"Keep scribbling! Something will happen." Frank McCourt

Monday, August 08, 2016

Online Relationships and Real Life

I have to admit, sometimes I feel more comfortable as a loner. When I meet with “people” I enjoy them, but I don’t exactly jump into anything voluntarily. AND I tend to be of a suspicious nature, listening to my gut feelings where people are concerned. So, I don’t understand when adults buy into online relationships over common sense and participate in self-destructive activities.

Recently, I read an article for teenagers Are Online Friends Real Friends? Kids hang out online as much as they do in person, sometimes more so, depending on parent input. It’s disturbing when young people are influenced by an online “friend” who wants to meet them and/or help them run away. The article said that 20 percent of teens “have met an online friend in person”. Scary. And convincing kids (and some parents) that the online presence, on the other end of their virtual connection, could be an adult—a predator wanting to do harm is sometimes impossible. (Think: my job.)



But it’s not just kids. Dr. Phil televises shows about this problem, where men and women think they are sending money to their new fiancĂ© of whom they’ve never met and sometimes never spoken to over the phone (only internet connection).

It’s difficult to watch the shenanigans humans participate in, sometimes.

So, it's no wonder, I’ve been watching YouTube’s Nomad Living channels where people live off the grid, in something mobile: vans, RV’s, tents, cars. Some of these people are anti-government, but honestly who can blame them. I can even understand “some” of their protests. One thing I’ve notice that they all have in common is their connection to their devices (i.e., phones, laptops) and the internet and must have a way to charge them.

Living a gypsy lifestyle is kind of alluring, but I think I’m too girly to actually live it in real life. Seems like a lot of work to me. And the campers would probably ignore me or ask me to leave when I pulled into their camp with a Class A RV. No composting potty for me. No outdoor makeshift shower either. Microwave? Uh huh!

With all of that said, this post does not reflect on my blogger buddies, who are my OFFs (online friends forever) and perfect in every way. I would meet you anywhere, anytime and give you any amount of money (if I actually had any money) that you requested.
What do you think about online relationships? Are we going too far?





11 comments:

  1. It is sad how easy youngsters (and adults) can be fooled by their 'friends' online. It's also funny that people want to live off the grid but not without their internet connection. I think I'm getting too old and set in my ways to do the Nomad thing anymore even though I love living in the country.

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  2. The predator thing is scary.
    I think relationships that don't involve kids or the opposite sex (in THAT manner) can become real friendships. Although ultimately, meeting in person is the best way to share experiences.
    I still treasure my online buddies!

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  3. lol yeah, no way to the off the grid lifestyle like that. It can be easy to get fooled by people if you are trusting and a tad naive. But getting fooled again and again and again I'll never understand. Great friendships can come from online though. So I'll have to wait until you win the lottery before I hit you up for money? lol

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  4. One of my students got into an incredibly dangerous situation due to an online predator. Thankfully the police caught them before the man harmed her. Terrifying.
    On the flip side, of course our judgment is impeccable in choosing our own online friends. :)

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  5. Did you just talk me out of meeting you at the Laura Ingalls Wilder Days??

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    1. Aww, I hope I go this year, if you're going!!! I'm considering attending a festival in Aurora this year instead, that is the same day. Especially since I went to the museum dedication. I'll think on it though.

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  6. This introvert cherishes the online connections I have made. And copes with them better than I do 'real' interactions. Which I am a tad ashamed of.
    I am careful though (and broke) and won't be sending anyone my non-existent money (or bank details).
    I do worry. There are so many lonely people, and a nearly equal number of unscrupulous scammers.

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  7. It pays to be cautious, which is why I have to use an avatar. I've been harassed by an ex from decades ago. I always warned my kids against predators, but then there are all the 'matchy-match' sites for teens and adults that encourage online relationships and meeting (usually that is the goal) There's even the Ashley M. site that encourages having affairs. With all this info blasted at them, some forget to be suspicious of strangers. You make some great points.

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  8. Hi Teresa - I have to say it horrifies me how far people go and how stupid they are - that applies too sometimes with people we know ...

    I can imagine in your job you'll have to be hugely diplomatic ... as DG says there's so much push to sharing so much without knowing what's what. I'm quite glad I'm not a parent ...

    I do think parents are silly too - well I think I'll stop there ... I'll just look after little old me! I like to understand, but that's it ... I don't need the details - I can't understand people's interest ...

    Love my blogging friends though and making a point of connecting as a friend, rather than an unknown quantity - that's where this community helps ... we can see the other connections ...

    Take care and all the best ... cheers Hilary

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  9. In the jungle, the lions lurk in the shadows by the water hole since all the helpless prey go there eventually. The same is true of the internet. Most teens have not had the jarring, gutting experiences to teach them caution. Many who refuse to listen to caution never live long enough to learn wisdom. :-(

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  10. I could never do that living off the grid thing. My idea of camping is no mini fridge in the hotel room and I would also take a Class A RV too. lol

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