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 The Tyranny of Email

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Posts : 293
Join date : 2009-11-29
Location : West Virginia

PostSubject: The Tyranny of Email   Sun May 09, 2010 7:55 pm
This was a book I read a while ago that has affected my internet usage. I do think that along with TV and automobiles, the internet has unfortunately primarily increased isolation. And I think we have a crisis of a lack of real community in most of the industrialized world today.

Here's a well known book which goes into extreme detail about that crisis in the US:

And then, beyond, the book (Tyranny of Email) mentions for example that one should never disagree with people via email, that the potential for miscommunication is in general too high, and with disagreements it's especially dangerous. Discussion boards are of course very similar to email.

I think there's a lot of truth to both of these points. Yet, at the same time, to go around never disagreeing is just totally dysfunctional. Idealistically speaking people should be able to disagree and still get along. And for that matter a disagreement, a difference of opinions, is a wonderful way to learn new things and potentially change one's opinion.

And with respect to the internet increasing isolation, I have met people online that I'm so glad I know. (Although whom might I have met in person instead during that time...?)

Anyway I haven't been quite sure where I stand on this. Should I avoid ever disagreeing with anyone online? Should I avoid online interactions in general as being relatively hollow and a force for destroying real communities?
I'm thinking it's a question of degree. That the same as TV, interacting online can be a positive thing, one just has to use moderation. I think.

Anyway, mentioning this, because it's very relevant to how one should act on discussion boards and whether or not one should even be taking part in them. In the past I took part to excess and was very idealistic, in the sense of never holding back with regards to disagreements. Now for the last 4 months or so, I've really been reining things in. But, really not sure what is the proper degree to rein each in.
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