How does the Internet impact online communication?
The psychology of online communication in social networks, dating sites, and other sites is remarkable in that it tells people about the pitfalls of such communication. It has two sides. The first is quite harmless and positive: there are many examples when communication on the Internet led people to create strong couples, close friendships, and more. The second side is not so pleasant: intruders, criminals, and even maniacs are operating on the Internet.
Both adults and children can become victims. You will learn about the pros and cons of virtual connections and the optimal network communication and behavior rules from the article’s material.
History of virtual networks
Many popular sites in demand on the Internet today, especially for communication, were once created by “pioneers” to work or bring together people of the same interests. A vivid domestic example is the social network VK. Pavel Durov, its creator, with “colleagues,” conceived the site as a tool that provides an opportunity to communicate online for students of the higher educational institution where he studied to solve various educational problems. Today, only marketers, public relations specialists, and other specialists conduct professional communication on the site.
Communication on the Internet that develops between two persons or a group of people is a special type of communication, messages in chats, instant messengers that people exchange using computers and other gadgets (mobile devices and even the so-called “smart” watches).
This type of communication is characterized by the absence of physical contact between the parties to the dialogue or conversation. Even if we are talking about video communications, the use of microphones, and other means: in the context of virtual communication, it is inappropriate to talk only about text messages. The development of technologies and means of communication provides an opportunity for any user with access to the global network and the simplest device that allows access to the Internet to communicate with other people. From anywhere in the world. Even if there are continents between them.
It has already been noted that despite the presence of many advantages (exchange of knowledge, experience, the opportunity to find friends in other countries or even a soul mate), communication on the Internet is fraught with many pitfalls and dangers. We’ll talk more about them later.
Features of Internet communication
The peculiarity of communication in the network is the nature of the roles and images accepted by communication subjects. For some, the Internet is an opportunity to be yourself, discuss any topic, and not be afraid of condemnation. It is often chosen by people who have problems with oral speech and are overly shy, with other significant, insignificant deviations: the Internet does not let their interlocutors know about the presence of problems. These and other people can become successful bloggers; they make friends, relations with which, even after revealing the truth, do not deteriorate.
There is also a downside: some people use the Internet and all the possibilities of social networks, blogs, or chats for selfish purposes. They are characterized by undisguised lies, exposed for the truth. An example is when an attacker hacks one person’s page and then tries to “extract” by hook or crook money from friends or subscribers, posing as the owner. The risks and threats unique to the Internet include bullying, theft of personal information, disseminating misleading information, establishing bogus accounts, and others.
We recommend installing only verified software on computers and mobile devices and using reliable antivirus programs. This will ensure that you and your children are safe from intruders fishing on the DarkNet.
We do not denigrate the Internet. We only recommend using proven means of accessing network resources. Take care of your safety.
Advantages of virtual communication
Online communication has many advantages. This is a fantastic method for people to:
- Overcome geographic barriers. With the help of social networks and other platforms for virtual communication, you can easily find friends in other countries. On the Internet, you can even try your luck by trying to find a soul mate. And for already established couples, this is an opportunity to communicate at a distance, exchange photos, and voice messages;
- Cope with complexes and fears, overcome shyness. A person who is shy, and has complexes, can use social networks and other means of virtual communication to work on himself. Communicating there with strangers, he can become flexible, develop vocabulary, adapt to the interlocutor, and adapt to different speech situations. The most important thing is to avoid plunging into the network. Some become too attached to virtual life, preferring it to live communication. Often introverts get stuck on the World Wide Web;
- Solve business problems. Working online, including for yourself, involves communicating with clients. An effective way to communicate with them is through social networks and instant messengers. There, employees and employers exchange views and discuss tasks, projects, fees, and terms of cooperation. There they discuss all the important points in the context of cooperation. Many entrepreneurs build businesses on social networks: here, they sell goods and offer services. And they do it naturally, simply by communicating with the target audience in a language they understand.
- These are just some of the benefits. They often talk about the possibility of exchanging experience, information, and knowledge, but in recent years, the status of “entertainment resources” has been assigned to social networks and, forums, chats. People prefer to draw knowledge and search for information on Wikipedia in open scientific libraries.
Virtual communication also has its downsides. This is not about DarkNet (Dark Network), but about the simplest case of communication between people, including teenagers and children in need of control, in social networks and on entertainment forums.
Disadvantages of virtual communication
The disadvantages of online communication may seem much more serious and outweigh the pros. But it is not always the case. We urge you to look at things objectively and evaluate them similarly.
