The internet is a bittersweet place. It allows us to connect with each other in ways that under any other pre-internet circumstance would not have existed. I have myself a bunch of ‘internet friends’, or ‘internet acquaintances’- familiar faces and familiar usernames that pop up every time I post a tweet, or update my status or share nostalgic images on Instagram.
I wouldn’t have met Mattias if it were not for the internet. Social media has progressed us into an age of interconnectivity on a global scale, and with that comes the emergence of ‘online relationships’, ‘virtual relationships’, and the ‘long-distance relationship’. It’s beautiful, but it’s also dangerous.
It’s beautiful in a sense that we get to connect with people from other countries who enlighten us on different cultures that we otherwise would not be exposed to. It’s beautiful in a sense that we are able to develop friendships and relationships with these people. For the introverts out there, it’s a place where we can socialise and feel a little less out of place- somewhere where we can find a sense of belonging.
But at the same time, it’s a central hub for predators, for bullies and for people who are generally just horrible human beings with no moral capacity.
In the third episode of my LDR Chronicles, I discuss how the idea of ‘romanticising’ LDR’s has led to an increase of younger girls (and boys, too) who are actively trying to find and pursue a relationship through the online platform. We have to stop romanticising the idea of LDR’s and online relationships because there is no such thing as the ‘perfect’ relationship and love isn’t just about attaining that fairytale ending. Looking for a boyfriend/girlfriend online is a serious commitment, and if you make that commitment way too early, you’re risking a lot of emotional energy.
There are people out there who take advantage of the internet to lure girls and boys into ‘fake’ relationships. There are people out there who get a thrill out of lying about who they are, the ‘catfish’ is out there and they are relentless and lack morals. They trick girls into thinking that their ‘online’ relationship is real. I know this because I used to be a catfish. When I was younger, I created fake accounts and tricked people into falling in love with a fake persona. People do this for various reasons- because they’re unhappy with who they are, because they’re trying to gain something whether it be physical, emotional or monetary, and because they just simply suck.
At one stage of my life, I was feeling so lonely that I started becoming attached and infatuated by guys I met online- yet I had no idea how they looked like. I was infatuated to the point that I would replay voice messages that they left me on Xbox Live. I exchanged phone numbers and was so disheartened when they told me they could only message me during a certain time in the day. I was disheartened and confused when I learned that they had a wife and that I was just a little curious girl on the side to message when they were bored and had nothing better to do. It’s not worth it. Trust me.
So if you’re trying to find your ‘perfect’ partner out there through the online platform, make sure you exercise caution. Make sure you actually know who you’re talking to. If they’re sketchy and don’t want to webcam with you, or if they’re reluctant to share their private social media pages with you, or if they’re just not messaging you like the way they used to without any valid excuses or reasoning, then don’t do it.
We all deserve happiness and putting all your eggs into one futile online relationship that renders you with doubts, insecurities and endless questions is just not worth the heartache. Long distance relationships takes a lot more commitment and planning than any other relationship, because you have to plan your future around how you’ll make it work. Money is a big factor because your LDR is not going anywhere unless you have the means to travel and relocate. Your future is a big factor, because you want to have a fulfilling and passionate career that makes you an individual, rather than just a tag-along girlfriend/boyfriend in a foreign country.
Remember, it takes two to tango and if you’re in the infancy of a new and exciting online relationship, don’t forget to evaluate how it will pan out in the long run. BOTH of you have to be committed, 110%.
Check out episode 3 of the LDR Chronicles if you haven't yet!
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