I Have A Few Questions For You

Hi everyone,

 

I am a graduate student studying the social interactions online. I am very interested to find out why is that people find this website (EP) a good place to share their stories. do you have the same number of close friends in offline world as you do here?

Do you find people around you being as good listeners as your friends at EP?

how is that we trust what we hear from strangers here but not offline?

I want to know more about you, are you willing to talk to me?

saeidehbakhshi saeidehbakhshi
26-30, F
8 Responses Feb 16, 2010

Andrew here is a story:<br />
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for this class that I am taking we need to study an online community from different aspects, mostly to figure out what in the design of that community made it successful. For that purpose we need to take part in the site and take notes as well make friends and be considered as part of community. Only then we may understand the site from the view of the member. so to be part of this community I try to be honest and post my stories, they might not be very interesting but at least I am trying :)<br />
anyway I am not going to use this certain story and the comments in my paper, because to be able to rephrase I need every write's permission but this can help me to strengthen my perception and view of the site and members.<br />
For example I can make this general comment, that people from your own circle, care more about your stories, so it means in the online community also people care more about closer friends than strangers :)

Hi, saidehbakhshi :)<br />
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To answer your Q, the why is mostly because there are people from various walks of life gathered here on EP and it is a good place to seek different opinions, lookouts and inputs.<br />
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For number of close friends, I'll say the same - no more than 5 either place :) Here I have people I really confide in (just as offline), then there are people I enjoy bantering with, people I exchange thoughts of current events - just like I do with my friends offline. The only difference is EP friends seem more accessible.<br />
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Being EP or non EP friends don't effect much on whether they're good listeners or not.<br />
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With what people say here, I exercise the same caution I do offline. It's only the how that is different. You can check a bit quicker with offline people - here you gotta take time and try to find consistencies. Also if they share about themselves or not. I trust my instincts and have been proven right so far.<br />
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As to getting to know me, it's all there on my stories - you're welcome to read and ask questions but remember that things I don't share here, are not going to be shared anywhere else :)

well Andrew, the main reason is a course project, but I am very interested to know more and learn about the potentials of such online communities.

I think its a mixed bag. There are many (and I believe the majority) that are honest to themselves and EP folks at least here on EP. But I know human nature and I'm positive that people do make up a secret identity on EP and portray a fantasy. The conditions are ripe for it here. Its sad because you get so much back for being honest... faking things is for what gain?

great, thanks everybody for the comments.<br />
I have a another question, do you think people here tend to be more honest or deceiving? anyone can say anything without we really know if thats true or not, so do you think that would encourage people to pretend as the person they want to be or what they really are?

EP is a great place to express yourself in a relativly safe environment. Most people are accepting of others quirks. Take someone who lives an alternate lifestyle; they can connect with others and feel like they belong. Suddenly you realize you aren't an isolated case, that indeed other understand your turmoil and your past.<br />
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Do I have more close friends in real life? No I don't. I'm not someone who has lots of friends, rather I have a few close friends. Quality over quantity for me. EP has allowed me to have a place to share my experiences, desires, and changes. I'm fortunate that I have a loving wife who totally and accepts me for me... I can and do share everything with her. Its still nice to reach others with similair experiences and share. Its also enlightening to read the experiences and views of people with other lifestlyes, dreams and desires. I find EP an amazing social mish mash of people :)

I find EP a wonderful place. I am lucky to have friends that care and listen to me. I find EP great therapy in discovering more about myself as every day goes by. <br />
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Most of the people are wonderful and open minded. They make me fell as though I am welcome and not an out cast.

It's because Ep gathers people with the same interests and experiences and therefore it is easier to understand each other. Also on Ep you are less likely to be an outcasts since there are so many outcasts here. It is a beautiful gathering of people who thinks deeper of life. Therefore they might be able to find a special someone in here. And a stranger doesn't know you, people who don't know you can't reach you, those who can't reach you can't break you or mistreat you.. :-)