Friday, February 16, 2007

Close your Skype eyes

Being on line with Skype most of the day (or should I say most of my present life) I observe old fashioned behaviours, dressed in a modern Skype coat.

In the old days, if you were not in the mood to answer a phone call for what ever reason, you just let it ring. Nobody knew for sure if you were indeed at home or not.
With Skype we are far more “visible” but can control much of our time with the on-line, DND, etc. icons. Also the mood message is very helpful.

Users are very inventive and come up with the most wonderful messages. About the weather, work related issues, quotes etc. We are not afraid to show our moods, not even when we are angry. A “nice to know” for those who had the intention to call us, they know it is better to wait a while.
You can view Skype mood messages at the “Moodgeist” site. Moodgeist is an experiment to show what’s currently happening in the “Skype Land” and what’s the Skype community’s “collective state of mind”.

When I started my telephone career in 1974, the word moodmessage was not even invented. People were less outgoing those days. So, did we change that much? Or are there still basic feelings left? Instincts?

Children and animals act far more instinctively then grown ups. According to Wikipedia, instinct is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. Instincts are generally inherited patterns of responses or reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. In humans they are most easily observed in behaviors such as emotions, sexual drive, and other bodily functions, as these are largely biologically determined. unless overridden by intelligence, which is creative and more versatile.

Intelligence comes with the years and can be sharpened by learning from life.
Children and animals react by their instinct. Their instinct is telling them what their intelligence can’t cover.
I have noticed instinctively behavior more then once working with a small animal Vet and a country Vet.
As soon as animals smell the practice or the Vet or they expect pain and fear, they panic. And if they can’t go anywhere and accept the one who is holding them as a stronger, read dominant, “animal”, they close their eyes.
If you close your eyes or like children also do, hide behind your hands, the others around you are gone. They disappeared and can’t hurt you anymore. If necessary, you can peep through your fingers or eyelashes. Prepared for the worst.

What is the relation to Skype?
Well, remember the status icons: on-line, away, not available, do not disturb and off-line.
Apart from the off-line icon, what ever your status is, you show you are still approachable, you still take the risk of being disturbed.
But with the off-line icon, you “close’ your eyes for the rest of the world. Others can’t talk to you because they think you are not there. And if they can’t talk to you, they can’t say things you don’t like to hear. If you are in a low mood, you don’t have to listen to funny jokes. If you are extremely busy, you can’t get upset by unwanted messages. If you feel hurt, they can’t reach you to hurt you even more.
So the off-line setting is a virtual close your eyes, hide behind your hands and still, if necessary, you can watch the behavior of your contacts....... prepared for the worst…...

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