Saturday, August 22, 2009

A few short words on Internet Friendships

The Internet is a great place to meet people.

Over the years I have met many wonderful people through blogs and other social networks. Some have become lasting friends, some not.

The tricky thing to remember is -- you can call someone your friend, and feel very sure you know them, but you do have to be careful. The Internet harbors predators of all kinds, from people who aren't who they say they are, to people who are much worse than I'd like to imagine (and I write gothic fiction!).

Some have speculated that the rise of technology has eaten away at the mystery of life. That there is no more room for fairy tales and fantasy, because virtually everything is known. We can talk to people all over the world through a chat client, we can search up information about the bottom of the deep blue sea at the click of a button.

I disagree. When it comes to meeting people online, there's a whole lot of mystery. Are they really a 16-year-old girl, or are they a 30-year-old man? Are they really that into 'The Lord of the Rings,' or are they just watching in horrified fascination at the frenzied forum discussions on it?

Or are they something else entirely?

Demons and monsters... they're around us, it's true. Maybe not in the forms I feature in my fiction, but similar all the same.

We just have to be aware of them, is all.


L.H. Parker said...

That is very true. I once knew a person who enjoyed creating fake accounts and used those fake identities to be cruel to family and friends. It hurt when I realized that the online identity harassing me was someone I considered a dear friend. I guess you can never tell if people are who they say they are. I just try to remain optimistic. Optimistic and very wary.

Heather S. Ingemar said...

Ouch. That's a hard pill to swallow!

And even in real life, there are times when you can't really tell who someone is, so I guess being optimistic but cautious is the way to go all around!