Online Relationships Leave A Lot To Be Desired

A good friend – online, of course – sent me a link to an article about shallow online relationships today, and how they can possibly be – dangerous? Relationships without strong connections, all too common on the Internet, can leave us feel lonely and lacking, even depressed. Indeed, surely the most we can expect from hundreds or even thousands of online followers is superficiality. Likewise, in our extremely busy lives, instant relationships that require no investment of time seem thoroughly appealing.

There is, surely, a danger if people grow to expect that sites like Facebook and Twitter are indeed all that personal relationships have to offer, or that quantity is more important than quality. When returning to Twitter this week, I’ve found that a previous follower count in the thousands has meant very little at all. Perhaps only a dozen or so of those are worth being called friends. Only that number put in the legitimate effort that a genuine friendship required. There are many out there; the genuinely socially-inadequate, the predatory, the awkward, for which the element of disconnection which networking offers is appetizing. That cannot possibly be a good thing.

There are, of course, exceptions. One, in particular, springs very readily to mind. An online acquaintance who, most certainly, connected with me most strongly; invested the largest possible amount of time and energy in our relationship; and through meeting online, something which would otherwise have been impossible, turned out to be thoroughly life-changing. None of that could possibly have happened if we hadn’t have met online. Perhaps there’s something to be said for this social media stuff, after all. It left us each with a lot to be desired.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not defending the social networking trends in any way. Your mileage may vary. But the addicted perhaps should take note. If we meet face to face, and you reach out to respond to that delicate chime your ‘phone makes for an incoming tweet, I’m apt to hit the thing with a hammer.


About darlingman1970

Born in the UK and a graduate in mathematics from Cambridge University, Chris Nash has followed a career in software engineering which he continued after moving the United States in 1996 and now brings him to California in 2010. However, Chris does not want to be considered as merely a code monkey, and has always been interested in writing; in areas as diverse as factual technical manuals all the way through to fiction. An avid reader, Chris is a fan particularly of mystery novels and enjoys above all the works of Agatha Christie and David Hewson. Chris has recently gone through some significant life changes which, at the moment, he is considering as the basis for a forthcoming novel and as food for thought on his blog. He manages to couple his loves of writing and technology and is particularly interested in how internet innovations have an impact on the writing and promotional process. Chris is a firm supporter of Creative Commons and other 'open' initiatives and believes strongly that such distribution mechanisms are the "right" way to handle intellectual property in an evolving digital world. Chris is a keen Nintendo DS and Wii player in his spare time, and is currently happily attached, living in the Central Coast area of California. Find him on Twitter as @darlingman1970. Don't ask him how old he is.
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One Response to Online Relationships Leave A Lot To Be Desired

  1. Chris Nash says:

    Thanks to @sharonandalex for the link that suggested I blog “Online Relationships Leave A Lot To Be Desired”

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