Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world
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Life 2.0

This feature-length documentary follows a group of people whose lives are dramatically transformed by a virtual world -- reshaping relationships, identities,...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

This feature-length documentary directed by Jason Spingarn-Koff presents some rather extreme real-life cases of virtual worlds and online identities shaping individuals' offline lives.

 

Second Life is a video game where players create an avatar (their online identity) that lives in a virtual world built by its ever-increasing community of users. Life 2.0 follows several avid users and explores how their virtual lives have impacted their 'offline' worlds.

 

The main stories involve a couple who met and fell in love playing Second Life, and (following separation and divorce from their respective spouses), their attempt to develop the relationship offline; a young woman who has built up a successful business within the game that earns her a steady income until copyrighting issues force her to pursue an unprecedented lawsuit; and a young man who learns to curb his obsession with the game, but not before learning things about his own identity, and his real-life relationship coming to an end.

 

It is quite a confronting, if not disturbing, look at how virtual worlds can not only both adversely and positively impact real-life, but do so to the point of overpowering it. These individuals may represent some of the more the extreme cases, but it is certainly a prime example of how online identity can have a prolific effect on our offline worlds.

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Romance at Arm’s Length

Romance at Arm’s Length | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
When the messy parts of us aren’t on display from the beginning of a relationship, it’s hard to catch up.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Among the more pronounced trends I have noticed in recent years is the rise of online-only relationships, a phenomenon I’ve begun to call Soul Mate in a Box."

 

Daniel Jones explores the prevalence of online relationships, and suggests the reasons behind their initial success will eventually become their undoing when couples take the relationship to the next level.

 

Jones acknowledges that we run a higher risk of making fools of ourselves when meeting a new person face-to-face - with an online relationship, the same level of anxiety isn't there, therefore we become more confident to divulge personal information without fear of judgement. However, we also have the unique ability to edit or delete instant messages, posts or emails before they are published. This allows us to be selective in how we present ourselves to the person on the other side of the computer. Therefore, when couples decide to meet in person, this element of control is gone, and expectations tend to be lowered.

 

Jones does put forward some very interesting observations about the dynamics of online-only relationships, but seems a little too quick to dismiss all of them as fickle. What about the success stories?

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Online Relationships, Are They Truly Sustainable?

Can you honestly put value on relationships with people you have NEVER met in the flesh before? Connect with me, a REAL person on Facebook: http://www.facebo...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

Jenn touches on a couple of aspects of online relationships that I never really considered until I asked my Facebook friends to provide me with examples of how online interactions have influenced their everyday 'offline' world - online mother groups and community/shared interest groups.

 

She does also mention business relationships as a good example, but my project is more focussed on personal online relationships, which I look forward to exploring further with my friends' stories.

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Improve your online relationships with a dose of empathy - opensource.com

Improve your online relationships with a dose of empathy - opensource.com | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
Improve your online relationships with a dose of empathy
opensource.com
Humans have always formed communities. They are necessary for support both physically and, according to psychologists, emotionally as well.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Open source wins most often when we see each other as real people, as opposed to anonymous interactions."

 

Joseph Ottinger suggests that to ensure our online relationships work and are more meaningful, we should introduce more empathy into the equation.

 

As we generally don't see or hear the person we're interacting with online, we lose significant visual and audio indicators as to their reaction and feelings such as tone of voice, or whether they actually are smiling or 'laughing out loud'.

 

By taking the time to "understand and share feelings", there is less risk of offending/being offended, or a statement inadvertently being misinterpreted.

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Online Networking and Offline Dating Documentary

With the emerging phenomenon of social networking sites, websites such as facebook, myspace and online dating sites are affect personal and intimate relation...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

If you can look past the amateur filmography, adjust your sound as necessary and ignore the stilted commentary, you will find these students have done their research and obtained some interesting data regarding teens and their online usage.

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The Online Dating Numbers Game (Infographic)

The Online Dating Numbers Game (Infographic) | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
First off, I want to give a big welcome to new followers! Thanks for supporting TCS! I have been reading your blogs and they are fantastic! Switching gears. Hands up if you are registered on an onl...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Online dating has grown so much in part as a response to [a variety of] societal changes, having become the third most important way we meet our significant others, even though it didn't even exist 15 years ago" (Match.com CEO Greg Blatt, commenting on the results of the Chadwick Martin Bailey Studies)*.

 

These interesting statistics, presented in a fun infographic, highlight the many ways in which the online dating industry has 'exploded' over the last several years.

 

The results have been compiled from a number of sources including scientific studies, company fact sheets and news articles, and helps to add some historical context to the project.

 

* http://blog.cmbinfo.com/press-center-content/bid/46915/The-Evolution-of-Dating-Match-com-and-Chadwick-Martin-Bailey-Behavioral-Studies-Uncover-a-Fundamental-Shift

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A Detailed History Of Social Media - Edudemic

A Detailed History Of Social Media - Edudemic | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
Do you know the history of social media? Think we'll remember Facebook in 20 years? This detailed timeline is a must-see.

