What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

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JackDaydream
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by JackDaydream »

@stevie

I am afraid I am responding persistently again. But, to ask you about your experience of social media and forum discussion. What impact do you find it has on your life, negatively or positively?
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JackDaydream
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by JackDaydream »

@Rys Griffin

Yes, I do like the forum and I juggle it with the other one because they are so different. The other one is so busy. Here, it often feels like there are so few people, so I am glad that you have joined. It is sometimes hard to get the balance between light discussion and the more academic, because people come from such different approaches. I like something a bit inbetween the two because if it is too academic it can be a little bit dry and heavy, but at the same time, I do like to pay attention to authors and do some research myself, some online but I do like paper books and some e-books. I do find reading to be so important in philosophy, and so I try to bring this into the posts and threads which I write. I do try to think for myself as well but find that reading helps that too.

Someone once told me that I approach philosophy like religion in looking for 'answers', and it is probably true in a way. But, I am inclined to think about questions about life, death and the universe. Being able to engage with others about such questions can be so helpful rather than keeping thoughts locked inside. I also find starting threads so exciting and I do respond to those of others as well. I wish you all the best success in whatever you write on the forum and look forward to reading your ideas.
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Rhys Griffin
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by Rhys Griffin »

Thanks, JackDaydeam
I appreciate your good wishes. I believe keeping the humanity in posts allows us to feel free and respected.
I haven't started any threads yet, because I subscribe to the old adage that we should "read the room" before presuming to initiate. Institutionally, the wisdom is not to make changes until you understand the culture of the institution you have joined.
When I first started reading philosophy, I know I was looking for answers to my big questions, and the biggest question was about myself. Now I read and post because I love the journey and the engagement with people and questions. After so many years of reading philosophy (55+), I look for wisdom as well as methodology, openness as well as clarity, insight as well as close analysis. Most of my issues about myself feel settled, but I am open to the next disruption. I think we are naïve if we think that we are "objective" or "dispassionate." I acknowledge my personal stake in what I read and write, but I also an constantly looking my the activity and imprint of my own biases.
Be well.
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LuckyR
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by LuckyR »

Rhys Griffin wrote: January 11th, 2022, 3:46 pm I have recently joined this forum, and I have to say that I am delighted. I have tried other forums but was generally put off by the kind of comments that were permitted. This site is very well administered (Thanks, Scott) I also appreciate the balance between pure philosophical content and personal musings. The true philosophical material needs to be there, but we need to keep life human and humane. Like others, I feel that having this outlet during yet another lockdown (however less anxious than previous) is a real boon and boost.
I'm still exploring what this OPC has to offer.
Could you be more specific about the difference between the tone and style of this and the other philosophy forum?
"As usual... it depends."
EricPH
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by EricPH »

When people are in a room together, they have the opportunity to talk and support each other. But how often do you see a group of people together and they are on their phones talking to distant friends or possibly strangers; as we are on this forum.
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Rhys Griffin
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by Rhys Griffin »

Hi, LuckyR
It looks like you are the Moderator for this forum. Cool.
In regard to the tone and style of this forum, I have visited only a few of the threads so far, but let me point to several things.
1. The posts seem well focused on the issues.
2. The personality of posters is occasionally apparent, but the main focus is the content.
3. The viewpoints presented are clearly and properly asserted without being polemical, combative or defensive.
4. Most posts seem to be concise, which encouraged me to read broadly and not get too far in the weeds with one person's stance. I take concision as a worthy goal for myself as well.
5. At first blush it seems that most of us are occupying a similar place on the spectrum somewhere between niche-bound specialists on one end and broad generalists on the other.
I'll quit there, to stay concise.
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LuckyR
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by LuckyR »

Rhys Griffin wrote: January 12th, 2022, 12:39 pm Hi, LuckyR
It looks like you are the Moderator for this forum. Cool.
In regard to the tone and style of this forum, I have visited only a few of the threads so far, but let me point to several things.
1. The posts seem well focused on the issues.
2. The personality of posters is occasionally apparent, but the main focus is the content.
3. The viewpoints presented are clearly and properly asserted without being polemical, combative or defensive.
4. Most posts seem to be concise, which encouraged me to read broadly and not get too far in the weeds with one person's stance. I take concision as a worthy goal for myself as well.
5. At first blush it seems that most of us are occupying a similar place on the spectrum somewhere between niche-bound specialists on one end and broad generalists on the other.
I'll quit there, to stay concise.
I am A moderator (not THE moderator), which means even less than it sounds.

So other forums are a version of the opposite of your numbered descriptions?
"As usual... it depends."
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Rhys Griffin
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by Rhys Griffin »

Thanks, LuckyR
I appreciate the correction. Still learning how this place works.
Other forums I have visited don't consistently meet the five standards I mentioned and observed here. Some do well in a few areas but fall down in others. I don't want to venture into site-bashing. I'm happy here.
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Thomyum2
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by Thomyum2 »

JackDaydream wrote: January 10th, 2022, 12:08 pm I am writing this thread on the basis of the way in which online interaction has played such an important role in my life in the last 18 months. Prior to lockdown restrictions, I would have probably not have searched online for interaction. I found one site over a year ago and this one more recently. In the context of ongoing social restrictions, I have found that so much of my thinking and, to some extent, self worth, has been connected to this. A couple of years ago, I would have never imagined that I would be so affected by interaction with people who I have never met physically.

