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Computer Mediated Communication
Back when the net was young as a popular phenomenon, there was talk of internet use as "computer mediated communication." The idea was that people would use the net to share information and tools, and to do their business and spread their art.
This has been replaced by "computer aided socialization," which is what happens when in a proliferation of instant messenging, video chat, web forums, blogs and "social networks" like MySpace, people are using the net secondarily for tangible information but primarily to exchange social dialogue.
Social data is different from functional data. In social contexts, what is being said is important not for its content, but for its place; people trade compliments or discuss their "important" projects or ideas, but what they're doing does not concern the ideas but the people speaking them. The actual content is meaningless; what is being exchanged is social validation.
As a result, people do not have web sites to publish information, but web sites and blogs to represent their personalities and through which they hope to gain increasing social validation, like votes from the masses, with which to build popularity in the little fantasy world that is online.
For most of us, especially those of us who were using the internet before 1990, this is pointless behavior. You socialize in real life. Maybe you contact your friends using email or IM, but you don't go online to hook up with people you will never meet in real life. Reality is still real.
This site, and all of its content, is not here to represent personalities or curry favor points from that specialized audience of people online who do not represent reality but the segment of our population with nothing better to do than use the net. These people are losers in the philosophical sense that instead of challenging themselves, and rising to meet the needs of reality, and perhaps bettering themselves through heroic action, they've chosen a cheap and easy way to feel self important.
This site is here to communicate, and if you try to link what is on here to a personality or a desire for socialization, you're barking up the wrong tree. The "netty" people out there are not reality. They're losers socializing through televisions with keyboards. This site is for those who want information, who want to learn and challenge themselves, and realize that the experience and knowledge of our writers could be a useful research resource toward that end.
December 17, 2005