Sometimes, I wish I had more opportunities to study, or to follow individual research projects. Just as an example, what is it that makes some music strike a chord with some people and just not at all with others? Or, why do I like certain colours and yet someone else cannot stand them. Positively. Aggressively. And again, why do some things make one person laugh like a drain and another does not even smile at the same joke or situation? I find it all quite fascinating, and would really love to research the questions of taste more.
I had a friend for a few years whose favourite word was 'crap' when he didn't like something. We didn't remain friends for all that long. Whenever I suggested it was just a matter of taste, that he didn't like it and that it didn't mean it was bad, he just used to clam up completely. By the way, this was usually connected to music, which, lets face it, is very much down to personal taste, but it would be interesting to know what triggers the things we like.
Another subject I would like to study is whether knowing someone personally makes a difference in their level of commitment to a relationship or action. My feeling is that it does, but I have no evidence to prove it either way. I only have my experience. My example here is something I will keep suitably vague for reasons of discretion. Not so long ago, I made a request for volunteers to conduct a certain research project for me. A number of people volunteered which I was really happy about. Some of them I knew personally, and others I knew through other means but hadn't had a personal interaction with them. There was a deadline to the project because I had to fulfil certain obligations by a certain date with the information they were going to give me. Of those who committed to the project, everyone I knew personally completed it. However, those who did not, and for whose results I am still waiting, are the ones outside my personal circle.
I find this very interesting. The point is, I did not ask any of them to participate in the project, they all volunteered. And yet, only those who'd had personal interaction with me completed. I am not upset, or even annoyed. I am just now interested from an objective point of view.
We all make so many contacts and friends on the Internet these days, so let's take this thought a bit further. To what extent can we consider friends we may have 'known' on the Internet for years, but never actually met, real friends?
I've been blogging since 2006, so there are some people I have 'known' via this medium and through Facebook and Twitter for a long time. I have shared and still share daily contact with them over the Internet. But I've never met them. On the other hand, I also have long standing 'real life' friends I have only occasional meetings with and our contact is rare, but they are very close to me. When I need help or some other support, and in spite of my fondness for my internet buddies, these real life friends are the people I will most likely call on. Why? Is it because I know and have met them personally? Is there something extra in the physical contact? So that is my question. To what extent is personal contact and interaction important in making commitments?
As I said at the beginning, it's just one of those subjects I'd like to make a study of.
Don't mind me...I'm just musing really :-)