The outcome of bargaining or negotiations carried out online are more likely to be considered successful when there is some distance, or at least a perception thereof, between the parties concerned.
Negotiations that take place over computer, without face-to-face contact, have more chance of success when those negotiating think there is greater physical distance between each other. That’s according to Marlone Henderson who says the new finding is compatible with Construal Level Theory. This is the discovery that people think about things more abstractly when they perceive that they’re further away in time or space. In terms of negotiations, thinking more abstractly is beneficial because it encourages negotiators to reflect on and express their underlying motives and priorities.
The term “in real life” – or IRL – has always bothered me – personally I prefer say I’m either online or offline (where real/reality is seldom a part of either domain…) – but I really cannot fathom how online activity is any less “real” than what we do offline.
If we still refer to the offline world as “real life,” it’s only a sign of deep denial – or unwarranted shame – about what reality looks like in the 21st century. The Internet’s impact on our daily lives, experiences and relationships is real. Our world is deeply affected by networks. From the moment you wake up to news that was gathered online to the minute you fall asleep listening to a podcast, the Internet shapes how you experience the world around you. From the lunch date you make with your BFF (“r u free 4 lunch 2day?”) to the colleagues your company recruited online, the Internet shapes who you interact with. And from the boss who fills you in on a Twitter rumor to the kid who fills you in on her Facebook activities, the Internet shapes how you interact with them.
The expectation of complete online anonymity will become increasingly unsustainable as regulation, and steps to combat cyber-crime, intensify.
The truth of the matter is, the Internet is still in its Wild West phase. To a large extent, the law hasn’t yet shown up. Yet as more and more people move to town, that lawlessness is becoming a bigger and bigger problem. As human societies grow over time they develop more rigid standards for themselves in order to handle their increased size. There is no reason to think the Internet shouldn’t follow the same pattern.