Internet Romances- The Brain in a Jar Theory - Part One
The internet has had a huge effect on dating but not necessarily a positive one. I'm not talking about FINDING a date online, but rather communicating with a potential date online for days and weeks before even meeting the person or speaking with them on the phone. I have heard about many couples hitting it off online only to be very disappointed after only one or two dates. So what happened to that sparky connection the two people had going prior to their "real date"? Was it an illusion?
I'd say yes and no.
Sometimes email, IM, or even blogging allows us to be the best part of ourselves- smart, witty, honest, and unselfconscious. Anonymity, or at least a screen to hide behind enables us to be free from the things around us- family, past relationships, money, life circumstances, even the one hundred plus pounds of meat we drag around with us 24/7.
We are essentially a brain in a jar.
The same person who feels free to flirt or plan the future over the internet may actually be shy, or awkward or terrified of commitment in real life. I've seen it happen even between couples that DO see each other in real life. A person may act one way on line and another in person. The person is not being intentionally deceptive; it's just that on line he is free, and in person he is faced with his own weakness and fears. One might say that the brain in a jar is actually the truer self, but what good does that do you when you can't "be yourself" in the real world?
Another issue is that there is a lot of information you can't access over electronic communication so people search for commonalities and then extrapolate themselves right down the aisle.
Somegrrrl83: OMG I can't believe you like REM, macaroni and cheese, and TORAH too! This is amazing!
Someguy81:Wow, yeah it's like we're the same person.
Somegrrrl83: What number am I thinking of right now :)
Somegrrrl83: OMG! You got it! This is sooooo scary.
Someguy81:That is freaky. We should definitely meet.
Somegrrrl83: The Atrium, June 20th?
Someguy81: OK wear something white :)
With so little information available a person can fill in the rest with him hopes and dreams making the actual flesh and blood person pale in comparison.
Still, the connection is there on some level- the question is, what it takes to bring that spark into the real world.