Saturday, June 14, 2008

Online love is short-lived : Study

If you are interested in someone you have met on the net, verify his credentials before the relationship takes a serious turn

A recent survey by a psychologist of Queensland University of Technology shows that relationships formed over the net are short-lived. TOI speaks to netizens on their take on the issue

Love at first click
Smriti and Aditya would utter (read type) the same words together at the same time, spend hours locked up in a “room” where there would be no one except them, swear by the same chocolate truffle and Emily Dickinson poetry. It was a love so perfect...until they met. A lot of on-line affairs meet a sad ending as reality hits hard once couples meet face to face, says a recent report.

Survey findings
Psychologist Matthew Bambling of Queensland University of Technology, Australia claims that on-line love is mostly short-lived. People cleverly and easily hide their flaws and “present themselves as a good catch.” When two people meet in person, they realise they are too different from each other and everything that they fancied turns out to be untrue. What follows is big time disappointment, heartbreak and disillusionment. The psychologist further says that as you develop emotional attachment by chatting online, you tend to believe that you have found your match. The best thing to do in such a situation is to immediately make real life contact and check out if there is a possibility of a future together. But not everyone is smart enough to verify the credentials of the person they have got hooked on to. Most of the time people develop a very close bond and are crestfallen when they discover that the person is not a tad like what they had imagined him or her to be.

Case study
Take the case of Smriti Agarwal who met her ‘soul mate’ online. He was everything she had dreamt of – handsome, well-read and oh-so-understanding. And it was all lovey-dovey between them until they decided to meet. Says Smriti, “I had little doubts left that this was the guy I had been waiting for all my life. We chatted for almost a year and decide to meet on his next visit to my town. I was totally taken aback when I saw him. He bore no resemblance at all to the picture he had sent me. (It was his college days picture). He was brash with the waiters and he made a strange burbling sound while he ate. I was so put off, I made my mind to call it quits then and there. After coming back I cried my heart out as I felt I had simply wasted a year of my life.” Now Smriti is wary of strangers on the net and says she would steer clear of a “netty affair” all her life.
“If you are interested in someone you have met on the net, verify his credentials before the relationship takes a serious turn. You never know if people are actually who they claim to be through their profiles. Arrange a meeting and then only take things further,” says Smriti.

Expert speak
Experts agree that it is easy to get deceived on the net as most people present a rosy picture of themselves and in the absence of personal meetings, a lot of important facts do not surface. Psychiatrist Sameer Parikh says, “When the basic communication between couples is happening, a virtually serious or a life-long bond cannot develop. The human touch is important for any relationship to survive. Online bonds fall apart in the absence of personal contact. Also, people tend to conceal a lot of information about themselves.”

Happy endings
But there are others who say that the internet is just another means of meeting people. It is very much possible to fall in love over the net and make the relationship click for life. As Suhana Ameen, a media professional puts it, “I met my boyfriend online. We chatted for hours and later switched over to talking over the phone. We shared every bit of our lives and never felt as if we had never met each other before. Then,
when we met after two years, we knew at once that we were meant to stay together for life. We are getting married soon. Our bond has strengthened with time.”

No comments: