Online relationships often come with two packs of sugar and a whole lot of prejudice. You would think that with how much society has advanced due to technology that there would be more of an understanding towards online relationships. However, it doesn’t seem to be the case.
When you confess your online romance, people often say one of these things:
“What? You’re in an online relationship? Are you sure the person is who they say they are?”
“You need to be careful! They could be dangerous!”
“How can you love someone you’ve never even met?”
Those are just a few inquiries that have been shot at myself. I find that although most people believe this to be just general concern, there is prejudice involved in it too.
Prejudice #1 – The Predator
The most common assumptions of who’s on the other end are:
a) Someone who’s married and having a mid-life crisis
b) Someone using a fake identity
c) A stalker
d) A rapist
e) A murderer
f) A person with a peculiar fetish
g) All above
There will always be the reality of these scenarios becoming true to someone out there. They come across the news channel, in the headlines of newspapers, or turn into the fate of that one girl, who you saw in the halls but never spoke to.
Keep in mind that the person you’re talking to could be one of those options.
Never rule out the ‘what if’ thoughts.
It’s human to have those thoughts, whether you’re the one in them or the one hearing about them. You’re protecting yourself or being on the outside looking in, the person you know in the relationship.
When it comes to those we love we always assume the worst when it comes to what’s unknown.
However, there’s a way of going about it that doesn’t strengthen the prejudice.
Show that you care for your peer, but when it comes to the first thing that comes out, try to avoid these assumptions.
– Hear more of their story first
– Listen to the positive
– If you hear any warning signs or things that aren’t right, then assume
– Mention the assumption near the end of the conversation
Prejudice #2 -The Weakling
Another sense of prejudice that people assume is that the people most common to go into online relationships are:
a) Those who can’t make any progress in their every day life (new relationships, new opportunities etc.)
b) Those who are shy/introverted/bullied
c) Those who are unhappy with their lives, perhaps to the point of suffering from a mental illness
Yes, there are people who can fit under those assumptions.
I am definitely one of them. Most of my teenage years I made online friends rather than trying to squeeze my way into the cliques at school. I found it easier getting to know someone through typing on a keyboard and skype calls rather than face to face. I also found it easier to fall in love with someone that way too.
There is nothing wrong or shameful of those types of individuals either.
Usually, the Internet does become a medium that people rely on for their entertainment, to gain knowledge, and find others who relate to them if their life circumstances don’t meet expectations. For some, it’s a greater extent more than others.
However, it doesn’t mean that everyone who gets into an online relationship is one of those three options.
They could be outgoing, extremely sociable, and have no issues with their every day life. They could have just been surfing Facebook, a chat room, or an online dating site and come across someone who interests them, who seems different than others.
It may be out of character for them, but online relationships can happen to anyone.
Judge online relationships carefully. Although some of this prejudice is relevant and truthful still, I believe that people still shouldn’t turn to these opinions immediately.
If you agree or disagree with me, let me know below. I’d love to hear opinions.
Tell me your stories & know that I’m always here with advice.
Your online friend,