Reality vs. Online

February 18, 2010
You sitting in computer technology, bored with nothing to do, and you friend across the room starts to chat with you over your preferred social network. You tell the friend a joke and he reply’s with “Haha,” but doesn’t actually laugh in person. Was he just not laughing because of him being in class or has the internet shaped us into different people? When you log onto a chat website, such as Facebook, you become a totally different person, socially and maybe even appearance.
Online chatting is nothing compared to talking on the phone, or talking in person. You can take as long as you want when chatting online and you are not face to face with them. For some reason it seems like when chatting, it doesn’t really matter what you say because it isn’t reality. But the ultimate question is why does this happen, is it because it is not face to face? Or possibly is it because people just like the idea of having someone free to rant off whatever they want, that they believe to be private?
Everyone in high school has heard the term “sexting.” Would you ever think about saying the same things said in “sexting” in person? No because that’s just plain awkward. Then how isn’t it awkward of text or chatting? It’s all the notion of getting your feelings out no matter how disturbing they are. Instead of chat rooms or social networks being about just chatting and seeing what is up, they have turned into emotional filled boxes they people just keep stuffing their emotions in.
People will “sext” to get certain emotions out, but what if someone saw those texts? Another reason for people to expose different emotions over text is because they seem to believe that no one else will see them. Have you ever thought that someone, if your conversation consumes private information or sexual pun, will be copying them and saving them into a document? It is possible and you will never know if they are or not and who will read them.
So everyone, and even myself, become a different person online. We say “lol,” when we don’t actually laugh and we say things we wouldn’t say in person. Things that might not be harmful or important but different then your normal self that will cause someone to be lead into the notion that you are someone you’re not. We do this because the awkwardness of being in person is taken away, so you feel free to ramble on whatever. Also, because we feel that everything said is private. In reality if you are not the same online that you are in person, which I challenge you to do, it will miss lead. This has developed a new social issue that was swept the world and is overtaking everyone.





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