I m sure you ve just been happening to be flipping through the television channels on any given day sometime during the morning hours and caught a glimpse of Oprah s latest special entitled Beware of Chatroom Stalkers or something to that effect. Maybe you decided to watch for a few minutes just to see what those sickos on the internet are up to now, as my mother often has. You probably witnessed some poor 13-year old girl sobbing about how she was taken advantage of by some guy she dated on the internet and then decided to meet. I thought I knew, she sobs. I just had no idea what a bad person he really is. He seemed so nice on the computer The fact of the matter is that, had she been smart, she could have avoided that situation entirely by arranging to bring a friend with her and/or meet this guy in a very public place where nothing like that could have transpired. In all actuality, internet relationships can be very, successful and in some cases they even lead to marriage and children. Many times, these talk shows tend only to report about the internet horror stories rather than the success stories.
Online dating has its plusses. Talking to someone extensively over a computer gives you a chance to get to know the person on a very intimate level. This, in turn, allows you to form a valid opinion of the person without physical appearance ever being a factor. They know nothing of what you look like aside from what you ve told them or any pictures they ve seen. By the time you and your friend think you know each other well enough to meet, chances are you ve already formed an everlasting friendship, if nothing else. You re already very comfortable with the person, as they know many personal secrets about you, and therefore you re not as self-conscious as you would be with a total stranger. If you re suddenly surrounded with people you don t know, you feel pressed to behave a certain way so as not to make a bad impression. But since someone you ve talked to online for a long period of time already knows how you are and how you react to certain situations, there s no reason to feel shy.
Everyone needs someone to whom they can truthfully speak and with whom they can share important information. In some cases, people just don t feel like they fit in where there are, or they don t have any friends close enough in whom to confide or with whom they have anything in common. I know I don t know many people at Twin Falls High School that I would consider a close friend. Sometimes, though, things happen about which you have to talk to someone. Not everyone is comfortable with speaking face-to-face with someone they may or may not know about their innermost thoughts and feelings. It s much easier for me (and many others, I m sure) to write or type their feelings without having to speak to an actual person. Also, for some people it may be beneficial to know that the person in whom you are confiding is hundreds or thousands of miles away and has no direct impact on your life at school or work or wherever you may have to be during the day. A person on the other side of the continent is more able to give you honest feedback and opinions about the situation, as they are viewing it from a totally different perspective as would be a friend or someone you know from school. Another factor in choosing a good person in whom to confide is determining someone who has views like your own. One is much more likely to find a person with similar interests in a pool of millions of people (like the internet) than one is to find a person of the same qualities in a select few hundred people all of which have adopted the ways of mind of the area (like school).
Although the distance of an internet relationship may seem to some like a drawback, to others it is a definite attribute. Some people are very uncomfortable with the idea of a traditional boyfriend or girlfriend because they have an aversion to being touched. For this type of person, a long-distance relationship is ideal. He or she can get to know the person without the opportunity for actual contact ever presenting itself. From the conclusions drawn about the other person, he or she may then decide whether or not this is a person they d feel comfortable allowing to touch them. This would occur before the opportunity arose and the net person s feelings were hurt because he or she wasn t allowed to hug the person with the aversion to human contact. If the person is indeed someone they felt they were comfortable enough with to hug or even kiss, he or she may agree to meet the person. If the two people met up and stayed in a very public place, most of the dangers would be avoided. There is a much lesser chance of rape, premarital sex, and pregnancy when one s significant other lives hundreds of miles away. Not to mention the peace of mind one feels knowing he or she never has to feel guilt for not letting his or her boyfriend/girlfriend touch him or her because the opportunity isn t even there and won t be until he or she decides to allow it to be.
If you think about it, there are several more reasons to support online dating than there are reasons not to. They don t always end in heartache, incarceration, or death like some people seem to think. Many people have found a successful relationship with a person they met on the internet. They say that they are happier than they have ever been and it s all thanks to online dating.