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11 January 2013 @ 01:21 pm
The lost art of communication online  

I used to erroneously think that being an extrovert meant having great social and communication skills. This is just as bad as saying being an introvert means you are shy. Socializing and communicating are not innate skill but learned skills. It is no different than male birds learning to sing to defend their territories and attract mates. Though it may come more naturally to some than to others they are still learned skills and have no bearing on being introverted or extroverted. After dealing with some extroverts over the years I have been amazed at how much better I, a major introvert, am at the skill of conversation. To have a proper conversation it needs to go both ways. One starts up a discussion about a topic and the second person responds adding to what was said. This is repeated taking turn and when done properly long, deep fulfilling conversations are made. This does not just apply to socialization with friends but to work as well. Good communication skills kicking an idea back and forth is very important in a company setting where products or services are trying to be improved. Communication is one of the major keys in the development of good relationships. Any kind of relationship.

Written communication is just as important as verbal communication. One can substitute the other if a person is more proficient in one or the other. I do well provided the other person follows the simple formula stated above, (this is where many extroverts lack thinking they are having a conversation but they are the ones doing all the talking. This is not a conversation as it takes both parties contributing back and forth)though as a strong introvert I prefer written communication as I am more proficient in it. Spelling errors aside I am more clear and have time for better word choice in writing than in real time.

It is disturbing how the internet is contributing to the dying art of communication though. At the onset in the 90's we saw communication take it's downward turn with the development of net speak. I used to hate how strict my English teachers were and thought they needed to lighten up about some things. And they did but when net speak came around I suddenly saw that those strict and mean rules were now necessary and relevant. Writing things in short form and for a joke is fine but to do it all the time and have it be accepted is problematic because younger people do not see the joke and see this way of writing things as the way it is and do not know the difference. Herein lies the problem of bad writing becoming accepted and lax when it should not. Capitalization is important. A typo is ok but a whole paragraph where the first work is not capitalized or the pronoun "I" is purposely not capitalized throughout needs to be reprimanded. "i went to the store and i bought a drink." This sentence in school out have many failing points. My teachers would take off points for spelling even in other subjects so you could fail even if you had all the right answers in science. No pressing the shift key accidentally once in a while is acceptable. It happens but when things are purposely written this way is where the problems really begin.

Of course this brings up the other problem in real life that's not just a problem online. The American public school system is degenerating rapidly. I was informed by someone that has children that cursive writing is no longer taught because of computers. The bar has already been lowered and now catering to the net speak and online typing is bad indeed. Though personal letter writing is also quickly going out there will be the times when the only way to convey thoughts on paper will be to write them by hand and you will need those skills when a computer is not around. Thinking globally not all people in the world have computers and it is important in these areas to have the writing skill. Perhaps a way to fight back is to use cursive fonts that will force readers to learn what those character are. My hand writing is a hybridization between block and cursive handwriting as you will see in a moment.

But let's talk about communication online. In the early days of the internet there were websites and message boards. These things were great because both excersized (this is one word I have trouble spelling and spell check never knows what it is) writing ability and emphasis on communication. Long blocks of text filled with ideas and substance. Those that were able to make websites had a great skill and advantage in that they knew simple html coding. But as coding go more complex the lazy types that were jumping on the internet bandwagon didn't want to bother with HTML, the simplest coding language. Enter the web journals or as I hate the word "blogs" short for "web log". Ask a young person on a computer and they probably could not tell why they are called "blogs" as again this shortening and lazy form of writing is adding to the growing problem. So blogs were bad for the personal websites because you no longer needed to learn simple coding. You just type what you want in box and hit the post button. I take pride that in these posts I write because I am a webmaster from the very start I use HTML and code everything myself. I code my colors, my fonts if they need to change from default, the 40+ Sims images I post in my gaming updates. All that I code by hand.

I have brought this concern up when journals (a more appropriate term but say that to a new comer to the internet today and they won't know what you're talking about. "Oh you mean a blog.") were new and becoming popular. But it wasn't so bad as there was still great communication going on. But websites were dying.

