Friendship in Virtual Times

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Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Sabina » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:05 pm

I don't know if it's only romantics who "get attached" to people. I believe that to be a human as well as a humane characteristic, but I may be mistaken.

I am a romantic. I may not talk like a romantic a lot of times, and while my logical side is definitely quite pronounced, at the core of my being is pure romanticism. Being that I am that, and being that I am here on DS, participating (shall we say...) in an online forum, and being that I see people come and go, it got me to thinking, about myself, about people, and about friendship in these virtual times in which we find ourselves, in which I find myself.

One thing I never knew how to be is shallow. I'm not tooting my own horn here or anything like that. From what I have observed during my entire life so far, the ability to be shallow can be very beneficial in many situations. I just don't know how to do that. There was no half-way anything with me, and I actually liked that about myself.

So, me as I am, I am having a little trouble in this virtual world when it comes to people and relationships. I tried out Facebook, reconnected with family and friends I hadn't heard of in ages, but following other people's Farmville progress or watching them talk about nail tattoos turned out to be more frustration than I could handle on a daily basis. It all seemed extremely shallow for the most part, so I distanced myself from it...

Deep Spirits need to connect... I think people's ideas of "connecting" and what that means may vary. People are connecting - if you want to call it that - through various websites, social bookmarking sites, social media sites, instant messaging,... they are connecting and collecting "friends".
That's what it's called... friends.
Some people have hundreds of thousands of friends. B0)
Ok...
So the way I see it, the word "friend" is losing its original meaning. Now it's more like a contact. You exchange two words with someone and you are friends and can be on each other's lists from then on. Lists of friends.
When I see such things it feels, to me, like millions of people have lost their minds!
Words are losing their original meanings, sacred words like "friendship" are being downsized and mutilated and then we have a problem with communication...? Astounding!
Yes, that's sarcasm...

I have been observing the teenagers of this time.
The number of contacts you have on your cellphone is very important, did you know that?
Did you know that some (many) of them say "lol" in a direct conversation, when something is funny? They don't always laugh out loud, sometimes they just say... lol!
And you yourself must have been able to observe that people send text messages to other people while someone is talking to them, right? That basically equals turning your back to someone who is addressing you personally and instead just talking to someone else. Exercising multitasking skills is great, but the human touch is disappearing more and more.

Observing these things brings up nostalgic feelings towards caves, and distant secluded places - for me. But then I remind myself that not everyone is like that, and that my leaving would also mean that I gave up.

So...
Is this what people call progress?
Is this a good thing? Our civilization is headed in the right direction, yes?
I would be curious to hear other people's thoughts...

Sabina
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby alija » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:16 pm

Hi Sabina,
You are observing and beautifully noticing changes happening to the mankind in the last decade or so. Just like I explained my opinion about the word “Love”; the word Love has been unveiled until her core and all the lies, misuse connected with that word have to be understood and new values to this word dedicated.
The same is with the word “Friendship” and it is great how these mass-traffic sites like Facebook and others are shedding light and helping people to unveil the lies connected with the use of this and similar words. Internet as well as the other mass media are doing great work in this field, helping us to see clearly all misconceptions and misuses of our language.
Who needs friends? People who do not communication with own innate intelligence, scared people, separated people who in own separation look for the masks of the friendship.
Balanced, centered people do not need friends; all population of the world is their friends.
We come alone, we work on ourselves alone; the others are just the means for this work and we go again alone. But, we are part of the oneness, and if you recognize this, no special friends are needed. Be in flow and you will always have necessary surrounding for your lessons.

You mention the word “shallow” and I think you do not need this kind of comparison, judgment. This “shallow” stuff could be very important, very profound and inevitable lesson for some of those judged by you.
So, my conclusion would be, yes this is good what is happening to the man, is great and fast progress and one thing I find important for myself is to be present, to be observer of all these changes. We have to be ready to recalibrate our old, for centuries not calibrated private as well as collective perception devices. It is great to observe, to witness quit a fast death of one rotten social structure. If there is death, there must be a new structure, too, but this is not a subject of this topic and I do not have enough data for a dialogue on this subject.
Namasthe and Love
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Sabina » Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:39 pm

alija wrote:Balanced, centered people do not need friends; all population of the world is their friends.
We come alone, we work on ourselves alone; the others are just the means for this work and we go again alone. But, we are part of the oneness, and if you recognize this, no special friends are needed. Be in flow and you will always have necessary surrounding for your lessons.

