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Thread: Question about Americans and the Internet

  1. #1

    Question about Americans and the Internet

    Hey! I recently thought to myself, that there are a lot of misunderstandings in the online world because most of the English-speaking part of it mainly consists of Americans (or so it seems to me).

    There always seem to be distinct points in online discussions, no matter the topic, where a poster makes a specific comment, and most other posters (no matter whether they agree or disagree) seem to know what this is about, leaving me quite stumped. Or even worse, when I don't notice a discussion is developing into that direction.

    So, for the question: Is there a source on the Internet that discusses this topic and can give hints on how to avoid this (short of simply digesting all of American culture :P)? I looked around myself and didn't find anything

  2. #2

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by zemo View Post
    Hey! I recently thought to myself, that there are a lot of misunderstandings in the online world because most of the English-speaking part of it mainly consists of Americans (or so it seems to me).

    There always seem to be distinct points in online discussions, no matter the topic, where a poster makes a specific comment, and most other posters (no matter whether they agree or disagree) seem to know what this is about, leaving me quite stumped. Or even worse, when I don't notice a discussion is developing into that direction.

    So, for the question: Is there a source on the Internet that discusses this topic and can give hints on how to avoid this (short of simply digesting all of American culture :P)? I looked around myself and didn't find anything
    Not sure where you're from, but is there a site that does what you're asking about for YOUR country; that covers every pop-cultural/political/historical/regional reference that might be commonplace and unremarkable to you but not to outsiders?

    I suspect that, in any case like this, Google (and POSSIBLY Wikipedia) will be your best bet when you run into such a reference.

  3. #3

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by CutterMike View Post
    Not sure where you're from, but is there a site that does what you're asking about for YOUR country; that covers every pop-cultural/political/historical/regional reference that might be commonplace and unremarkable to you but not to outsiders?

    I suspect that, in any case like this, Google (and POSSIBLY Wikipedia) will be your best bet when you run into such a reference.
    That's actually a good idea, thanks

  4. #4
    Gunsel Karen El's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by CutterMike View Post
    Not sure where you're from, but is there a site that does what you're asking about for YOUR country; that covers every pop-cultural/political/historical/regional reference that might be commonplace and unremarkable to you but not to outsiders?
    The problem is that the internet is dominated by Americans. Many of whom also assume that everyone else on the net is American. Thus you can get accused of not being patriotic for not supporting some policy of a country you've never set foot in.
    Real friends don't blow up your pony.

  5. #5

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    But note that most Americans will be as clueless about your culture as you are about theirs. It's cool just to ask if you don't know.

  6. #6
    Gunsel Karen El's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend Smooth View Post
    But note that most Americans will be as clueless about your culture as you are about theirs. It's cool just to ask if you don't know.
    Three months of watching the Rachel Maddow show convinces me that many Americans are clueless about their own culture, let alone anyone else's.
    Real friends don't blow up your pony.

  7. #7

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Three months of watching the Rachel Maddow show convinces me that many Americans are clueless about their own culture, let alone anyone else's.
    Just the idiots. Despite Jerry Springer, not all Americans are a bunch of conservative, hateful yahoos. Particularly on YABS.

  8. #8

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Three months of watching the Rachel Maddow show convinces me that many Americans are clueless about their own culture, let alone anyone else's.
    There are a lot of different cultures in America, given that it's such a huge and diverse place, so I'm not surprised.

  9. #9
    Right Guy Dream's Avatar
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    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Quote Originally Posted by Karen View Post
    Three months of watching the Rachel Maddow show convinces me that many Americans are clueless about their own culture, let alone anyone else's.
    That's hardly fair to judge us on.

  10. #10

    Re: Question about Americans and the Internet

    Well, my main problem is actually the racism thing. Some things about this simply baffle me, like black people being really REALLY aggressive about even the slightest perceived racial slur. And then I hear that there are people actually walking up to a black person in the USA only to touch their hair. It's just not my sphere of existence, I sometimes think.

    Some time ago I seemingly upset someone by calling blacks "coloured", a term that is completely normal to use in Germany, where I'm from. Well, obviously the German equivalent.

    It's things like this that make me unsure, because I am just not on the same page as a lot of other people. Not that I deny that there is racism in Europe, it's just a very different kind, I gather, so one can't really extrapolate.

    Additionally, cultural insider jokes go way over my head. Here's a little factoid: GI Joe never was broadcasted in Germany. >_>

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