Why Are We So Adept At Saying Personal Stuff To People Online?

@Janey1966 (24126)
Carlisle, England
June 7, 2010 9:41am CST
Since joining MyLot I have often gone on about me, my husband, the in-laws and my own family and it makes me wonder why we can offload like this online but cannot do so face-to-face with our own loved ones. I read somewhere that we are all capable of communicating online far more eloquently than in the "real world" and I cannot understand why that is, do you? Is it easier for us to be this way than to confront any demons that may be lurking inside ourselves? Does anyone out there take notice of what others say to you on here, moreso than your doctors or real friends? It has absolutely nothing to do with making money why I am here as I haven't used MyLot recently as I've been away...but as soon as I am on here I offload..er..STUFF. Once it's out there, of course I can't retract what I've said but I don't have any regrets doing so as people on here can be so supportive in times of need. I only wish that support was available offline. Haha!
5 people like this
15 responses
@derek_a (10902)
8 Jun 10
I guess that through our user name, we have a certain anonymity on line and where painful experiences are concerned, as a therapist myself, I can say that sharing and discussing things openly leads to a faster resolution in our mind. Stuf that is internalised, held within the mind, gets repressed into the subconscious that automatically tenses us up to a content that we can no longer remember. We then attach these tensions to other things that stress us out in the environment - if you understand what I am saying... _Derek
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
You are a therapist aren't you? I can tell! It is interesting what you have just said in that we tend to get stressed over little things because we can't face up to stuff that - as you say, gets repressed. So, would you say that typing out my feelings and writing in diaries is good for me? I do hope so.
1 person likes this
@derek_a (10902)
9 Jun 10
Hi Janey.. Yes, I am a therapist, but now in semi-retirement. Writing out our feelings are definitely good for us, because when something is written down, it cannot be repressed again and we can resolve many inner conflicts. However, one should always bear in mind what we share about ourselves and assess if this will give too much information that can come back on us or our families. EVen writing things in a journal that remains private is of benefit. _Derek
@RawBill1 (8541)
• Gold Coast, Australia
7 Jun 10
I have found this happening too. I have experienced it with my own personal problems. I have found it easier to share issues with people online then I can with personal friends in real life. I have also had the frustration of my wife discussing personal problems with our relationship with people online before even consulting me about them. She discusses things that I am not even aware of so I do not know how I am supposed to fix these issues that she has if she will not even open up to me about them. If I have problems with her I try to talk to her about it first, before anyone else, but I feel that she does not open up with me the same way. She says that she just needs the support of her friends, but I feel like the whole world knows more about her issues with me than I do and it is not right. I think for most people, sharing things in online communities is easier as they are pretty likely never to meet these people in real life and can be more open to them without feeling embarrassed.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
I never knew you had problems with your Mrs. It is frustrating that you want to open up but she cannot and would much rather chat about you both to her friends or online. For all I know John could be doing what I'm doing but, somehow I doubt it because he can't use the internet at work and he doesn't use his Mac that often, only when I speak to Mum on the phone..although he does have the opportunity then doesn't he? I will never fully understand what is going on in his head. I am sure he wants to offload stuff on me but he's too introverted. He's the type of guy that would much rather toddle along than to confront head-on what the problem is. Last year I had Mum round and it was awful because it was so obvious John had something on his mind...and that something was money. He finally opened up after Mum had gone home. I told him never to do that again as she thought she'd said or done something to upset him as he didn't exactly talk much when she was here. I really hate that. I would much rather he just spurt it all out than to keep it bottled up inside. It's not healthy. I suppose I do the same on this site. It is all bottled up and the only way I can feel better is to write it all down, as I am doing now. It works too..for a short time at least. Sorry to pry but are your problems extremely personal or linked to money? PM me if you ever want to confide in anyone my friend.
1 person likes this
@RawBill1 (8541)
• Gold Coast, Australia
9 Jun 10
Thanks Jane, you can always PM me too if you need to. Our problems are caused by a lot of different things. My wife has suffered most of her life from depression. A lack of communication in the past as well from both of us has also put pressure on things. As we both work together from home, we have had trouble switching off from our work roles too in the past. This year has been difficult money wise due to a couple of business issues that went wrong and that does not help, but it is not mainly due to money. We are working through it by spending more time alone doing enjoyable things together (not just work), switching off from work at night time, seeing a counsellor, etc and it is working slowly.
1 person likes this
@vjenkins86 (1478)
• United States
7 Jun 10
I think we're more ready to spill our guts online compared to in the "real world" is because of anonymity and our connection with people. It is so much easier when the person isn't looking straight at you and doesn't know you completely to unload everything on them. In a way, I think its like going to confessionals in church (I might be wrong since we don't have confessionals) were you tell the minister/preacher your sins without either one of you seeing each other. Also, I think because we don't have lifelong or close relationships with many of the people on here, it is easier to say what you want and don't care about the response that you might receive. If someone gives you a negative comment or there's no comment, its okay because you don't know the person and all that matters is that you said what you wanted to say. Unfortunately there is rarely that kind of freedom in the "real world."
