Mirriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary

1. One obtaining sexual gratification from seeing sex organs and sexual acts; broadly; one who habitually seeks sexual stimulation by visual means
2. a prying observer who is usually seeking the sordid or the scandalous
-Voyeurism - noun

A prying observer. Not a real flattering title, but what other way to describe what it is that occurs here - reading what other people write, anoymously, not having to respond or even have anyone know you've read it. Getting a window into other peoples lives, into other peoples heads. This goes beyond the traditional view on voyeurism (being a peeping tom) into something not often experienced by most people until now. Ah, the freedom the internet gives us. We node our daily lives, our random thoughts, our grief, our joy. We make it public, allow others to read and comment and even judge. At the same time, we read peoples daily lives, joys, sorrows, etc, without even knowing who they are, or meeting them outside of a chatroom. We don't have to get to know anything or anyone beyond what we're reading, we never need to know anything more about them then they share and we never know how true those things are.

Perhaps this lets us get out the desire for exhibitionism that we all seem to have, at least to some point. It goes beyond what a webpage allows, brings it out into a larger group of people, allows us to be still more anonymous. I can write up my thoughts on just about anything and know that someone will read them, and comment on them or disagree with them and possibly get a good laugh or idea out of them. At any rate, it's something I've been giving thought to. I never thought of myself as a voyeur, but I think I am. Innocent curiosity gone wild. A desire to connect, in some way, with as many people as possible.

A lack of a social life? No. I have a social life. I even make new friends on a fairly regular basis. Maybe a search for someone who can tell me something more about myself, or about my world that can enlighten me. Or simply a desire to not feel so alone in the world, to see and know that there are other people who think like I do, or completely unlike I do, that there is both sameness and diversity. Or it could just be Voyeurism- being a prying observer who is usually seeking the sordid or scandalous.

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