B0)
I choose people.
For me "enlightenment" has nothing to do with whether or not I need people and friends. I do believe it is important to clarify what these words mean though... words like "friendship", and yes, "love" as well.

I work on myself, that's correct, but others do help me, and I help others, as much as they will accept my help anyway.
I don't feel bitterness yet, and I hope I never will. Despair, and only at times - yes; but bitterness - no. When you come to the point of bitterness, to me that represents the ultimate sadness. The loss of all hope.

I could live without people, I know that... and yes, I would still be connected to them on some level, but true happiness only exists when it is shared.

Sabina
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Metatron » Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:47 pm

Sabina wrote:So...
Is this what people call progress?
Is this a good thing? Our civilization is headed in the right direction, yes?
I would be curious to hear other people's thoughts...

Sabina


It certainly is progress, whether it is a good thing is another question. We live in today. We have a hard time to imagine what it was like to live in the middle ages, for example. When education was just as a unique thing to have as an honest politician nowadays. The dark ages, when the desire for truth and enlightenment was only held by a few individuals. Was it a good direction? I wouldn't call it so, however, it was still progress.

I would like to bring up the idea of contrasts, opposites again. You have to know what is sadness to know what is happiness. We have talked about this when I was over and I think I believe sadness is a neccessary first experience for happiness to be appreciated. Thus you know what to avoid, so that you're as little sad as possible in the future.

I think it is the same with the direction society is headed towards. We are humans and we make mistakes. Deep thinking, that what makes us humans is becoming more and more unique, people are lazy to think. It has shown in the past that usually after a really bad era thera was a new one which was better in some ways. We're not at the end of history yet, we are history and I think sometimes we forget that. We forget that this might very well be the age of a new war or a new kind of enlightenment. You, me and everyone on this forum are the living examples of hope. Judging by yourself, you can be completely sure that there are others who think just like you. So there is always hope... You can't ever go totally wrong, even if things look bad now, they might change soon.

So here I get to friendship. A couple of days ago I was talking to someone on skype, and they said that I need to go out, make new friends, that I spend too much time sitting in front of my PC. I told him I have freinds, very good friends and I keep in contact with them by a very humane method - I communicate with them. Though I don't go out and see them directly, I still know what's going on with them and I know I can turn to them and talk when I need it. Why not use your intelectual side if you have one? Our thoughts, human thoughts are incredibly rich and thoughts triggered by our own body can have massive effects on us. So most of the time it is enough for me to see, hear or read people online.

Let me explain why I said all this - nowadays, people in their fifties, sixties, seventies actively oppose the internet, new kinds of music, computers and technology in general (there are obviously lots of exceptions :) ) and it brings me to the question why. You don't have to overuse computers and they don't become harmful, just as the rest of what I've mentioned. Yet still some people just don't give up on saying it is bad, we didn't have these things and we were happy. Yeah, so? Should we stop at a point where we're happy and not look for more? So now I use the same example to you, Sabina, me (because I have a simmilar opinion) and everyone else who thinks it is plain wrong to use lols in direct speech and that the number of contacts in one's phone is the most unsignificant thing in the world. We have people who think otherwise. Today's teenagers seem to have different values than us and we label them as wrong, but why are they wrong? Everyone should be happy the way they want and if this is what helps to get through puberty, let them have it! No one says they will never ever change, I'd say if they get to experience these things now, maybe they won't want to later.

We don't just need to be open to new technologies, but new paths to happiness as well. While all of this is happening around you Sabina, you can still walk your own way and I think Alija said it well. No one, not even your closest freind will ever be the same as you. Which means that while you enjoy each other's complany, you might want to head in opposite directions and most importantly, happiness comes from your brain, not the brains of others.

