Are you ever skeptical of people online?

United States
February 20, 2009 6:41pm CST
I know that this is a topic that comes up often among others that I speak to online in various circles. We sometimes wonder about the people we encounter online. We'll see that their profile states they are an older adult, but their grammar, knowledge, and ability to reason seems that of someone much younger, such as teenager or early adolescent. I'm not trying to be harsh on teens by any means, but it seems that you almost cannot trust a person at face value anymore in the age of digital online. Yet, this is a double-edge sword because if we have these feelings then logically others must have these feelings about us. How does one truly deal with this delimna? It only comes up because when using a logical argument yesterday I was met with a very illogical argument in return. I thought perhaps it was just a case of emotion, but the writing style, lack of experience, sugggested that perhaps I was indeed dealing with someone with very little life experience. Thoughts on broaching this topic? How would ask for clarification of age and life experience without sounding too rude?
6 people like this
12 responses
@thezone (9451)
• Ireland
21 Feb 09
Even in the real world I have been skepticalof people, but sometimes you have to take them at face value when you don't know them that well. As for online I take most people as they are, sometimes with a grain of salt. I would never really think of asking them for their age or clarification for it. I think that online, age is not really important, it is more important pf how you connect with someone.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Feb 09
You bring up a good point. I suppose what I find most saddening is that if I am having a sharing of ideas and the person begins to send me a barrage of profane words simply because they do not like that I do not agree with them, well it makes me wonder how to deal with them. Namaste-Anora
1 person likes this
@stacyv81 (5905)
• United States
21 Feb 09
I have found that when someone cannot win an argument with you, they tend to try and be intimidating, such as using profanity or attacking you verbally. It is an obvious sign that you have won the argument...try to look at it that way it makes it easier lol =)
3 people like this
• United States
21 Feb 09
Thanks Stacy! Namaste Anora.
1 person likes this
@stacyv81 (5905)
• United States
21 Feb 09
I dont think it is rude to ask somones age, I think you should say something like if you dont mind my asking, how old are u? Or something. Also, although people might SEEM younger or older, doesnt always mean they are, ya know? It is sometimes difficult to get out what you are feeling when typing, to some it is easier, so sometimes, people might seem different online than they are in person. Online is just like in real life, there will be people you dont agree, with people you do. I say deal with it as you would in real life. I hope I made sense! =)
2 people like this
• United States
21 Feb 09
Stacy- Yeah, that makes sense. I think I feel bad at times because when I took a grad class several terms ago in behavior disorders we read this article about adultism. So now I feel bad if I think poorly of younger people. Namaste-Anora
@stacyv81 (5905)
• United States
21 Feb 09
audultism? hmm..interesting..what is that?
2 people like this
• United States
21 Feb 09
Adultism is the discrimination of young people. http://freechild.org/adultism.htm
• United States
21 Feb 09
I love discussions like this. The digital age of communication has actually done very little in bringing people closer together. For instance, I'm betting that a lot of you on here have a Myspace account, Facebook profile, etc. And you may have 100, 200 friends on each of those networks. I have maybe 5 friends on myspace and 25 on facebook but they are people I actually know and and want to talk to. (even though some haven't yet talked to me on there) So having a few real and trustworthy friends is so much better than having 1000 friends that you don't know anything about. I've had people on Youtube send me friends requests and never even talk to me! Why? because they added me to boost their own exposure rather than actually want to have a real relationship. I ALWAYS respond to people's messages and try to connect with them so that we can officially get off on the right foot to a friendship. Maybe I talk to much, but you can usually trust the jabber mouths more than the quiet ones these days. ;)
• United States
22 Feb 09
I suppose so, but I've had the "jabbers" that have turned out to be not who they said they were. It's kind of a scary place in the day where anyone can be anyone. Thanks for responding. Anora
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
11 Mar 09
I have to disagree with you, to a degree, about Facebook and MySpace. I have a lot on there but I do know all of them, and very well. All are friends, family, former students, colleagues, classmates who were my friends in school, etc., whom we had a hard time keeping in contact because we are spread worldwide. These are people I do not have the chance to see or call and only had contact with an email or Christmas card. Now we are able to share stories, photos, and we are having fun. When I have a little free time, I can pop in, share with them and we are even planning some reunions. Yes, there are who just like to rack up the friends for the sake of looking popular but most of whom are on my list are people who found me and some that I found through other friend's profiles.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Many times I have seen people who were "Posing" and it happened to someone whom I know. This many was using the name of a famous person in another country, using photos of someone else, showing pictures of another person's home, talking about a job that was not theirs, making themselves look good. It is VERY EASY to become someone whom you are not. Since gmail and yahoo allows anyone to have an account with no proof of identity, and this HAS to change, you can become anyone. It is the same with most network websites. It is so easy to falsify information so I am always skeptical with anyone I meet on line and let me tell you how convincing they can be. How do you know I am whom I say I am? You don't, unless you really investigate. I say... BEWARE!!
