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This is a bit of a strange topic, but I'm curious to know what people think about the use of smilies/emoticons as a means of communication on Autism forums. I've been told in the past that I over-use them and I've had people misinterpret the reasons for my use of them, but I personally consider them to be a great communication tool. One could sometimes be the difference between my interpretation of a post as friendly or hostile, and while I've gotten over this now, I do feel more at ease with people who use them a lot, and I'm able to understand the intentions behind their posts more quickly than I otherwise would. What do you think about them? Do you find them helpful and informative when it comes to online communication, or are they (as some people have said) an unnecessary annoyance that make posts more difficult to interpret?
For discussion: Do you have any online contacts you'd consider friends?What are some of the difficulties online friendships go through?What are some of the benefits? To start, I'll say that there are a few people I'd consider close online friends. Initially we talked about topics of mutual interest, but after months or years together we wound up keeping in touch off of the forums and such. It's been a unique kind of support with like minds that's less demanding than offline social obligations, so despite the physical distance they've been easier for me to keep. The Internet especially was a very useful tool when I was little. No one could see my social deficits, and the Internet was expected to be a little strange. I was able to "blend in" for the first time and enjoy online games, chatting about Pokemon, and more. My only real complaints are that some people do tend to take out their emotional issues on me since I'm just an anonymous person on the other side of the screen, and that some online settings do have a lot of... unsavory people who are very pushy about trying to get me on cam. Ahem.
Reading discussions in here I noticed that many of you have better dealing with communication in internet than in IRL. I need advice on that. Not even sure what kind of advice because I just don't understand what or how to talk with people online. Really. What do you discuss in online conversations or messages? How do you now that you are not bothering other person? Is there some how to? (I know, stupid question) Bad thing is I can get bored quite easily too. And I just can't get myself to answer messages in the moment I receive them. And sometimes (quite often) I just don't have anything to say. But yeah, I get bored too soon and after couple of weeks if I like that person and want to talk with him/her it seems rude to start contact again after not talking. Or is it not? It's just that... I have to initiate that contact if I want to talk with that person and I don't know how or if other person will want to speak with me. And daily communication is just way too much so there will be those moments of not communicating. And skype is another issue. Most of discussions just fade away. I'm online, other person too, but no one has anything to say and it just stay like that. Is that normal? Not saying goodbye to other person after conversation? Or saying it but still staying online? (Oh! I hate that all those people can see when I'm online! So I erased almost all my contacts. Even those I would love to talk some day. And invisible mode seems like cheating.) Funny thing is I'm quite proud of myself that I learned IRL communication. (So I can learn non-irl communication too, right?) Not that I have long term friends but I can argue, be friendly, have conversation, present my opinion. I work as sales person and I think I'm good at that. I can have friends but they are short term mostly. And I enjoy communicating with people (interesting people, normal ones are just booooring, sorry, they are good only for small talk if they are colleagues, customers or something like that). So... any advice?