An answer to a long struggle

Have you ever felt like sometimes, you yearn for an answer to a particular problem that was so abstract, you couldn’t see how you would grasp the concept at all?

I think that I finally learn how to pay more attention to Integrating online and offline community of mine.

So what does this have to do with the psychology of cyberspace? There are two basic ways the internet tends to create division in one’s life and identity. First, people tend to separate their online lives from their offline lives. You may have online companions, groups, and activities that are quite distinct from those you have in the face-to-face world. For some people, the two worlds are worlds apart. Second, among the thousands of different groups and activities online, with each specializing in a particular topic or activity, people easily can join a handful of them. A movie group here, a parent group there. It’s fairly easy to compartmentalize our various interests and activities. In this complex, modern society of ours, we juggle dozens of different tasks, hobbies, and social roles: mother, wife, daughter, professional, cook, reader, bicyclist, investor…… Cyberspace provides places for you to perch all of your identifications – places all separate from each other, each containing people who may know little or nothing about your other perches. How different than the societies of centuries past, when people lived in small towns and villages. Many of your neighbors knew about all your interests and activities. Your daily tasks, the people you engaged, the groups you belonged to, were all overlapped and connected.

John Suler – The Psychology of Cyberspace

Integration – the idea of fitting together and balancing of the various elements of the psyche to make a complete, harmonious whole, and that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Greatness can only be realized when the parts are joined together.

This idea, is what strikes me to rethink the way I operate and interact with others online and offline. I think that since I have not been so kind with my online community, I was not able to response fast or adequate enough to those who I care about, and those who might have a common interest with me, and those who might be involving in the growing process. So that one thing, I have been lacking, was the online presence that I was so afraid to have, and so uneducated to handle (can you imagine, one would also need an education on how to handle online presence?) I was not coached, and I was feeling isolated. I felt that I did not have a network of support online, and as I have suffered from cyberbullying before, I was fearing that anything I might said would be interpreted too differently, or too out of context. The importance of remain private and being protective of offline presence, was also vital for me, that I did not feel comfortable enough to treat my online network as a connected, extensive version of me, but rather, a very different one from what I truly am in person. But perhaps, I realize, we would always be a different person time to time, with new ideas, new perceptions, and new way of thinking. Then in that cases, I felt like that was who I am, and thus I felt like much more comfortable expressing my own thoughts, as well as being a little bit more courageous to project myself to the cyberspace. After all, there’s a part of me who would like to throw myself into the fire and test everything while I could, so this time, I wanted to be a little bit more outgoing and engaging with my online community, and learn a little bit more about how to continue to exist in this integrated world.

Work Reference:

Suler, J. (2002). Bringing online and offline living together – The integration principle. In The Psychology of Cyberspace, (article orig. pub. 1996)

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