Monday, February 1, 2010

Online Silence

It is hard to keep silent, when you are online, yet, at times silence helps. Virtual speakers, virtual audiences, socially averse, publicity shy, people with only participative observational intent participate in the online forums, chatrooms, discussions. Some of the participants have the eagerness to express in words, while some silently observe. The topic of discussion here is about the silence of the vast majority of silent participants, who are participants and do not voice their point of view. My recent survey with people who chat regularly, have mentioned that they enjoy part of the discussion, look forward to certain parts of the conversation, which catches their interest. The rest of the conversation which does no interest them is taken as the bad part that comes with the good. Chatters often find it difficult to answer a query or a question posed online during a chat. Online silence refers to "not saying anything", it could also mean, saying something, which has no meaning, or postponement of the conversation by changing the way in which the conversation is discontinued or anything that could mean there is a response but may not be the desired.

“Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving in words evidence of the fact.”
George Eliot

Our response mechanism will at its best, as online means there is no confrntation face -to-face, the lack of direct confrontation also encourages the online communication. The concealed identity encourges the flow of communication. Most respondents said, they will go silent, if there is an invasion of privacy, it was evident in case of female respondents.

Respondents used creative ways to keep the conversation going, yet get away from saying some thing. Smileys, other pictorial responses were used to convey rather than saying in words. Some responded by turning of, logging out when they desired to be silent during an online conversation. Some faked ignorance, being dumb to saying something.

In a group forum, the silent majority is observant, tolerant, intelligent, knowledge savvy, as expressive as the other part, just refrains to voice out. The fact that human expectations are much to the appreciation, the vast majority tends to do the positive by appreciating, lauding efforts of another, not usually a shock statement.
The desire to cast their power over, some express as their hard truth, much which belongs to the ego rather than the truth itself. There are witty, thoughtful, wordy, judgmental, responses mostly seeking an identity.