Virtual Love

 

Although this meme is meant to be funny, it actually can be a good description of an internet relationship. All you need is a computer and two people, and sometimes you are not even sure if the other person is really just a computer as well. In reading  “Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships” Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson analyze, compare, and contrast online relationships and in-person relationships. They discuss some pros of online relationships, such as more confidentiality, convenience, confidence, and gender equality, as well as some cons, such as a lack of physical contact, intimate connection, and real world communication skills. Online relationships introduce a whole new level of dating. Not only can you choose from thousands of profiles from the click of a mouse, you can conceal your actual identity as well. It complicates things because you never know who is at the other end of the computer screen. It could be your soul mate, or it could be your worst nightmare. In a nutshell, there is a lot of gambling in online dating in my opinion.

On the other hand, you can be more confident about yourself, be able to date anytime and anywhere, choose who you want to date and be hooked up with someone with similar interests. The growth of technology, the human population, and accessibility to that technology and the internet means that online dating will most likely continue to grow and expand and will become a major consideration for dating in the near future.

The short film “Noah” definitely shows how technology affects us. Noah was jealous and skeptical of his girlfriend and virtually “ended” his relationship with her with little contact with her, and worse, by hacking into her account. The use of technology meant word spread nearly instantly and Noah and his girlfriend’s relationship ended in a matter of minutes over something that happened online with no face to face confrontation. The conversation with his friend also brings to thought trusting people online. Who’s to say his friend’s account was hacked and Noah is talking to a complete stranger? The chat roulette at the end also shows the faces behind the profiles and the different people on the internet, from teenage kids to old men.

Although I have personally never had an online dating relationship, I did have a relationship with a girl in high school. We were friends since kindergarten and we started to have feelings for each other. I would say that the relationship we had face to face was much closer than, say, just texting each other, which compares to online dating. I think in the future generations, people might not meet face to face initially, but will have to in order to have a successful, long term relationship. You can’t have sex, kids, or a marriage online.

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