In the 'old' days (all of 3 years ago) I would only ever speak to friends and family on a regular casual basis. This was in person, by phone or by letter.
Since going onto the Internet, I now spend more time talking to complete strangers using text.
It first started with Yahoo Messenger - I would spend hours on end talking to people all around the world, in real time, and it was great! After a few months the novelty wore off and now I don't use it at all (but probably will do).
These days, I continue to talk to strangers - but via this site; and will probably be read by countless others. It may be offering advice or giving an opinion about something, and perhaps the occasional (unfunny) quip.
I find talking to people on the Internet requires a different approach to other forms of communicating. For instance, if I make a statement of fact it can instantly be checked by anyone who reads it by using Google. This makes me much more careful in what I say, sometimes I will even check it using Google before I post just to make sure I'm right. Also, what does everyone who reads what I say think of it? What do they think about me?? Am I getting paranoid???
It's become such a daily routine posting on this site I'd forgotten what I was actually doing which, when you think about it, is rather odd compared to the way things used to be.
you may start here and before you know it be doing bits for a South African newspaper, I did, now I have to check that every morning to see if there is anything to answer -- and they are two hours ahead of us at the moment.
Thanks for the input. Agree with all the above points, but I did say 'on a regular casual basis' (ie, socially). I'm also making the point that whatever is said is listened to by perhaps thousands of others.
When we speak to people on this site we don't know what they look like, what their gender is, where they are, how old they are, or even what their name is. Ie, nothing about them whatsoever (unless they tell us, but we can only take their word for it). Even if another site hold details about them, how do we know it's true?
Reminds me of the time about a year ago,my brother was getting legal advice from someone in the newsgroup "uk.legal" regarding divorce procedings only to find out after 6 weeks that the "knowledgable" person was a 12 year old!!!! His father found the details on his pc and e-mailed a profuse apology!!!!
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