Links for 12-09-2007

Submitting articles to magazines, lie detectors at the benefits office, cannibal black holes …

4 thoughts on “Links for 12-09-2007”

  1. 4. is not true. Most of my really close friends became close through on-line discussion. In at least one case we shared an office, tongue tied, for six weeks. Only with lj did we learn how to know each other. Another friend seems physically incapable of conversation (I’m not exaggerating) but is one of the most elegant on-line writers I’ve come across.

    This is all part of my thesis: “beware of extroverts studying introverts because they will label our lives false”.

  2. I have realised I should clarify: if their definitions of friendship are of a kind that certain people are averse too, then no matter how close the online friendships of those certain people, they will not “count” to the researchers.

    Analogies are problematic, but many a person has explained to me that a gay relationship “just isn’t like marriage” and then ended up spluttering as they tried to explain why.

    Defining “proper” modes of relationship and feeling and then describing all else as inadequate because they would be inadequate to the researcher is the single worst prejudice in social science and psychology.

  3. Thanks for that perspective, Farah; I read that article as being more about the shift in meaning of the word ‘friend’ than any perceived deficiency of relationships. As for introverts being observed by extroverts, I know whereof you speak. If I had more time in my life (and access to them) I’d like to read this sort of study paper in detail, because the conclusions drawn seem to be as arranged for publicity purposes as the average tabloid headline, and it would be interesting to get beneath the surface of them.

  4. Whilst I agree with Farah’s points wholeheartedly (I’m reasonably extroverted in some social situations now, but as a teen I was very introverted to the point I struggled to speak with many people – I just couldn’t think of anything to say), I have to note that Facebook and MySpace as social mediums are not particularly conducive to either in-depth discussions or, um, “real-time chatting”, for lack of a better term. So whilst I can see strong relationships growing out of LiveJournal, which is geared towards lengthy comments, in-depth discussions, communal discourse, etc., or out of chat applications, which allow quick responses akin to a conversation in person, neither applies to Facebook, MySpace or (I assume) Bebo. As far as conversing with people goes, these sites are the worst of both worlds: short remarks, long time lapse.

    Of course I think the article is also flawed in positing that an “online friendship” is going to be conducted just through these social networking mediums, rather than treating them as a starting point or just one aspect of a wider array of communicative mediums, but the study might take this into account. Newspapers do tend to lean towards reactionary and conservative conclusions as far as this sort of thing is concerned…

Leave a Reply