Therefore, I am left wondering about the nature of human identity and life. On a negative level, I admit that I am bothered too much by others' views, but I am able to think about that in relation to my own issues and past sense of wounding. Previous to use of online interaction, I had not been aware of my own competitiveness. I will admit that I do get angry when my threads fail and others' soar. Perhaps, this is connected to testosterone and competitiveness, but I have become much more aware of it since discussion philosophy online.

But, on a more positive note, I am aware of the way in which interaction online cuts out so many aspects which impinge on human communication of ideas. I do not have to worry about how I look, and whether I have washed and shaved, before I begin discussion with others. Also, I am barely 5ft, and often find this a possible source of being put down. The internet is a means of communication in which the nature of our bodies does not get in the way.

However, I am left wondering about the nature of interaction online. I am certainly not opposed to it, because I am engaged in it right now. I wonder what it may lead to in self awareness and understanding of philosophy. Until I began using forums, I was not aware of my own competitivenes. However, am also aware of a deeper need for understanding and connecting with others who are thinking about the philosophy questions. So, I am opening this thread with a view to what online philosophy discussion brings, with both hindrances and benefits, in the larger scheme of understanding?
Hello and happy new year JackDaydream,

I think you raise some interesting ideas and questions here. I have found the nature of online interactions to be a fascinating and thought-provoking area as it's really a whole new way of communicating that has just arisen in the last few years that is unlike anything in the entire history of humanity - you could think of it as an advance in technology that is similar to the invention of the printing press in terms of its possible ramifications for the future. I think that it would be possible to create a whole sub-field of human psychology just devoted to studying the nature of online interactions.

It's interesting - and also a bit humorous, I think - to observe ourselves here and see that, as you have noted, we somehow retain our ego and sense of self - our pride and competitiveness and so forth - even in this realm where we are able to remain anonymous and even invent a new identity for ourselves. Another aspect of online interaction that I think is so interesting is that it's a medium that is strictly limited to the type-written word, and where we lose the benefits of tone of voice, facial expression, and all of the other visual and auditory information that we rely on when interacting in person - even such basics as the age and gender of the person who is writing. I think it leads us to use our imagination and past experiences to sort of 'fill in the blanks' about what kind of a person we're speaking to and what their intentions are, which seems to lead to a lot of misunderstandings and even conflict. Although that is sometimes unfortunate, I think it is also an opportunity for learning and for expanding our understanding of each other. And incidentally, perhaps some of the more 'successful' threads here, in terms of number of responses, are actually those most that inflame people's passions? If that the case, I think one has to develop a pretty thick skin for philosophy in this setting.

One additional line of thought that I like to explore, which is a relatively minor thing right now but which I think will become increasingly an issue as technology develops, is the idea of the Turing test. It's fascinating to me that we are so quickly able to know that there is another conscious human being at the other end. But I think we've all had the experience at times of having been fooled, even if just for a minute or two, into thinking we were talking to a person but then realizing that it was just a bot. As machine language and AI technology become more sophisticated, it will be interesting to see how this plays out in the on-line world and how that spills over into our 'real' lives. But the idea of how we recognize and know 'the other', in the sense of a connection that we have to other conscious beings, is a deeper idea in both philosophy and religion, and even science too, and it's been touched on by philosophers such as Kierkegaard and Buber.

Just a few personal thought regarding your threads - I am more of a listener (some here might call me a 'lurker' :? ) than a speaker on the forum so even when I haven't personally responded, I've appreciated your topics and find your posts thoughtful and interesting. Unfortunately I've found it difficult to join in conversations where so many people are participating and the discussion is going in a lot of different directions at the same time, and I've also always been the type of person who prefers one-on-one discussions rather than groups, though I've had some good conversations with people here on the forum here via private messages as well. It takes me a long time to formulate my ideas into words (and as LuckyR reminds me above, I do have trouble being concise, as evidenced by this post) so often by the time I get around to having a response ready, the threads or users have moved onto something different. (Wittgenstein once wrote: "This is how philosophers should salute each other: 'Take your time.'" and I heartily agree. But that doesn't always work so well online.)

Thanks and look forward to continuing conversations in 2022!
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JackDaydream
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by JackDaydream »

@EricPH

It would probably be such different dynamics if we were sitting down in a room together. Those who seem vocal may be quiet and I know that I am often extremely quiet in groups. I do find groups difficult even though I have run art groups. It is likely that the people would be so different from the way we imagined them and I don't just mean in appearance but in personality too.

