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squonk
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12 May 2011, 3:54 am

The introduction to our website is quite well-written. It explains the basic facts about AS. But I was interested in this as the last line...

Asperger's can be described as an inability to understand how to interact socially.

Again, this is true. But I wanted to highlight this particular part of the disorder and discuss how we cope interacting specifically when online.

I belong (as I am sure many others do) to other forums, non-AS, whether it's sports, music, whatever, I find that the internet actually shows that I can interact successfully with people but of course it's all done without expression.

By that I mean, as an example, everything is based on what is written over things like body language in real-life situations.

Imagine if you were to have in argument with somebody in real life, it may be a situation that you can't escape from whereas online and in a forum, you have control; you can just switch on and off at any time.

The internet also lends us certain anonymity. We can create and reinvent ourselves just as NT's can and do.

I find that the difficulties I have when participating in a debate online are exactly the same though as I have in real life. I take everything literally and am obsessive about facts being proved either right or wrong (and nothing grey in between!) and I do get into some scrapes sometimes.

But on other forums, I never say about my condition, only on occasions if I know that the way I am may have caused some misinterpretation then you can PM someone and explain.

Generally NT people will be indifferent anyway towards something they may know little about or have even heard of and they will care even less so there's no point in discussing the reasons for us having these differences in the ways that our brains work.

Overall (and the purpose of my post) is to ask others how they find interactive life on the web, if they post regularly on non-AS forums and what (if any) social problems do they encounter?

(I call this topic "HFA Positive!" because I see the internet as a plus for us Aspies!).



Last edited by squonk on 12 May 2011, 5:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

izzeme
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12 May 2011, 4:44 am

i think this is due to the fact that NTs are at a disadvantage on the internet; their primary means of transferring information (non-verbal) doesn't work online, so they have to resort to putting all they want to say into litteral written tekst, leaving out the things people on the spectrum have difficulty understanding.

also, the fact that you are not seen means that it doesn't matter if you make eyecontact or even look at them when communicating.



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12 May 2011, 6:18 am

squonk wrote:
...Asperger's can be described as an inability to understand how to interact socially. ...


I would say that "understand" isn't quite right - AS is complex of impairments to sensory perceptions and personal expression that result in an inability to successfully interact socially. If you're unable to understand, that gives the impression that if you just do more and try harder, you'll be fine. That's counterproductive. Any given person may be able to create compensatory mechanisms for their impairment - just as blind people develop other senses, and military amputees used to learn to use a sword with the other hand - but this does not change the underlying impairment in any way.



Mummy_of_Peanut
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12 May 2011, 6:26 am

Hi

I post regularly on this website and on a parenting website. I use the parenting one mainly to give practical advice (health/ food are may favourite topics) and to ask for advice about my daughter. I really enjoy communicating in this way. I like how you can read it, read it again, add bits, take away bits, before deciding whether to post or not. I edit my thoughts before speaking to a group too, but by the time I've finished, we're onto another subject and I've said nothing.

But I've had a couple of on-line arguments. One was about smoking in pregnancy. A few people posted that they didn't like it and eventually a few posted that it wasn't that bad. When one actually said it wasn't harmful to the baby (she made it sound like she knew this for a fact and was promoting it, which is illegal), I couldn't control myself. I posted a reply, quoting a few facts, when I really should have just reported it to the moderator - they would have removed it. I also made the mistake of not quoting the poster (I didn't want to get into a personal argument with her), so it sounded to some others like I was on a soapbox, when all I was doing was trying to correct the person who was talking absolute rubbish. They said things like I was playing God (I couldn't understand that), when all I did was quote known facts about smoking in pregnancy. Once I made it clear that I was not attacking everyone, I received some apologies. I stay away from those threads now.

I've seen similar things happen to other people on that website, but I don't know if NTs would have made the same mistakes as me.



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12 May 2011, 8:44 am

squonk wrote:
Overall (and the purpose of my post) is to ask others how they find interactive life on the web, if they post regularly on non-AS forums and what (if any) social problems do they encounter?

Very like what you describe.

I don't know if I'm an Aspie, but I have many of the same sensitivities, at least in respect of social interaction. (Not much in the way of sensory sensitivities.)

One slight difference, perhaps, is that I don't take things literally, in the literal sense of "literally"(!). That is, I am aware of metaphor, humour, idiom, and so on, and to a certain extent I can even use them myself, although I think there is nearly always a detectable awkwardness, especially when I try to be funny. (That's usually wince-making.)

But I am sensitive to every last little detail of language use, and am affected very strongly by it.

I have a great deal of trouble composing a communication, in particular because I keep anticipating possible responses, especially possible misunderstandings, and trying to forestall or second-guess them. This leads me often to write prose which is so horrible that even I can't read it. I try to edit my words into better shape, but I haven't got a knack for it yet.

I get bullied quite a lot, even online, and this can be excruciating, but it's less excruciating than the things that tend to happen in "Real Life".

I tend to rely on the Internet too much. If I didn't have it, I would hardly communicate at all.

I would very much like to believe that my extreme sensitivity (to language in particular) could be an asset as well as a liability, but it is very much more often a liability.

