Author Topic: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept  (Read 1240 times)

ChpBstrd

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"Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« on: December 16, 2018, 09:30:50 AM »
I have a rant about modern culture that may hit home for some of the people here. People are increasingly shifting their social lives to internet-based interactions. Everyone seems naively certain that this relatively new way of life - spending the majority of one's waking hours looking at screens* - will lead us to be happier, to have more friends, and to save money even though every shred of research indicates otherwise. Depression and suicides have gone through the roof as civic engagement and interpersonal interaction have gone down - predictable outcomes of social isolation. Yet, even as our lives turn dystopian, we keep plowing more and more of our time into social media and electronic entertainment (which are the same thing, really). I understand that dopamine-generating software like Facebook is addictive, but it seems like nobody is yet willing to accept it is a harmful habit that has warped our perspective of reality.

A few points:
  • You are not a "friend" to anybody you have not met with in person and spent at least a few hours with. If you do not know where someone lives and cannot call them on the phone and have them recognize your voice, you are not their friend. If you are a heavy internet user, you may have to accept that you currently have no friends.
  • You are not a member of a "group" if your "group's" activities are posting shit on the internet and looking at ads. If your "group" has never had an in-person meeting, it is not a real group. It is a multiplayer video game.
  • You are not a part of a "community" if your "community" consists of software avatars run by anonymous people who might not be who they say they are, or might just be bots.
  • You are not "passionate" about any value or cause if your primary way of expressing this supposed passion is arguing on the internet about it or, even lazier, sharing memes.

Perhaps mustachianism is version 1.0 of what will eventually become a reality-based orientation that rejects both chemical and internet addiction. MMM himself has taken steps in this direction, building his own physically-meeting community amid the isolated suburbs and taking a step back from the time he spends blogging. There's this growing realization that the modern lifestyle is a trap which leads to unfitness, financial dependency, and destruction of one's potential. How much further is it really, to take the next step and argue that we are surrounded by addictive traps which isolate us from others for the purpose of extracting revenue from us? How is the internet really different than TV? If financial advisors, subscription companies, new car lots, and drive-throughs are parasites which deplete the joy and prosperity in our lives, why not Facebook, Google, Apple, and Netflix?

It should be obvious by now that if you want to be happier next month than you are this month, you should delete your social media apps, find a real-world organization to join, make 5 new in-person friends through community involvement, and call up your old friends to start a new routine around board game nights, beers around the bonfire, or bike rides. 

If this all seems a bit outside mainstream thought, read Robert Putnam's Bowling Alone. He was aware of trends 20 years ago that have only gotten worse today. Also read up on the effects of social isolation**. In terms of increasing your health risks, social isolation ranks up there with cigarette smoking***. Whatever you do, never use the naive term "internet community" again.

*https://www.marketwatch.com/story/people-are-spending-most-of-their-waking-hours-staring-at-screens-2018-08-01
**http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/33/6/8.full
***https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000316

Cassie

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2018, 09:40:24 AM »
I think a balanced life includes real friends of course and also you can have internet ones too.

Kris

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2018, 09:53:44 AM »
Meh.

wenchsenior

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2018, 09:55:25 AM »
I don't disagree with anything you wrote, except that I think most relatively self-reflective, intelligent people already understand that and agree with you.

There is often a big gulf between understanding what we all should do to optimize our lives, and actually doing those things. If there weren't this gulf, everyone would be relatively financially responsible, not overweight, not have any bad habits of any kind, etc.

Free Spirit

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2018, 10:14:54 AM »
Wow, I'm glad I read this, I've been so naive to think the people I've chatted with online with for years aren't my friends. Even though I know everything about them, their hopes and dreams, their likes and dislikes, and we've helped each other through the good and the bad. Thank you, today I shall tell my "friends" they aren't my real friends since we don't interact in real life. Or maybe I'll just ghost them since they don't matter. PHEW! I can't believe how silly I've been! </s>

Your ideas to cultivate real life friendships sound exhausting to me. I'm an introvert and I vastly prefer my social interactions to be online rather than in-person. I also work in a very public facing role (bartender) so, by the end of the day I'm so worn out by people and just want to be left alone. My hobbies are solo endeavors, I have no desire to attend or host a game night or dinner party, and since I work evenings most people are at work when I'm free and vise versa. I am a night owl.

