The internet and connecting romantically....pros and cons of using it for that

john grigg (
Mon, 06 Sep 1999 13:41:48 PDT


From: "Elizabeth Childs" <> Subject: Re: all i learned about internal censors...

>My notion is that online romances have the *potential* to be so much
>more honest and true, because those internal censors are turned off online.
> There is no *reason* to lie, because one has no way to know if one is
>doing any good by doing so.

Believe me people will lie! I said I was seven years younger then I am to a gal in her early twenties...I felt sick over it when I developed feelings for her over time. I thought since she was an ocean away it would not matter but it does. I learned my lesson painfully and have had women lie to me over such things as being single or body weight.

No one wants to be rejected either in cyberspace or in real life! But there is potential for seeing the personality and character of the someone where they would have been "filtered" out automatically for not being the "right type" for one reason or another.

and Elizabeth's response to that:
>I think certain types of honesty are overrated. ("What an ugly >tie!" or
>worse yet "What a stupid opinion!") And it's those types >that seem to be
>promoted most by electronic communication.

>Some people who have a lot of barriers to intimacy in the physical >world
>may find that this isn't true in the virtual world, and thus >can reveal
>themselves in a way they couldn't otherwise. I know for >myself, I'm
>reluctant to pour my heart out to someone and form a >real emotional
>connection when I can't even tell how they're >reacting.

I thought the observations on the limits of intimate/romantic connections on the net were very observant. So much information is given by facial/body expressions, clothing, voice and general physical appearance. How good-looks or lack of it, self-confidence, how we care for ourselves, socio-economic level, health and oral cognitive abilities are shown through the actual person being there. Meeting a person on the net is just seeing the tip of the ice berg and yet if it is the right kind of person for you it could be a great way to meet someone you might never have.

I have found that I can in a way usually not possible in the "normal" world connect with people. This can lead to emotional bonding that is perhaps premature and more of an infatuation or as you stated a projected ideal of who you are in their mind.

Though it is sad to say, many people will hit it off but if one person does not find the other physically attractive enough then things are through at least on a romantic level. So no matter how bright or good-hearted the other is the biological and social drives are there for someone considered at least roughly on their level. I suppose we have all had the experience of the person at the other end demanding a picture before things go too far! There are exceptions but not too many. Of course the theory of "social currency" ties into this which I consider very perceptive social science theory.

I feel the net is a good way to meet people despite this. I am only average looking and a poor $$ college student but I can use my "E.Q." (what I to approach women and get a date where it would probably not have gone my way in a club!

I do meet women in classes and other places but find the net is a good environment for a basically shy person like myself. I can put my strengths to work on the net. I suppose in another age I would have been a minstrel of some type though I am a terrible singer! lol I have tried personals but with much less success.

With voice chat becoming popular and video cams eventually also becoming common this will change quite alot. It will be interesting to see how things develop.

John Grigg

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