Enter facebook and twitter, the abominations of the internet today. Now the journals began to fall by the way side and it has become barren of meaningful conversations or exchanges of complex ideas. The internet is becoming about less faster, reading is not important and substitute as much text as we can with tiny icons. I despise word limits. I can not express myself with a word limit. Youtube has followed suit with this and almost every other major site that had communication is beginning to as well. When I respond on youtube I sometimes have to fill up three chat boxes to answer a question and get my point across. The word limit should be increased. Twitter encourages short two sentence posts about nothing. People post constantly and nothing is said. Deviant art which has been falling for a long time has visible influence of this where people favorite artwork and do not leave comments as to why it was favorited. The favorite is now the thumbs up that was started by facebook (lack of capital is on purpose here for protest.) I do not want favorites or thumbs up as they are meaningless. As an introvert I am online to socialize as the internet used to be a great thing for introverts that got tired out too easily from draining conversations in real life. Being an introvert does not mean you are antisocial. No we need it though in small doses and on our terms. Take this away and it is very infuriating. I want to know why you favorited/thumbsed up/liked my artwork/video/photo etc. I want to hear "I enjoyed that. It was fun to watch and reminded me of my childhood as I had something similar. Thank you." Oh how nice! Then I can ask what that childhood was nice and information can be transmitted in myriad of possibilities. Who knows how far the conversation and possible friendship could go. But no more. How could I know any of this with a stupid thumbs up. Meaningless. Lazy. Defeats the purpose. These places are called "social media"? Why? Explain? I see no real socialization. Media? Media transfers important relevant information. I do not see this either.

Today I was on ebay and was going to buy a hanging basket for my plants. The owner for some reason wants paypal linked to ebay. I do not want my paypal and ebay linked. I want the safety of typing in my password and verifications over and over. Hitting a button once because they are linked shows lack of security. I refuse to do that. I tried to contact the person but they no longer take PM's. Again the awful lack of communication though I have been a loyal customer since 2011. I don't know why this changed. Not all vendors set this parameters. But I have the box from 2011 where I've been saving all my hanging baskets when not in use. And I have the ability to write a letter. My printer has been out of ink for years. No problem. I have a pen and paper.

I sent this off today. How many in my situation today would have been stuck? I'm guessing over 50%. The wording of this letter is very conducive to gaining a response being positive or negative but a response nonetheless. I am proud and thankful I can think ahead and have these skills and my educational upbringing both from school and from self taught as I am always seeking knowledge.

Before I conclude let me talk a little about online safety that thanks to facebook is also going out the window. Facebook requires you to use your real name first and last and other sites are following suit. No more fandom based names with numbers. Yet another reason I refuse to join facebook because I will not use my real names on the internet. Even with something as common as the name John Smith saying which country and what state narrows down the possibilities for sickos and psychos to find you. Why do people lack common sense about not giving up their privacy? These days people are all too willing to give that and their freedoms up. I say No Way I will refuse. Youtube asks me everytime I log in to add my real name. I shall never do it. Telling them why (since they bother to ask but don't listen) does not stop and they hope this will wear everyone down until they all have their real names on there just like facebook. I for one will never give in no matter how many pop ups they make me go through. Keep it up and I shall leave. No I will be thagirion9 there and that's that. The thought has crossed my mind of filling in the form as First name: Thagirion, Last name: 9. Hehe. I know they hate people like me. Good. If you're reading this don't be an idiot and give into their pressure. Do not use your real name online. That's why it's called "Screen name". It won't be long before all sites are doing this. It won't surprise me.

The bottom line is that communication online is dying. It's evident in how many have left Livejournal and no one knows what it is anymore. But those of us that did have great schooling and are here for rich conversations rejoice. You are special for you have an advantage over the masses. If you have children pass it on to them. I pass on my knowledge to anyone willing to listen.
Current Mood: cynicalcynical
actipton80actipton80 on January 11th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
I do use my real name online, just not on the big sites like Youtube. I do have a Google+ account, but I haven't used it yet. Most sites that ask, I just put my initials.