Use of mobiles and devices can be so intrusive in groups and social situations. I find that I have started ' fiddling around on my phone', as my mum used to say, while in the company of others. It is about not being fully present in the room with the other, or others, as if being preoccupied with invisible friends. Sometimes, I try not to take my phone out with me because I just don't want to have to deal with calls, texts or emails. People are often surprised by the idea of not carrying a phone. It is as if people are meant to be contactable at all times. It is about a fast world, with communication and information being expected on demand, as instant gratification.
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JackDaydream
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by JackDaydream »

@Thomyum2

Happy new year to you too,
It definitely seems that identity seems to change with use of the interaction. I am even starting to think that I am a little different since having Daydream instead of my own surname. Also, when I am using the forum I go off into another 'reality'. I left the bath tap running once and flooded the bathroom because I was so engrossed in writing a reply. Yesterday, I was writing on the phone in the shared house and one of my flatmates grumbled that I was walking around with my trousers falling down, because I was in another world.

I haven't really got my head around what a 'bot' is exactly. One thing which I find so strange is that if I have music on, even if it some obscure track, is that if I have my phone, what I am listening to seems to be written up. I wonder how does that happen? It almost seems a bit 'supernatural' and 'spooky', as if someone is watching. It even feels like the internet is 'alive'. Even beyond the technology, it sometimes seems that the forum has a subconscious. That is because it has happened to me that I am thinking some thought and someone else writes something similar. In particular, on a number of occasions, I have just written a thread or post on the other site I use and someone writes something very similar. I am never sure if they have copied me or whether it is because on some level we are tuning into the unconscious thoughts of the group forum. I hope that what I am saying doesn't seem completely crazy.

I am also think that the internet is changing the way people live and the lockdown has exacerbated this. I know people who barely go out and do their food shopping online. I have heard some people say that they find it hard if they have to write with pen and paper because they have become so used to writing on devices. Also, the blue light on devices can have a bad effect on health. I do have some eyesight problems and do wonder if it is from using computers and phones too much. It can also disturb sleep and I try to stay off my phone for a while being on the phone.

So, I have come up with a few problems which I see, but at the same time I do see online interaction as a way of sharing knowledge and reaching out to other minds. It is about finding the right balance with the pros and cons of the virtual world which is the new reality in many ways.
stevie
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by stevie »

JackDaydream wrote: January 11th, 2022, 5:11 pm @ stevie

I am afraid I am responding persistently again. But, to ask you about your experience of social media and forum discussion. What impact do you find it has on your life, negatively or positively?
Your thinking isn't the kind of thinking I engage in, sorry.
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Roobaba
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by Roobaba »

I've said/written/quoted this already once today.. a recent BBC news article 'People devote third of waking time to mobile apps', if true that cannot be good can it? As someone who agrees with Jaron Lanier in his book Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts.. do it NOW and restrict yourself to philosophy forums, or else you are part of the problem. I'm not one for alienating people from me and becoming estranged but stevie appears to have a knack for it (I'm being sarcastic, I do not intend to upset anyone.. but somehow I do manage it).. stevie if you would engage for a second (or as long as it takes) please expand on 'isn't the kind of thinking I engage in'.. and that kind of thinking is what exactly, you have me intrigued. Thanks for any reply, or no reply (your choice - you can just STOP).

@JackDaydream (the OP.. thanks for this thread, I for one really appreciate it)

When you say:
I am never sure if they have copied me or whether it is because on some level we are tuning into the unconscious thoughts of the group forum. I hope that what I am saying doesn't seem completely crazy.
What I would suggest, if you have not done so already, is to read up on Carl Jung and Synchronicity (I suffer from constant 'multiple/layered' coincidences leading to serendipious outcomes (me being here now for one). Sorry to mention a 'trendy big name in popular serious online discourse' - Jordan Peterson, worth checking out on Google, he's an advocate for Jung, refers to him as being 'a great psychologist of symbolism'. His videos may be of some help..!? ;)
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JackDaydream
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Re: What Impact Has Online Interaction Had on Human Identity and Understanding?

Post by JackDaydream »

@Roobaba
I have most definitely read Jung on synchronicity and would say that it had such a big influence on me, as well as his discussion on his own experiences of meaningful coincidences in his autobiography, 'Memories, Dreams and Reflections,' I haven't read Jorrdan Peterson, but I will look out for his ideas. I have read Deepak Chopra on, 'Synchrodestiny', which does take Jung's idea of synchronicity a bit further than being about patterns and more about the way life is manifest on the basis of conscious intent. It is hard to know how far to go interpreting the idea and in many instances it may be about watching and tuning into patterns.

I can illustrate this in relation to an online synchronicity which I experienced a couple of years ago. I had sent an email to someone in a higher position at work a couple of years ago in which I had expressed a lot of strong feelings. Beside me, was my deputy manager and she was looking at my email and smiling about how the person receiving it would view it. I clicked the button to send it and just at the moment came a crash of thunder and lightning and a big storm. My deputy manager looked at me, saying, 'Look what you have done, Jack', pointing at the weather. It was as if the storm mirrored the energy or mood of the email which I had sent on a symbolic level.
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