Online relationships: better or worse?

Online relationships: better or worse?

Life has many shades of grey, just like everything else in life itself. All things, even relationships, have pros and cons. Sometimes one can get caught up in the ‘image’ that is created around them; people tend to accept and acknowledge only that side of your personality that they are used to. Online friendships give you a chance to be the person you really are- or they at least allow you to show the side of you that not many people know of. In other words, you sometimes get to be way you had always wished you were.

One point of relief is that one gets time out from the drudgery of daily life, and finds an alternate world to escape to. Knowing people from different cultures and places is always fascinating and is, perhaps, the best part about online relationships.

When you are online, it is easier finding a friend who would not judge you according to your past. You get a chance to share your own version of events, without any preconceived notions on the part of your online friend.

Just as writing a diary can be healing, so can letter writing. In an age when we need to communicate faster, and find solutions quicker, emailing someone a long letter can help us in expressing ourselves without being interrupted, can help us share as much as we want to- talking on the phone may not always be as fulfilling if one of the people in the conversation is in a hurry. This way, we can encourage letter writing, minus the long wait associated with posting letters.

Sharing feelings via pictures, songs, videos and articles is much easier online. It’s creative and subtle. Information people share online in general can give others a fairly good idea about their choices and moods, helping them recognize a different, more interesting side to people they don't know well- hence, promoting friendship and/or healthy discussion between individuals who did not interact much otherwise.

Those who are witty in writing need not be as charming in person, and vice-versa. However, people who meet online can find a way to judge each other on the basis of how they seem to be as a person rather than how they look on an average day.

People who have relationships online (when they are largely dependent on the conversations) find it easier to judge whether they stand a chance of finding things to talk about. If they do, one can assume that they will possibly have a lasting, meaningful relationship which would not die down as easily as others.

There are a number of disadvantages associated with online friendships/ relationships. One can say it can only survive if it's not a long distance relationship for too long, and if there are enough opportunities to meet the person in the flesh. Friendships conducted online have a better chance of surviving than an online "relationship" for obvious reasons. Then again there is the chance to fool people with fake identities; there is cyber crime.

A huge drawback is that one can sometimes end up living a virtual life and forget to involve oneself in 'real' socializing and lose some of the charms that are necessary for "people skills".

There is also an ‘escapist’ tendency because of which you may start avoiding communication with those around you because they have a different version of the truth of, say a particular incident, and you begin to prefer your online friends because they don't know the other side of the story and are most likely going to agree with you. To conclude, we need to balance our time spent engaging in the ‘virtual’ and the ‘real’ world and get the best of both.

Guest post from: http://www.swarnalidreams.blogspot.in/
Dreams and Drama is a personal blog co-authored by Swarnali and Arpita, virtual friends turned real life friends who are students of English Literature from two different cities.

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