I don't subscribe to any social media platforms besides the MMM forums. No facebook, instagram, snapchat, or whatever people are into these days. I do, however, play a few online games and have mantained contact with some of my "fake internet friends" for years. No, I have not met most of them in real life but I do consider them real friends (sorry to break it to you). We do exchange phone numbers and text regularly to keep in touch. We send letters and gifts and talk frequently about our real lives. I don't see how this is any different than a long distance relationship, but maybe I've been duped all this time.

wenchsenior

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2018, 10:37:42 AM »


Your ideas to cultivate real life friendships sound exhausting to me. I'm an introvert and I vastly prefer my social interactions to be online rather than in-person. I also work in a very public facing role (bartender) so, by the end of the day I'm so worn out by people and just want to be left alone. My hobbies are solo endeavors, I have no desire to attend or host a game night or dinner party, and since I work evenings most people are at work when I'm free and vise versa. I am a night owl.


I was thinking along these lines, as well. There is a subset of the population that probably is happier with social media than they would have been in Ye Olden Days.  I read Bowling Alone back when it was published, and agreed with most of its theses pertaining to how social isolation leads to a breakdown in civic activity and social trust.  Likewise, I think religious beliefs and regular church attendance are probably good for societal integrity and personal happiness in many ways.  The problem is, I'm not religious at all and I'm not naturally very social. I only get 'positive emotional feedback' from very particular types of social interaction. 

I'm not sure how much happier I would have been in the pre-electronic media age.  It's hard to say for sure.  I often think I should be more civically engaged, but the fact is that I really dislike a lot of the elements that go with big-group social interactions, and those feelings actively work against any good feelings I have about participating.  I'm not sure how that balance would tip, but suspect it depends hugely on the activity and the individuals in the group. 

I personally MUCH prefer in-person socializing to online interactions, BUT there is a huge caveat associated with that preference, which is I have only met a handful of people that I truly love to hang out a lot with in person. If I could hang out with them a lot, I have absolutely no doubt I would be a much more contented, fulfilled person.  But most of them live thousands of miles away, and I'm fortunate to be able to hang out with them a few days per year.  I have other friends that I'm happy to see every few months for a few hours. 

I know that I also am generally happier, psychologically speaking, if I engage in brief, structured social interactions with people that I like that don't belong to the first two catergories....  ideally in situations where socializing is NOT the primary focus of activity, but perhaps work or another shared goal (as the OP notes e.g., joining a group devoted to action related to a cause).  Beyond that, I tend to find interacting with people quite exhausting and, if not depressing, at least not fulfilling.  There's nearly always other activities I enjoy more.   

ETA: One way that social media is really helpful is just basic communication.  I have despised talking on the phone socially (I'm fine using it call people to set up appointments, etc) since I was a kid and probably would almost never communicate with friends and relatives if I had to rely only the phone.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 10:42:13 AM by wenchsenior »

sol

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 11:10:34 AM »
Hilarious.  This reminds me of the 90s-era laments about people using email instead of writing longhand letters anymore, like email was so impersonal and abbreviated that society was losing the value of those textural social connections by relying on electronic communications.  The future is horrible!  Except, the future always seems horrible.

Pithy commentators had the same complaints about the introduction of television, dancing, and yes even books.  Books!  So full of fanciful ideas that distract you from the real world, made-up stories that tear you away from the real-world people right in front of you.  There were literally Victorian era protests about the evils of reading fiction for pleasure, from people fearful we would raise an entire generation of socially awkward adults who preferred to live their lives in imaginary fantasy worlds.  Who will tend the crops?  Who will arrange the marriages?  Who will run the governments of tomorrow if our children never mature into functional adults?

Dicey

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #7 on: December 16, 2018, 11:15:27 AM »
Off the top of my head, I've sent a book to someone I "met" here, had another over for dinner, and offered the use of my getaway place to two members, one of whom took me up on it and took great care of the place. I would be unlikely to recognize any of then if I passed them at the grocery store, but I believe my small, friendly acts have made a difference. Isn't that what friends do?

I'm with sol on this one.

Just Joe

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #8 on: December 16, 2018, 11:54:52 AM »
Clearly it is possible to spend too much time online but I would not argue that ANY time online is too much. A person just shouldn't replace IRL relationships with online relationships.

I would never give up the internet. I have learned so much over the years online. I do dislike that people choose social media rather than calling up their friends and inviting people to do things IRL. 

Johnez

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2018, 12:00:13 PM »
TL;DR?
(Kidding!)

