Online Relationships

How many of you have met someone online for the first time? I know, I meet new people everyday via the internet. Sometimes, it’s a very short interaction and sometimes it turns into a long lasting friendship. We discussed in class how the internet facilitates our relationships in different ways, depending on the communication channel.

A relationship I have with someone on Twitter will probably be different than a relationship I have with someone on Facebook. We all know Twitter is used as a mini-blog. It is a mere short burst of information about a topic or yourself. Twitter is also used to communicate, but more for reacting to each other (in my opinion).In my mind, Facebook is used more for communication to your choice of audience. It’s like a thousand-way telephone call, except it’s written in pixels online. On Twitter, I can’t choose who follows me, but on Facebook, I can.

Some may think that Social Networking Sites are hurting human-kind’s communication skills, but I think we are improving them. We are just communicating through media, instead of in person or on the phone. I speak to more people online, than I would in person. Think of the internet as an “ice-breaker”. If you are shy and meet someone online first, it is likely that you will feel more comfortable when you finally see someone inperson.

When it comes to dating, there are tons of successful online dating success stories.

Online Success

As well as, online dating horror stories.

horror online dating

Online friendships, I think are the easiest to develop. Take me for example. Two years ago, when I began my licensing to become a group exercise instructor,I met a person through Twitter. I had hashtagged “#AFAA, which is the certification company I was going to test through. I was talking about how psyched and worried I was to take the exam. This person named @hydrofit tweeted me back, offering help to study. erin twitter

@Hydrofit was from California. Long story short, I thought @Hydrofit was a male, but actually was a female. Our friendship through Twitter grew and we became friends on Facebook. After, we became friends on facebook, we became actual friends. @HydroFit’s name is Erin, 43 years old. She is a group exercise instructor and personal trainer in Simi Valley, California. She is married with two kids. Erin and I, mostly only talk about fitness, but I consider her a great friend and mentor… Even though, we’ve never met in person. As trainers and instructors, we relate really well, because we experience the same things in our own clubs. She is always there to lift me up when I’m bummed about work.

Erin

Hi my name is Kristen and I met one of my best friends on Twitter. This summer, we are planning to meet with a bunch of other fitness fanatics in Dublin, Ireland to run a marathon.

Have you made friendships online? Were they successful or a waste of time?

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5 thoughts on “Online Relationships

  1. I agree that the Internet and social networking sites have made it easier to make relationships, although I don’t think it’s always a good thing. I usually like to meet someone in person before I add them on Facebook. I think that the show “Catfish” shows how dangerous online relationships can be, not necessarily physically but emotionally.

    http://www.mtv.com/videos/catfish-the-tv-show-ep-4-jasmine-mike/1698272/playlist.jhtml#series=2211&seriesId=39262&channelId=1

    This episode involves a woman named Jasmine who has carried on a relationship with a man named Mike for two years. She finally goes to meet him in person and learns that Mike is actually a woman named Mhissy who was pretending to be Mike in order to keep Jasmine away from her boyfriend. It turns out Mhissy’s boyfriend is Jasmine’s ex and Mhissy thought that giving her someone new to love would keep her from trying to get back with her ex. “Catfish” shows how twisted some people can be when given the opportunity. Although not every situation online turns out like this, people need to be careful with who they associate with online. The Internet provides people with a cover so they don’t have to be honest. Although the Internet is a great tool for forging new relationships, it can also be misused and cause a lot of harm.

  2. It saddens me sometimes to think about the online relationships that I have lost over the years. Before I was a member of social networking sites (before Facebook had been started) I had met a few people through message boards or chat rooms and mainly communicated with them through AIM or similar chat programs. Now that I do not use those programs regularly or even visit the same pages as when I was younger, I have lost all contact with some individuals. Maybe if the relationship were more deep I may have made a point to continue with a change in medium. Either way, it’s interesting to think about how technological changes do have some affect on our interpersonal relationships.

  3. I was actually about to post about the Catfish show as well since it is about online relationships. Meeting people online is very easy and kind of a relaxing way to talk to people. Because you dont have to respond right away or be awkward because the person is starring at you for an answer it helps you relax. I have met people online first and then met in person. The people that I have met on sites such as Facebook started off online but they were always because we had a mutual friend or many in common which led us to actually hanging out outside of the internet. I would say for people who are more shy this is a great way to meet new people especially people who share common interests such as you and your friend with the love of fitness and running. It is somewhat risky but I think it is a awesome way to connect with people not just in your state or country but people all over the world.

  4. Lacey,

    I totally agree. I myself have met people through the internet and have not been the same person in reality. The internet is like a light switch. It’s 50/50. It can go be a good thing or a bad thing. I like that you mentioned how dangerous in can be and not necessarily physically, but emotionally. You are so right. As a society that is mostly based with online communication, we have to try our best to sort through the people we meet. Not everyone’s relationship will be like mine and Erin’s. As well as, not everyone’s relationship will be like Jasmine’s. We have to use our instincts and brains to really learn about people online.

    Thank you for sharing!

  5. I remember way back in the era of AIM and message boards, that I became friends with at least 2 or 3 people whom I would chat with daily. There was never any actual planning of meeting, but we would talk constantly and write fan fiction for our favorite movies/video games (nerdy I know). This interaction helped me at a young age develop my writing skills, as well as talk with someone of a different culture/background (he was gay, and my first gay friend). All of these things are possible through the internet, which harkens back to that body-less utopian space early theorists had about the internet, however, this space also allows for bigotry and racism to flourish.

    Also, on the note of if social media is improving communication, I guess it just depends on how you want to look at it. If improved communication means a more widespread message then I would agree, but I think social media has ruined our evocative creative writing skills to the point where we are straight literal, we only communicate what we know and like.

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