A virtual relationship is a relationship which involves individuals who have met in online platforms (Padilla, 2007, p.18). In most cases, since these individuals have never met in person, they only come to know of each other through the internet through platforms such as Facebook or twitter just to mention a few. Virtual relationships are similar to method people used to communicate in the analog days, the pen pal relationships which was mainly through letter writing. The only main difference is that virtual relationship is only possible through access to a computer or online service (Kravetz, 2005, p.25). This relationship is based upon text, video, virtual character, and audio. People of different countries, regions, religions, aspects or even people of the same area can be in involved in this virtual relationship.
- DATING WEBSITES
Dating websites have furthered greatly and made more interesting to users due to the accessibility of uploading videos and pictures. These have become an important aspect of personal profile accounts where in most dating websites it is mandatory to upload a picture to one’s profile. It has become more interesting to online users whereby they can be able to share and view videos mostly to those interested in creating friendship and relationships (Horstman, 2012, p.77). Dating sites has founded a freedom where even homosexual individuals can be able to interact freely. Since some people are not fond of face-to-face interactions, dating sites has been able to sidestep this barrier. The advantages that dating sites provide has been able to attract more online users who are willing to explore their sexual aspects. Interacting through dating sites has truly been a success.
Cybersex is basically a virtual sex encounter whereby two or more people who are connected through a network with the accessibility of a computer send each other explicit materials for a sexual involvement with each other. They normally communicate by means of audio and video. Cybersex has been made available on some dating websites. Cybersex involves physical, mental and imaginary interaction between the participants. Cybersex has been able to connect lovers who may be geographically separated. Cybersex has been made possible and enhanced by the use of a webcam to enable the transmission of real-time videos.
- SOCIAL NETWORK
People have been able to connect with each other through social networks. Connections such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn just to mention a few. Most internet relationships are created through these platforms and services such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Xanga. Social networking is based on different aspects, for example, an internet relationship is a possibility through the social network platform. It has enabled users to look and search for new connections based on hobbies, age, gender and much more. This creates a sense of commonness even as individuals meet each other. social networks such as Facebook allows users who don’t know each other to add each other through a friend request and be able to send each other messages (Hopkinson, 2006, p.50). Individual profiles enable people to find more about each other by viewing these profiles. Communication among individuals can become more regular leading to some type of relationship forming. This, in turn, develops into either friendship, a romantic relationship, an associate, or a business partnership.
- ONLINE GAMING
There are online games where individuals create a relationship, for example, the Final Fantasy Online, Minecraft is a few examples of online games, which create a character that embodies them and intermingle with other characters played by real individuals. Most games enable people to chat with other individuals as well as create groups and clans. Consequently, this may lead to further communication which may develop into a romantic relationship.
Virtual dating can cause harm, especially to young people. It can ruin the real-life qualities, for example, use vulgar message and language. In the virtual platform, I don’t think the romance is that real as in real life. People are also taking advantage of some sites to send and spread pornographic contents or deception.
Horstman, J., & Scientific American, inc. ,2012. The Scientific American book of love, sex, and the brain: The neuroscience of how, when, why, and who we love. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p.77
Hopkinson, E. ,2006. My true love sent to me. Vancouver: Virtual Tales, p.50
Kravetz, S. ,2005. The dating race: An undercover report from the frontlines of modern-day romance. New York: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin, p.25
Padilla, M. ,2007. Love and globalization: Transformations of intimacy in the contemporary world. Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, p.18
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