Let me to join to your conversation.
I read the article, it was quite interesting.
My big problem is with it like with almost all the work of sociologists.
It's a dry, artifically created theory for me, just a theory.
It might have a little right, but as I believe: nothing is white-black.
Thus, human mentality, and caracters are much more colourful, and complicated to push them into a simple theory.
I don't want to copy Kate's post here, just one sentence: I couldn't more agree with her.
I have been communicating with people by the Internet since 2003.
Basicly I belong to two, big online communications, not counting my e-mailpartners from other lines, but:
The main categories are:
2. blind people from Hungary, and all over the world.
I can say just one thing:
I have much-much more positive experiences about these online relationships than negative.
First I had just e-mail, or forumconnections with everyone, just by writing, then either phonecals, or Skypecals to get to know each other's voices.
As I could do it, I inmediately sent my Scorpsfanfriends, and other sighted onlinefriends pics about myself, it is obvious that a viewing has an importance for them.
I can say that a pic, or a voice didn't bring a basic change in my relationships.
If I tel you my example with my 3 best hungarian Fosfriends: before meeting them in person first, we had been e-mailing for mounths.
First the Nagy brothers were, who I met in person after e-mailing.
They had a deal to do in my hometown, after finishing it, they came to me, and we spent two, amazing hours in my apartment.
It was the very first occassion of sitting next to each other, hugging each other, hearing eachother's voice, eccept a brief phoneconversation with Nagyi right before the visit if I had arrived home.
And what happened?
We continued everything exactly live like in e-mails before.
The situation was the same with Luky, just our first personal meeting was in Colmar, and we had communicated just once by phone before, but we met as we would have been old friends.
It didn't depend on the same culture/language, because my experience was quite the similar with Adrian, for example.
When I met him at the first time in Colmar after e-mailing, and foruming, I got to know the same, nice, modest caracter, whom I had known online.
In my opinion, if you can pay your attention, and senses strongly to an online person's e-mail/post, you can perceptive the main lines of their caracters.
Believe me, I have been communicating my father live since 42 years, face to face, but we often misunderstand each other very hard, and we can't always clear our misunderstandings up at all. perhaps cause being blind, I don't believe in the power of bodylanguage as much as you do, but do believe in power of words, evenif they are just written.