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Online vs offline socializing

Owliet

The Hidden One.
V.I.P Member
Something that I’m beginning to think and realize about is that socializing online is a lot easier to approach than offline. I mean, obviously, that it would be easier. I find that I usually get lost in the thoughts of what to say next, am I saying the right things, can I go back and pause? Can I edit what I’ve said?

Being online, is kinda like being in costume but without the mask. I dont have to mask when interacting with people (all of you on here for example). Sometimes I may say the wrong things and sometimes I can take the pause to figure out what I need to say (plus also having a translator helps at times if I need to use it =D). I express myself much better in text than I will ever do in any other way. I never used to feel like this but the more I realize that I have spent the majority of my social life online in some form and have used it to have a better reaching out with others than I do offline. Its freeing.

Obviously, have to try extra hard offline, and sometimes I will avoid interactions offline compared to online. Which I have to stop doing that.
 

Luca

charm & chaos
V.I.P Member
I’m exactly the same.
I talk all the time about how I express myself much more coherently through text/writing.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy the company of everyone on here a lot more than I enjoy the company of anyone irl. I don’t feel like my irl friends “get” me the same way, and they rarely want to hear about my interests, or have intelligent/insightful conversations. They don’t even really talk about their interests, and I’m not sure they even have many. My irl friendships are often one sided and I don’t get a lot of support.

I’m grateful that I have friends on here who can have these kinds of conversations, and who are much more welcoming, encouraging and supportive. My friendships with all of you are a lot more meaningful.

I really don’t give a rat’s ass if irl people find it weird or sad that I have mostly online friends. Their loss.
 

Aspychata

Serenity waves, beachy vibes
V.I.P Member
Online allows me to be more introspective and not be so hounded by sensory barrage. So l become who l truly wish to be, and less effected by my daily issues, as l try to leave that outside my door. I can fully appreciate the others and view life as seen thru their eyes, and it helps me escape my existence of a place l probably wouldn't live in if l was way younger. Being online is a lifeline of real people that are here dealing with issues just like me.

Socializing doesn't happen much, however l think l might have made friends with someone recently. I am not sure if she is on the spectrum. My social
circle is very small and has always been small.
 

Slime_Punk

Contaminating the hive mind
V.I.P Member
I definitely prefer socializing IRL more than online, but sometimes you've got to take what you can get. For example, a really cool forum where you can talk to people with ASD doesn't really exist like that IRL.

I don't really make strong connections to people over the internet, and I definitely can't feed off of their energy unless I'm hanging out with them in person. Maybe video chatting would solve this but I've never really tried.
 

Shamar

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Something that I’m beginning to think and realize about is that socializing online is a lot easier to approach than offline. I mean, obviously, that it would be easier. I find that I usually get lost in the thoughts of what to say next, am I saying the right things, can I go back and pause? Can I edit what I’ve said?

Being online, is kinda like being in costume but without the mask. I dont have to mask when interacting with people (all of you on here for example). Sometimes I may say the wrong things and sometimes I can take the pause to figure out what I need to say (plus also having a translator helps at times if I need to use it =D). I express myself much better in text than I will ever do in any other way. I never used to feel like this but the more I realize that I have spent the majority of my social life online in some form and have used it to have a better reaching out with others than I do offline. Its freeing.

Obviously, have to try extra hard offline, and sometimes I will avoid interactions offline compared to online. Which I have to stop doing that.
I pretty much agree. The anonymity afforded by an avatar and screen name helps tremendously \. I can be myself here. I could never say say some of the things I say here or participate if this forum were a physical face-to-face meeting. If it were, I would likely flee in panic at the number of people. In fact, the closest thing to friends I have is right here. The thing is, I don't believe I am actually socializing. Commenting and discussing, yes. Socializing, no, unless I have a serious misunderstanding of what socializing actually is. I'm not sure if I can actually truly socialize anywhere under any circumstances. It requires an ability to connect with other people which I seem to be totally lacking. Not complaining as such, I realized and accepted this long before my autism diagnosis, I just didn't have a name for it. I just wish it were different.

That being said, however, I DO enjoy participating in these discussions, and appreciate the feedback and reactions I get.
 

Au Naturel

Au Naturel
Something that I’m beginning to think and realize about is that socializing online is a lot easier to approach than offline. I mean, obviously, that it would be easier. I find that I usually get lost in the thoughts of what to say next, am I saying the right things, can I go back and pause? Can I edit what I’ve said?

Being online, is kinda like being in costume but without the mask. I dont have to mask when interacting with people (all of you on here for example). Sometimes I may say the wrong things and sometimes I can take the pause to figure out what I need to say (plus also having a translator helps at times if I need to use it =D). I express myself much better in text than I will ever do in any other way. I never used to feel like this but the more I realize that I have spent the majority of my social life online in some form and have used it to have a better reaching out with others than I do offline. Its freeing.