I even tend to put my foot in my mouth here at WP. (But it's wonderful not to be bullied for it, even when I know I'm probably being a nuisance! - Unintentionally, of course.)

I think this has a lot to do with my age (59), and having had to bottle up so much for so long.


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squonk
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14 May 2011, 1:50 am

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
Hi

I post regularly on this website and on a parenting website. I use the parenting one mainly to give practical advice (health/ food are may favourite topics) and to ask for advice about my daughter. I really enjoy communicating in this way. I like how you can read it, read it again, add bits, take away bits, before deciding whether to post or not. I edit my thoughts before speaking to a group too, but by the time I've finished, we're onto another subject and I've said nothing.

But I've had a couple of on-line arguments. One was about smoking in pregnancy. A few people posted that they didn't like it and eventually a few posted that it wasn't that bad. When one actually said it wasn't harmful to the baby (she made it sound like she knew this for a fact and was promoting it, which is illegal), I couldn't control myself. I posted a reply, quoting a few facts, when I really should have just reported it to the moderator - they would have removed it. I also made the mistake of not quoting the poster (I didn't want to get into a personal argument with her), so it sounded to some others like I was on a soapbox, when all I was doing was trying to correct the person who was talking absolute rubbish. They said things like I was playing God (I couldn't understand that), when all I did was quote known facts about smoking in pregnancy. Once I made it clear that I was not attacking everyone, I received some apologies. I stay away from those threads now.

I've seen similar things happen to other people on that website, but I don't know if NTs would have made the same mistakes as me.


Hello Mummy Of Peanut (and Peanut too of course!) :lol:

You know, some of these forums do spew out one thing I've picked up on and that's how superficial and patronizing the moderators/owners appear to be. I don't see that here. I find that they like to intervene in topics/discussions and instil their own belief and that they do this simply because they can (i.e. edit comments and stuff). That's an observation I have and has nothing to do with ASD/NT scenario... it's just plain ignorance/arrogance combined!

I've survived on other forums largely through making one or two friends and discreetly letting them know about my world, this way is better because when problems do arise they can say "leave the kid alone" etc like recently I made a comment on a music forum about someone's project and got a quite sarcastic answer which I responded to with some feeble attempt at humour so, I pm'd him and it turned out alright, it's this misconception also I think that we imagine that if we do tell someone (an NT) that they'll run a mile the other way - most will be kind I think and the rest, well if they can't be bothered learning something IMO that's their loss.



squonk
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14 May 2011, 1:53 am

Twirlip wrote:
I tend to rely on the Internet too much. If I didn't have it, I would hardly communicate at all.


hi Twirlip

I am very much like that although I have some sensory issues as well.

It makes me wonder also because I didn't really discover computers until late, how I ever survived before without the web... but I have. :D

I detect that it is this freedom it gives, it's non-committal - I am able to communicate and say things that I know I could never to another person, hence what you're feeling, that without this form of social media, you would hardly communicate at all.



pensieve
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14 May 2011, 2:01 am

I used to get in so many heated arguments on NT forums and they really affected me for hours and days later, so I had to stop. Offline I can only get a sentence out if I argue and when people keep disagreeing I just let them win.

I actually do run into social problems online too. I gave someone my personal opinion on smoking and I have a right to have an opinion on it, but maybe I was a bit too... forward. It sounded like I hated everyone that smoked. I just don't like the smell and what people are doing to their bodies. I've got many health complications so do what I can to stay healthy, while I watch other healthy people that are slowly killing themselves and making my house smell like a dirty furnace.
Sorry...opinionated...I'll stop.

I'm a bit of a nit picker with grammar too. Honestly 'he weared?' Again I'll stop.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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14 May 2011, 1:54 pm

pensieve wrote:
I used to get in so many heated arguments on NT forums and they really affected me for hours and days later, so I had to stop. Offline I can only get a sentence out if I argue and when people keep disagreeing I just let them win.

I actually do run into social problems online too. I gave someone my personal opinion on smoking and I have a right to have an opinion on it, but maybe I was a bit too... forward. It sounded like I hated everyone that smoked. I just don't like the smell and what people are doing to their bodies. I've got many health complications so do what I can to stay healthy, while I watch other healthy people that are slowly killing themselves and making my house smell like a dirty furnace.
Sorry...opinionated...I'll stop.

I'm a bit of a nit picker with grammar too. Honestly 'he weared?' Again I'll stop.


Pensieve,
You sound exactly like me. I stopped getting into heated arguments because of the stress. I was physically ill for days, with my body shaking and a really fast pulse. I'm also a stickler for correct grammar. Have you read 'Eats Shoots and Leaves' by Lynn Truss?



pensieve
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14 May 2011, 7:43 pm

Mummy_of_Peanut wrote:
pensieve wrote:
I used to get in so many heated arguments on NT forums and they really affected me for hours and days later, so I had to stop. Offline I can only get a sentence out if I argue and when people keep disagreeing I just let them win.

