‘Virtual relationships’ are becoming quite popular these days due to the widespread reach of the internet. But why such a contagion? The net indeed allows us to transcend sociocultural boundaries to be able to find affinities with people we could hardly have even known otherwise. At times these affinities can lead to a real and concrete relationship but even if it doesn't then there is less harm to both parties, given that they never meet. Such is basically the logic behind such a ‘relationship’.
There is also the possibility of having more freedom and privacy at the same time. It seems that the computer screen offers a sense of security and the possibility to log off that face to face encounters do not. There is no need to feel self-conscious and there is more freedom to talk about just anything. Hence shyness and reserve are not necessary. Then you don’t really need to move physically to meet. You can just remain connected. It is far more convenient as the amount of effort is less.
And yet, how many such relationships fail to remain sustained due to a lack of will power or a fear of revealing oneself as one is. I personally am of opinion that in establishing meaningful relationships, you need to dare to be yourself and have others accept you as you are just as you accept them as they are. That is what makes a relationship strong and fosters trust! Most cyber-users tend to bluff and lie or hide behind avatars because they do not feel good enough to be themselves. Then what about the resulting disconnectedness from the realities of life? At times many people become so wrapped in the virtual that they fail to understand the susceptibilities and feelings of the ones on the other end. Very often a false impression is created and only whatever suits the other is revealed. Can we found a relationship on lies?
Virtual or not, I feel that in any relationship, the person has to be honest with himself first and then with others too. There is absolutely nothing wrong in establishing relationships virtually but it has to be clear in our minds that whatever the circumstances, we should not allow ourselves to be duped and keep our eyes open so we can filter the genuine from the fake. Naivety will only lead to hurt and heartaches.