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Reading Sapin's post 'I think I know what makes this forum so good :-)' click here as lead me to thinking about 'who am I actually communicating with'. We see people asking questions and other people who try to give a sound and informative answer..But who are these people. Do you ever conjure up a picture of the person,possibly their lifestyle, experience, qualifications and life history.
Over the years that the forum as been running, I have read many postings, and the information that you can obtain, could give you an insite to that person and character.Possibly a profilers paradise.What do you think!.Would you be wrong!.
Just look at the number of incidents involving people who have been fooled into thinking that a chat-room contact is a 'friend' who can be trusted.
Forums like ours provide a fair degree of anonymity, and preconceptions can be misleading. I clearly remember such an instance - I think it was a couple of years back. Someone referred to me in a thread as 'him' and I responded by asking how that person knew I was male. It started a discussion about perceptions, and how easy it was to get it wrong.
Like you, I have mental pictures of regular forum members, some of whom I've 'known' in the online sense for several years. I'm sure that the reality is very different in most cases, and to be honest I'm quite happy not knowing.
I agree with the FE here. I, like most people, naturally, conjure up a picture of what the postee looks like or imagine what lifestyle they have but one only has to view the photos of the members on Spikeychris's website - and this is only a small selection - to realise how wrong you were; I mean, some are cats or dogs! Joking aside, it is exactly the same as how you perceive someone to be when hearing their voice on the telephone or radio. My favourite voice is that of Eddie Mair but his appearance is nothing like I imagined. However, does it really matter? The main characteristic that comes across in this forum is a willingness to help others and to share information with good humour.
That sums it up for me and I don't care whether they are male, female, old, young, rich or poor so long as they don't talk down to me.
Some very similar thoughts there. Bit like going to see someone called Charlie and looking and asking for a male, when it could well be a female. Equal opportunities etc.
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