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    #185439 - 03/20/14 09:05 PM Can an online peer group substitute?
    JonahSinick Offline

    Registered: 07/28/13
    Posts: 51
    The gifted population is thinly distributed around the world. As a result, many gifted children have trouble finding in-person peers who share their intellectual interests.

    For some gifted children this is a serious problem, resulting in them feeling very isolated, and even suffering from depression. Other gifted children are socially well adjusted and are happy to interact with their peers around non-intellectual interests, but still wish that they had people with whom to talk about their intellectual interests.

    Nowadays people with unusual interests are sometimes able to find others who share them online even when they don't find them in person. For example, some research mathematicians who are interested in socializing around math congregate around MathOverflow.

    It's often advised that children under the age 13 don't interact with strangers online, but I also know that there are a few communities like IGGY designed for gifted children. Some children who are interested in math interact on Art of Problem Solving is

    How far do such communities go toward meeting gifted children's social needs? How far could they go? Is there room for improvement?
    Advising for gifted children available at Cognito Mentoring.

    #185450 - 03/21/14 05:03 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    JonLaw Offline

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics

    No, an online peer group will not substitute.

    #185540 - 03/21/14 03:37 PM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    binip Offline

    Registered: 03/10/14
    Posts: 96
    I do not believe that an online peer group is a substitute for an in-person peer group.

    From online dating first meets to Reddit meet-ups, I cannot think of a single time that online socialization came close to real socialization, and I love the Internet. I met my partner online.

    However great online socialization is, it's very one-dimensional compared to personal human interaction.

    Edited by binip (03/21/14 03:38 PM)

    #185554 - 03/21/14 07:08 PM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    HowlerKarma Offline

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Nope-- not the same. I wish.

    On the other hand, I do also believe that SOME specialty online communities that serve as a support network for those who lives life as misunderstood minorities within their "real" lives-- that an online community can be a very valuable tool in coping.

    I run one that functions that way-- I've known some of those parents since 2000. I've met some of them in person, and I consider one of them a close friend, even. They are ALL exactly who they present as in that forum. But that's a unique situation, much like this forum is-- everyone is there because of a shared life-challenge, and it's one that places us under a lot of stress and is isolating IRL.
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

    #185556 - 03/21/14 07:40 PM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    JonahSinick Offline

    Registered: 07/28/13
    Posts: 51
    I personally have made several very close friends online, but I know that my experience is atypical.
    Advising for gifted children available at Cognito Mentoring.

    #185563 - 03/22/14 02:42 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: solaris]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    I would have a problem if people changed their names randomly too. I guess it isn't a good substitute but it would be better than nothing maybe.

    #185564 - 03/22/14 04:18 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    ColinsMum Offline

    Registered: 09/19/08
    Posts: 1898
    Loc: Scotland
    Most of my closest friends are people I met online - and several of my closest IRL friends are people I got close to through emailing them when we were apart. I find it easier to open up in text than in speech.

    I don't think it would work for my DS yet, though. Typing is too hard for him as yet.
    Email: my username, followed by 2, at google's mail

    #185566 - 03/22/14 06:28 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    lilmisssunshine Offline

    Registered: 03/01/13
    Posts: 163
    I think it's important to have some IRL friends, but that online friends are a good stand-in too.

    When I first had my son, I was living far away from any support network. I didn't have any friends or family around. My online moms' groups saved me from total insanity.

    Like ColinsMum, I have a lot of close friends that I met online. Some I met online, then in person, and now we keep in touch online. Some online friends I've never met in person.

    When it comes to our kids, though, I think of this more as something to be done in the teenage years. For example, a group met through an online course; or the friends they meet at a summer camp program far from home.

    #185569 - 03/22/14 09:01 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    aquinas Offline

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2277
    I've made some lovely friends here and have sustained friendships over long distances online. I think it depends on the person's willingness and ability to be open through unconventional means of communication.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    #185574 - 03/22/14 11:29 AM Re: Can an online peer group substitute? [Re: JonahSinick]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    What works for adults doesn't necessarily work for kids, because they just don't have the same level of social skills to make it work. And online communities of adults often melt down in spectacular fashion.

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