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MrWizard
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21 Mar 2007, 4:02 pm

Many aspies struggle with social interaction face to face, but does this apply to socialization online? I say it doesn't. Unable to apply the most subltle rules of social interaction such as facial expression, tone of voice, and body language, people tend to communicate in a much different way online. Communication is clear. Communication is obvious. People mean what they say. Obviously for many aspies, the digital world is the preferable one.

Starved for social interaction of some kind, aspies generally have a tendancy to turn to the internet for help. But what does this mean? It has lead many aspies to seek out and thrive within internet subcultures and online chat rooms, message boards and e-mail. Some AS individuals even become such dedicated digital denizens that they feel more at home on a web site than at a public place like a library or a gathering.

Do you feel more at home online? How much time to you spend here and what do you do? Do you belong to the internet subculture as a whole, or to any of the various internet microcultures such as furry fandom, star trek or transormers fandoms, IRCers, 4-chaners, message boarders, or become involved in MMORPG's such as Everquest, or World of Warcraft? What are your thoughts about this trend in aspies, and in the world as a whole? Good, bad? Important, pointless?

Share your thoughts about aspies and internet subculture. Share your thoughts about -your- subculture. Has the internet helped you to adapt to life in the real world? That's the question of the day.



calandale
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21 Mar 2007, 4:06 pm

I feel that the big advantage online (especially on forums) is that I can just chirp my opinion and someone will respond. Sure, maybe most people ignore it, but at least I can get into the tug and pull of a conversation. In person, there just aren't as many people paying attention to the crap that I spew out. It's really unlikely that one will be interested in it.



DejaQ
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21 Mar 2007, 4:13 pm

I feel more comfortable talking online. I think it's a bit easier to find people you can relate to. I usually chat on message boards or post on art sites. Occasionally I use instant messengers, but unlike my real life friends, I'm not an avid online gamer.



MrWizard
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21 Mar 2007, 4:16 pm

Internet art sites like Deviant Art and Elfwood are other forms of internet subcultures as well that I neglected to mention. Many people make their entire identities existing in these types of online websites.



Graelwyn
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21 Mar 2007, 5:23 pm

For me personally, the internet has just about replaced all real life interraction. As soon as I first started out on the net, that was it... I started off in yahoo...then joined various message boards...it was a whole new, safe world for me...safe in the sense that finally, I could communicate all my thoughts and even feelings without such a high risk of rejection and without having to react instantly. No-one online can see, unless I choose to share, when I am upset or angered by something they say... I can turn people off when I wish and turn them back on(In the sense of turning on/off the laptop, not another sense)... I was on it whenever I could get on it, from the word 'go'. And if my ex tried to take me away from it, there would be crying and anger because it was, to me, my only means of contact with others with my interests and difficulties.

I did, over Summer, venture out and barely came online at all...the reason? I had become obsessed with a man and that man did not exist on the internet, so I had to go out to see him and to attempt some sort of communication. After 7 months of that, I realised it was not working, he was not interested and began to return to my obsession with the net... I met only failure and disappointment, and hurt out there, so I return here, where although it can still be difficult, it is much less so.

I have belonged to many different forums, but mainly relating to Harry Potter, Aspergers, Spirituality, Paranormal and livejournal, where I would post all my thoughts and feelings to a ghost audience. I see myself mostly as an internet ghost, passing from one site to another, making a brief impact, then disappearing onward again, most likely forgotten within a week. That is the hardest thing for me about the net... to me, I do not even really exist to the others out there... I could leave here tomorrow never to return, and no-one would really notice...or care, most likely.

But people in life seem just as capable of that anyway, so whatever.


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Xuincherguixe
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22 Mar 2007, 1:20 am

I definitely feel more comfortable online than in public.

And when you think about it, why wouldn't I? I mean that just seems like it's something that goes without saying like 'Water is wet!'

Public places are loud and noisy, for someone who can't filter sounds out that's going to be annoying at the very least. And, you have to wonder so much about what they're really saying.


It's not a replacement for a social life. But it's better than nothing.


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RedMage
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22 Mar 2007, 2:11 am

Online is better than real-life, because people online don't hate me like people in real life do. And I talk to people who are nice, and are all Aspies except for HDS.



Oddish
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22 Mar 2007, 11:51 am

I thought about that long and hard, and my only response is...

so i herd u liek mudkips

8)



jolly_magpie
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22 Mar 2007, 11:57 am

I am on Second Life but I find it a bit boring. A big empty wasteland...full of bloody furries.


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KBABZ
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22 Mar 2007, 3:43 pm

I think an online friendship has some benefits and some drawbacks. For one thing, as an Aspie, you can put some more thought into what you're saying, and sometimes typing it can be easier than saying it. Drawbacks include things like not having a voice, so you have to use italics and underlines and stuff to make a point or show how you're feeling, which can lead to confusion.

But I think me and Sophie clearly prove that you CAN (pun not intended) have a true internet relationship, even as an Aspie.


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Apatura
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22 Mar 2007, 3:50 pm

I have had my first and only real "social life" online. I read a quote in that cnn article about abuend... it said something to the effect that the internet is for autistics what sign language was for the deaf. It creates a level communicative playing field. Actually, I think we are quite genius at internet communication. Just my humble opinion, of course!



paranoid_android
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24 Mar 2007, 1:49 pm

I definitely think online is easier because you can go find somewhere you like and you don't have to figure out what people are trying to say other than just what they type. The only problem for me online is that I'm a picture thinker so it's hard to string words into an intelligent sentence and still say what I want to.