Saturday, 3 January 2015

Online versus Offline

Online platforms like Facebook, Twitter and numerous other online communities have allowed us to communicate with other users in such a way that we have been able to develop a rapport with total strangers. It has afforded us the opportunity of expanding our social circles and establishing new friendships in the process.

Once we have gained enough understanding of a person’s online personality, we are able to engage with them about shared interests or even differences that we are interested in learning more about. We comment, instant message or favourite their posts because we’ve taken an interest in what they are doing and want to get to know them better.

While everything might be going great in the confines of the online world, it is extremely difficult to gauge whether these online interactions are truly worth moving offline until we decide take the chance, which does come with danger of putting those online friendships in jeopardy.
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for example have become known for bringing strangers together online; it only takes a quick Google search to find numerous articles documenting how relationships which started online as friendships, have flourished once these people took the chance to meet in real life.

Guaranteed that everyone reading this knows or has heard of people who met online and after taking a chance, they have ended up being one of the most in love couples you know.

Unfortunately not everyone can have such successful stories, sometimes online friendships meaning nothing more than just strangers being nice. There are also numerous instances of catfishing taking place because the internet has allowed us anonymity to do such things where you can create your own identity. 
When it comes to the internet there is an inherent difference between our offline and online lives. Depending on which online platform you favourite, there can certainly be total separation between our online and offline lives.

With platforms, especially twitter and Instagram you may only know the person online and this does not require you to engage with them in day-to-day activity. You may have certain aspects of your personality that are more exaggerated online in comparison to how you are in your day-to-day social interactions.

Someone who may be outspoken online could be demure and introverted in their day-to-day lives because of how the internet gives us exposure to their views and thoughts without them feeling the need to keep to themselves.

There is a juxtaposition of identity that is created.

Even if you are not an introvert, there is still a difference between your online personality and that in your daily life. You interact with such a wide variety of people that sometimes it can often lead to unexpected friendships or connection with people who you may never have gotten to know and people you may have never expected to interact with.

The internet is wild and mysterious place.

Sometimes online friends are nothing more than friendly strangers, while other times they could in fact go onto become a good friend or, in some cases, your spouse. Think about that the next time you click your mouse.

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