Decades later, the Internet is still a controversial subject, but one that has brought us closer as well. While some people advocate that it makes us friendlier and helps us make more friends easier, others claim that it alienates true human relationships and endangers true communication between us. However it may work for each individual, the Internet is here to stay, and it has already shaped the years that have passed. In this article we are going to talk about online relationships and how to approach them; in this day and age it is impossible to avoid meeting new people online on blogs, forums, social networks or dating websites. And although you may have the best of intentions, you never know about the person sitting behind that other screen, which is why precaution must be applied.
Truth or Dare?
For many people, online dating has been the much-needed help for meeting someone; today there are many happy couples that have met on the Internet, subsequently got married and made a family. But not everyone is that lucky with online relationships, and there have been shocking cases as well, with young girls being tricked by older men into believing they were the same age. It is true that the anonymity of the Internet could cause people to be more truthful about themselves, or to tell more, but the same anonymity makes others create new personalities for themselves, or lying simply to get something out of credulous people. So next time when you are talking with someone new on the internet, pay careful attention to anything they say and ask them questions about themselves; although it can be easier to lie on the Internet, you may be able to catch them off-guard and tell whether they’re lying or not.
Virtual is Real
You have to remember that what goes on in the virtual world can have consequences in the real world, so you must establish rules for every online relationship you have. That being said, you have to try to keep a distance when you’ve just met someone, and not to give out any important personal information like address, telephone number, social security number and so on. Even in real life, trust takes time to establish, and it must be gained, not offered. It is important to trust your instincts with an online relationship, especially if you are looking for someone special.
Establish a Connection
While an online relationship may be someone’s only connection with another person it is still recommended to be prudent; one way to build up trust is to use webcams and microphones to have a face to face discussion with the other person. If they refuse, then they have something to hide, or they have been lying about who they are; having friends from other countries and cultures can really expand our horizons and way of thinking, but you have to make sure that you can trust the other person. It is more difficult to lie to someone’s face, so an online webcam chat can really give you important pointers about who the other person is. And if you also want to meet, do it only after several months of discussions, and only in a public space.
You can even ask a friend to accompany you so you won’t be alone, or let someone know where you went and who you are meeting. If you are a minor, talking with strangers can be even more dangerous, so you need to make sure you are discussing with someone your own age. All in all, online relationships have advantages and disadvantages, and they can be as risky as real life interactions.