The internet is a wonderful invention, thank you former Vice President Al Gore (said tongue in cheek)! I remember when the internet was just gaining speed. AOL was bringing internet to almost every household at an affordable rate and there was a frenzy of online activity from that point on.
The internet has become a wonderful avenue for information sharing. Being able to find anything from honey badgers to xenophobia online has been a blessing and a curse. You do have to be selective about what you take as fact (smile).
Something that has also started to occur with the advent of the internet is online relationships (scary music playing). Now instead of just talking to the people who live in your town or city you can talk to people three thousand miles away! The internet has been responsible for many friendships beginning (and ending) and as we have all heard on TV “1 in 5 relationships now begin on the internet”. What they do not say is 1 in 5 divorces now involve the internet – but why focus on the negative?
What is it about online relationships that people find appealing? In general, as humans, we have a need to connect with others and the online community does provide an avenue to accomplish that. Many good friendships have been born from online interactions. I know I have friends who I have met in the virtual world who are now very near and dear to me.
I truly believe that you can generate lasting friendships and even relationships from meeting online. The problem with this is that some people use the computer as a barrier.
For someone who cannot connect with people or who wants to keep themselves distant, the internet is the best place to talk to someone. You don’t actually have to be there for that person, support them, touch them, for all intents and purposes you don’t have to have a real relationship with them.
I feel the same way about long distance relationships. Phone calls can only go so far and the same applies to the internet. Even if you do know that person if you see each other every 3 months or so, how can you call that a real relationship? This comes from someone who does not understand how people can be in a relationship where one person is away or on the road most of the time. You don’t really know that person. All relationships that I have seen where one of the partners travels for the majority of the relationship have had problems adjusting if that person stops traveling. Most have lead to divorce because at the end of the day, they don’t really know each other.
It’s a wonderful way to just see the best in someone. If you only have to interact with them on the weekend or every three months, you will have the perfect relationship. This is the same principle that happens when you go on vacation. I live in Florida and people think this is some kind of paradise and they love coming here to visit Disney and romp in the sun. I live here every day and you know what? It sucks (shocked mummer rumbles through the crowd). YEAH I SAID IT!
I don’t care about the parks, it’s hotter then hell here in the summer, and I think maybe we’re trying to incubate our own viruses. However, if I visited here in the dead of winter from Maine THIS WOULD BE AMAZING! I would romp through the fields with Mickey singing love songs, and bake my butt in the sun!
This is the same concept for online relationships with people who have problems committing or loving someone else. That person gets the best of someone for the hour or two. You don’t have to deal with their problems, annoyances, and general life. You can turn off the computer and walk away. This does not apply if you actually have a relationship with someone face to face, where you have to wake up next to them every day, pick up their dirty socks, and watch them walk around in their underwear all weekend.
It’s a crutch for some and a way for people to take advantage of others who really believe that the person on the other end loves them.
This has never happened to me but I know of others that it has. The same rules apply though with online dating/relationships. You have to be safe and you have to take care of yourself. The biggest difference with online relationships friend or otherwise is that it is much easier for them to lie to you. Protect yourself and take a step back to look at the reality of what is in front of you.