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  1. #1
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Default Are personality differences accentuated in an online context?

    I've found in numerous Fe/Fi discussions more points of disagreement or conflict than I actually experience in real life with the same types. I've heard other express the same sentiments.

    I wonder if an online environment allows people to explore their differences in a more uncensored way? They feel safer expressing their most inward thoughts or entering into conflict with people because it does not have the same kind of negative personal impact as it would in real life. Certainly I think that it affords a sped up version of real life, with more recorded conversations and known individuals to observe and interact with. Mostly you would not get into or observe conflict with or hear as much personal information from anyone in real life.

    Do you think this brings out almost a caricature of people, highlighting all of their most distinctive points in a way that real life doesn't? In doing so, do you think it obscures other less prominent features, or no? I certainly find that it's difficult for me to type people in real life in the way that I find it easier to online.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Llewellyn's Avatar
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    I think personality differences are accentuated in community, or in any type of context. Like the outlines of missing pieces in a jigsaw appearing more extreme than the actual pieces (lying scattered around). / abstract statement, the latter experienced in reality though
    Last edited by Llewellyn; 01-06-2011 at 09:53 AM.

  3. #3
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    I agree with Fidelia's assessment.
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  4. #4
    nee andante bechimo's Avatar
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    Maybe also factor in type alignment and rejection, where some become "more" of their type and others reject or don't completely fit into their type when online.

    People are so complex, particularly factoring in their subconscious. Some hide more online, donning personalities of who they want to be whether in play, in denial or in some kind of role playing satisfaction, while others provide glimpses or all of their true selves online, a true self they won't reveal in real life for self-protective reasons.

    Real life also provides body language and facial expressions. What's said online can be and often is misinterpreted. (Speaking of "misinterpreted" why is there only one "t"? It's not pronounced as misinterpreeeted.)

  5. #5
    Iron Maiden fidelia's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've found that the lack of context and other cues does complicate written communication, while in other ways it is laid bare because there isn't the same need to superficial interaction. They say that 90% of communication is non-verbal.

    I think you're right that a lot of people hide or only expose certain aspects of themselves online, creating almost a kind of persona. Others are more likely to expose themselves much more than they do in real life. I wonder what is responsible for that.

    I wonder too how much people to try to be like their type online, in a way that they wouldn't do in real life...

  6. #6
    Happy Dancer uumlau's Avatar
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    I think it makes one rely on projection more than reading/understanding. When confronted with a puzzling statement, and no nonverbal context, one tends to assume that what was "really meant" is what one would have personally meant had one said what the other said.

    The nonverbal context adds clues that make the "projection" result nonsense, e.g., you wouldn't have made such a rude remark with a twinkle in your eye, so, oh, it must be a joke, ok, I get it now ...

    It can even be difficult for types that get along. I know that when a certain ENFP is in a mood, there is no amount of words that will comfort her, and the words will likely add fuel to the fire. But if I can reach out and hug her and let her know I care, then she can realize, "Oh, he isn't being mean or making fun of me, he's offering a solution (even though the solution indicates he doesn't really understand what I'm saying)."

  7. #7
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    I think people can also expect differences in an online setting when each person has a designated personality type by their username. If someone doesn't agree with a post or doesn't like a poster, they can look to see what the differences are - is it Fi vs. Fe, T vs. F, S vs. N, P vs. J ? Whatever is the different factor can then be viewed as the source of the conflict.

    I'm different online in a way because there are more people reading posts and the responses can be more erratic. I edit more and try to imagine all the ways a post could be misread and edit to make it as clear as possible. I see the environment as more complex in terms of communication. There is still the occasional erratic response, but at some point is has to just be considered the other person's problem.
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  8. #8
    Senor Membrane
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    I like the idea of caricatures, but that probably doesn't work equally for all the types. You can notice this easily by taking a camera and shooting any real life discussion, then typing the words exactly as they are told. I had to do this to a video I was on, and you know, half of the stuff on the paper made no sense at all without the film material. It's really incredible how much of the actual message is in the body language and tones. And I don't even feel like I use body language that much. My guess is that this varies according to the types. I'm sure some people can actually form real sentences in real life.

  9. #9
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    No, I think that if anything, personality differences are made less stark in online discussions than in real life interactions. For two reasons: (1) online communication is devoid of the multiple means of communication that are available in any real life interaction (i.e., vocal intonation, body language, facial expression, timing, etc.,), and (2) knowing this, people can more easily construct artificial personas and lie about themselves than they can in real life.
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  10. #10
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    I agree with you Fidelia.

    I also agree with something MacGuffin said once, that N shows up more clearly in writing sometimes than in person.

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