Mar 31, 2014

The Avatar We Have Is Fascinating Me

My neighbors came around the other day for dinner and I had privilege to talk to their 10 year old daughters interest and what games she plays. She told me that she is playing an online game in which she has created a character for herself. I know about Second Life and how it works but I was curious to hear what a 10 year old girl thinks about it. She told me that they (with her friend) just bought a house and will be renovating. Me being a curious creature, I kept asking her questions about her out of world experience. She went on for a while about it and it was fascinating to see the way she was describing it.

The summary of the conversation was that, she was able to do so many things in the virtual world which she was not capable of doing in real world as a 10 year old.

After that, I’ve been thinking that we all have two selves or an extended self now a days. (Defining SELF is also very complicated so I’ll ponder around that may be later.)

So the thought or theory or whatever you like to call is like this..

Since the beginning of Internet (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Second life and X and Y and Z…).We’ve been able to create another self of ours or extend it. It is like having our own shadow (Avatar), who can behave and act completely different as soon as we go on the internet.

The definition of our online self, which is normally referred to as Avatar is: In computing, an avatar (usually translated from Sanskrit as incarnation) is the graphical representation of the user or the user's alter ego or character. It may take either a three-dimensional form,[1] as in games or virtual worlds, or a two-dimensional form as an icon in Internet forums and other online communities.

There are few things I observe going on …

We are not confined by social norms, age or gender in the virtual world. The second self is not limited to the social norms. What I mean by that is, On the Internet you can be (almost) say or do what you like. There are no cops or legal system. You are able to swear and give your opinions about a government or leader, which normally you don’t in real world or if you do then there is risk of having legal consequences. You can show your anger and frustration about your neighbors or council or friends, which you might not do in your physical world. It just fascinating what you can do. As I describe earlier a 10 year old can buy and sell house or have relationship. So there is no Age restrictions on the internet. Facebook has age restriction but I see lots of kids younger than the age limit on it.

You might be able to pretend that you are more generous, kind or a philosopher (like I do), extrovert on the internet, while you might be a completely different person in reality.

Mar 21, 2014

Do you really want to do this? Just Talk?

So after reading that “Happy couples talk 5 more hours a week” in “21 Facts ThatWill Change Your Relationship Forever”.

I tried to do this experiment with +Bhavika (my wife). Experiment was to talk without any distractions.

Don’t get me wrong, we talk all day about all sorts of things but there has been hardly anytime just dedicated for talk (since the kids at least). There is hardly time sitting down without TV or Kids or iPAD  or Book or brochure or Lunch/Dinner or something which is taking our attention.

So I told Bhavika, tonight once kids go to bed we are going to seat and talk, and she laughed. I said yes TALK

So after the daily routine finished.

I asked “ Do you really want to do this? It just feels weird.”
And she goes yes..
But what we are going to talk ...i asked
She goes, I don't know.

So we set down and talked for half hour on many things…it felt like an achievement. At times we did get stuck at times as the environment was created after long time. 

But for sure it was great experiment and I can say definitely it will improve our relationship if we keep doing this regularly. We exchange our thoughts, interest, what is going on in day to day life. How we want to do things in the future?. The key was we were listening to each other without distraction. 

To conclude, I feel the research finding are correct and chat with your partner does make your relationship happier.

Happiness is not something you find, it is something you create
Happiness is not something you find, it is something you create

Mar 6, 2014

The Formation of Love on Facebook

Facebook Data Scientist published recently some analysis on how the social media interaction takes shape before and after relationship starts. Its amazing what social media can tell.

During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts ("day 0"), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world.

We observe a general increase [in sentiment] after the relationship's ‘day 0,’ with a dramatic increase in days 0 and 1!” he says. Here’s a chart describing that change:

The analysis only looked at couples who “declared an anniversary date” between April 2010 and October 2013, not just those who changed their relationship status. For the sentiment analysis, it focused only on English-speaking users.

Thanks +The Atlantic