Well here's one every geek
out there knows and loves.
Can also manifest itself in the forms:
- hiding your emotions behind irc
- hiding your emotions behind icq
The jury is still out there on whether expressing your emotions electronically is good or not. I happen to believe that it's the same as doing it any other way; there is both a good side and a bad side.
The various forms of communication available on the internet all posess a commonality in that they lessen the fear someone might experience at the thought of rejection. It is this safety from alienation that allows people to express themselves to a greater extent through electronic means.
I know this is true because I spent the better part of my high school life talking to a friend whom I'd never met IRL but knew for several years on irc, receiving counselling on various personal problems. We discussed everything ranging from girls to goth culture, and I gained much valuable insight into life. The lack of a "face across the table" gave me the ability to say things that I wouldn't normally say, and the time it took me to type something gave me a chance to think about what I was saying and really explore what I felt.
The fact that you can hide behind a screen/alias/nick/uin may give people the courage to pull things out of themselves that they normally wouldn't, but the fact of the matter is that these things might not be constructive. The aforementioned lack of a "face across the table" sometimes causes people not to think before they type, saying things they probably wouldn't IRL, and for good reason.
Also, the time it takes to type also prevents people from blurting out things that they normally wouldn't say because of shyness, defensiveness, or just general discontent. All of this adds up to provide a hole that someone can hide in, masking their true emotions and stifiling any chance they may have at improving their situation.
All in all, I believe that using electronic communication to provide some sort of emotional cover can be a good thing, when used properly.
You have the power, use it wisely.
Sidenote: This is my very first node. Please be gentle :)