Anyway, yeah I'm disagreeing with your argument based on the many communities I've been involved in that are pretty niche and that I've found no "in real life" peers. Perhaps I'd find em eventually if I pulled myself away from the internet but there aren't as many magazines or paper publications advertising meetups or conventions these days. Communities I've belonged to in the past or currently:

Aquariums
Rammstein
Precious Metals
Ran Prieur
Bodybuilding
Mustachianism
Refrigeration

The advantage of these communities is they provide to real time feedback and advice 24/7. Eclectic personalities, full on experts, talented hobbyists, and regular joes can I termingle and absorb knowledge, with or without contributing. It's kind of awesome. Some hardcore myths have been debunked, and for the DIY communities in particular the secret knowledge of the few can now be accessed by anyone with a connection and desire to learn. We aren't at the mercy of greedy for profit companies giving us predigested bullshit. In bodybuilding you have pros on dope pushing products that do jack, and then you have forums full of actual dudes with real results and feedback and doing their own investigations. Actual guys doing actual science. Forums were the reason I stopped buying protien and any supp except creatine. There's too much info out there to completely discount the usefulness of these communities. One of the sad things is that platforms like Reddit and Facebook are displacing forums. They seem flooded with useless posts and good info is just so much harder to find these days with 80% of posts being pointless banter or dumbass myths being repopularized.

« Last Edit: December 16, 2018, 12:02:50 PM by Johnez »

soccerluvof4

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2018, 01:05:12 PM »
Like anything else its all about balance. While i agree with the OP about some of the things that qualify to be a friend I think friends can be made through "Social Media Platforms" and for some people its an easier way. We are not despite what some say all designed the same or equal for that matter and or need the same amount of interaction. Kids dont use facebook so I will be surprised if it exists unless somthing catches attention down the line and everything else is a trend till the next thing. Like Sol said the scare with email. I do agree its a bit over the top with our youth but thats something that can be fixed. Good thing would be to limit across the board the use of phones in schools. I go to alot of universities and while its there right its not safe to see so many kids walking with earbuds in , heads down walking out into the streets. Texting and driving obviously. But imo the benefits out weigh hands down not having that technology at hand. I repeat though Balance.

wordnerd

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2018, 01:19:51 PM »
Wherever people find community, understanding, camaraderie, it seems like a good thing to me. I haven't met many of the people from these boards, but they have enriched my life (and not taken away from any of my in-person community). Let's all have more community, yes?

ChpBstrd

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2018, 01:36:53 PM »
Quote
I think a balanced life includes real friends of course and also you can have internet ones too.
Sounds reasonable, but the bigger question is how you spend your time. 20h a week of screen time and 1h a week devoted to IRL friends? 10/10?

Quote
Wow, I'm glad I read this, I've been so naive to think the people I've chatted with online with for years aren't my friends. Even though I know everything about them, their hopes and dreams, their likes and dislikes, and we've helped each other through the good and the bad. Thank you, today I shall tell my "friends" they aren't my real friends since we don't interact in real life.
I know nothing about the quality of your particular relationships, but I do observe that Facebook's definition of "friend" - someone you correspond with via an electronic platform that sells ads and collects data about you to more effectively target their ads - is very different than what people understood it to be in the pre-internet era. Here are some questions to ask about your friendships: Would they trust you enough to lend you $20? Could you call them and get a ride to/from the hospital if needed? Would you recognize them if you encountered them? Nobody 20 years ago would call someone a good friend if they failed all 3 questions, but look how we've changed! As we can see, the threshold for calling someone a "friend" has been lowered, the meaning of the term has been cheapened, and Facebook's definition has replaced the earlier expectations. That said, if you've met people online and those interactions turned into a real-life attachment, then yes, I'd call such people friends. 

Quote
Your ideas to cultivate real life friendships sound exhausting to me. I'm an introvert and I vastly prefer my social interactions to be online rather than in-person.
Media dependency or isolation might be the cause of many people's social anxiety, not the solution. Ever notice how when you don't do something for a long time (e.g. ride a bike, draw a portrait, visit a country where your language is not spoken, public speaking) it becomes more difficult and anxiety-provoking, but when you do something regularly it becomes easy? It's the same way with interpersonal interaction. As an INTJ (as you might have guessed from my OP), I too need downtime from people, but with a fully charged battery I can hang with the extroverts in an IRL setting for a couple hours. With practice, I hope to get this up to several hours. Many U.S. presidents have been introverts, so it can be done. I think it's the wrong approach to say that because something is difficult we should not do it. That sounds a lot like people who say they "need" an SUV to get them 2 miles to and from work, and yet they also need exercise. With a bit of practice, such people could condition themselves to walk that distance every day, but it seems so hard from the perspective of never having done it.