1 person likes this
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
Thanks for that informative response. I was thinking along those lines myself. If people on here are sick of me banging on about my woes they stay away whereas in the real world I'd probably have no friends left lol. I suppose life would be boring if none of us had problems to deal with...it is HOW we are dealing with them that is altering because of all this technology and - like you said, anonymity.
@Tangeryne (413)
• India
7 Jun 10
Hey Janey, yours is the first discussion I'm responding to after a 2 week hiatus! Guess your the lucky one lol. Totally agree. I keep on going on about myself and personal issues. I just can't help it, just feel like talking or rather typing to much and get carried away telling my story or incident. I don't talk much in person until I get used to a person and know them well. Once that has been established I go on and on and irritate them no end. I'm sure then people wish I never opened up!! hehe..
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
Yes, it's the same with me. I can go on and on when I know a person well but, sadly, there's only my Mum who truely knows me better than most. Even she says I do things that surprise her but she and my Dad have always been there for me without being clingy, do you know what I mean? I can phone Mum and talk to her for an hour and a half. She does get a word in...in fact she talks more than I do being a Gemini lol.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
That's Ok 3honor. I've been away too so me and Tangeryne are in the same boat so to speak.
• India
9 Jun 10
Hiya folks..nice to know I've been missed!!! lol.. Hmmm my mom's Gemini as well. Guess they do talk a lot. My mom's an extrovert while I'm not:-)
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Jun 10
It's easier to talk to people online sometimes because the person you really NEED to talk to isn't going to react too well to the conversation. At least in my case, I know I am almost certainly NOT going to get the desired reaction. I am going to get anger, hurt feelings, lack of understanding, etc. Plus he comes at me with things I didn't anticipate or at times I'm not awake and overloads my brain.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
Yes, sometimes it is actually easier NOT saying anything because, like you say you get a reaction you didn't anticipate...and you don't want to become upset either. John does get the wrong end of the stick at times and I end up going all round the houses to explain myself further. That I don't mind as I'd much rather do that than to bottle my feelings up, I only wish he'd do the same!
1 person likes this
@dawnald (84146)
• Shingle Springs, California
8 Jun 10
It's not good bottling it up. But it's not good dumping on the other person either. Theoretically you ought to be able to find a happy medium. I never did find ours though...
@karen1969 (1788)
8 Jun 10
Yes, that's very true, I have come out with a lot of personal stuff here and appreciated (most of!) the replies I've had here. I think it is easier as it is impersonal and you can think about what you want to write, whereas it can be hard to come out with the right words if you are talking about something upsetting. Also if someone criticises you, it's not as hurtful as if it is your family and friends saying something critical, as you don't have to see the online friend every day or deal with them face-to-face.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
That is so true! I do know that my hubby represses his feelings and sometimes I wish he would just come out with what's on his mind. He is better than he used to be though as I once said to him, "Look, I'm your wife, whatever it is that is bothering you just tell me about it as it makes you ill bottling it all up." That, of course could apply to me as well. I tend to hint at things to him rather than blurt it out as I don't want to hurt his feelings either. Relationships are so complex aren't they my friend?
1 person likes this
@karen1969 (1788)
9 Jun 10
Yes, they are and I think men are particularly bad at expressing their feelings most of the time. I think it is due to the "men don't cry" culture here.
@eileenleyva (11038)
• Philippines
8 Jun 10
Hi janey, your case could be a psychological study about the state and condition of humankind in the new millenium. It seems that a new kind of human communication and relationships are being established online. Friendship has been redefined in an entirely new context. A father and a daughter could be friends in facebook. And we are virtually friends here in mylot although we don't know each other from Adam. But your unloading many of your predicaments here instead of your loved ones could be therapy. You are getting rid of stress by asking help from people who are willing to help. It is kind of impersonal but we are defying the conventions here. In fact, we don't need counselors who charge huge fees for our emotional health. As to why we don't unload to our loved ones first, perhaps because we don't like to hurt them nor we don't want to get hurt, too.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
Hello there! Thanks for that well thought out response. It never fails to amaze me how we can all communicate our thoughts, dreams and fears in written word but cannot do so via speech. It would be interesting to see what would happen if MyLot suddenly decided to "make us" communicate via speech on webcams. I bet most of the members would disappear overnight, including me!
@eileenleyva (11038)
• Philippines
8 Jun 10
Me too! So do not suggest it to mylot.
@cher913 (25890)
• Canada
7 Jun 10
its funny that we put stuff up on the internet that we would never tell our close family members!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
I know exactly what you mean! Frightening isn't it? I really think most people are honest on here too because it would take far too much trouble to lie every day..and they would be found out by the readers I'm sure. Mind you, if a discussion is interesting I don't really care if it's made up or not. In my case, though, I'm an Aries with an Aries Moon and Ascendant so lying is alien to me. What you read is what you get..good or bad, sad or funny, uplifting or depressing. That's me in a nutshell!
