With internet fast spreading it's web over millions of people and more specifically young teenagers, it is fast becoming a popular meeting ground for young hearts. Love on the net is becoming quite popular and very 'hep' too. To have met a guy over the net and fallen for him is "the" thing today. It's a kind of status symbol to show you are modern, progressive, technically savvy and what not.
The main meeting place for such people is the chat rooms that have mushroomed in millions all over the net. Any website worth it's salt has a chat room as part of it's various offerings. Young people meet here and often enough it's "love at first byte" for them, not withstanding the fact that they more often than not don't know the first thing about each other. As finding love on the net has irrefutably become a part of our lives, lets explore the feasibility behind such an idea.
First of all consider whether we really get to know a person through the net. Doesn't the very anonymity of a person tend to make him more daring and more outgoing than he would be in person? Moreover words are very impersonal things. You cant judge the emotions behind them. You never know whether a person is being serious or taking you for a ride. "I love You" looks the same whatever maybe the emotions of the person typing them. Chances of being taken for a ride is almost trebled in an on-line relationship. It is not to say that nice people don't haunt the net but pigeon holing someone as nice is sure a difficult task.
Second difficulty is authenticating the identity of a person. How do you know whether a person is really what he says he is? More often than not, the two people chatting are located very far off geographically. In such cases it becomes very difficult to find out whether a person is really what he says he is. Also the chat itself gives scope for exaggeration. people are often tempted to add spice to the real themselves so create a favorable impression on the other person. A friend of mine had this chat friend who claimed to be the only son of a businessman. He threw around big names with ease and pretended so be some high flying party bopper. When truth was out it was found that he was the son of a person working in railways as a clerk. This is the extent to which exaggeration goes.
More importantly I have found that a person is very different in flesh than what he sounds on a chat. More often than not, I have come off disappointed after meeting a chat buddy. It's not that he wasn't a nice person as he was. It's just that he sounded better on the net and I hoped more. Take the case of this friend of mine. He was a software engineer in US and we used to chat regularly. He was witty, humorous and a total extrovert. Then he came down to India and we decided to meet. Imagine my surprise when not only was he a total introvert but couldn't hold a conversation for more than 10 minutes. I was so taken aback that I was tongue tied too and we spent the better part of an hour staring at the floor and ceiling alternatively . He frankly admitted that he felt more at ease chatting on the net and that in real life he shied away from company. though we are still friends and chat up occasionally I know it's all a sham and that isn't really what he sounds like. I have learnt that people often portray their ideal self rather than their real self on the net.
This is not to say that all net relationships are doomed to failure. My cousin married her net friend and is happily settled with him.
Just be careful and reserve judgment till you actually meet the person. This way you can save yourself a heartbreak and disappointment. Don't take on-line relationships especially those with a person you have just met, very seriously. It takes time to build a relationship with a person whom you have never met. Be judicious and you will find that the net can be a great place to be in and you may actually make a few friends who last a long time.