comments as I did today so I have a feeling that updating my status a lot helps. I figure it’s probably because people realize you’re on (or that you still live, for that matter!) and that you might check their message right away. It’s kind of nice to receive all of those messages and it reminds me that, if you want to have an “active” facebook, you must be active yourself!

My experience today is actually tied closely to the reading we did this week in that I learned that facebook helps you keep in touch with friends only if you’re actively using Facebook. When people know that you are out there, posting a new status about the things you’re doing, they probably find it interesting and decide to talk to you a little more about it. What I did realize, though, is that none of these people actually contact me in any other way, such as through a phone call or a visit (most of them know where I live and even have my number). I think that those who I know really well and who I hang out with most are those that don’t really “feel” that they need to comment because they’ll see me soon or because they always somehow know what I’m up to. In this sense, I get why some people in the article believed that most of the people they follow on facebook or twitter are not really their friends and don’t really know them. Either way, I like facebook because it helps me connect with old friends that I haven’t seen as well as send a special message to anyone I know very well and to whom I want to let know that I’m thinking of them.

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