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Re: The internet versus small groups

Jul 15, 1997 12:24 PM
by M K Ramadoss

At 01:29 PM 7/15/97 -0400, you wrote:
>I don't quite share the enthusiasm about the Internet, the golden age of
>communication and all that. The lack of face-to-face contact has its
>limitations. While the freedom of expression is certainly much better than
>censorship, most lists seem to degenerate into incredibly childish behavior
>and little real exchange. This list, from my totally unscientific and random
>study, seems to be in the minority that are relatively free of this.
>M. Scott Peck talked about the stages of a community. In the earlier stages
>there is pseudo-harmony where everyone is pseudo-nice and terrified of
>disintegration, so they are not frank. Then there is chaos, where the
>pseudo-harmony breaks down with suppressed unconscious material
>surfacing. Here the very existence of the group is in question. Then some are
>able to find community out of chaos, where people learn to respect one
>another. These steps seem to be inevitable.
>The problem with the internet:
>Without face-to-face contact, most lists tend to stay somewhere between
>pseudo-harmony and chaos. It is just too easy to indulge in non-constructive
>hurtful words when you are insulated by distance and faceless
>anonymity. Without a flesh and blood person in front of you, it is more
>difficult to learn respect.
>IMHO, small groups will be in the spiritual forefront.

I agree.

Internet is here to stay and how groups using it evolve and work is yet to
be seen.

Small groups have their own advantage.

I think that both have its place and seem to travel in parallel paths.

I also wondering about learn respect. I think one has to be respectful to
everyone all the time. Once we come down to the gutters, and start acting
mean and ugly, it more reflects on the person rather than the target. Much
of the time I feel it is very useful to focus on issues and ideas rather
than individuals concerned and much easier to stand one's ground even when
one is alone in standing up for any issues or ideas. Just my 2 cents.


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