This might sound absurd to someone who does not hang around as many geeks as I do, but believe it or not, at least 10% of my good friends have met their soulmates online. When I say online, I do not mean dating sites. The relationships that worked were more like serendipity, often starting on social media sites when neither party even had the word “soul” in mind.
The sparks either clicked on blogs or through 140 character tweets, but around 4% of these friends met on Facebook.
The conversations these friends have with non-Webbies are often hilarious, going something like this:
Non-Webbie: “Wait, did you fall in love before or after you saw him?”
Internet Romancer: “We fell in love before.”
Non-Webbie: “How did you know he wasn’t a 50-year-old grandmother with a lisp?”
Internet Romancer: “Um… we talked online for a year before we decided to take our relationship a step forward, so I knew him quite well by then.”
Non-Webbie: “Whoa! You mean you had a steady relationship with a person YOU DIDN’T MEET FOR A YEAR?”
I’ve seen such conversations go on for hours and hours, mostly because the Non-Webbies are always struggling to knock some sense into the Internet Romancers’ heads while the Internet Romancers are always trying to get other people to have a love story online.
How Can You Fall in Love with Someone You Don’t Know?
Well, the answer is very simple really.
An avid Web user would tell you that it’s really not as easy as it seems to not be yourself online, especially if you’re active enough to be in finding-soul-mate status. But if you don’t want to take it from an avid Web user, then take it from a professor.
Psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin has found out that online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity. Gosling says, “I was surprised by the findings because the widely held assumption is that people are using their profiles to promote an enhanced impression of themselves. In fact, our findings suggest that online social networking profiles convey rather accurate images of the profile owners, either because people aren’t trying to look good or because they are trying and failing to pull it off.”
These new findings make sense, and psychologist Sandra Calvert of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. agrees. She emphasizes that social-networking sites have fostered a new type of communication among teens and young adults, in which one person can create personal content that gets broadcast to a multitude of friends. In a 2009 study of Facebook use among 92 college students, Calvert’s team found that young women reported a whopping average of 401 online friends, while young men reported an average of 269. You can read this study on digital identity psychology on UT’s website.
That just proves one thing: Honey, if he sounds awesome on Facebook, then HIT ON HIM <3
Do you have any online love experience that proves or disproves this study? :)