QuestionCan you ever really know someone you've never met face to face?
      – Nevermore, 2008-11-19 at 18:45:26   (10 comments)

On 2008-11-19 at 21:41:51, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Can you ever really know someone you have met face-to-face? If you're chatting to someone online it's likely that you'll get to cover a wider range of topics and learn more about them. Talking to someone face-to-face gives you the chance to form a bond and determine if you feel comfortable being around them or not. But you can also see someone face-to-face and not manage to get anywhere in your conversations, knowing that your time is limited to perhaps an hour or two. You could argue that to really get to know someone you need a mixture of both real life and online conversations to see each other from all sides. There's even a difference in what you can learn, and perceive, between e-mail and instant messages.
On 2008-11-19 at 22:25:36, Baslisks wrote...
texting and phone calls is how I learned about my girlfriend. We spent several months doing nothing but that before I plucked up the courage to actually ask her out. When we met face to face it really felt like we had a connection. The first date we didn't stop talking except for the show we went to. Alternative communication is really good for any type of relationship.
On 2008-11-20 at 00:38:06, BorgClown wrote...
I used to think you could have true friendship with people you know only in the Internet. The experience of SB taught me that communication without presence forms incomplete bonds, even if they are strong, interaction IRL is needed to settle your impression of friends as a real people. Yet in this ever-changing e-world, e-friendship is the next best thing to RL friendship. It is volatile, but RL friendship can be too.
On 2008-11-20 at 01:33:26, Baslisks wrote...
@BorgClown: anytime you get unpredictable things like people together they tend to be volatile.
On 2008-11-21 at 06:56:36, Despicable wrote...
If you know too much about someone it destroys the mystery about the person and that leads to loosing interest in the person because familiarity breeds contempt. On line you automatically become mysterious and you can build an impression that cannot be verified because of the distance in the relationship. The only time someone is interesting is when you can discover something new about the person that you were not previously aware of,
On 2008-11-21 at 17:36:34, BorgClown wrote...
The problem is, we are not happy until we know everything about someone we care. Mystery is enticing, but you can't keep it forever.
On 2008-11-21 at 23:52:12, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I recently read an idea, about how the more information you have about someone the more you dislike them. I think this is certainly true when it comes to looking for potential 'matches', e.g. with friendship/dating profiles online, where you're looking for reasons to eliminate each person - the more things they list, the more likely you are to find a perceived fault or mismatched interests. But when it comes to someone with whom I have some interest to begin with, I simply wish to know everything about them - and I can make good use of the things I like about them and ignore the things that are less interesting.
On 2009-01-06 at 00:51:20, Thelevellers wrote...
I have to say no to this, as there is always the possibility that the person you are talking to is the polar opposite to their perceived persona. Obviously this is still possible with meeting people face to face, but you are far more likely to see them stumble and reveal themselves. I'm not sure I'm particularly qualified to annswer this really, as I'm a very peculiar friend maker, and a bit rubbish at it, online or offline. Though I guess it depends on your definition of rubbish, as although those I count as friends are small in number, they are all really great people. Facebook is hard, as I keep being asked to make people I barely count as an acquaintance a 'friend'. And then I have the trouble of starting online relationships with them. Weird.
On 2009-01-06 at 00:54:10, Thelevellers wrote...
Oh' and variety of communications is indeed vital - I say completely different things in different media, and I actually find that the less instant the communication, the more 'stream of conciousness' like it is. Which seems backwards? My letters go off on vaguely interrelating subjects (I felt sorry for my exes that were subjected to these! They claimed to like em tho...), My emails are somewhat more factual and ordered, and my IMs tend to end up purely factual 'how are you?' style things, unless sparked off into a surrealist/punninator mood...
On 2009-01-06 at 08:00:50, Baslisks wrote...
@Thelevellers: I feel perceived personas are very rarely based on observation and more about people talking to you about them. Current girlfriend was supposedly a vapid, republican bitch. I now know she is none of those. Shes smarter than me on basically any topic but technical aspects of society.