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About jonbirch

animator, illustrator, character designer, graphic designer. music producer/recording musician. co-owner of PROOST. proost.co.uk
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30 Responses to 371

  1. Pingback: The Web Is Not Virtual : David Lee King

  2. Carole says:

    Ain’t it just the truth. No matter how much we start off doing the anonymous persona thing, ultimately the urge to relate becomes irresistible.


  3. jonbirch says:

    yep… and there are plenty doing the anonymous persona in many other aspects of life. it’s no more virtual than putting pen to paper or any other human communications device.

  4. AnneDroid says:

    mm.. interesting. I guess you’re quite right. People can maybe be less honest in everyday reality than in “virtual” reality, where they maybe feel freer to be themselves. I don’t know.
    Yet why do I feel when I’m on the computer I’m escaping from the “reality” of housework?!

  5. sarah says:

    Absobloodylutely Jon.

    My one wish is to meet you all in person.

    We have a real community going here, let’s protect it in truth and love.

    Sarah x

  6. Chris F says:

    The only virtual reality is the illusions I still have about my self

  7. sarah says:

    Too true, Chris, too true. :-)

    Sas x

  8. jonbirch says:

    chris f… “The only virtual reality is the illusions I still have about my self”… brilliant! absolutely right! wish i’d said that! :-)

    annedroid… it is, atleast, a ‘real’ distraction from the housework. :-)

    sas… thanks for the positive vibe friend! :-)

  9. sarah says:

    You’re welcome mate.

    Sas x

  10. Dan says:

    Your a funny man.

  11. su says:

    it’s such a hook though

  12. Steve says:

    Interesting cartoon jon. Stirred the old brain cells considerably… Regardless of the “virtual” tag we tend to behave differently in cyberspace and often not to the benefit of others. I know I do (and often regret it) and it worries me greatly. My kids and their friends say all sorts to things to each other on MSN/Bebo/Myspace etc that they would never dare to in the same room. Using carefully chosen photos and tag lines to present themselves as beautiful people. Playing politics with blocking and side conversations. To some of them its a reality they cant actually sustain in real life.

  13. sarah says:

    Su- it is a hook, it must be something about the medium – maybe telly was like that at the beginning. Thing to do is be very self-disciplined intit.

    Steve :-( – children being insecure.

    Let’s set an example by our actions.

    When it stops being truly life-giving, go off and do something else (I find it difficult too, intit strange).

    Sas x

  14. Caz says:

    I wanted to write a poem about this sort of thing not long ago, and I struggled to put into words what I meant and just gave in.

    This sums it all up perfectly! Great stuff :)

  15. su says:

    thanks Sas, it’s easy to feel I shouldn’t use blogs/emails to build friendships with, as its ‘virtual’, but it’s a practical way of talking to people in a busy world.

    I do really like hearing people’s news on this site

  16. Robb says:

    The only probelem is that virtuality is easy to abuse. Last week I had to have a bebo site dedicated to harrassing and threatening me removed. Somehow a kid had found a pic of me on the internet and set it up. Then others used the site to attack me and threaten to kill me. Virtual? No, real.

  17. Steve says:

    Considerable more scope for bullying in cyberspace. You can get at the victim 25 hours a day and never ever have to show your face.

  18. sarah says:


    I’m really sorry about that. I’m glad you got it removed.

    We do have to be very careful.

    Sas x

  19. jonbirch says:

    the nature of reality is certainly a bit different online. it’s true it’s easier to bully, it’s true it possible to present yourself in a chosen light, i guess it’s easier to tell lies online too… after all, who’s gonna check? but maybe for some anonymity makes it possible to be more honest. but like robb says… it’s all very real.
    i once engaged with right wing fundies online and got a total battering, or at least that’s how it felt. i’ve become much more cautious with blogs as a result of the vulnerability it stirred up in me… all very real indeed.
    i’m very grateful for the way people contribute on this blog. it feels very real and honest. i will do my best to protect it and i know others will too. as steve says, it is possible to forget that the people we meet online are real. we are still relative novices at this kind of communication… but we do have some power to shape our corner of the internet and that i find exciting.
    once again, thanks all for the thoughtful and inspiring commenting. the blog becomes more enjoyable as time roles on. my only issue is… what happens if i run out of cartoons?… i’ll just have to try not to! :-)

  20. jonbirch says:

    caz and dan… thanx! :-)

  21. Robb says:

    I was talking about this with some real people I met from flickr in the pub the other day (because of my experiences at the time). People are much less savvy with their online skills as they should be. When I went to bebo (the teenage myspace) I saw pupils I know in real life saying things that they are too chicken to do face to face. They were posting mobile phone numbers and all with their real name next to it. It was a) a paedo’s best find and b) police actionable.

    I don’t think that people realise that when they start with the internet they are effectively blurring the boundaries between each part of their lives. They got a pic of me that I published myself on flickr. If they wanted to do something I actually care about they could just google me and find links to my blog, the diocese website etc… etc… etc….

    To be honest it didn’t really bother me as I got to make some of the more unpleasant members of the school squirm. They didn’t like the fact that I was better at it than them or that I thought they were pathetic trying to bully a 29 year old!

  22. jonbirch says:

    good man robb! :-)

  23. Carole says:

    Robb, sorry to hear about the hassle that you’ve had. But you have raised some really interesting points. Although nobody has been able to prove anything, Bebo and the like have recently been implicated in a cluster of teen suicides in South Wales. This talk of internet suicide pacts may just be sensationalism but as earlier commenters have said, this internet thing can suck you in (I know I spend far too much time on my computer – worse since I acquired a laptop and can sit in the living room tapping away!) A person I know recently had a teaching placement effectively ruined because he mentioned a lack of support for him at the school on Facebook. When asked for the name, he naively gave it on a friends wall. The school had been checking up on him. He hadn’t said anything abusive but they saw it as a betrayal of trust. They really had to dig to find that out. Personally, I find that kind of behaviour as unscrupulous as what they were accusing him of.

    When I worked in the secondary school, we regularly had to get videos of teachers/classes recorded on phones removed from youtube. No doubt, Robb, you are familiar with ratemyteacher.co.uk. That caused plenty of upset, too. We do have to be cautious in how we use the ‘net.

  24. jonbirch says:

    blimey!… what about the schools betrayal of trust towards the person you know? sounds like spying which is far worse in my book. clearly the person was right to suspect the scool of not supporting them if that is how the school behaves… however, not very savvy of the teacher it has to be said. and i guess if i were a headmaster who suspected something sinister about an employee i might check them out thoroughly. hmmmmph.

  25. Robb says:

    The school environment has more backstabbing going on than enough. Sounds like they didn’t like him and wanted a reason to do him. I get bored of the lack of support that most teachers are given by coleagues. In my experience in a variety of secondary schools, people want to make themselves look better by slagging off other staff around them.

  26. jonbirch says:

    that’s sad. :-(

  27. sarah says:

    Rob :-( Carole

    Thoughts are with you in your profession – be savvy!

    Sas x

  28. Blimey Robb :-( All the best mate.

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