Rantglass - because that's how things are.

Rather waste some time with you.

Rather waste some time with you.

Are friendships formed via the Internet to be taken lightly? If you were to chat with some stranger and develop a sort of a friendly relationship, would you completely trust him or her, to the extent of willingly forking out your own money to help a person you have never met before – but only through the virtual exchange of words in cyberspace everyday? Of course, we have read about Casanovas serenading the ladies and sweet-talking them into handing over their life savings; only to go into an unexplained disappearance that might have appalled even David Copperfield himself. Then there are those who have found their true loves over the Internet, proceeded to get married and live happily ever after with a number of kids that can make up a football team.

So it was that I had a brief conversation with a person I have not seen on cyberspace for quite some time (mIRC is probably a passing fad, but I still drop by my favourite channel whenever I can). After the obligatory greetings and ‘long time no see’s, he said: “I’ve been thinking of you every now and then, wondering how have you been doing.” Those words will no doubt make one feel loved and appreciated, but that is not the point.

We log on to mIRC and chat with countless people from all over the world. We have people randomly adding our names to their contact list on their messenger clients. We indulge in various discussions and talk about everything under the sun with members in a forum. We read about the daily adventures of others in their blogs and journals. Simply said, we are able to keep in touch with a large number of people through the Internet everyday, and they come and go regularly.

But in the end, they are people that you do not really know well, although they may not exactly be strangers, too. They are miles and miles away, probably in countries with four seasons, or snowing the whole year through. How will you know if they can be trusted, and to feel the same way as you do about them? You may be honest and open to them, but they may have multiple personalities on the net; a diligent student who minds his p’s and q’s, and a stalker who leaves disturbing comments on your website the next.

And so I ask again: are friendships formed via the Internet to be taken lightly? Are they going to be just accidental people we meet in our lives, or will you actually go an extra mile and make sure that you still keep in contact with them even decades later? And do you realise that I am actually talking about you, too?

On air now: Homelife, John Mayer

Details of this entry.Wednesday, October 08, 2003, filed under Blogger Archives.
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