March 06, 2009
Miami on the Mississippi
Does the internet encourage or discourage relationships? Do we encounter people we never would have otherwise, and form friendships and bonds that transcend geography? Or are internet relationships mainly projections, figments of our nerdishly fevered imaginations?
This, of course, is a topic of eternal interest in Left Blogostan, where such imaginations are not rare. It’s a popular fantasy to meet someone over the net, talk about all your deepest secrets and naughtiest fantasies, and end up falling in love. And it certainly makes sense to think that a hundred hours emailing is more revelatory than a couple hours drinking beer. I mean, both are important; but, say, 160 emails in forty days provides more data for calculating the Wall Street favorite, the running average. Muddy or shallow or repetitive or discombobulated thinking is inevitably exposed. Some level of contact might have been made.
So what do you think?
Posted by Chuck Dupree at March 06, 2009 03:31 AM
I think it's possible if that's what the parties are interested in. I'm thinking of attempting to produce a short documentary video on the Casual Encounters section of Craigslist. I am curious about why people seek those encounters, what kind of response they get and whether the relationships last beyond one night. I'm in a small college town (Ithaca) where the sort of anonymity that might be expected in a large city just isn't present. That adds another component to the mix.
I'm in a relationship started via the internet, it's been 9 years now. For those who are good at both expressing themselves in writing, and skilled at reading between the lines, it's one of the better ways to get to know someone. You can learn a lot about a person's basic values, probably more than would be possible over a drink or dinner. In an email message, you're expected to do a monologue. On a date, that would just be obnoxious.
it ain't the be all and end all. You still have to actually sniff around at each other in person. But it can give you some context and background that otherwise would be hard or impossible to get.