Much More Than TV

From I Found It on the Internet:  Coming of Age Online, by Frances Jacobson Harris:

“Online communication has great potential for increasing intimacy and closeness in human relationships.”

(page 50)

This reminds me of what I used to say when we first got e-mail–“Somebody finally found a way to get men to write letters.”

I’m also reminded of how, before she died, I got to know my grandma better than I ever had before–after I moved to Germany and began posting pictures of castles.  She was my biggest fan.

Here’s how Frances Jacobson Harris led up to the above quotation:

“While new technology takes away some things, it also gives back others.  In the virtual environment, we lose visual cues, changes in tone of voice, and other subtle nuances that are clear in face-to-face interaction.  But the virtual setting brings along its own cues and conventions.  Participants are often more direct with one another, more candid, and so more “honest” than they would be otherwise.  Contacts may be more frequent and spontaneous, if only because they are easier to initiate.  There is simply less inertia to overcome, less start-up time.  Everyone is infected by this ease, not just teenagers.  Using e-mail and instant messaging, I have kept up with my far-flung middle-aged cousins as well as my teenaged nieces.  One no longer needs a “reason” to make the contact or, as my nieces would say, it’s just not such a big hairy deal any more.”

 

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