News

Convocation speaker pushes ‘think before you click’ mindset

Stanford professor Dr. Elias Aboujaoude addresses the audience at the new student convocation on Friday. He discussed how the Internet can affect personality.  Hadley Jordan // Contributing Photographer 

Elias Aboujaoude asked a crowd of incoming freshmen at the new student convocation if they were familiar with “F?” – the text message equivalent of “are we still friends?”

Freshmen were dumbfounded.

Aboujaoude, a psychiatrist and associate clinical professor at Stanford University, told the crowd he received a text message from a younger relative after an argument they had.

In his lecture, Aboujaoude used the anecdote as an example of “e-language,” the language that most people use to communicate in the virtual world.

He explained that there is a draw to text message vocabulary like “F?” because it allows users to express complex feelings much more concisely, or what he called “regression” in his speech.

Aboujauode believes that this regression is inherent to technologies, like the Internet, by comparing a person’s interaction in the online world to the Freudian concept of the id, the most primal state of human personality.

To describe this concept, Aboujauode coined the term, “the dark side.”

“It takes more effort to do the right thing because it is difficult to self-police online,” he said in his address.

Author of “Virtually You: The Dangerous Powers of the E-Personality,” Aboujaoude expressed that the Internet creates a sort of “e-personality,” which differs from the way a person behaves in reality.

The danger of this virtual freedom causes these liberties to seep into the personality, forming Aboujauode’s theory of e-personalities.

In an interview held before the event, Aboujauode mentioned that he decided to write “Virtually You,” because not enough attention was being given to the dangers of Internet usage.

“There seemed to have been a love affair with the positives,” he said. “I instead wanted to trigger a debate, to think before you click.”

Considering the potential of online overspending and impulsive behavior on social media sites and email, Aboujauode hoped his freshmen audience takes the “think before you click” message to heart.

“They are the generation that does not know life before Google,” he said in an interview. “The Internet can both reward and punish, and one cannot take it for granted.”

In his speech, Aboujauode noted the positive influences technology has on communication today. He advocates for moderation and not total detachment from all technologies.

“We cannot be well-adjusted without email,” he said.

Aboujauode also spoke on the issue of social media privacy. In his speech, he stated that only 20 percent of people actually use privacy settings on Facebook.

As a result, freshman Katherine Lindblad plans to update her Facebook friends list.

“I have over 2,000 friends on Facebook, but I don’t even have 200 close friends,” she said. “It can be a safety hazard for so many to have access to personal information.”

Other freshmen may take more drastic steps.

Ari Mont is considering deactivating his Facebook account altogether.

“I thought the topic was relevant and modern,” Mont said. “It now seems unnecessary to carry extra weight online.”

August 19, 2012

Reporters

Alexander Gonzalez

Assistant Editor


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

Darrell Langham, the redshirt junior receiver who caused an uproar among Miami Hurricanes fans the p ...

This news release just in from the University of Miami, another impressive class about to be inducte ...

The University of Miami men’s basketball team got a welcome dose of good news on Monday night. Verno ...

After a disheartening week of practice injury-wise following the University of Miami’s victory at Fl ...

University of Miami’s highly-touted freshman Lonnie Walker, who had surgery for a torn right meniscu ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

A summer 2017 excursion unlike any other united a group of University of Miami students and faculty ...

Darrell Langham has been a hero twice this season, but his path to prominence has been a long one. ...

The University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame has announced the Class of 2018 inductees for the 50th A ...

Senior diver Wally Layland was recognized for her standout performance at the SMU Classic with ACC C ...

University of Miami freshman Lonnie Walker IV was among 20 players named to the watch list for the 2 ...

The Miami Hurricanes will begin preparation for the 2018 season when fall practice commences Wed., O ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.