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The Cultureof Cyberchat

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An anthropological perspective on cyber culture including texting, sexting, online dating and how cyber platforms impact interpersonal communication

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The Cultureof Cyberchat

  1. 1. The Culture of Cyber Chat Leanna Wolfe Ph.D.
  2. 2. Characteristics of Internet Chat • Anonymity • Deception • Disinhibition • Asynchronous • Multiple Respondents Simultaneously • Role Play and Impersonation
  3. 3. Chat Platforms • Facebook • Instagram • Snap Chat • What’s App • Yahoo Messenger • Twitter • Texting
  4. 4. Anonymity • Texting Keystrokes do not convey Identity or Context • Photographs do not Require Authentication
  5. 5. Deception • Females Lie to Males About…. • What They’re Doing • What They’re Wearing • To Keep Their Partner Happy • To Keep the Relationship Alive Drouin, et al (2014) Love the Way You Lie: Sexting Deception in Romantic Relationships
  6. 6. Online Disinhibition Effect • The Online World is not Real • People Do Not Present as Their Real Selves • Alterations Can Include • Age • Gender • Appearance • Sexual Proclivities • Suler, “Online Disinhibition Effect,” (Cyber Psychology and Behavior, 2004)
  7. 7. Asynchronous • Textual Conversations Can Take Place over Extended Periods of Time • Possible to Sound Highly Interested and Available • Chatterers May In Fact Be Participating in Multiple Simultaneous Conversations • May Engender a “Popcorn Brain” • Reduced Attention Span
  8. 8. Age Role Play • Co-Create a Fantasy • Play as if a “Boy” or a “Girl” • Implications Might Include • Parental Restrictions • Homework • Search for Guidance from a Savvy Daddy • Real Boys and Girls Are • Under 18 • Would NEVER REVEAL their Real Age
  9. 9. De-Masking • Effort to Uncover Who is in Fact Behind the Screen • Request Photographs • Attempt Phone Conversation • Arrange an In-Person Meeting
  10. 10. Blocking vs Offers • “Offers” Encourage Conversation • Blocking Kills the “Scene” • The Ultimate Block Ends All Contact • Accepting an “Offer” Enlarges the Scene • Falling Offline is De Riguer for Internet Chat Amongst Uncommitted Strangers
  11. 11. Dating Before the Internet • Dances, Parties, Friends • Getting Fixed Up • Matchmakers • Arranged Marriages • Magazine and Newspaper Personals • Slow replies with handwritten letters and printed photographs • Phone/Chat Dating • Fees for men; free for ladies
  12. 12. Online Dating • Matching becomes so efficient and the process so enjoyable that marriage could become uninteresting • Threaten Dreams of Monogamy by offering up endless possible others to choose from • Perusing more interesting than settling with one • Easy to land a first date…and ever so difficult to get to a second one
  13. 13. Match.com
  14. 14. Plenty of Fish Free Online Dating
  15. 15. OK Cupid…Offers More Dates One “Might Like”
  16. 16. What Dating Apps Provide • Immediate Gratification Hookups • For “this moment” • Quick Connection • No Waiting • GPS Enabled • Immediate Proximity
  17. 17. Tinder
  18. 18. Gay Men’s Dating App
  19. 19. Lesbian Dating App
  20. 20. More Dating Apps
  21. 21. Craigslist Personals
  22. 22. A Brief History of Sexting
  23. 23. Erotic Cave Paintings
  24. 24. Ancient Hindu Erotica
  25. 25. Calculator Spells “BOOBS”
  26. 26. Beepers for Erotically Coded Data
  27. 27. Polaroid Cameras (No more censorship of personal photos)
  28. 28. Picture Phones!!
  29. 29. Tiger Woods’ 2009 Sexting Scandal
  30. 30. Anthony Weiner’s Politics of Sexting
  31. 31. Why Text/Sext is So Interesting • Personal • Kicks up dopamine levels • Can co-create a personal pornography • Conveys Immediacy and Importance • Email has become largely impersonal spam • Transmits information efficiently • Locations, Times, Particulars • Easy to include photos • Especially fun and suggestive one • Last bastion for originality • Assistants can be hired to tweet and post to Facebook, but for most of us texting is our own business
  32. 32. When a Text is More Interesting…
  33. 33. Sexting on a Date
  34. 34. Texting in Bed
  35. 35. Fantasy Chat • Assessment • Flirtation • Foreplay • Seduction • Exaggerations • Distortions • Entertainment • A Co-Created Pornography • End in itself
  36. 36. Sext Fantasy Role Play • Discuss activities that could happen • Some never will…just shared fantasy • Safe arena to explore and tantalize • Share suggestive photos • Co-create possible moments and scenes • Discover common interests • Uncover new possibilities
  37. 37. Erotic Negotiation Sexting Will you tie me up? Yes! And then have my way with you!! I’m creaming with excitement I can’t wait to kiss you all over Is it okay if I scream really loud? Baby, I want to hear you scream and cum all over me
  38. 38. her her chronicles a passionate relationship with an Operating System which is ultimately carrying on equal intimacy with hundreds of other yearning souls
  39. 39. In Relationship with an Operating System…
  40. 40. The Downsides • Loss of in-person social skills • Less need to be articulate, focused or even interested • “Sup” and “Hey” don’t require much interest or initiative • Pressure to respond quickly to texts • Little space to contemplate and sincerely reflect and share
  41. 41. The Upsides • The Internet can be an accessible venue for busy and shy people to meet possible partners • Easy access to people around the world • Easy contact with intimates while travelling • Depending on the skills of those texting – much can in fact be discussed.
  42. 42. Conclusions • Social Media Enables Easy Access to Potential Partners • Texting/Sexting Popular Medium for Erotic Negotiation • Fantasy Role Play • Age Play by Consenting Adults (over 18) • Assess Common Interests • Co-Created Personal Pornography • Can Exit/Block Easily • Mutual Interest/Pleasure Required to Continue

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