With a background in psychology it was only natural for me to explore the psychology of cyberspace. My initial reaction when I thought of the Internet and how I interact with it on a daily basis, was “Well, there can’t be all that much to it”. My regular Internet experience is: I go online, check my emails, reply to friends comments on Facebook, stalk a few people’s pictures I haven’t seen in ages, join a couple of new groups, surf the net for stuff I am interested in, browse the shoe catalogues from my favourite stores, repeat a few of these steps a couple of times and close up the day with a few songs and videos I love on YouTube.
Doesn’t everyone do that?
D’oh, of course not. How naïve of me for saying and thinking that, that’s almost like saying there isn’t much to a Human being. I am sure my professors would shake their heads at me. I was flooded with excitement when I realized I could put my psychology knowledge to the test. Sure I had learnt various things about human behaviour that come with a standard psychology degree, and sure the Internet came up for group interaction discussions but I had never really thought of the connection it would have with the individual human use of cyberspace. I know it’s not uncommon for companies and people to try and manipulate others online but what I discovered was a whole new realm of psychology.
I wondered how I was going to apply this knowledge. After all, I am not Google and can’t track what every body is doing on the Internet. So I came to the conclusion that I would have to analyze myself.
I know, seems a bit odd and un-psychology like but my thoughts were that I don’t know anybody’s Internet behaviour better than my own.
Confirmation bias, fundamental attribution error, disinhibition effect, group dynamics, personality influences, online conflict resolution etc are terms that I will be talking about in future blogs. I will be taking each and applying it to my step-by-step online behavior.
Next weeks topic I will be talking about my first step on the Internet; checking my emails. What? Yes, emails. Wait until you hear the twist behind this one!