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Monday, December 22, 2008

CULTURE: Online Dating- 100% Birth Control...

Imagine the Possibilities
*Enjoy Second Life with a companion or companions.
we all need one unless we settle for a virtual dog or a hampster...
*half the rental fees and more help in business?
*cheapest form of dating ever created Next to speed dating.
*finally finding true love...again?
*commitment issues are now compromised
*domestic drama and bickering is more then likely
*feelings of being smothered, held back or on a short lease.
*break up within 4 months.making up/breaking up again
*sleepless lonely nights

A look into the Phenomenon of Online Dating
By: Lanai Jarrico
It happens thru internet dating websites, basic chat platforms and in virtual worlds across the metaverse.
hundreds of thousands if not millions are experiencing romance over the internet . Many claim to find their true love or more acceptable term "Soulmates" thru online interraction. Is it becoming the new way of connectin on a deeper level by getting to know the person from the inside out.? Or could it be a double edged sword creating more Heartache then Happiness.
What Exactly is a Soulmate?
A Soulmate can mean different things to different people. It all depends on what they are looking for in eachother but in its simplest form it means to share a mutual level of understanding to the point where thoughts become connected and many times can be seen in the finishing of eachothers sentences and knowing what they are going to say or do next. vise versa. This in itself is a phenomenon that is becoming more noticable online . We are all still learning about ourselves and what our brains are capable of, so it's certainly a possibility there is some sort of phychic connection that we cannot fully understand but is more real then many want to believe.
This experience is evident in many cases across the internet and world where people claim to feel emotions from others without words. Soulmates can also be someone that shares similar experiences in life or a connection with someone that forms a whirlwind love affair never felt before, creating "Simlationships" in a virtual world.
What is a Simlationship Anyway?
Simlationships are Virtually formed Relationships created within a simulated environment. Nothing is what it seems, but seems so real.
Is it really real or is it a figment of the imagination that is amplified by visual stimulation and false representations of oneselves thru Avatars that do not match who we really are. How many of us actually look like our avatars or even better or do what are avies do?
Many will argue it's as real as the air they breathe but for some there's one very important factor that seems to be disregaurded as invaluable. Physical Affection.
Poseballs can only do so much and can create a temporary form of comfort or arousal but after a while partners can become frustrated when the other senses are not met. Like touch, smells and sounds. these things play a vital role in the true act of intimacy and human nature. Is this the turning point that makes those engaging in online dating to take it to real life and the next level?
How Does it Work?
Not considering that a virtual world has the convienience of removing the normal everyday stresses that family and friends can bring on, financial situations and other things that give us all daily stress.
These Simlationships are built more on the fantasy of what they would consider a perfect or near perfect lifestyle together.
There are Pros and Cons to any situation.
Most of us dont take the time out to look at each and every detail of our decisions in life. A Relationship works depending on how honest you and the other person have been with eachother. Much like real lfe but in a virtual world.
Taking that into consideration , It's much easier to hide behind an Avatar and sugar coat who you are, painting pictures of a 3rd Life and getting away with it. that's one of the many reasons to be cautious.
Many Issue that can toss a monkey wrench into taking it to real life , especially in the Online Dating Scene is Long Distance Relationships. No matter how you try to work around it and collage students know best , it just doesnt work.
  It's that Physical Affection Factor that lingers in the background poking at our natural Human need.
Unless one or the other are willing to make a big sacrifice, these simlationships fizzle out before making it to real life. Even if "Love" played its role. Is it really was love or just infatuation?
Is there a Line between SL and RL?
Others keep the line drawn between RL and SL because they know the baggage of online dating or are in real relationships that they aren't willing to give up. If there is a Line its very thin because the friends many make in SL often spill into RL. They just seem to last longer if it's strictly platonic with no monkey business involved.
Are Simlationships considered Cheating for those with a significant other or married in real life ?
oH yes the Big Taboo Topic
Swinging right from the start, It can certainly causes Divorces and break ups.
 For the RL Significant other of the online dater, it's a downright betrayal of trust and Cheating to Tell another person you are in love with them, Spending time online more then with a spouse gf/bf and including affection and sexual acts like kissing, cuddling and cybering can be considered cheating even if the two never met physically.
There are those that will argue and say it isn't cheating, and its simply a way of satisfying needs not met in real life or it was something unexpected and they are unsure what to make out of it. the only thing I can say is We are all still learning about these crazy emotions involved in a virtual world.
Many of us will learn from our mistakes or not, but always remember someone will end up hurt if honesty isn't a priority. If you are willing to make that sacrifice, that is upto those engaging in online dating, it also and depends on what they can live with.
What is the appeal?
As in real life, we all seek companionship. To be loved and accepted. That is what drives people together. The feeling of that first kiss, brand new relationships, It creates an addictive rush.
It's hard to explain unless you've experienced it . That is the thrill especially for those who have lost that feeling in their real life realtionships or have a hard time finding. It is easy to find online....multiple times.
What exactly are the expectations of an Online Relationships?
If you look at an online relationship from outside of the box, you can clearly see it's like creating a prison around yourself and the other person. It limits lots of people. If there's no chance of being involved in real life there is no sense in setting bounderies around eachother. It's like spending countless hours over a hot and steamy stove making a perfect Thanksgiving dinner but never serving it. Why go thru all the trouble? Not to mention when real thanksgiving comes around. Who will you be spending your time with unless you set the laptop on your dinner plate.
How Long do Online Relationships last?
Its sad to say the average Simlationship expectancy is about 4 Months based on the countless break up reports from avies who change their partners more then they clear their cache. Those who have lasted a lil longer may have been in one or more simlationships in the past and finally found the one and are happy. It's rare but possible.
Can you really trust someone you never met?
Hmmm. Now this is a question thats hard to put a definate yes or no to.
With the way people act and the threat of Stalkers and people with other hidden agendas, is it safe to be trusting? No, it is Not.
Using your best judgement and not sharing too much information as a "just in case" it turns south and all the pictures and chat logs end up turned against you. or if you are not willing to be confronted by a stranger approaching you in a parking lot with a fist full of daisies.
Is it Possible to Only keep things in Second Life?
Yes, If you are 100% honest with everyone you meet. Be yourself without leading anyone to believe there are possibilites of more then what you are willing to give.
If both can agree and are happy by simply being friends experiencing secocnd life together then the thought of slapping a label on eachother as a "couple" to keep away the perverts and stalkers. It's a great idea to partner up. This strategy isused by many who don't want to be propositioned for dating or sex.
But on a more serious note...
Save Money on Christmas and Birthdays!
 If you want to think on the frugal side and keep things light and uncomplicated...It's a very cheap form of dating that will save you money on gifts,gas, going out , resturant bills and certainly prevent any unwanted pregnancies, divorces or other drama that can cause you more trouble then you need.
In a Nutshell, Online Dating can bring you happiness but can come at a heavy Price of Heartache so think long and hard about making partnership commitments in a Virtual World by explore all your options and consider any consequences.
Over and Out
~Lanai Jarrico


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