I only write in cursive when I write checks. My cursive is so bad, which is why I rarely do it even though it's actually less tiring than printing. You've seen my printing. It's about like yours.

There are a lot of things they don't teach now. I don't think they make kids memorize the times tables anymore. I also remember diagramming sentences in English class, but I don't remember when I had to do it. They don't make kids do that anymore either. They don't really do much drill and kill anymore, even though I know there are ways to make it fun for kids. In Asian countries, they drill and kill the kids' butts off, and then they beat our kids' butts off in the international standardized tests. I know drill and kill is boring for the smart kids and hard for the dumb kids, but you can teach critical thinking, conceptual stuff, theoretical stuff, and fluffy stuff, much easier if kids can read, write, and do basic math first.
Des: Thanatos Agreesthagirion on January 11th, 2013 07:49 pm (UTC)
I have seen Google+, but not sure what it is or why I should have one. My handwriting is messy but legible so I think it is fine. My block style is not perfect and my cursive isn't fancy. Chris's handwriting is almost just like mine too. As long as it's legible, great.

When foreigners say "American are stupid" we can't really get mad because as far as education goes they are totally right. Latin American kids are the same way. I find it ironic that many people make fun of Spanish people and call them stupid when really in a trivia tournament they would not stand a chance. What is the "drill and kill" method. I've probably had teachers use it but it may not have been called that when I was in school.
actipton80actipton80 on January 11th, 2013 08:22 pm (UTC)
You don't need a Google+ profile. I use Gmail, Google calendar, Google docs, and I have taken an online class that Google offered where you need a Google+ to post on the class message boards.

My writing is terrible. I have to work very hard and take lots of breaks if I want it to remain legible after the first couple lines.

They didn't call it that when I was in school either. Drill and kill is just where they make kids memorize stuff, practice stuff, and do drills until they know it. Making kids recite their times tables is an example.
Desthagirion on January 12th, 2013 01:53 pm (UTC)
My writing gets worse the more I do it too. I have to concentrate to keep it legible.
Ah, yeah that's just a normal way to teach. They should always do that.
Cheezey: Blow My Horncheezey on January 11th, 2013 08:19 pm (UTC)
They don't teach kids cursive anymore? Wow. I had no idea. I remember learning that at about the age my son is now, in second grade. He is in special education because he's autistic, with a program tailored to his needs and help him learn/catch up, so he is not typical of second grade students, but it never occurred to me that it might not be being taught in mainstream classes.

I have my real name on Facebook, but I have always been careful about what I post there, and what apps I allow to access my profile. It's scary how much information people give away. When I made a roleplay profile for Bushroot, you wouldn't believe how many underage kids friended him and blabbed out their lives and gave hints about where they live, how old they are, etc. online in front of a total stranger. Luckily I'm just a harmless fandom nerd, but really, how do they know that? Few of them knew me or my "real life" account or who I am. For all they knew I could've been some creepy pedophile preying on their naivete.

I totally agree with you on the state of the internet. I miss websites and LJ being more active. Twitter and the word limits cater to the instant gratification mentality that's everywhere. People don't want to be bothered to read. They just want to click a link or watch a short video rather than engage their brains.
Desthagirion on January 12th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC)
I remember learning it too. I know I had it by 4th grade, but I don't remember when I was taught it.

This also shows that parents don't supervise their kids online.

That's so pathetic. I need to update my website. It's definitely not fast or easy and even having a program like dreamweaver I don't always want to open it. Much do something about that this year.
Cheezey: Dear Livejournalcheezey on January 12th, 2013 03:08 pm (UTC)
That's cool. Good luck with it. It's hard even getting traffic to websites these days, without promoting it all over the social media. Facebook seems like the new AOL, like how some people use it as their portal to the rest of the internet and never leave it except to click occasional links.

