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Web Anxiety

2015-04-27 in Uncategorized

I think many people fear the World-Wide Web. My hunch is mainly based on the way people behave on websites like facebook.com: they may “like” if you add a comment, but if you write up an idea somewhere other than facebook and then post a link to what you wrote, they tend to be much less appreciative and/or supportive. I wonder why this is.

One explanation is: When someone writes a comment on someone else’s post, the person who started the post feels that they are being paid attention to (regardless of which website they post on — their own or someone else’s). Likewise: a link “away” from the post is interpreted as detracting from that post (and the post’s initiator may feel this detraction is taking attention away from them personally).

Of course: People could engage at many different locations, but there is an uncertainty involved in switching from one location to another. Whether rational or irrational, people appear to have trust in some locations more than in other locations (cf. Subjectivity + Rationality). In general, people seem to have little trust in locations they are not familiar with — and a generalized kind of web anxiety is a sign of a relatively low level of literacy (or “online literacy”) with respect to navigating the web.

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