I realize that this is quite different to what I would usually say about this topic, but the new idea is quite exciting to me. So, what do you think?
Who the hell is it you try to impress?

All you have to do is learn to care less!
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Sabina » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:44 pm

First let me address the lol in direct speech....
If that was the extent of it, one could claim it was not a big deal. But, that is not all. The "lol" in direct speech is only one of many manifestation of language dieing out.
Now you or anyone could say it is not dieing it out, it is only changing.
That is just not true.
We have started the topic on Words & Language a while ago and I have addressed this partially there as well:
Sabina wrote:Let's take the word "cool", for instance.
Whether something is beautiful, or inspiring, or only kind of nice, people refer to it as cool....
When I say people I don't mean just the others, I am guilty of the same crime much too often.
I use the word "cool", while occasionally trying to remind myself to use other words instead. To use proper words, in the sense that they actually express how I feel about something, rather than using an overall term.

Back when the word "cool" was introduced, it was probably "defended" in a similar manner like you are defending the "lol" now. It's not a big deal, language is alive, it is changing,...
No... what is happening is a dumbing down of society. You can argue it on other points, but as far as language is concerned it most definitely applies.
There are so many beautiful words we don't even know of!
Good words, with good meanings, expressing something very specific....
Instead, language is being simplified more and more to the point that people call a variety of things by the same name and are then surprised if they are not understood. And - and this is the "best" part of it - then, they blame it on language and communication!
No... language is not at fault... communication is not at fault... What is at fault is us with our laziness to use words properly. The lol is just the latest extreme example that goes to show that we are headed deeper and deeper in that direction.

Metatron wrote:....You don't have to overuse computers and they don't become harmful, just as the rest of what I've mentioned. Yet still some people just don't give up on saying it is bad, we didn't have these things and we were happy....


I never said that computers are to blame for anything, AND (this is important) I don't think that we cannot become friends with people over the internet! We most definitely can!
The point I was trying to make is that a lot of that what is called "friendship" has nothing to do with friendship. Contact or acquaintances aren't friends and that's a fact.
People use words like friendship, and love, and hugs and throw them around... and the thing is, to me, these words still mean something. Realizing that to others they are just empty words and that this is more and more common.... I just don't understand it. What I don't understand most of all is how that can be called progress.

You wrote "It certainly is progress, whether it is a good thing is another question."
You see, to me, the word progress implies that is is an advancement, that it is leading to something better, which when you translate that also means that it is now better than it was before. When it comes to relationships, interaction between people, I don't see it.
Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, several of these exceptional people can be found right here on DS. I am very happy about that. I wasn't talking about the exceptions though, but rather about the rule... because that is the culture we live in.

Sabina
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby alija » Thu Mar 18, 2010 6:50 pm

Sabina wrote: B0)
I choose people.
For me "enlightenment" has nothing to do with whether or not I need people and friends. I do believe it is important to clarify what these words mean though... words like "friendship", and yes, "love" as well.

I work on myself, that's correct, but others do help me, and I help others, as much as they will accept my help anyway.
I don't feel bitterness yet, and I hope I never will. Despair, and only at times - yes; but bitterness - no. When you come to the point of , bitterness to me that represents the ultimate sadness. The loss of all hope.

I could live without people, I know that... and yes, I would still be connected to them on some level, but true happiness only exists when it is shared.

Sabina

"I have chosen people" sounds to me like an empty phrase. Sorry, you know my problem with language. I didn't chose anything and have no need to explain what did I chose.

Enlightenment shouldn't be any body's goal. I hope I didn't mention this word because I found it much misused, too.
Sadness, bitterness could be also part of the life, but I hope you are not anything of this kind considering this subject, friends.