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Lisa Cowell's insight:

My project does look at the ways online relationships have been created and/or maintained over the years, from ICQ to Facebook, so this timeline provides a good historical context for the real-life stories I will be sharing.

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IncitED's curator insight, July 7, 2013 7:25 PM

This is a fun timeline. I love that Project Gutenberg is on the timeline as one fo the original social media platforms! This'd be a great poster for a classroom. . . .

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Can I be your friend?

Book tickets to English National Operas new, exciting season at http://www.eno.org/home.php Ever thought how odd your online life is? Ever thought what could...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Ever thought how odd your online life is?"

 

Imagine confronting members of the public with questions such as "Will you be my friend if I show you my photo album?" or "can I follow you?" (and then proceed to walk directly behind them); offering to write on a shop owner's wall; or attaching sticky notes with the word "LIKE" to various inanimate objects. What appears to be a random social experiment, is actually a promotion for an upcoming (at the time) opera by the English National Opera called "Two Boys", which explores "identity and desire in the shadowy world of the Internet" (Metropolitan Opera, 2013), and is broadly inspired by real events.

 

This clever video provides a tongue-in-cheek showcase of how our communication techniques have changed with the advent of social media...it certainly made me LOL!

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Judith Timson: It takes a village to find a friend | Toronto Star

Judith Timson: It takes a village to find a friend | Toronto Star | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
The Village Effect analyzes the benefits of face-to-face contact.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Living online in fact, can make us lonelier, whether it’s searching for a dream mate on dating sites, mindlessly playing Candy Crush, or miserably noting whose status updates are activating our envy gene."

 

Writer Judith Timson analyses psychologist Susan Pinker's book "The Village Effect", which explores the wide range of benefits of face-to-face (or 'offline') contact, versus the modern world's increasing penchant spending time online.

 

Timson is quick to point out that Tinker is not anti-internet altogether, but maintains that a healthy balance of both online and offline connectivity is required to avoid such damaging long-term effects as loneliness borne from hours of isolation.

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The Internet Is Destroying Our Social Lives – Not!

The Internet Is Destroying Our Social Lives – Not! | (RT @relationship_ag: The Internet Is Destroying Our Social Lives – Not!
Lisa Cowell's insight:

Following a 2006 claim that social activity had declined significantly over the last two decades, meaning individuals were a lot more isolated than ever before, Wang Hua and Barry Wellman chose to interpret national survey data over five years to analyse how "changes in the number of friends are related to changes in Internet use".

 

Their results contradicted the original study by asking more relevant and specific questions such as how many offline vs online vs 'migratory' (i.e. those that went from online to offline) friendships participants had.

 

They also suggested that the difference in findings could be attributed to ever-changing technologies, social structures and 'norms' (in other words, the internet is more widely accepted as a tool for meeting people and maintaining relationships than it was, say, 10 years ago).

 

Author Bella DePaulo also provides some interesting links for those hoping to explore both studies further.

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Tweet from @SS61Noah

Tweet from @SS61Noah | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
For those of you who say internet relationships aren't real. I respect your view, but here's mine http://t.co/N5ahF9QbNI
Lisa Cowell's insight:

It may be hard to believe in this digital age that there are still skeptics of online relationships - this person is not one of them.

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When Facebook Friends Become Real Life Friends - Huffington Post

When Facebook Friends Become Real Life Friends - Huffington Post | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
When Facebook Friends Become Real Life Friends Huffington Post There are the people who scorn it as a waste of time, a vacuous stage for the parading of people's falsely presented perfect lives of beach selfies and tony restaurant meals, or a...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Friendships that start online can evolve offline, the same as with dating."

 

Much of the studies and social commentary regarding online relationships tend to focus more on the dating aspect. In this article, however, educational psychologist Lori Day discusses how her much-cherished internet-based friendships have evolved 'offline' i.e. from Facebook, through telephone and Skype conversations, to meeting in person on a regular basis.

 

She is quick to dismiss the skeptics, and believes these friendships are stronger and have more meaning than a lot of her past relationships that were 'conducted' 100% offline did.

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Online relationships, a success story

Lisa Cowell's insight:

"It was a 19 hour bus ride. But the whole trip in general was more kind of out of my element than actually meeting her for the first time."

 

A young couple talk about how they first met online playing World of Warcraft. Five years after Kenton travelled from Ohio to Iowa to meet Lexi in person for the first time, they are still happily together, and (according to Kenton), "progressing on an expected path."

 

Although they both appear a bit uncomfortable on-camera, it's a sweet re-telling of their successful online-to-offline story.

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▶ Meeting For The First Time Compilation CompilationTV ✔ (Best Compilation Channel) - YouTube

for more vedio subscribe to this channel http://www.youtube.com/user/BestCompilationChann fail compilation february 2014, best fail compilation 2014, fail co...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

When online relationships move offline...

 

We don't know their back stories, or whether it's the beginning of a short visit or long-term arrangement, but this is a very touching compilation of individuals meeting their significant online 'other' for the first time. There is nothing fake about the raw emotion felt by all concerned, including the moral (and film-making) support teams.

