PollWhy are our neighbors sometimes stranger than some guys in the net?
      – BorgClown, 2009-12-20 at 07:19:33   (14 comments)

On 2009-12-20 at 07:26:11, BorgClown wrote...
Our neighbors change frequently, and we tend to socialize little. When we had a fixed home and permanent neighbors, we slowly got to know each other, but I like it more the way it is now. Maybe as we get older we'll need to feel secure by making acquaintances out of the close strangers.
On 2009-12-20 at 10:01:10, Lee J Haywood wrote...
It's well known that the design of a residential space strongly affects the people who live there. Areas that are isolated tend to have more crime, and my own street has nowhere for people to congregate and talk to each other (no front gardens). Perhaps it's equally difficult to get to know people on the Internet too, but there's simply more of them? There's always a good chance of finding a web site for a given interest and know that people will congregate there, much like a social group in the real world. OTOH, establishing relationships with people online that actually live near you is much more difficult. They're spread out amongst different sites and few will share interests with you and be online, and then you've still got to convince them that you're worth meeting.
On 2009-12-22 at 05:16:11, BorgClown wrote...
Actually, that's the great part of the Internet: You can talk with interesting people and are heard, it would be very difficult to arrange something similar with your neighbors. More so, you can't choose your neighbors, but you can easily choose your online friends.
On 2009-12-22 at 10:22:04, Lee J Haywood wrote...
There's a big divide between an individual's online and offline personalities though. I know a woman who will tell me just about anything during a one-on-one conversation online, but when I see her in a group setting in the real world she barely even acknowledges me.
On 2009-12-22 at 21:22:40, BorgClown wrote...
She might be too shy to open herself IRL, or maybe you're more interesting online? Do you treat her differently?
On 2009-12-23 at 09:37:06, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Ah, well it's often just the difference between a one-on-one conversation and a group setting. But it's easier to talk about random nonsense with someone online and see if you get a response... if you see them in person you're more conscious of how your mannerisms affect the interpretation of what you're saying. Also, when she's online she can slag off the very people that she's with when I see her in person, yet I don't think she really wants to associate with me in the first place when she's got her fiancée with her.
On 2009-12-25 at 23:19:31, Melchior wrote...
Bitch :P I'd guess it's largely to do with how we live now. Years ago you almost had to get to know your neighbours, because there was bugger all else to do. With easier transportation, communication, and more people living in cities, it's pretty easy to ignore everyone around you if you want. Since you never have to make the effort in the first place, there's no reason to ever try.
On 2009-12-25 at 23:24:58, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Huh, I only just noticed that there's a poll up there - if you hit 'Reply' all the time the options are always hidden. ☺ I think options 1, 2 and 4 are all true. It's rare that you'd need to call on your neighbour, and if you can't do it in the first place you don't know what you're missing. Urban areas are badly designed too - they're functional rather than communal. And yes, if you're socially isolated then the Internet is an escape route (and an addiction) that prevents you from stepping outside to meet people.
On 2009-12-29 at 04:49:42, BorgClown wrote...
I was reminded of an Isaac Asimov novel where there was so many people on Earth that ignoring everyone was the expected behavior, for example, it was a horrible gesture to hold the door open for someone. People had no privacy at all, but they went by all day as if they were alone.
On 2009-12-29 at 04:50:43, BorgClown wrote...
Might be "Prelude to Foundation", I can't pinpoint it.
On 2009-12-29 at 14:44:58, Lee J Haywood wrote...
That's basically the situation now, when you're walking through a city centre. I actually deliberately make eye contact with as many people as I can, and smile at them. But there's always those people you really don't want to have anything to do with, and pretending not to notice them is a useful way to do it.
On 2009-12-30 at 03:36:49, BorgClown wrote...
Do you really give the smiley to most strangers? I try to be friendly when needed, but most of the time I'm too inward focused to add strangers to the equation. I'd try the smiley occasionally, but doing if permanently would be too draining. It's as if I had a people neurotransmitter and it gradually wore off with use. BTW, I'd alias you "The Smiley" if I were walking with you and saw you do that.
On 2009-12-30 at 11:57:13, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Ah, well I know from my own experience that it's no fun to go for a walk and be ignored by everyone you pass. I'm thinking particularly of public parks, but it's true everywhere you go. So I figure it brightens someone's day a little bit to have someone randomly smile at them, and it's also an experiment to see how many ignore me and how many smile back! A lot of people refuse to make any eye contact at all, even when there's only 2 of you present. A lot see your smile but don't smile back (sometimes due to lack of time). But a few do genuinely smile back. Children are particularly good to smile at, as their parents are often unaware that any smiling is even taken place.
On 2009-12-31 at 06:18:51, BorgClown wrote...
Kids are so fun: "I love to go to the playground and watch the children jumping up and down. They don't know I'm firing blanks." - Emo Philips