Not to mention, media / social media makes us less trusting of other people. People are more extreme in their online personas and, as with TV, isolated horror stories are shared from all across the world to terrorize us. The more time you spend on TV or social media, the more you expose yourself to the message that everyone is awful and the real world is shitty. That message corresponds nicely with the media corporations' goals to get us to spend more time on their platforms instead of getting out IRL.

At least please consider that social isolation might not be normal or healthy, even if it is easy.

Quote
Hilarious.  This reminds me of the 90s-era laments about people using email instead of writing longhand letters anymore, like email was so impersonal and abbreviated that society was losing the value of those textural social connections by relying on electronic communications.  The future is horrible!
Actually my complaint is about the present. Do you think people staring at their iPhones for five or six hours a day instead of interacting with humans is a positive development? Do you think the Baby Boomers' similar TV watching habits were a good thing? My suggestions are forward-looking and future oriented. I'm wondering how we could possibly continue these trends and become even more disconnected from reality than we are now. Is there even a future in that direction, or is a backlash inevitable as people become increasingly dissatisfied with life? MMM is itself a backlash against consumerism, which many of us once assumed to be the inevitable future. Problem is, there's no appealing future for us in that direction. Nor is it the good life to be psychologically dependent upon cell phones and social media corporations.

Off the top of my head, I've sent a book to someone I "met" here, had another over for dinner, and offered the use of my getaway place to two members, one of whom took me up on it and took great care of the place. I would be unlikely to recognize any of then if I passed them at the grocery store, but I believe my small, friendly acts have made a difference. Isn't that what friends do?
 
You made acquaintances through online connections. Nothing wrong with that, but I wouldn't call them friends in the pre-Facebook definition. Perhaps with cultivation, but not yet.

Quote
Clearly it is possible to spend too much time online but I would not argue that ANY time online is too much. A person just shouldn't replace IRL relationships with online relationships.

I would never give up the internet. I have learned so much over the years online. I do dislike that people choose social media rather than calling up their friends and inviting people to do things IRL.
I think the internet has its place, such as watching a video to see how to properly apply polyurethane, doing online banking, or shopping. It's the replacement of one's social life with social media - essentially multiplayer video games - that I think is harmful to both individuals and society. As I said, our definition of "friend" has eroded and millions of people now have no regular social connections outside the internet. People today think they can have friends and not know their real names. This can't end well and it's no way to live.

Quote
Anyway, yeah I'm disagreeing with your argument based on the many communities I've been involved in that are pretty niche and that I've found no "in real life" peers. Perhaps I'd find em eventually if I pulled myself away from the internet but there aren't as many magazines or paper publications advertising meetups or conventions these days.
Books used to serve this function, but at a cost. Now internet information is much cheaper and easier to access. That said, misinformation is rampant and skepticism is scarce. How do you feel about online political bubbles, or forums where anyone with a dissenting opinion gets blocked? Look what happens when you type terms like "vaccines" or "Federal Reserve" or "aliens" into a search engine. Many pages of uninformed opinions or blatant misinformation is what I get, each with its own forum, Facebook "group", and moderation team devoted to keeping out messages from the real world that deviate from ideology. Is that a problem for bodybuilding or aquarium social media? Probably not. But it's also not the case that you are dependent upon an echo chamber of ameteurs for information. I used to participate in investment forums. Then one day I purchased a used college textbook on options and futures. I learned 10x more in 2 nights of reading that than I learned in years of bantering online with people who knew only as much as me or less.

Quote
Like anything else its all about balance.
Not everything is about balance. Smoking only one cigarette a day is bad for you. Eating McDonalds only once a week is bad for you. Shooting heroin just once... you get it. I use addictive, health destroying examples because I think we are dealing with an addictive, health destroying thing. The evidence is all around: cell phone zombies, rising rates of depression/suicide, etc. So how much of something bad is it reasonable to allow into our lives?

lhamo

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2018, 02:19:32 PM »
As if the Internet Retirement Police weren't annoying enough, now we have to contend with the Internet Friend Police....

You do you, man.  But can you at least admit to the irony of ranting about this particular problem ON AN INTERNET FORUM?

Kisses to all my forum friends, many of whom have become friends in Real Life, too!

tralfamadorian

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2018, 04:55:15 PM »
Lolz that internet friends are not real friends.

ps: Rammstein is awesome.

Dicey

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2018, 05:35:55 PM »
As if the Internet Retirement Police weren't annoying enough, now we have to contend with the Internet Friend Police....

You do you, man.  But can you at least admit to the irony of ranting about this particular problem ON AN INTERNET FORUM?