Obviously, have to try extra hard offline, and sometimes I will avoid interactions offline compared to online. Which I have to stop doing that.
Offline interactions require you to be with a person. That demands that people coordinate time and location. Even if you had complementary personalities, facetime is simply inconvenient. Even a phone call requires the other person to be free at the time you call.

I can drop a post on a forum at any time and check later for responses. I can think through what I want to say, while in-person conversation requires a quick response. No reason to dress appropriately or to dress at all. My hair can be a mess. Stop in mid-sentence to do something else and pick up where I left off an hour later. If I have a question, or if I am uncertain about something, pull up another tab and Google it.

I definitely prefer to communicate ideas or tell stories online but I do still think personal contact is important. I am particular about how and when and with whom I make that contact and I don't believe in forcing it "because its good for you." I don't need the stress.
 

selena

Well-Known Member
My irl personality is diffirent from the one i have online.
It feels different because I don't talk that much irl, which is not obvious online because I only put myself in a position where I do want to respond to the topic being discussed.

I don't really socialize online anymore, but when I used to it definitely made me feel like fake and hesitant to do meetups with some online friends who were convinced, based on my posts, that I was a quick-thinking and fun person to have beers with (which I wasn't). I regret thinking online friends weren't real friends though, although in my defense the internet wasn't as mainstream back then and I thought I could run away from it
 

phantom

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
It feels different because I don't talk that much irl, which is not obvious online because I only put myself in a position where I do want to respond to the topic being discussed.

I don't really socialize online anymore, but when I used to it definitely made me feel like fake and hesitant to do meetups with some online friends who were convinced, based on my posts, that I was a quick-thinking and fun person to have beers with (which I wasn't). I regret thinking online friends weren't real friends though, although in my defense the internet wasn't as mainstream back then and I thought I could run away from it
I am hesitant to call what I present on the internet as being more me than what I show irl. I wouldn't meet up with people that i know from the internet either.
 

Moogwizard

My Brain is Only a Receiver
V.I.P Member
I find text form communication much easier.
I can reply and have a conversation at my pace, I can read something many times before a response. I can scan for cues . I can break apart the information easier . I can try to respond properly.

In Real life , the parameters are not designed this way . In person conversation I am placed in a different world . Every response every facial expression has to try to line up within fractions of a second to respond correctly. And also break apart what is being said to me in my mind and scan for cues and meaning as well . Also on top of that I have to try and figure out should I be honest .

In real life a group setting forget it . I am done . One on one I am much easier to know and communicate with .
 

Sherlock77

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I much prefer offline communication, meeting up with people in person

I am a luddite when it comes to online communication, struggle with chat messages, I would rather make a phone call than use chat
 

Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
I’m exactly the same.
I talk all the time about how I express myself much more coherently through text/writing.

For what it’s worth, I enjoy the company of everyone on here a lot more than I enjoy the company of anyone irl. I don’t feel like my irl friends “get” me the same way, and they rarely want to hear about my interests, or have intelligent/insightful conversations. They don’t even really talk about their interests, and I’m not sure they even have many. My irl friendships are often one sided and I don’t get a lot of support.

I’m grateful that I have friends on here who can have these kinds of conversations, and who are much more welcoming, encouraging and supportive. My friendships with all of you are a lot more meaningful.

I really don’t give a rat’s ass if irl people find it weird or sad that I have mostly online friends. Their loss.

This pretty much sums up how I feel about all of this. Particularly that second paragraph.

And I gotta point out this line,
They don’t even really talk about their interests, and I’m not sure they even have many.

This is something that always makes it that much harder for me to get to know anyone new. Most people I meet offline seem to have exactly three interests:
1, arguing about politics
2. alcohol
3. TV/movies, usually the "low quality / max profit" sort of things (I'm sure you can figure out what I mean by that)

And... that's it.

Now granted I live in a REALLY boring area. So that might be part of that. But still.

Also, on here I dont have to mask at all. Offline, the only places I've been able to drop the mask (so far) has been at conventions. But on here, I dont need to wear that stupid mask at all, and that's really helpful.
 

Darkkin

Lioness of Spoons
V.I.P Member
Online I can speak as well as I am able, free of judgement and uncaring of whether or not I intimidate others simply by speaking up. There are no contextual assumptions. The playing field is level.

In real life I hide the skills I have because I know what reaction even a heavily filtered portion (less than 10% of my total capacity) can elicit. (I'm not the smartest person in the room, but I will be among the upper echelons.) (I work with the general public five days a week, and for a majority of people trying to shift into anything faster than second gear can be a challenge.)

Meanwhile, I will have cross referenced a request, bypassed the computer, and found the book based on two obscure pieces of information while the individual is still dithering with explaining how they looked but couldn't find the book on the shelf. (That type of information in noncorollary to requisite date, thusly, please don't explain why you need assistance, asking for help is fine, it doesn't require justification.)

