I am actually old enough to remember a time before the internet. When I started university the internet was a very new thing. I had a computer at home, but no internet connection, so if I wanted to be online, I had to go to the university. Social media didn’t exist and we barely had mobile phones, let alone smart phones.
In that dark and ancient times it was still possible to meet people online. There was this chat community called IRC chat. It still exists, though it looks a lot more sophisticated these days. Back in my day (I am really sounding like a grandma here!) you met each other in a chatroom and if you happened to get there at the same time, then great, you could chat. I remember well the many hours I spent in a chatroom of my own creating The Dark Side Inn. Oh what fun we used to have! In fact, that is how I met my husband. But that’s a story for another day.
This post is prompted by something Stephanie wrote on her blog about how social media can have a negative impact on your relationship. Interactions with strangers on the internet – whether it is through the ancient form of IRC or Twitter, Facebook or what have you – can be very addictive. It is such a boost to have someone there for you. A stranger who compliments you and wants to chat with you. Especially if you remain anonymous and can pretend to be a different person. But there is a danger to this as well, whether you are in a relationship or not.
It is easy to allow your virtual reality – your interactions with your virtual friends – to take up all your time. Time that could be better spent with real friends. Especially with time zone differences you could spend hours online chatting away. But how do you know that the person on the other side is as genuine as you? Is all that time with virtual friends really well spent?
Another danger is that you let your new, nice virtual friend lead you to places you don’t really want to go. Perhaps a bit more sexually daring than you are comfortable with. But they are so nice and you don’t want them to stop talking to you, so you go along with it. Or the excitement of it all leads you on, like Ani writes about in her blog post. And before you know it, you have gone too far and you don’t know how to get out anymore.
Now, I am not saying that all interactions on the internet are a waste of time. Absolutely not. I have met too many great people on the internet (hubby included) to say that. Look at our community of sex bloggers alone, brought together by Victoria. I would have never met you guys without the internet and you are all awesome!
Just exercise good judgment. Don’t spend more time on the internet than in real life. Don’t do anything you are not comfortable with. And above all, be safe!
This post is part of the Summer 100 Sex Blogger Challenge. Check out some of the other participants here:
Kirsten has some tips about how to feel sexy again. I love how non-perscriptive the list is (whatever works for you!).
Over at Kristin’s blog, Teresa tells us about her first threesome experience. I love how empowering the experience was for her.