Kisses to all my forum friends, many of whom have become friends in Real Life, too!
♡♡♡♡♡♡Love this!♡♡♡♡♡♡

Zikoris

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2018, 05:57:56 PM »
Man, that's a pretty extreme way of looking at it. I've met with tons of people I talked to online (including my partner of nearly a decade), and have made so many solid friendships online. This year at the Mini Camp Mustache I helped to organize, I met a ton of people who I've only talked to online, and we had a great time. I also go to tons of events organized using Facebook, and speaking of Facebook, I have a very short friends list consisting only of family and friends who I know in real life (55 people). Maybe you're just doing internet wrong?

big_owl

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2018, 06:55:17 PM »
LMAO, clearly written by a simpleton extrovert.  They know best, those extroverts do.   

Dicey

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2018, 07:04:02 PM »
I can't say the number of times I've posted a question here and received excellent responses. Speaks to community. I love having like-minded people who help devise mustachian solutions. I, in turn, am happy to do the same.

ketchup

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2018, 08:38:16 PM »
Mindlessly scrolling through a Facebook/Twitsagram/SnapSpace feed does not make one a member of any sort of community.  I don't think anyone disputes that.  Being a lurker doesn't make you friends with those onstage in the "news feed."

I've made great friends online (met some in person, others not), I met my girlfriend online almost a decade ago, helped a now-tech-billionaire cheat on his online math homework when we were teenagers, and have been members of multiple "internet communities" over the years.  None of them have been through Facebook/Twitter/Reddit/whatever, but I'm sure some people can meet people on there too.  I do have a Facebook account, but I log in about twice a year and spend maybe half an hour each time.  I think I last posted to Facebook in 2014.  I certainly don't have that shit on my phone.  I don't remember how many "friends" I have on Facebook, but I certainly don't use that as a measuring stick for anything.

I'm also an INTJ, for what it's worth.  There's a disproportionate amount of us in these online communities.

markbike528CBX

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #20 on: December 16, 2018, 08:40:34 PM »
Hilarious.  This reminds me of the 90s-era laments about people using email instead of writing longhand letters anymore, like email was so impersonal and abbreviated that society was losing the value of those textural social connections by relying on electronic communications.  The future is horrible!  Except, the future always seems horrible.

Pithy commentators had the same complaints about the introduction of television, dancing, and yes even books.  Books!  So full of fanciful ideas that distract you from the real world, made-up stories that tear you away from the real-world people right in front of you.  There were literally Victorian era protests about the evils of reading fiction for pleasure, from people fearful we would raise an entire generation of socially awkward adults who preferred to live their lives in imaginary fantasy worlds.  Who will tend the crops?  Who will arrange the marriages?  Who will run the governments of tomorrow
if our children never mature into functional adults?

Yup, sol has xkcd AND Socrates as backups.

https://xkcd.com/1601/   Isolation

https://xkcd.com/1227/

Socrates wasn't a big fan of the written word.
[Writing] will create forgetfulness in the learners’ souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality.
http://apt46.net/2011/05/18/socrates-was-against-writing/

« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 09:57:13 AM by markbike528CBX »

Gondolin

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2018, 08:22:10 AM »
Geez OP, this is about as “Old man shakes fist at cloud” as a post can get.

Quote
This will end badly and is no way to live.

Funny how future oriented and progressive Cassandras like yourself always seem to be primarily concerned with imposing your own outdated lifestyle on the masses.

ChpBstrd

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2018, 09:11:25 AM »
It's not ironic to post here in a social media forum about the downsides of social media dependence. This is where the heavy users are. Why preach to a choir?

It's also not pre-modern to question addictive technologies that reduce the quality of our lives. Am I old fashioned for not vaping? Am I a Cassandra who is afraid of the future because I have a problem with the couch-potato lifestyle of heavy TV watchers? My car doesn't even have satellite radio; am I a dope for that? Have we learned nothing about the pitfalls of following the herd?

Does it matter that my points are supported by scientific evidence? It has been known for a long time that social isolation is linked with depression and all-causes mortality and that screen time is linked with cognitive and social impairment. Look it up if you don't believe me - the internet makes it easy!

Maybe it's premodern and old fashioned to care about scientific evidence. I'll plead guilty to that. The idea that our collective shift to social media is harmful is denied, against all evidence, based on the feeling that social media is fun and the superficial "friendships" and "communities" feel realistic, even in cases where you don't know the people's real names. Truthiness is trendy.

Ask yourself, are you retiring early to spend more time on your phone?

Quote
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/surprising-ways-smartphones-affect-our-brains-our-lives-ncna947566

Melisande

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2018, 10:56:55 AM »
I think that internet “communities” are indeed useful for some things. Like others here, I would say it is all about balance. For me, real flesh and blood friends come first.