Here are the disadvantages of online communication:
- Lack of development of gestures and facial expressions. Often virtual communication is communication “in a mask.” On the Internet, emotions, gestures, and emoticons replace facial expressions. It cannot be considered complete in every sense. This can negatively affect a person’s reactions to situations and acts of communication in the process of real, live communications, and not online communications;
- The Internet is changing consciousness. Yes, you can find many interesting and useful information on the Internet and discover various secrets, but the Internet is a powerful tool for managing public opinion. Interested parties are launching large-scale campaigns on social networks and other platforms. On various social resources, you can find information and materials that are not acceptable and even traumatic to the psyche (photographs of corpses, calls for violence, drug use);
- Deterioration in the quality of speech, the development of the habit of speaking slang with a one-time rejection of the native language. Not every person “filters” what he writes. Not every user of social networks and forums prefers to fully and clearly express their thoughts, preferring the simplest and most primitive expressions to their native language. Examples: “in short – arch”; “clear – mon”; “I love – lu”. On the Internet, children and teenagers, and sometimes some adults, see and absorb examples of communication that seem cool or funny to them. Hence the abundance of parasitic words in the speech of adolescents: “like,” “well,” “like that,” “mm,” and “nice.” Not only can they not normally build sentences as a result of long-term communication in the network, but they also get used to borrowings, which are not always correct, correct, and adequate acts of use;
- The possibility of getting caught by intruders or facing bullying. We have already talked about this. You can learn more about bullying online from the material in another publication.
Psychological perception of Internet communication
Psychologists distinguish several types of personality that prevail on the Internet. However, the classification presented below is valid primarily for all spheres of human life and not only for virtual communication.
Here are four types that can be found:
- Visuals. They perceive the surrounding reality and virtual reality mainly visually.
- Audialists. They have developed and dominated the perception of the auditory apparatus.
- Kinesthetics. They prefer to touch and do not prefer virtual communication to live.
- Digitals. They are guided by the logic of things, objects, and phenomena.
Visuals in the context of Internet communication are characterized by:
- perception of virtual pictures through images;
- the desire for gestures, craving for it (they prefer communication in video format);
- willing interaction with graphic information (viewing photos, videos).
Audits are characterized by:
- love for recording and listening to voice messages;
- exactingness to their speech and the speech of interlocutors;
- good auditory memory;
- love listening to music on social networks and other platforms.
Kinesthetics in the context of Internet communication is characterized by:
- A tendency to use phrases with a pronounced emotional connotation. Example: “I am delighted (admired)”;
- the desire for physical contact, which is why I do not prefer to communicate online;
- restlessness and emotionality (they react sharply to criticism and various events and willingly join conversations).
Digitals in the context of virtual communication:
- rarely show emotions, avoid discussions, rarely comment on publications;
- plan behavior in the network;
- prefer empty chatter and meaningful conversations with intelligent interlocutors.
There were many stories when virtual relationships developed into relationships due to online dating. This became a real trend at one time, which is why dating sites began to appear. Interested people can:
- get positive emotions from communicating with peers, people younger and older of any gender from different countries;
- leave nice comments under the photos and posts of the users you like;
- expand your circle of acquaintances and even find true love.
People who spend time on dating sites have different goals. Someone is looking for sincere communication and love; someone wants to make new friends.
However, there are scammers here too. Be vigilant and try not to succumb to provocations, do not disclose personal data, and strive to maintain composure. Be aware of the possibility of encountering fake profiles on which attackers “sit.”
Speaking about the pitfalls of virtual communication, it is worth returning to the negative points already mentioned earlier. This is the activity of scammers and extortionists. These are fake pages and the Dark Web. We recommend that you read the sections “Dating sites” (last paragraph) and “Cons of virtual communication” again.
General principles for virtual communication and relationships in real life
For virtual communication and relationships in real life to be built on social principles and norms, to be strong and not bring disappointment, it is recommended:
- Comply with generally accepted rules of conduct and social norms. Both online and in real life;
- adhere to the principle of uniqueness of communication. Almost all types of human activity are built in the “subject-object” format. They act on objects and modify them. Communication, on the other hand, is built in the “subject-subject” format; it implies equal interaction of individuals;
- strive to be guided by the principle of dialogic communication. It involves social interaction between several participants; the task of the process is transferring meaningful information from person to person based on mutual respect.
Ten rules of online communication
Safe and comfortable online communication is not only conversational etiquette in texts, voice messages, or the presence of software that blocks access to personal data by intruders. Several rules must be followed, as outlined below. They will eliminate toxicity, scammers, conflicts, and other troubles that may arise in the process of virtual communication.
Here are the ten netiquette rules:
- Strive to negotiate with interlocutors. It doesn’t matter what it is: about the time of getting in touch or the time of a real meeting. For example, the latter can become an unpleasant surprise for one of the parties to the communication without an agreement.
- Be delicate. Do not show excessive activity and do not require special attention without serious reasons. Communication should be built gradually.
- Choose the best formats. Chat? Forum? Personal blog? Try all the options and decide what you like best. This will make you feel confident.
- Treat people with respect. Address interlocutors by name. Write first or last names in capital letters. Show them respect.
- Keep your head cool in any situation. Even on the Internet, excessive emotionality is not appropriate. When confronted with scammers, it is especially important to weed out unnecessary emotions and turn on your head.
- Show your feelings with restraint. Emoticons and other means of expression should be used with care.
- Do not be silent. If someone wrote a message to you, and you ignore it, the interlocutor may not like it. Strongly.
- Be polite. Gratitude on the network for kind words or gifts, for answers to questions, no one canceled.
- Take responsibility for your actions. Do not insult people on the Internet, do not look for faults in them. Chat and get experience.
- Appreciate human interaction. We all deserve it.
Virtual communication is an area that is full of advantages and disadvantages. To maximize the former’s effect and minimize the latter’s influence, we recommend that you follow the tips presented in the publication.
Be happy and human. Even on the Internet!