How we perceive the web.

And it different for all of us, yet it’s the same.

What the web does for us is up to us. How we deal with life and all that is around us is unto us. But what of what is really going on around us and the perception left behind by our actions?

Does it matter? To us and/or those that are around us?

Perception and how we are in an off-line world are very much the same as an on-line world – we will always see things in a manner that suit us.

For example, and what started me thinking about this. A friend of mine Nic Oliver wrote an interesting post the other day called “We Distort the Facts to Fit Our Beliefs“. He goes on to state that “80% of what we believe to be accurate memories in fact include distortions, deleted information and influences from our upbringing, education, other similar experiences etc”

He backs it up with an interesting story:

“Some time ago, a psychiatrist had a patient who believed he was a corpse. He did nothing all day, didn’t eat or work, just sat around believing himself to be a corpse. The psychiatrist tried to convince him he was not a corpse by asking him, “do corpses bleed?”

The patient thought for a moment, then replied:” No, as all bodily functions have closed down, a corpse can’t bleed.” So the psychiatrist picked up a needle and pricked the patient with it. The patient started to bleed. The patient looked amazed and started to bleed. “”Well I’ll be damned,” he said. “Corpses do bleed!”

When we believe that the web will do for us what we perceive it to given a potentially distorted view of what it is, how it works, the “long tail” we leave behind and the effect on those around us, can lead to problems.

Take, for example, Anthony Weiner (the now resigned Congressman). He thought that he could take “racy” photo’s of himself getting “buff” in the gym, twitter them with no repercussions.

The action of taking pics of yourself in this manner is not unusual, the web is full of them – especially on Facebook.

But usually they are younger people who are surrounded by peers that accept the nature of what is happening, take no offence and carry on regardless. Weiner, on the other hand, is surrounded by a generation that don’t see this as normal – his perception was distorted. Subsequently he has resigned as a congressman under a rustle of subdued voices.

It would seem, therefore, that just because it suits another company, person, generation, politician does not mean that is suits you. The web is whatever you want it to be, but it will never be what you want it to be without taking into consideration the distortions that you create by not taking into consideration those that it will effect.



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  • Nic

    Hey Nick

    Thanks for the mention! Love your follow up article too. Seems to me people have not yet learned never to post anything that your mother/wife/priest wouldn’t want to see!

    Have a great weekend – we must catch up soon

    Love to you both


  • Italianbigone

    Who is that girl?

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