FOM: e-mail psychology

Reuben Hersh rhersh at
Wed Mar 18 12:36:48 EST 1998

A while back I received a message explaining the difference between
FOM, F.O.M., fom and f.o.m.  Regrettably, I forgot which was which.

The following information I think is not about FOM or F.O.M. but
rather about "fom" or possibly "f.o.m.", as the case may be.

"When you type mail into the computer you feel you can say 
anything...sometimes it gets pretty personal...I don't feel I am even 
typing...I am thinking it, and there it is on the screen..."

Turkle, S. 1984  The second self. page 211  Simon & Schuster, New York

"An increased sense of self-focus may lead e-mail users to reveal their 
own positions, without a great need to support or explore them, as this 
would require an understanding that other people's perspecties are 
important and that they may be quite different from their own...This 
could lead to an escalating cycle of conflict and disagreement, and it 
could increase the display of affect and uninhibited behavior 
characteristic of computer uses."

Matheson, K. & Zanna, M.  1990  Computer-mediated communications:  The 
focus is on me.  Social Science Computer Review:  8:  1-13,  page 9.

See also Kiesler, Siegel & McGuire, Amer. Psych., 39:1123-34

See also Kiesler, Zubrow, Moses & Geller, Human-Computer Interaction 1:77-104

See also Sproull & Kiesler, Brit. J. Soc. Psych 29:121-34.

"A hint to the wise is sufficient."

"But to the foolish...."

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