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Kayak8's avatar

How has Fluther changed the ways you think?

Asked by Kayak8 (16395 points ) June 11th, 2010

I have never been on any other Q/A sites before Fluther but I am noticing that there is a unique element to learning more about yourself in this kind of environment that exceeds learning about specific topics or getting the answers to long-held questions. I am not sure I can explain it very well though . . .

The concept of having thoughts and sharing them anonymously and then getting feedback from others (across a wide range of comprehension and compassion in their respective approaches) and then processing the feedback against one’s own world view can be quite startling. I didn’t realize how much I relied on facial expressions and tone of voice (however badly I interpreted them) as cues. There is also the real-world element of being able to decide (in many respects) whose opinions I will solicit. That goes out the window here.

My entire system of gauging people is thrown off by the medium and it has been quite thought-provoking at times. I can start to assess how much my thoughts are similar to others but it has taken much longer to read enough information from any single individual and to match it up to their user-name/avatar (not to mention the zen of the day character who shape-shifts and others with daily avatar adjustments). This is a forum wherein physical attributes that can distract are removed—historically this seems unusual.

I would say that Fluther has really helped me learn different ways to assess how I am perceived by others (I am not even talking about GAs and lurve). While this has been difficult for me at times, I can see where I have changed my thinking—I have learned to be more self-reflective (if that is even possible), I have learned to read answers without a knee-jerk reaction and to consider points of view I would never have been open to in the real-world.

While the environment of Fluther may be obvious to everyone else, Fluther has caused me to have some profound internal dialogues with real changes in my thinking.

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25 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I agree with your sentiments and being on Q&A sites has taught me restraint. I have always chosen my words carefully but quite often there is a lot more I could say on a topic that I keep to myself.

marinelife's avatar

It has shored up my faith in humanity and, especially, in young people. There are such deep thinkers on Fluther. There are people who care so passionately about things.

When one looks beyond the differences, which are on the surface, one finds caring, compassionate people from all walks of life.

partyparty's avatar

I suppose I think more about my answers… and questions… before I start to type. I choose my words more carefully to get my point across.
When face-to-face with someone I am able to extract what another person is thinking or feeling before I start to speak.
Here on Fluther I have to think twice before answering, which is a good thing I think.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I can tell ya one thing for sure, fluther made me into a better writer. I take a lot more time thinking about what I am going to write now before writing it and tend to check my work over for spelling/grammatical errors.

Fluther has also given me a lot of practice in formulating coherent arguments to situations which I have been able to apply to my own life and thus become much more articulate in the way I speak to others.

perspicacious's avatar

Fluther has not changed the way I think.

gemiwing's avatar

Fluther has helped me begin to cure my powerful Internet Knee-Jerk sickness. I look at questions and answers usually more carefully and try to read what they said, instead of what I think they are saying. Sometimes they’re close, but often times they are not.

Also- bob has created a massive hunger in me for sandwiches.

BoBo1946's avatar

i be happy!

Social section has saved the day!

partyparty's avatar

@BoBo1946 I’m with you on that one!!!!! Tee hee :-))))))))))))))))))))))))))

BoBo1946's avatar

@partyparty “three cheers for the socialites!”

gailcalled's avatar

Not really. I have had decades to refine my world views and personal take on issues. I am, however, fascinated by the candor, self-awareness and curiosity of the younger generation here. I have discovered, to my dismay, that I missed out on a lot of things when I was growing up, due to the ethos of the time and the attitudes of my parents.

“Be dream children, don’t argue, don’t get mad, don’t ever rock the boat, we know best (about everything).”

bob_'s avatar

It hasn’t.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

This is not my first Q&A site, but the others were anarchic food-fights by comparison. Fluther has taught me to actually put some thought into my answers, the grammar and spelling.

Fluther levels the playing field for us Aspergers types, as there is no handicap to being unable to interpret nonverbal cues. The words on the page are all there is to work with.

CMaz's avatar

It has caused me to realize that I am always right. ;-)

PacificToast's avatar

It hasn’t changed the way I think, but the way I argue.

blueberry_kid's avatar

It makes me think twice about the things i do and the way i think sometimes. Also it gives me something to do when im bored.

rebbel's avatar

One thing that has occurred to me, is that these days, in real life, when i am talking with someone, i sometimes want to give them a Great Answer.

Your_Majesty's avatar

It improves my knowledge and reveals others perspective about different kind issue.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m not sure that Fluther has changed me, but I know that communicating on the Internet has for many of the same reasons you mentioned. I can’t hear the intonation of the person’s voice asking the question or making the reply here, nor can I see their facial expressions or body language. This limits, sometimes, my ability to understand the nuances of some questions and answers on the Internet.

Communicating through written word is inherently different than through speech and expression. I learned through a long education to carefully craft my words on a page so as not to distort the meaning.

If Fluther has changed me, it has made me even more openminded than before.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Fluther allows me to clarify my views on matters that I will study in my future. All of you are my audience, so to speak (sometimes) and I bounce ideas off many flutherites and gauge responses. After all, my work and books will speak to the world and the world is full of different perspectives so it’s helpful to discuss with others that which I can’t often discuss. Fluther, therefore, has changed some of the ways in which I think and process.

YARNLADY's avatar

No, I’ve been Q & A ing for the last five years, on a daily basis.

stardust's avatar

It has certainly brought about further questioning of myself, my views, etc. I love to challenge myself and I feel fellow flutherites(some, not all) can help in this process. So thanks fellow lovelies.

augustlan's avatar

It hasn’t really changed the way I think, but it has refined it. I am more able to say why I think or feel a certain way now. It has also given me insight into many things I don’t have the occasion to run into in my everyday life, probably giving me a much broader world view.

anartist's avatar

Unfortunately, it has been an agreeable and facile distraction from tougher issues I need to address. I am afraid that, if anything, my thinking may have become more shallow and cocktail partyish although occasionally I may sharpen a few communication skills.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Fact from fiction, truth from diction. I have gleaned quite a lot from my time here on Fluther, I have learned that closed emotions trump sound logic. Most people no matter how well intended slide down the path of emotion or how they personally feel about a given issue than to strip it down to the frame of bare logic. Many answers are quite explainable if attacked from the area of logic 1st.

I agree sans facial expressions it is hard to tell the tenor of ones answers or questions but that keeps me on my toes as I have to really study the context in which they wrote it. That is also an advantage that I can know exactly what they said unlike a face-to-face conversations where some words might slip through the cracks. By seeing each word, and having the ability to see the context used I can better frame my retort or rebuttal to what is said.

I have discovered some surprising trains of thought at least of those who answer certain questions, for instance I would never have guessed women would rather let a rapist who raped them go Scot free then risk humiliation or deal with the shame of trying to send the SOB to jail, truly shocking to me.

Surprised to find out how many atheist fear death when there is no way to know you have dies if there is no afterlife.

That people harbor grudges (mainly about 9/11 these days) of things they should acknowledge happen, how terrible it might have been but to press forward.

Fluther has shown me that people do not have as thick of skin as they might believe they had. Maybe it is more easy to get indignant when you don’t have to look the other person in the eye and tell them how you didn’t care what they said and how they said it. The non-face-to-face adds to a more precise dialogue but to me a animated one because there is no guttural reaction of the other person that would make one not say something or be less combative an militant if the conversation was had in the line at the bank or the supermarket.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Many issues discussed on Fluther don’t have bare logic to them.

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