Ten years ago, if you mentioned you were in an online relationship you would have been laughed at by most. How can you have a relationship with someone you cannot directly interact with? However, as more and more people use social networking sites and virtual role-playing sites, online relationships have become commonplace.
One way the Internet is changing relationships is how people are meeting one another. Dating sites connect people around the world to someone else. Often such sites provide a way for users to find people with similar interests by filling out a questionnaire about themselves. Dating sites benefit people who may feel awkward in typical social situations where people often meet each other, such as restaurants and bars. These socially awkward people can meet someone else who may share the same frustrations.
Online relationships have also stemmed from social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. It is easy to browse hundred of thousand of profiles to find someone you are interested in. Video chatting allows people to meet with each other online and even have virtual dates with one another.
Another way that the Internet is changing relationships is by altering how families communicate and interact with each other. No longer does everyone need to be living under one roof to know everything about each other. Discussing how everyone’s day is around a family dinner table is a thing of the past. Today families stay in touch through social networking sites, text messages and video chats. For example, often my mother finds out what I am doing before I even have a chance to tell her by looking at my Facebook account.
This burst on online relationships has a great commercial impact. Companies can market online dating sites easily. Companies can even create virtual dating centers where people in online relationships can have coffee or watch a movie together without actually being together.
Overall, the Internet and new technologies have had a great impact on how relationships are formed and kept. Whether this is good or bad is for you to decide.