I agree with the OP that internet friends aren’t really friends. They are something else important for which a word needs to be invented maybe. But I think it is important to make the distinction between purely online connections and connections that happen in real life.

I participate on about 5 different Internet forums, but I refuse to use Facebook. I really value my anonymity. My husband and I have also made the commitment to not let online relationships bleed over into real life in any way. So, if I get a personal message from someone, I don’t reveal my true identity and also try to wrap up the exchange in a timely fashion and get back to the group.

That said, I try to be a good citizen on the online groups I’m involved with.

Gondolin

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2018, 11:31:09 AM »
Quote
question addictive technologies that reduce the quality of our lives.

You're missing the point. No one's denying that there's some* evidence of links between social isolation and mortality risk.

What we're all saying is: So what?

People do things which increase mortality risk all the time. They drive cars, eat hamburgers, refuse to exercise, have unprotected sex and go snowboarding. None of those things have caused society to collapse. How is this any different?

You're not wrong about the risk in the abstract but when did YOU become the arbiter of what reduces  the quality of OUR lives?

*Arguments could had about the strength of the evidence and it's applicability to the age of the smartphone(post-2008) but, I'll concede the point for the moment.

Gondolin

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #25 on: December 17, 2018, 11:37:23 AM »
Like can you imagine someone posting a rant like this over some other abstract risk like eating too much meat.

The post: "Some people are eating too much meat and that may cause them to die younger on a statistical basis! The solution is that everyone should become strict vegetarian! It's healthier for you and the environment."

The response: " lol I do what I want."
« Last Edit: December 17, 2018, 01:29:36 PM by Gondolin »

Kahooli

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #26 on: December 17, 2018, 01:07:13 PM »
I ate a pound of bacon today and read forums for three hours straight. How does this make you feel? Are you outraged by my risky behaviour?

OurTown

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #27 on: December 17, 2018, 01:13:22 PM »
I ate a pound of bacon today and read forums for three hours straight. How does this make you feel? Are you outraged by my risky behaviour?

Is that the weight before or after cooking?

Boofinator

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #28 on: December 17, 2018, 01:14:55 PM »
Hear, hear. I agree with OP's sentiments (though perhaps not to the same extent). Every hour we spend on screen time, though not a poor choice in and of itself, should be compared to the alternative hours we could be spending doing something "in real life". In the long term, which brings more happiness? It is a question that every one of us should consider on a regular basis.

For myself, I enjoy the time I spend online, but literally always have preferred on reflection to spend less time in front of a screen rather than more. (I have never once thought to myself, "Gee whiz, I sure wish I had spent more time in front of a screen last week." Except for maybe when I was a kid.)

Dabnasty

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #29 on: December 17, 2018, 01:15:21 PM »
I ate a pound of bacon today and read forums for three hours straight. How does this make you feel? Are you outraged by my risky behaviour?

Is that the weight before or after cooking?

Doesn't matter if you drink the grease

sol

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #30 on: December 17, 2018, 01:20:37 PM »
OP's argument about the negative aspects of social media use, while maybe well intentioned, seems deliberately ignorant of the associated positive impacts of social media use.

I tried to make the point above by highlighting previous generations' worries about books, while today we all accept that books are one of civilization's greatest creations.  Books have created immeasurable good in the world.  We love books, despite their obvious and well documented negative impacts on daily life.

I feel the same way about social media.  Of course it can be harmful to your mental health, but it can also spark revolutions.  You might feel that it impinges on your ability to form "real" friendships, but were those "real" friends offering you a supportive community of like-minded individuals who shared your goals of financial independence?  Yes it can be used to spread false information, but it has also spread millions of times more good information than bad, and it's not like the internet was the first technology to be abused by fraudsters.  Smartphones can be a distraction, or they can offer banking services to rural areas in third world countries.

The internet is awesome.  Yes it is different than what you grew up with, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad.  The assumption that any social media use is akin to any cigarette use is ridiculous.  You might as well claim electricity is inferior to coal because you're going to get electrocuted.  You have to accept and manage the risks inherent in progress. 

Chris22

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #31 on: December 17, 2018, 01:34:14 PM »
I'm not the standard MMM INTJ.  I'm much more of an extrovert, and therefore have a reasonably large collection of friends "IRL".  In fact, my wife and I were away with 7 other couples this weekend, and all of our kids, and some of the couples we hadn't even met before (friends of friends).  We all had a grand time. 

