Friday, February 01, 2008


It's been a crazy week. My Monday alone was so busy, I woke up Tuesday morning convinced it was Saturday. It's a mostly good busy, but by definition, it's still, ummm, busy.

I'm teaching a new class on online interactions this semester and it is one of the most fun classes I've ever taught for undergraduates. On Thursday, several students (probably the ones who drink coffee) agreed with me that our class seems to really fly by. This week, we have been discussing the effects of personality characteristics on online behavior (not so much) and also how people play with their identities online, too (again, not so much). A lot of the perceptions of how freaky people are online comes from research in the 80's and 90's when the main people online were geeky engineers and computer science professionals. So the early research of Weird and Odd behavior online came from the Weird and Odd behavior of old school Geeks, not that the Internet makes people Weird and Odd (media overplaying of sensational stories, notwithstanding).

In any case, my students are starting to pick their topics for their class project and so far SEX ONLINE is winning by far. This is new territory for me. I usually teach about organizations and organizational psychology, so my main take on sex during my classes is "Sex at work is bad. Don't do it." I am having to push the students a bit about what they want to study about SEX ONLINE--deviance? Deception?? What exactly are they interested in with SEX ONLINE, because although it's an interesting topic "PEOPLE HAVE WEIRD SEX ONLINE" is not likely to lead to an interesting research paper.


Anywho, so what does this have to do with Scrabulous? Not much. And unless you belong to Facebook, you have no idea what I'm talking about. But I LOVE Scrabulous!!! It's an online scrabble game that you can play on Facebook and it is so much fun!! I win! I lose! I have a boatload of fun. I can usually make about one move a day which lengthens out the games. Nonetheless, playing Scrabulous alone is worth the effort of joining Facebook. Anyone can join, btw. And it's free. And you can play Scrabulous!!!

Which I am doing instead of working on a conference paper. Well, right now I'm blogging instead of working on a conference paper. But I was checking on my scrabulous game when I thought I'd check in with you, too.


fingerstothebone said...

Having been on usenet and then internet from the beginning, I'd have to say that through the 80's, I absolutely trusted anyone on the net to be who and what they said they were. We made friends, visited each other, even stayed with people we met on the net, with no concerns that people might be Weird or Odd, or at least Weird or Odd in ways not represented by what they said they were. You certainly can't count on that now.

I think there's a lot more intentional deception now than back when it was mostly the domain of engineers and computer people. But I imagine the research results heavily depend on what constitute 'freaky', 'weird', and 'odd'.

Anonymous said...

So, for a 14 year old boy, I guess I've been pretty convincing in this middle-aged woman persona, eh?

(Anonymous to Blogger again...from Maui :-)