The study of Psychology has claimed yet another field of study in its already diverse collection. Jumping off from its studies within the “real” world, it has for a while been busy minutely analyzing human behavior in the newest media, within the “virtual” world, the Internet as represented by its many facets such as the worldwide web, emails, chat rooms, and of course, the current rage, the blogs.
From its initial strides in the 70s to the present, it has already accumulated an impressive storehouse of data on human behavior within these media. In my personal judgment, one of its more significant findings has been that unlike the previous media studied such as radio and TV where the participants’ interaction have been essentially one of passivity and lack of control, these new media accord the participants the abilities to develop and control the form and substance of human behavior.
We ought to take the helms then, and assist in laying the groundwork where the full potentials of good human behavior can blossom.
In starting toward this end, let me borrow some words from a 15th century mystic, Thomas a Kempis, to throw in as cautionary advice. This is from his work, My Imitation of Christ (translated), Chapter 10, and under the heading, Avoiding Superfluity of Words, and I quote:
If it be lawful and expedient to speak,
speak those things which may edify.
A bad custom, and the neglect of our spiritual
advancement, are a great cause of our keeping
so little guard upon our mouth.
Initial recommendation for a good read would be the book, Psychology of the Internet, by Patricia Wallace.