• Mexico
7 Jun 10
Hi cher: I think that here, on the internet we can enjoy of a sense of privacy. If you want to tell a secret to someone else you can do it without revealing what's your real name and where do you live so that's a good motivation that makes people being honest on the internet. Thanks for your answer. Have a nice day. ALVARO
@_sketch_ (5709)
• United States
8 Jun 10
The reason that people tend to be more open over the internet is because it feels more anonymous. People sometimes act totally out of character when there's anonymity. It seems kind of strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense if you think about it. It can actually be a real dangerous human quality sometimes though.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
Yes, I do know what you mean about anonymity being used in dubious circumstances. I honestly think though that many people on MyLot are actually shy so to be able to communicate like this will be a godsend. I'm not shy as such but it does take me time to get to know people in the real world. On here it takes about 5 minutes to make friends with people on MyLot as I don't have to speak to anybody.
• Mexico
7 Jun 10
Hi Janey: I think people express their feelings in a more emotional way here and tyhey are more confident and eloquent because here it's just you and your computer so you don't feel the pressure of facing someone else. It's almost like writing a diary but in this case the diary talks to you. THanks for asking us this question. Have a nice day. ALVARO
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
8 Jun 10
Hiya Starsailor! Like I said earlier, I do have a diary (have done for years) but there aren't enough lines to vent my anger, happiness or whatever I'm feeling on the day, so MyLot is ideal for expressing myself in this way. It is an added bonus when good souls like yourself choose to respond. You are quite right, it's not threatening, is it, communicating via computer although I despair of people who pretend they are someone else, usually on Facebook. I could never do that and become upset over the latest "victim" of someone online who pretends to be someone much younger so as to groom children into befriending them. Even though I'm not very young myself in a funny sort of a way I feel much safer in MyLot than I ever did in Facebook which is why I don't have an account with them anymore.
1 person likes this
@rosie230 (1674)
7 Jun 10
I think because we find it easier to talk to people who don't know about our lives, and therefore cannot judge, they can only comment on what we say or ask. It's nice though, because you always get the best advice, than what you would do if you were to talk to someone who knows you and your family, it's nice to get an outsiders point of view on things.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
That is so true. I like to think I have advised others from my own experiences in life. I try to be upbeat (about myself) but it is difficult at times. Optimism is probably my greatest trait though and I refuse to "lie down" so to speak. I am a fighter if nothing else.
• China
7 Jun 10
i think this happen b'coz if people r near u u cant respect for them u cant share anything to them b'coz u r bored of them so u want to find something else and share ur feeling with some online person and share ur personal stuff with ur onlinefriend in place of ur household that is the reason
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
If you can type everything in full as opposed to being like a text it would be beneficial for the readers and your good self as the more you type the more you earn my friend. Welcome to MyLot!
@GardenGerty (105555)
• United States
7 Jun 10
It is just so more anonymous online. We will mostly never meet one another. It is also a good organizing tool to write our thoughts down, so we do. I try to make a point never to write anything that I would not want seen in public, or said to someone in person. It would be nice if we all had such a great circle of friends in our nearby close world.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
Hiya GardenGerty! Yes, I do know what you mean. Such lovely people on this site (including your good self) who I would dearly love to meet but most of them are abroad and not in the UK, more's the pity!
@GADHISUNU (2164)
• India
7 Jun 10
Communicating to an unknown person online is easier because there may not be judgments made that might affect you. Even if jusdgments are made that put you off you can simply choose to ignore them and strike a new cord and nothing is lost. Further, communicating online, with some stranger, you know for sure that that person does not have a pre-conceived notion about you. Among known people it is very difficult to find one who doesn't already have an opinion about you, this is the biggest impediment to open communication. While communicating face to face you always have this gnawing feeling about what the other person's gonna think about you. And you have to meet them again!
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
Haha! That's true enough. I had to see the doctor earlier and I hated having to explain everything that I had already mentioned to another doctor who doesn't seem to be there anymore. Passed from pillar to post and the gynaecologist is the next person I will be seeing. I can't wait! NOT!
@TexLadyPj (1329)
• United States
7 Jun 10
Herro Janey1966 Sometimes people vent online because they do have demons inside that they cannot deal with. Sometimes it is because the communication isn't possible geographically. Sometimes the other person isn't listening. I prefer to communicate my issues in person. When that isn't possible, I use prayer for strength. Jesus gives me strength to deal with communication problems.
@Janey1966 (24126)
• Carlisle, England
7 Jun 10
I have a problem in that I have no close friends I can confide in. I am quite sure that if I spoke to one of my female friends "confidentially" I have no doubt what I would say about hubby would be passed on to him. I don't trust anyone here. I am glad that Jesus gives you strength my friend, that is comforting to know.