Perhaps, to think that online relationships are in some points more superficial, deceitful or perilous than face-to-face relationship is such a dangerously-shallow deception. In fact, online relationships aren’t much different from real life relationships. Despite the fact that people have grown panic towards online relationships lately, face-to-face relationships themselves don’t serve any fewer disadvantages. Somehow it has been believe to be true that online relationships and face-to-face relationships are totally unalike, nonetheless the two elationships share three similarities covering intimacy, sincerity and risks.
The first similarity concerns level of intimacy between two people in the relationship. Face-to-face relationships allow people to actually meet in person. In a real-life situation, they can see each other or have conversations with real interaction, such as eyes contact and body languages. The relationships can develop into further closeness and sometimes the couples end up with marriage. Similarly, all types of interactions provided in face-to-face relationships also exists in online relationships.
By using interactive devices, such as web cameras, microphones and speakers, actual talking and seeing becomes possible through the internet.
Deeper intimacies like serious relationships or marriage are also feasible for many internet couples. A new study of online dating site members has found that when couples who had built up a significant relationship by e-mailing or chatting online met for the first time, 94 per cent went on to see each other again. Moreover, the study also shows the successful relationships which last at least seven months and in some case over a year.
This result proves that online relationships have a similar degree of success as real life ones. (Dr Gavin and Dr Adrian Scott, 2005) Additionally, according to the online dating research conducted by Marry Madden and Amanda Lenhart in 2006, nearly 3 million adults have entered long-term relationships or married their online dating partners. These evidences confirm that the situation of online dating is not any less real than face-to-face relationships. Secondly, the two relationships have something in common dealing with sincerity.
In face-to-face relationships there are opportunities to meet not only decent people but also the spurious. People lie, research has shown, in one-fourth of their daily social face-to-face interactions especially when it comes to the relationship issues. (Cornell University communications researchers, n. d. ) For example, some lie about having an affair. One study found that 2/3 of the wives (26 to 36 million women) whose husbands were cheating had no idea their husbands were having an affair. This’s because their husbands lied to them and they failed to recognize the telltale signs.
Moreover, 25 percent of men and 17 percent of women had been unfaithful no matter how many years there’ve been married. (National Opinion Research Center, n. d. ) Likewise, online relationships offer both sincerity and deception. Nowadays, it has been on the news that internet relationships mostly lack elements of truth and frankness. Anyone can make up his or her profile about the looks, personality, occupation, education, financial status, or even name. These disadvantages of online relationships can occur in face-to-face relationships as well. However, honesty is not mpossible to find in cyberspace, due to the fact that there still be lots of genuine people using internet as a tool to find the right person for them to have relationships with. Furthermore, sincerity can also be found in other forms, several kind of support groups, such as groups for anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. As some of the members of each group share their own experiences, their relationships become a sincere binding between them and develop to further possibilities. All these proofs proves that online relationships should not be accused of eing more doubtful in term of sincerity than face-to-face ones. The last but not least similarity has to do with the risk. Both online relationships and face-to-face ones have the possibility to be deceived for money, sexual intercourse, physical assault or even homicide. Crime rates in online relationships as well as in face-to-face ones have been increasing. In real life, by 1991 the dramatic crime rate was 313% the 1960 crime rate and the rates are continuously increasing. Approximately 5% of the U. S. population, thirteen million people, are victims of crimes every year. United States Crime Rates, 1960 – 2006) The categories of crimes cover property thefts such as robbery and forgery as well as violence ,such as murder, forcible rape, physical and mental assault. Similarly, online relationships can lead into any categories of crimes that occur in face-to-face relationships. The cyber crime rates are also rising 255% in 2006 over 2005. (US. National Crime Records Bureau statistics, 2005-2006) According to the statistics, no obviously different risks between face-to-face relationship and online relationships appear. Summarily, people trend to e panic so much on online crimes that they overlook the fact that crimes that are caused by people in real life don’t have any less rates than online ones. It’s more than clear that, in contrast to what has been believed, both online relationships and face-to-face relationships carry the similar qualities in term of closeness, frankness and peril. In other words, internet relationships are no worse than the real life ones. Perhaps it’s time to reconsider our attitude towards this cyber romances as a virtual alternative relationships and to open the doors of opportunities and understanding for those millions online daters.