I hate banal conversation (small talk) and face to face interactions. The amount of effort it takes is horrendous. I can get through my work week because I love books, people are just background noise to that central interest. Actual face to face interactions are exceedingly rare for me outside of work. I generally go out of my way to avoid people. They require too much energy and engagement to make interactions worthwhile.

My interests align with my severely introverted nature. They don't require other people and in certain cases are so obscure, no one would have the least bit of understanding or interest should I actually decide to engage.

(I never tell real world people I write because then any further conversation becomes all about the book they are writing or plan to write, can I help them get it featured at the bookstore? This is one of those patterns that you don't want to find, but see repeated across a number of situations across the years.)

I work frontside retail (bookshop), thusly people make a number of assumptions from the context (often about my skill sets and mental acuity), assumptions I have the ability to cinder in about thirty seconds simply by setting my mask down. (I like what I do. I stay because of the books, not the people.)

There is a reason so much of my own work circles around the central imagery of Turtle upon Tide and a Star Socks Fox who keeps the stories of alien constellations safe in the stars he wears. That shell is a very real thing, but like the turtle who carries the world, very few recognize the shell is there, let alone find any hint of the turtle.

Gaining access into the constellations of the Star Socks Fox is a rare occurrence, but those who do are the ones who truly matter. (Close family and friends I've had for a decade and more.)

A bit like a cat, I engage on my own terms and tend to be incredibly wary of strangers. It isn't because I'm shy, it is because there is very little I gain from interacting with others on a face to face basis. It isn't arrogance or conceit that fuels these observations, it is decades of my own company and an accrued self awareness.

Some might call it hyper-independence and treat it as a major character flaw or a trauma reaction, but the kicker is I have enough sense to ask for help when I truly need it. I might be stubborn, but I'm not stubborn to the point of stupidity or self harm. I don't require interactions with others to give me direction and/or purpose. I am a self sustaining, self starter. I always have been.

Arrogant, aloof, shy, snooty, hoity-toity, stuck up, snob...I can recite the thesaurus by rote of the adjectives that I've accrued in real life simply because I don't want to engage in small talk. I can do it if I need to, but I find it easier to blend into the wall rather than engage with people. I won't compete to be heard, which is why I love written communication. I can set down my mask and articulate a bit of the noise in my head. Folks can take it or leave it, but I voiced the thoughts and they aren't lost because others are trying to talk over you.

Glass rabbit idioms are rife in all aspects of my unmasked communications, it is one of the most glaring of my autistics traits, but it is also one of the clearest indicators that I have engaged completely with a conversation. Those who are deft enough to translate the dialects of geek speak tend to be the people I resonate with be it online or IRL.
 
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Progster

Grown sideways to the sun
V.I.P Member
Yes, it's easier for me to communicate online through text in forums like this one. I have time to think about the topic of the thread and my answer - I can take my time and I have the freedom to edit. You can't edit a face to face conversation.
 

Atrapa Almas

70% INTJ + 30% ASPIE = 100% HUMAN
V.I.P Member
Online is a big "Yes, but" for me.

Yes, I preffer the delay of forums BUT I miss my mother language. Yes, there are spanish forums BUT I miss the variety of cultures and viewpoints... and knowledge.

Yes, I can be more myself here BUT I still make many people feel unconfortable with myself so they decide not to interact with me anymore.

Yes, autists seem to be more tolerant with special interests and are way more welcoming than any other community I have been, BUT mods are still needed and other autists have been banned so we can have that peace.

Yes, I can share thougths and provide some support BUT we will never see the other person smile, share a meal, or sit together while we enjoy a nice landscape.

I met my wife in a forum, then moved to Messenger and as I enjoyed more my time chatting with her than going out with my friends, I came to meet her in real life. So my time online with her was also a Yes, BUT.

Hugs.
 

SusanLR

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Definitely online for any type of interactions.

I only have conversations, if you can call them that, with the person I live with.
Sometimes we watch TV together or share a meal.
But that's about the extent of it.

Here I feel I can talk about things I wouldn't with other people.
I can pick and choose topics of interest or where I feel I can have relevant input.
I don't have to mask or wear clothes and I can take my time to think about what I want to say, edit, and don't feel the stress of split- second replies.
I hate talking on phones for any reason and trying to call someone is a game of phone tag most of the times.
They're busy, I'm busy and you need to make an appointment really.

Chatting on a forum like this doesn't take away from my irl socializing, because
I don't have that anyway. Especially now that I'm older with physical disabilities.
 

Misery

Photo-Negative
V.I.P Member
Yes, I can be more myself here BUT I still make many people feel unconfortable with myself so they decide not to interact with me anymore.

I'm curious, why do you think you make people uncomfortable?

I dont know about everyone else, but I've never gotten that feeling from you at all.
 

Mr. Stevens

Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
Online has its benefits and certain things are easier, but I prefer real life by far. You have a better chance of knowing who someone is and what they are thinking/feeling. I feel the experience is deeper due to having more layers, by being in person. There's also less room for projection and seeing what you want to see.
 

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