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Authentic Online

October 2, 2010

From the book The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice, p 205, my emphasis

…we often feel less inhibited in how we interact with one another online, especially in terms of what kind of personal information we share.  As a result it becomes easy to overshare ourselves, to reveal more information – or information at a faster rate – than we would face-to-face (after all, we wouldn’t normally think of sharing the volume and depth of personal information in a first meeting like we do on the average Facebook profile).  Our tendency toward oversharing can be an attempt to get other people’s attention.  At its worst it is a form of emotional pornography – we get the brief and intense feeling of intimacy without having to worry about commitment, conflict resolution, or the time required to build a truly intimate relationship.  This pattern of oversharing does not promote intimacy.  Rather, we’re just getting “our stuff” out of our system so that we feel better.  Oversharing does not take into account the thoughts and feelings of the other person.  But it does give the impression that we know each other much better than we actually do and this, again, is one of the challenges in relating authentically to one another online.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 4, 2010 1:51 pm

    Yes yes yes yes yes…
    This reminds me of the aftermath of a recent post on my blog. I finally had to flat out tell people to get eye-to-eye over this stuff. It was unbelievable, definitely unexpected.

    • October 9, 2010 8:24 pm

      Yeah, I’m in the midst of trying to figure what exactly is the best way to use the interweb. Facebook, et. al. are wonderful tools… but the nature of the medium itself is limiting (save for perhaps Skype or iChat or something similar). I’m finding that now that I’m 3,000 miles away from a good chunk of my friends that being updated on things is very different from relating.

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