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 09
This is very true, and I think you bring up a good point for those who might use social networking sites to day. I'm just here to network, but I find that many on social networks are there to find a companion, and this can be a very dangerous place. Defiantely one should take precautions. Thank you for responding. Anora
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
11 Mar 09
Oh gosh, yeah!! BTW, thanks for the BR, Jen. There were cops who posed on line to prove to kids that they have no clue who they are contacting and parents were shocked when they found out. They had no clue what their kids were doing on line. Even if you watch them at home, they can use public computers, etc. There should be a law about that to protect kids.
21 Feb 09
anora eldorath ,good topic it is .I have ever thought this before .Internet is invisible but it influence our life greatly .is it reliable to make friends there .when you have this question ,others also have the same doubt .It seems like the precaution.but in fact ,we just communicate but no interest conflict .I don't care the age ,the gender ,the experience they have ,it doesn't make any sense to me .Internet makes us have one more way to relax .I think if you don't pay honesty to other ,on the contrary how you can look forward to others'.I am happy to make friends inline because i can get a lot of rejoice through chatting with them .I also can learn a lot from the experienced people ,their life ,work ,society ,and so on .Most people have a kind heart .
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 09
You bring up a good point that we can learn from other people. I just sort of was reflecting upon certain types of responses that seem indicative of a certain age. However, as you said, it doesn't matter if people are honest. Anora
22 Feb 09
Anora Eldorath,thank you for your agreeing with me .I am willing to make friends with all kind person,without the gender,age,clour,country .Everyone can be the teacher of us,so we should be respectful and honest to each other .we don't need to pay any fee but time .I think it is worthy .sometimes,we even can get some good ideas and method of problem-solving .People have compassion and enthusiasm to others in nature .Have a nice weekend ,my friend ,anora eldorath ,and all mylottings.
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56098)
• Delhi, India
21 Feb 09
You have raised a very valid issue. Sometimes people do not post their actual age or sometimes gender too. I think you can guess about a person's age, closely reading his/her responses and discussions and her/his comments on the discussion. If there is any doubt, a PM could be sent, if the person is faking, he/she will not reply. This is what my experience says here.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 09
That's a good idea. Thank you for responding. Anora
1 person likes this
@dpk262006 (56098)
• Delhi, India
23 Feb 09
You are welcome!
@lynnemg (4539)
• United States
21 Feb 09
Unfortunately, there are many people who are not who they say. I am leary of people on-line because of all of the predators that there are out there. On this site, I think that the majority of us are who we say we are though.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 09
Yes, it's really sad that we can't trust people to be honest huh? I try to get to know people, and if I find out that someone is not talking to me, or just isn't right or something is off I tend to take them off my list. Thanks for responding-Anora
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
21 Feb 09
I don't suppose I would. I would just take their argument for what it is and hope to learn or teach something from it. I am forever skeptical of people online and it's true you can't determine by reading a profile ones age and especially not someones life experience.
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 09
I would hope that we could learn from one another too and be respectful of the fact we all have different points of view. Thank you for responding. Anora
@ana3173 (420)
• Philippines
21 Feb 09
theres nothing wrong if a person is skeptical with somebody here online, especially if there's money involve online, its hard to trust somebody when it comes to money, they will say a lot of sweet words on you but you dont even know whats inside their mind. yes we can sense if anybody here is a teenager or an adult simply by the way he talks , the truth is because of lack of experience, they cannot deal with the things they cannot experience or encountered in their life , but theres also an adult who talk a non sense things maybe it depends upon the environment where you grown up or how your family develops your personality, theres also a kid who can talk above their age i encounter some of them.
• United States
22 Feb 09
That's very true. Thank you for responding. Anora
@NaomiErin (389)
• Philippines
21 Feb 09
In the internet, people can be anything they want to be. If they decided not to tell you anything about themselves, leave it. Maybe they think it's too personal for them to divulge. For me, I don't usually ask personal questions in the internet. I just wait for them to tell me what they wanted to share about themselves. That way, I think I make them feel more comfortable. They don't have to be stressed out in giving information they don't want to give.
• United States
22 Feb 09
Thanks for responding. I can see your point about not giving out information, I wouldn't either but I don't think that providing your age (as it is one of the things you provide on Mylot) is something that you need to lie about or hide. Namaste-Anora
@SomeCowgirl (32271)
• United States
21 Feb 09
I know that my wording and grammar can be very, well teenagerish. I won't deny that it is, although sometimes I feel that I sound smarter then I really am depending on the words I use and how much I really do know about a subject. Other times I won't say very much even if I do know more for reasons that vary. When I was younger I used to pretend to be older then I really was but after being pressured by my own guilt and lies, I caved and told the truth. I didn't go back to the group, I believe, because I felt so guilty for lying. I think the best way to go about it is to try to get down to their level first and then ask them their age.
2 people like this
• United States
21 Feb 09
I like your talking though lol! I never thought you were a teen though because of your life experience. I guess that is what you're getting at though is that we need to spend time with people online, and the longer we're around them and build a relationship then we can broach the age question yes? Thanks for reminding me of this. Namaste-Anora
@dawnald (84133)
• Shingle Springs, California
11 Mar 09
I probably wouldn't ask. If I was really suspicious of a person, I would most likely just steer clear of them.