On Line Chatting: A Way Of Recreating

Personal Relationships



Internet, a new mass media communication device, has made possible, through different tools and services, a new way of establishing relationships. The most widely used channels are E-mail, MUD, WWW and IRC. For the purpose of our research we will concentrate on IRC use because it allows its users to interact in real time. Internet, in many ways postmodernity’s icon, allows people to depict the world under the broad perspective of some form of cultural integration while at the save time deconstructing the conventional space-time notion. This view or representation is construed and constructed as fragmentation and chaos since the large-scale flow of information makes the emergence of local narratives something to which anybody can gain access to in spite the fact that, even with some account of global awareness, the subject or user still remains immersed in his or her own microcosm. In this context, how do cybernauts understand relationships established through a chat-line? How do they perceive themselves while at it? Different interactions give rise to different peculiarities?

We will try to answer these question in order to understand the meaning and significance that cybernauts give or construe to the interpersonal relationships they establish through IRC and project this knowledge as a possible field of study for Psychology.

This work makes part of a Research on Psychology and Culture done by the Psychology Faculty of Universidad Santo Tomás.