That being said, there are some highly specific things that I'm into, and they are not necessarily widespread.  Mostly, I'm a huge car guy, and am active on several car message boards, some general automotive interest ones, and some specific to cars I own or am interested in.  If I was to restrict myself to only discussing things with people IRL, I would miss out on all of the knowledge and camaraderie stemming from the active internet communities of people who share the same interests that I do, since those interests are somewhat hard to find in my community.  I have a couple friends/acquaintances I've met socially (i.e., not through a car club or message board) who are "into cars", but they may either have wildly divergent interests than mine (one guy is huge into Mustangs and Fords, that's not my interest) or I'm just not that close to them socially. 

And I do meet with my internet car friends somewhat regularly; there are big regional car shows every other week in the summer we often meet up at, and this past summer we had a big get together with people from several surrounding states, and even a few who flew in from GA and CA.  And we stand around and BS about cars the exact same way we do online. 

RetiredAt63

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #32 on: December 17, 2018, 01:38:52 PM »
Hmm, this has me thinking about internet forums.  One of the largest out there is Ravelry, a great place.  People are well behaved, it brings together people of like interests* who would have little or no chance to talk about these interests otherwise, it is massively educational if you need that, it is just great.

*Interests which are seen as even less mainstream than personal finance, btw.

markbike528CBX

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #33 on: December 17, 2018, 01:39:34 PM »
Snip.....
 You might as well claim electricity is inferior to coal because you're going to get electrocuted.  You have to accept and manage the risks inherent in progress.

Not exactly coal vs electricity,  https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Westinghoused

Westinghoused
To be electrocuted or killed by an AC current. During the war of the currents Thomas Edison would electrocute and kill animals in an effort to make AC currents look dangerous when compared to his DC currents.
They westinghoused some punk up in the pen today.
#electrocuted#killed#shocked#blasted#zapped

A book recommendation (sorry Socrates)
Richard Moran: Executioner's Current: Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse, and the Invention of the Electric Chair



FIFoFum

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #34 on: December 17, 2018, 02:03:26 PM »
OP's argument about the negative aspects of social media use, while maybe well intentioned, seems deliberately ignorant of the associated positive impacts of social media use.

I feel the same way about social media.  Of course it can be harmful to your mental health, but it can also spark revolutions.  You might feel that it impinges on your ability to form "real" friendships, but were those "real" friends offering you a supportive community of like-minded individuals who shared your goals of financial independence?  Yes it can be used to spread false information, but it has also spread millions of times more good information than bad, and it's not like the internet was the first technology to be abused by fraudsters.  Smartphones can be a distraction, or they can offer banking services to rural areas in third world countries.

The internet is awesome.  Yes it is different than what you grew up with, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad.  The assumption that any social media use is akin to any cigarette use is ridiculous.  You might as well claim electricity is inferior to coal because you're going to get electrocuted.  You have to accept and manage the risks inherent in progress. 

+1.

Internet, social media, and the ability to form connections with other people has been literally life saving for people who have been "trapped" by their physical reality. This group includes (and isn't limited to): people with disabilities of many types, single parents without support, and LGBTQ people (esp youth or adolescents).

OP is focusing on all of the negative effects of disconnection without acknowledging who gets left behind with the expectation that you can and should just get out of your house and find "real friends" nearby.

MasterStache

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #35 on: December 17, 2018, 02:44:22 PM »
I ate a pound of bacon today and read forums for three hours straight. How does this make you feel? Are you outraged by my risky behaviour?

MMMMM bacon!

ysette9

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Re: &quot;Internet Community&quot; is a stupid concept
« Reply #36 on: December 17, 2018, 04:50:26 PM »
I would have agreed with OP until I found the MMM forums. This forum, and in particular the pregnancy/baby/trying-to-conceive journal is the warmest, most supportive corner of the internet i have ever experienced. My life is materially enriched because of the connections I have made here.

carolina822

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #37 on: December 17, 2018, 06:53:23 PM »

https://xkcd.com/1601/   Isolation

https://xkcd.com/1227/



Yep. I've always found it funny that the people lamenting that phones/screens/etc. make us self-absorbed are so self-absorbed themselves that they're upset that we're not spending our time talking to THEM.

Zikoris

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Re: &quot;Internet Community&quot; is a stupid concept
« Reply #38 on: December 17, 2018, 07:02:41 PM »
I would have agreed with OP until I found the MMM forums. This forum, and in particular the pregnancy/baby/trying-to-conceive journal is the warmest, most supportive corner of the internet i have ever experienced. My life is materially enriched because of the connections I have made here.