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Social networks kill "real" relationships? Social media, digital consumers speaker. Futurist keynote

http://www.globalchange.com Most online social networking is with people who are known to their friends or colleagues in physical life. Impact of social medi...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"70-80 per cent of online interaction is between people who know each other physically - it is strengthening their own relationships."

 

In this brief excerpt of a keynote speech, Paul Dixon argues that the online world is not entirely destroying 'physical' community, nor joining us together - it is a combination of both. He sees how we use digital methods of communication (SMS, Skype or Facebook, for example) to be with our loved ones in a virtual sense - although we are physically somewhere else - as a positive thing, although it does come with its challenges.

 

Again, this explores the use of online communication to enhance or maintain existing offline relationships.

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Is Facebook Ruining Your Friendships?

Is Facebook Ruining Your Friendships? | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
Sure, we're way more connected with everyone: college roomies, coworkers, old flames, and long-lost relatives. But it's all too easy to make virtual mistakes that can muck up real-life relationships.

Via Ken Morrison
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"When Facebooking at home alone, it can feel like you're having a private exchange. It's easy to forget that other people are in on the conversation."

 

The article almost doubles as a troubleshooting guide, with suggestions from an 'online reputation management expert' for avoiding or mollifying potentially awkward or relationship-damaging situations (particularly with our 'offline' loved ones we connect with online) on account of seemingly innocent social media activity.

 

Most of us have inadvertently 'been there, done that' already, but the real-life examples or hypothetical situations presented will certainly allow one to think twice before making a flippant comment on a loved one's Facebook post.

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Icq old sound

Icq sounds.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

This sound has just taken me back 15-16 years when I would spend hours chatting with my internet friend in Boston via ICQ.

 

Gone are the days of ICQ and its familiar 'yoo-hoo!' (for us, anyway), but we're still in contact to this day.

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People more likely to be rude on social media; affects friendships in real life 

People more likely to be rude on social media; affects friendships in real life  | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
Rudeness and throwing insults are cutting online friendships short with a survey on Wednesday showing people are getting ruder on social media and two in five users have ended contact after a virtual altercation.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"One in five people have reduced their face-to-face contact with someone they know in real life after an online run-in."

 

This survey showcases an interesting aspect of how our online identity and subsequent use of social media tools can have a negative impact on our 'offline' relationships.

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Watch The Trailer For 'Men, Women & Children'

Watch The Trailer For 'Men, Women & Children' | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
The first teaser trailer for Jason Reitman's "Men, Women & Children" debuted on Tuesday, just after HitFix reported it would open in limited release on Oct. 3. It will go wide on Oct. 17

Based on Chad Kultgen's novel by the same nam...
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"Discover how little you know about the people you know."

 

This is a film that will be high on my must-see list when it (finally) gets an Australian release. It's extremely relevant, not only to my chosen topic (obviously), but also in a social context. Will it offer a light-hearted/tongue-in-cheek or darker, critical look at our increasingly-digitised lives (judging by the trailer, I'm leaning towards the latter)? Will it make us think twice about how we conduct ourselves both on and offline?

 

I look forward to viewing more teasers and trailers in the coming months...

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Facebook - Online Mode of Communication

Facebook - Online Mode of Communication | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it

My personal Facebook is a good example of an online mode of communication.  In the article by Quan-Haase, she looks at a study conducted at a college in Canada on the modes of communication students use in maintaining relationships with family and friends.  According to Quan-Haase, online modes of communication are playing a big role in maintaining social ties for college students.  I use the IM on Facebook to keep in touch with cousins, aunts, uncles, and all friends.  Quan-Haase also says that IM enables more meaningful interactions compared to email or other modes.  

 

Quan-Haase, A. (2007). University students’ local and distant social ties: Using and integrating modes of communication on campus Information, Communication & Society 10 (5), October 2007, pp. 671–693


Via Paulina Campiglia
Lisa Cowell's insight:

This excerpt is from Paulina Campiglia's own curated list based on her college studies (presumably relating to Communications or Digital Media).

 

It briefly presents an example of how the internet is used to maintain existing offline relationships (one aspect I'm exploring in my digital project), e.g. "I use the [Instant Messenger] on Facebook to keep in touch with cousins, aunts, uncles and all friends."

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Skylark on Twitter: This how y'all look arguing in your online relationships http://t.co/qDDBUrkiyq

Skylark on Twitter: This how y'all look arguing in your online relationships http://t.co/qDDBUrkiyq | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
RT @OGRayden: This how y'all look arguing in your online relationships http://t.co/qDDBUrkiyq
Lisa Cowell's insight:

In contrast to the other Twitter post, here is a tweet from a non-supporter of internet relationships...!

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Courtship, Communication and Business Relationships

Courtship, Communication and Business Relationships | Making the Connection: how our online identities shape our offline world | Scoop.it
Applying the rules and practices of online dating to forming and honing business contacts digitally.
Lisa Cowell's insight:

"No doubt about it, technology has changed the way we meet people, form relationships, share information, and in general, conduct our personal lives from the privacy of an online connection."

 

This article primarily looks at defining and developing business relationships, whereas my project focusses more on personal relationships. However it was this quote in particular that caught my eye - it could almost be my project's 'mission statement.'

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