LJ is great, despite some of its changes for the worse in the last several years, and it's still a much better platform for online stuff than the more popular ones. I will never understand why people love Tumblr so much, aside from knowing in the abstract that it fulfills their instant gratification want. It's clunky and terrible for conversation. At least some of us still stick around here on LJ, though. The hardcore introverts and people who enjoy reading, mostly.
Des: LiveJournal for Introvertsthagirion on January 12th, 2013 03:32 pm (UTC)
I think the few of us that are left that still make fansites will still get traffic because we'll have the unique comprehensive info no one else will.

You're completely right about LJ. I don't know why blogger is the number one journal out there right now. For a place where it forces you to be public I rarely see comments on these people's pages let alone regular comments from people on a friends list. I don't want a random person coming by saying something only once. I get though of that on DA. I want loyal commenters that will watch me. Blogger isn't designed for that like LJ is.
Cheezey: Blow My Horncheezey on January 12th, 2013 04:32 pm (UTC)
I hope so! I intend to leave my fan sites up for that reason.

One really annoying thing about Blogger is the fact that comments don't form threads. You don't know if someone is replying to you or replying in general, and it makes following comment threads tedious. You'd think that'd be a basic feature since most other journals like Dreamwidth and LJ have it, and even DA has it.

Edited at 2013-01-12 04:33 pm (UTC)
Des: Scotty - Hello Computer?thagirion on January 12th, 2013 04:41 pm (UTC)
I noticed that and when I commented to you and Silvolf on the last post I made there I added your names at the start of each response so there was no question about it. I guess it's more like a message board than a journal.
Calzephyr: Muffin Buffincalzephyr77 on January 12th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
I miss my friends journalling on LJ too. I think it has helped me become a better writer. Plus it was such a bonus to have communities in one place. Facebook has a rather disposable quality about it :/
Des: Budgiesthagirion on January 12th, 2013 01:58 pm (UTC)
I think so too. I remember when this used to be a happening place. I don't use the communities as much anymore but that may be because of the lack of activity as well. I own several but they are all dead. It took great effort to keep two members posting on my most active one and since it's a seasonal garden one I'd lose them in the Fall and I got tired of it.
kabuldur: Asterkabuldur on January 12th, 2013 11:16 am (UTC)
I didn't know they were not teaching cursive anymore. That is just wrong.

You are right that communication is getting shorter and shorter. It is supposedly the modern way.

I'm coping (or is that not coping?) with an extrovert from over the road at the moment. I'm an extrovert and talk more than listen, but he is worse! Don't get me wrong, he is a very nice guy and very helpful and practical and I am very grateful for all his help lately. But you have taught me the differences between extroverts and introverts and I am starting to see what you mean. You will probably turn me into a better person in the long run, because I will listen more in real life conversations :)
Des: Budgiesthagirion on January 12th, 2013 02:01 pm (UTC)
That's what I heard from an officer. That's pretty sad.

I'm all for progress but in this case it's just wrong.

There are different degrees of extroversion and introversion. Both need to learn how to have proper conversations skills. Some people never learn. I'm glad you're learning to listen. It's good to do.
The Silver Wolf of Darkness: Ignignoktsilvolf on January 12th, 2013 11:07 pm (UTC)
Ergh I HATE sites that require you to use your real name. I joined Facebook back in 2007 before I had that crazy stupid stalker girl Jess following me. Lots of people on Facebook don't use their real names though, even though you're meant to and don't get caught. Heck I have two "fake" accounts on there and neither have been told off. But what annoys me is these days when you join, it insists that you use your mobile number to prove you're authentic. Well not all people have cell phones! And people don't want to give them out either, even though it's private unless you want people to see it, Facebook still has it. But I joined before they made that a required thing, so they don't have my number. I was angry with Google as well. I was Silvolf on Google plus but since I use their adwords to get revenue from people clicking their ads on my YouTube, I have to use my real name on Google plus cos it's linked to Google adwords. I hate that so I don't use my plus account. I don't use Yahoo messenger either because for some reason it kept showing my real name when all my other friends had their online names. My real name is online but I try to minimize where it is, like it needs to be on Amazon for example, though I do have a nickname there, my real name shows up on my reviews for some reason.