Yeah, the coolest people I know have been people I met through internet FIRE groups. I don't care about supportiveness or other feelings-ish stuff since that's not something I'm into, but I've met so many genuine, interesting, like-minded people through these avenues that I never would have met otherwise. I'm actually going to the first meetup for a newly formed local FIRE group tomorrow, and looking forward to meeting some new people.

I think one key thing for me is to lean more towards online communities that are locally-based, and act as sort of an extension to a real-life group, so you have a mix of online discussions and actual in-person socializing.

letired

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #39 on: December 17, 2018, 07:16:10 PM »
It seems to me that if you don't believe that internet communities are real, you've ... never been a member of one.

How did I get new friends when I moved across the country? Someone I never met IRL hooked me up with another person I'd never met IRL, and then after I moved I met the 2nd one, and a whole bunch of people who were also members of that community, many of whom I exchange Christmas gifts with to this day. About a year later, the first person was in town for a concert, and I met them too! Oh, and that time I went to new york alone and slept on that persons floor was definitely fake and not a product of a close-knit community that allowed that kind of trust between people who've never met before. And those great people who were friends of my (online) friends who offered me a spot in their hotel room after a show that we all had been to so I didn't have to drive 4 hours home were definitely not participating in any kind of community.

come on bro.

ChpBstrd

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #40 on: December 17, 2018, 08:19:03 PM »
Quote
You might as well claim electricity is inferior to coal because you're going to get electrocuted.
Oh yea? I'll see your electricity and raise you fire! But I thought we were talking about people spending 4-6 hours a day on social media while living like a hermit?

Quote
I'm actually going to the first meetup for a newly formed local FIRE group tomorrow, and looking forward to meeting some new people.
I think one key thing for me is to lean more towards online communities that are locally-based, and act as sort of an extension to a real-life group, so you have a mix of online discussions and actual in-person socializing.
This is my definition of the correct way to internet. Find information - yes. Find people with similar interests - yes. Having no friends or interactions in the physical world - no. Meetup.com is an example of a social media platform that improves quality of life.

Quote
I ate a pound of bacon today and read forums for three hours straight. How does this make you feel? Are you outraged by my risky behaviour?
Go buy a brand new Chevy Tahoe XL at full retail price, pull it through the Hardees drive-thru to get a Double Baconator Deluxe, large fry, and 32oz cola while smoking a cigar two cigars if you want to. People destroy themselves all the time buying stuff that gives them a little dose of dopamine. Many people can't imagine any greater happiness than that. Some would go so far as to argue there is no greater happiness than that.


okits

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #41 on: December 17, 2018, 08:37:16 PM »
OP's argument about the negative aspects of social media use, while maybe well intentioned, seems deliberately ignorant of the associated positive impacts of social media use.

I feel the same way about social media.  Of course it can be harmful to your mental health, but it can also spark revolutions.  You might feel that it impinges on your ability to form "real" friendships, but were those "real" friends offering you a supportive community of like-minded individuals who shared your goals of financial independence?  Yes it can be used to spread false information, but it has also spread millions of times more good information than bad, and it's not like the internet was the first technology to be abused by fraudsters.  Smartphones can be a distraction, or they can offer banking services to rural areas in third world countries.

The internet is awesome.  Yes it is different than what you grew up with, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad.  The assumption that any social media use is akin to any cigarette use is ridiculous.  You might as well claim electricity is inferior to coal because you're going to get electrocuted.  You have to accept and manage the risks inherent in progress. 

+1.

Internet, social media, and the ability to form connections with other people has been literally life saving for people who have been "trapped" by their physical reality. This group includes (and isn't limited to): people with disabilities of many types, single parents without support, and LGBTQ people (esp youth or adolescents).

OP is focusing on all of the negative effects of disconnection without acknowledging who gets left behind with the expectation that you can and should just get out of your house and find "real friends" nearby.

I'm also thinking about the great people I probably wouldn't have met without the internet (my husband, Mustachian friends, etc.)  Maybe they skirt the definition of "internet friend" because I see them in person, but the internet made our connection possible.

I've also been the recipient of information, wise advice, kind words, and just enjoyable chatter in online communities, particularly welcome during periods where lengthy illness made going out and socializing hard.  Sure, my IRL friends could visit but it is too much to expect them to be around all the time (but you can get that in larger online communities).

I do think that too much virtual interaction crowding out in-person life is generally harmful for people, but a balance of both can give you the best of both worlds.

shuffler

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Re: "Internet Community" is a stupid concept
« Reply #42 on: December 17, 2018, 08:47:36 PM »
This is my definition of the correct way to internet.
Whew.  Glad we know.  End-of-thread, now, I guess.  :^S