I actually do run into social problems online too. I gave someone my personal opinion on smoking and I have a right to have an opinion on it, but maybe I was a bit too... forward. It sounded like I hated everyone that smoked. I just don't like the smell and what people are doing to their bodies. I've got many health complications so do what I can to stay healthy, while I watch other healthy people that are slowly killing themselves and making my house smell like a dirty furnace.
Sorry...opinionated...I'll stop.

I'm a bit of a nit picker with grammar too. Honestly 'he weared?' Again I'll stop.


Pensieve,
You sound exactly like me. I stopped getting into heated arguments because of the stress. I was physically ill for days, with my body shaking and a really fast pulse. I'm also a stickler for correct grammar. Have you read 'Eats Shoots and Leaves' by Lynn Truss?

I've heard of it but haven't read it yet. I will keep it in mind though.


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14 May 2011, 11:30 pm

squonk wrote:
The introduction to our website is quite well-written. It explains the basic facts about AS. But I was interested in this as the last line...

Asperger's can be described as an inability to understand how to interact socially.

Again, this is true. But I wanted to highlight this particular part of the disorder and discuss how we cope interacting specifically when online.

I belong (as I am sure many others do) to other forums, non-AS, whether it's sports, music, whatever, I find that the internet actually shows that I can interact successfully with people but of course it's all done without expression.

By that I mean, as an example, everything is based on what is written over things like body language in real-life situations.

Imagine if you were to have in argument with somebody in real life, it may be a situation that you can't escape from whereas online and in a forum, you have control; you can just switch on and off at any time.

The internet also lends us certain anonymity. We can create and reinvent ourselves just as NT's can and do.

I find that the difficulties I have when participating in a debate online are exactly the same though as I have in real life. I take everything literally and am obsessive about facts being proved either right or wrong (and nothing grey in between!) and I do get into some scrapes sometimes.

But on other forums, I never say about my condition, only on occasions if I know that the way I am may have caused some misinterpretation then you can PM someone and explain.

Generally NT people will be indifferent anyway towards something they may know little about or have even heard of and they will care even less so there's no point in discussing the reasons for us having these differences in the ways that our brains work.

Overall (and the purpose of my post) is to ask others how they find interactive life on the web, if they post regularly on non-AS forums and what (if any) social problems do they encounter?

(I call this topic "HFA Positive!" because I see the internet as a plus for us Aspies!).


I was going to ask why you named the post what you did. When I read the name of the post, I read it as, "HIV Positive!". I was thinking, "What the?!". Sometimes I "space out" while reading.



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15 May 2011, 1:46 am

I think that first statement is pretty ridiculous. AS is not--not even primarily, for many of us--a social disorder. There's so much more to it than that. It's sensation/perception, cognition, learning, processing information, executive function. Just because the most obvious signs are social doesn't make it a social disorder.


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15 May 2011, 1:57 am

It's not that I don't understand social stuff, its that understanding and doing are two completely different things. On the internet, I have time to think, which I desperately need. Which goes back to my original thought, that AS is really primarily not a social disorder, but more of an inability to react quickly. Although I'm probably wrong about that.


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Twirlip
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15 May 2011, 6:38 am

SammichEater wrote:
It's not that I don't understand social stuff, its that understanding and doing are two completely different things. On the internet, I have time to think, which I desperately need. Which goes back to my original thought, that AS is really primarily not a social disorder, but more of an inability to react quickly. Although I'm probably wrong about that.

It's an interesting thought, though. It makes sense of both the "social stuff" and the "sensory stuff" (which I don't have, by the way). If you're overwhelmed, you need time to recover and react. I wonder what the experts think of this? Is it perhaps part of the "intense world" theory, or whatever it's called?

Anyway it makes sense to me, specifically in relation to social situations: I have often thought that it's as if I live constantly in a state of emergency, under the internal psychological analogue of a military government. I'm not really in charge of my own life. I'm constantly wrong-footed.

I can (almost) never think on my feet, and I could never bear to be observed while I am trying to think.

But other people have to be dealt with, and so there is a part of my mind which deals with them, while suppressing thought (and indeed thought interferes with its autonomous actions, so it has reason to suppress thought).

It's terrifying that it tends to take over completely (in the analogy, it's a totalitarian regime), and tries to stamp out thought altogether, or rather, subvert or co-opt thought to its own ends. I think this has a lot to do with the way that language tends to control the content of what can be thought (another Orwellian idea!), rather than serving the purpose of expressing meanings which can exist without language.

This aspect of language seems to be 'normal' for NTs, but it's not 'normal' for me, and pehaps it's not 'normal' for Aspies, either (and presumably not for Orwell, either, so this isn't just an Aspie thing).

(I don't think I'm going off at a tangent here, merely encountering another of the many complexities inherent in what has to be thought about, but excuse me if I am in fact merely rambling off the point.)


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squonk
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16 May 2011, 9:58 am

SyphonFilter wrote:
I was going to ask why you named the post what you did. When I read the name of the post, I read it as, "HIV Positive!". I was thinking, "What the?!". Sometimes I "space out" while reading.


And you may well ask!

I'm sorry if it caused a reading error almost but because the subject is HFA and I wanted to give the subject a positive vibe, hence it's title.

I call my Asperger's "super-autism" but not everyone will agree on that either.