I HATE net speak. I heard that some schools actually let kids talk like that in English essays and stuff. Its disgraceful. I use lol or brb or something but only in chats. I never put U or Ur instead of You and You're or other stupid short things, though I am guilty of miss-spelling things on purpose for impact sometimes but that's just my weirdness showing in my words online. I never use netspeak when I'm writing serious comments, emails, letters, anything that requires maturity. I told my Finnish friend off for putting U instead of You so he started writing You and used it ever since and I was proud of that cos most people don't listen.

I hope they reply to your letter. I write letters too. I always make the effort to write a letter, even if its just to my aunt to thank her for Christmas money or my penpal in America. Its nice to have something to hold in your hands that's been written by another person. My South African friend and my friend in Missouri write them with every gift we send each other. I dunno what I put on YouTube for my real name *checks* It just says Name: Silvolf in my settings. Its never asked for my real name. Probably just as well because these days I either use Silvolf . (if there is a last name required) or Razz Mantyz. These days I get really angry when a site asks me for my real name. I don't like people calling me by my real name on the net, another reason I took it off my dA and other sites. Strangers would call me by it as if I was their friend. I didn't even know them.

Oh dear, this reply has turned into a novel lol! But I can see your annoyance at these things.
Desthagirion on January 13th, 2013 01:35 am (UTC)
It's ok. Rant away. You can vent on my journal and that's why I post these things. We're both in agreement on everything here.
That's good you're at least grandfathered into the old system on facebook. The cell phone thing is annoying. I don't own one and I'm not going to give them or google my home number. They can forget that. I don't like how they know so much about us. There's no privacy. I feel like I'm giving up too many freedoms too for a service I don't even pay for. They don't need that kind of info. I've never made a review on Amazon but I don't think it shows my full name. I think it just says Des.

I remember you talking about that guy. I'm glad he listened to you.
I don't often put letters in with my gifts but I should. I used to and I need to get back into that. I like sending you cards on certain holidays too.
gamma_wingsgamma_wings on July 6th, 2014 09:07 pm (UTC)
I was randomly looking through some of your journals, and found this. What else can I say other than I fully agree with everything you've said?

It's true, proper conversation needs to go two ways, and not like how some extroverts do which is hog it all to themselves. Fortunately we both know good conversation skills. ;P Though admittedly I'm much better online where I can put in some thought into the words I know.

But I agree, I hate how the internet is contributing to all this nonsense, I hate how true conversation is dying, too. And personally I hate net speak too, where everything is misspelled an impossible to read. D: Like really? Please type normally. I think that smartphones also contributed to net speak, since most teens are too eager to get their two word sentence across, and since it's hard typing on the phone they use net speak because they're pretty darn lazy. Like really, they couldn't take the time to write a few extra letters. :I I'm proud that I use an actual computer and actually write all the "extra" (actually necessary) letters. And yea, I always try to capitalize the first letters of my sentences. If I don't then it annoys me. :I

I agree that school is degrading. I have no doubt that schools were much better before. And not just in America but everywhere. I was fortunate to at least learn a bit of cursive in school but yea, they still barely taught it. :/

Of course in the early days of internet I was either way too young or didn't exist yet. xD But it seems that it was much better back then, communication wise. And oh I actually didn't know that "blog" was short for "web log". I was somewhat curious about it but for some reason, never looked it up. Well good thing I know now. xD

Oh, ew... I DETEST Facebook and Twitter, thus I don't have either. >:I And agreed, it's all just meaningless 2-worded posts that have no point to them, I always hated "talk" like that. They don't encage me, I need stuff with substance. And agreed, faves and likes are stupid and meaningless as well. Comments are much preferred. And lol exactly, I don't see the "social media" in these sites, either. xD

I hate websites that want your real name. I'd much prefer to not give it out, either. I don't even really like my real name so yea, I prefer to use my screen name, too. xD
Des: I Thinkthagirion on July 6th, 2014 10:36 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you found this. I had to re-read it to see what it was about and I must say this is a well written article. I have been enjoying DA a lot but I must never abandon LJ and must get back to making daily posts here even if about my thoughts like this. It's good for my theoretical writing skills.

