VonNoble

Civility and Reason

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There are some things old people miss as they age. 

It seems most of my peers are lamenting the loss of civility.

They blame cyber space for much of that. 

 

They also gripe about unreasonableness having become the norm.

 

I have been giving this some thought.   Initially I disagreed and

tried applying some understanding to the world now and why it has

become speed over quality in communications.   

 

They might just have a point in there somewhere.  

Have we made the world smaller with these many ways to converse

across the globe...but in the process...have we widened the gap in

understanding (one another) because of how we communicate?

 

Or any other variation you want to add to the conversation

 

Von

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I think we are all exposed to a wider variety of human behavior on a regular basis. Much of what people think is new, in terms of behavior, was simply not visible to them before.

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I agree with mererdog, but would also say that it seems to me at times that the way we communicate has indeed changed what we would say to each other.  I have seen things that people post online, things that are crude, rude, or vulgar, or hateful.  I have spoken to a very few people that I have seen post that way, and they always have come across as shy or introverted to the point where they barely speak at all to people.  This is just my own personal experience, of course.  I wonder, what would it be like to have a conversation with mererdog face to face :)

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5 hours ago, cuchulain said:

  I wonder, what would it be like to have a conversation with mererdog face to face :)

That would vary widely depending on my mood, I'm afraid. I swing widely between extremes of extroversion and introversion, optimism and pessimism. I am not bipolar, but I've had more than one layman diagnose me as such...

As for the subject at hand, I do think that the increased ability to communicate anonymously has led to more open communication between strangers. This leads to more people being confronted with communication styles, and even concepts, that are socially unacceptable in the circles they normally travel in. It means more interactions of a decidedly negative nature, but it also leads to a lot of unintentional learning...

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That could certainly be the case.  But I know many people who would not say certain things to a persons face yet have no problem spouting it out online.  I doubt that they have trouble encountering other people who just spout out what they are thinking, but it's possible.

Or, perhaps it is a combination of both.

Edited by cuchulain

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9 hours ago, cuchulain said:

That could certainly be the case.  But I know many people who would not say certain things to a persons face yet have no problem spouting it out online. 

People do tend to speak with more freedom online due to the perception that it is safe to do so. But that's not so much a new phenomenon as a sort of social equalizer at work. The powerful have always felt comfortable saying what they think. Now the weak do to, is all... ;)

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My sense of things, Is that when people have the illusion of annonimity -- in cyber space -- they are more rude.  It is one reason that I use my true name.

Edited by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Technology has made the world smaller concerning communications, but as we gained the convenience of social media we sacrificed the requirement of basic human interaction.  We type 140 characters on twitter, or post a cute picture on Instagram, or share a really awesome meme on facebook, and we think we are interacting.  It is a type of communication but it is not an interaction. One is unable to share some of the vital elements that make us human through the internet such as body language, tone of voice or facial changes to name just a few elements. We try to substitute emoticons for that lack of tone, but it is a poor replacement.  

The result is a dialogue that is too effortless, too cold, to allow for the niceties that we require when we are face to face.  Anonymity is also a factor, but it just adds to overall disconnect that the internet has created for humanity.  The question I have is if we can sacrifice the convenience of social media in order to regain the connections we all so desire from our fellow humans.   

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That makes sense.  People have grown up with social conventions, things like saying please and thank you.  The computer distances us from each other, and the consequences of failing to deliver on those simple conventions.  I could in theory speak to anyone on this forum the way I chose, within the limits the mods set, and be very insulting.  If I speak to someone in person in such a manner, the only mod available is police intervention, and if they aren't around...or the other person thinks it's worth it, they may moderate my speaking for me.

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On 12/3/2016 at 2:00 PM, cuchulain said:

The computer distances us from each other, and the consequences of failing to deliver on those simple conventions. 

Another way to look at it is that the internet makes it harder for people to enforce arbitrary standards of behavior when communicating. That added freedom of choice leads to a lot of experimentation, and over time the communication styles that get used the most are the ones that are the most effective. Our cultural norms and expectations are changing accordingly, so people's emotional reactions are, as well. So the smart money says that it is only a matter if time before acts we currently consider rude become acts we consider polite, and we become slightly embarrassed about some of our prior reactions to those acts. This, I suspect, is a good thing.

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On 12/20/2016 at 11:20 AM, mererdog said:

Another way to look at it is that the internet makes it harder for people to enforce arbitrary standards of behavior when communicating. That added freedom of choice leads to a lot of experimentation, and over time the communication styles that get used the most are the ones that are the most effective. Our cultural norms and expectations are changing accordingly, so people's emotional reactions are, as well. So the smart money says that it is only a matter if time before acts we currently consider rude become acts we consider polite, and we become slightly embarrassed about some of our prior reactions to those acts. This, I suspect, is a good thing.

Only to a point.  No matter how much of an idiot I think someone is -- it is seldom productive to call them stupid.  Civility remains useful, if not virtuous.  

:mellow:

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