I see in any human being fellow traveler without any need to emphasize some particular relationships as friendly.
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Sabina » Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:21 pm

Alija,

You wrote "Sadness, bitterness could be also part of the life, but I hope you are not anything of this kind considering this subject, friends.", yet in my text (which you also quoted) it states that I don't feel bitterness. I wrote:
"Despair, and only at times - yes; but bitterness - no."
...and I also explained what bitterness is... the ultimate sadness, and you do sound bitter. Perhaps that is not how you feel, but that is how you sound to me.

alija wrote:"I have chosen people" sounds to me like an empty phrase. Sorry, you know my problem with language.

Nice... yes, I do know your problem with language and that so many things sound empty to you... Ok...
Thanks for the reminder.

Sabina
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby dermot » Thu Mar 18, 2010 9:20 pm

Feisty eh?.....

This is ironic, i am staying in a hotel a few hours from my home tonight. I have been trying to get on this site for ages as the connection is poor.
Then i find and read this topic, and i feel frustrated at not being able to reply...to a topic considering the idea of virtual connections and friendship.
However i am on, at least for a while!

Firstly, it is easy, and i do it in my mind...to observe the souls who roam the planet judging the day on how good their hair has behaved, or how good this evenings tv soap operas are going to be.

I spent a good part of my life wondering at why i didnt fit it, why others were content with 'ordinary' persuits, 'ordinary' friends, and why i felt it was too shallow for me.

I have found like minded souls, in 'reality' and 'here'!
It would'nt have been possible for me to connect or participate with anyone on a 'virtual level' 20yrs ago, so there is progress, and there is the other side of the coin.

I kind of believe that consciousness is being raised on a global scale, problem is we dont get exposed to that too often, or at least not as often as we have to endure mindless stupidity.

Sabina, you have a fierce determination to make a difference, you are , and you will.
I would hate to think you might become discouraged, that would be our loss.

Keep the faith...
d
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby Sabina » Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:54 pm

dermot wrote:...I have found like minded souls, in 'reality' and 'here'!
It would'nt have been possible for me to connect or participate with anyone on a 'virtual level' 20yrs ago, so there is progress, and there is the other side of the coin.

That's an excellent point Dermot...
So yes, I agree. Based on your example, it is progress.

dermot wrote:I kind of believe that consciousness is being raised on a global scale, problem is we dont get exposed to that too often, or at least not as often as we have to endure mindless stupidity.

Yes, that's because many things are being raised on a global scale, parallel to consciousness.
=0@ =0/ 80|
Does that sound too pessimistic?
I don't wish to end this on a pessimistic note... you made some excellent points and there is definitely hope. I will keep the faith, except we won't call it that. It's hope and determination.
I'm keeping both. :)

Sabina
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Re: Friendship in Virtual Times

Postby mirjana » Thu Mar 18, 2010 11:39 pm

People, friendship, words, language...

I also chose people and friendship with that what these words mean to me. I can understand that other people do not share the same opinion and that is OK. I respect their choice. Why not to respect and accept the differences in this aspect but to do it in some others, like I prefer man as a partner and somebody else prefer woman, I prefer certain kind of music and somebody else maybe cannot stand it. And that is OK. I think that we should think that our personal standard about anything is the ultimate standard. What we can do though is to keep our standards we personally stand for.
As about words and language, I also think that it is important to use language for the purpose it is made for, which is to make us to understand each other the better way based on that how we express us in the communication. Never mind that in that aspect too we are not all equally skilled and those who think about themselves that they are, should know that it is the same thing like criticizing somebody for not being able to sing the same way as somebody else who does it nicely.
For me the most important thing is the realization that neither the way we express us correctly or not will be the proof that the true emotion is there. There are people who are not capable with words but in many other ways they feel and show their feelings more than those skilled with words.
There are many paths to realize if emotions, friendship or love, with that what these words personally mean for somebody are really there or not.
Like Dermot, I am not at my home but in another country, I have four days workshop and a very slow connection to internet. Beside, there is the problem with letters and many other things that make my communication to be different than it usually is. It will be like that for the next few days. Still, I needed at least to pop in and see what is happening here, not losing my contact with all of you completely. It is not that we have to do that... It is the choice.
Sabina, this is the best answer to many questions we have been discussing here.
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