I saw your journal on DA looking for intelligent conversations and I fear you will fail and fall short. All the responses I saw prior to mine are just so vapid and fall short. It's so hard to find people at our level. No wonder we are sometimes grumpy reclusive introverts because the few that come to us just can't keep up with us.

The internet has really gone down the toilet hole. I wish you had seen what it was like when it was new. Yes there were still flame wars and jerks. I was one of the first ever internet warriors. But despite that at least it was a place just for nerds and even some adversaries at least were deserving of respect as we spoke of before. But now it's something for everyone because it had to be dumbed down for the dummies.

Oh gosh. Well I'm glad I can inform you on what "Blog" means and where it came from. And I still hate that word because it's lazy. They are journals.

It was scary when places started to demand real names. I put in fake ones unless it's a place where my money is being used. Luckily many of my characters have two names. I've registered some places as Ophidius Slith. Well here you go. This is a great example of me disobeying and getting around the rules.
gamma_wingsgamma_wings on July 6th, 2014 11:03 pm (UTC)
Lol perfect icon once again! xDD *wants to steal it 8I*

Yes, it's definitely well written and I'm happy to have found it myself. xD And yes, it would be great if you started making daily posts on here again, I like chatting here with you since you're one of my very few friends that I can have deep conversations with. D:

Yea... that's probably true. :I It sucks how most of the people online aren't NT's and usually cannot have deep conversations. And yea I agree, they really were pretty shallow and boring. And true, it really is. I only know a very few people at our level. And hehe yes exactly, they're simply not at our level and thus, can be quite boring. XP

Yea... I'm sure it has. :I And yea, I bet it was pretty cool and intelligent back then. Well I'm sure that in a community of people there will naturally be disagreements. I actually rather dislike how the internet became accessible to all the morons now, especially like those cat/dog stick people we had to deal with. ene

Yep, and I agree, such a lazy and stupid-sounding word. :I But clearly people couldn't bother type three extra letters. :I

Hmm yea sounds like it. 8C And hehe, it's good that you used one of your character's names as your "real" name. x3 And ah, well it was good that you've disobeyed the rules here.
Des: Out of my fandom!thagirion on July 7th, 2014 12:50 am (UTC)
Thank you.

One reason I started posting less here is that I kinda got into a rut. Well I don't feel like it but my posts became about what I was drawing and I hate talking about what I'm doing instead of what I have done. I thought it was boring to say I was inking everyday with nothing to show for it. So I try to keep that to a minimum. But hopefully I can get better and get back to doing interesting things like plants and going out. So yeah I need to type about my thoughts more when nothing out of the ordinary happens.

I shudder when I see people with those icons. I don't know what it is about your art that attracts these types of people. My previous ID with own had anthros in my dislike section. The reason being there's more bad than good in those fandoms. I don't know why it has so many with mental illnesses.
gamma_wingsgamma_wings on July 7th, 2014 01:48 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!

Ah, I see. Yes sometimes it can be pretty hard to find the topic to write about, especially if nothing's going on in life. :I But I'm very interested to hear journals about your thoughts, too actually. ^^

I agree... I don't like them, too. 8C And gah they're everywhere! And I'm not sure, either. Maybe it's because they're cute cartoon birds? Though I agree I don't like the furry fandom either, it's filled to the rim with morons and it's hard to find any normal people. Well I suppose that this cat/dog plague is a mental illness in itself. The furry syndrome...? It's surly full of like-minded people who draw the exact same thing and suck at it. They're all just trying to be like everyone else, then become as awful as the rest since those are the only people that take notice of them. :/