Marvin: "Where did you guys meet?"
Jolina: "The internet."
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Blogger, Wordpress, Tumblr, MySpace, Friendster, Google Plus, etc... Almost everyone you meet these days either has an account or opens these pages whenever they have the time. Mobile phones are now produced with applications that integrate these websites, so that everyone is connected anytime, anywhere. Businesses, celebrities, TV shows, banks, products, and many more, are now expected to say "Connect with us via twitter.", "Like our Facebook page for further information.", or "Download our application to gain exclusive access..." It seems that everything must be accessed online if you want to gain further details and connections, making everyone rely on the internet.
Basically, everyone's more connected via the internet these days. We meet more people through online interactions. People get discovered for fame, businesses boom, and even relationships start to form. Honestly, who among you DID NOT GAIN A FRIEND through the internet? Or if not a friend, even just an acquaintance perhaps? Maybe those who are not really a fan of the internet did not, but majority would have been touched by people from the online world.
Why am I writing this? Well, it seems that if I say "Oh I met her through blogging.", some would react differently. Issues like "trustworthiness" come up since "People from the INTERNET" = "Strangers". Well, if we go outside our house, aren't the people around us considered strangers as well? One of them could be a killer, just like how people think of others online. Are you able to trust better, just because you can physically see him/her? It's the same thing. You just don't trust people right away, whether it's in real life or the internet. Sure, many people use alter egos online. You don't really know who they are, and sometimes, you can't even see them. I know this is the difference between real life and the internet. Somehow, in real life, you know more about the person because you know what your connections are, and where you can possibly find that person. But just like the internet, these people you meet in real life can also pretend to be someone else--they have alter egos as well.
"We met at the bar."
"We met randomly at the mall."
"We met through Facebook."
The first two are more socially acceptable. The last one seems to struggle. If you think about it, the internet is also a meeting place, since almost everyone uses the internet. You meet all kinds of people, just in real life. I am writing this because I blog and do Youtube. Everyday, I am able to get in touch with many people online. I've been living part of my life on the web because I've been making websites and joining forums since 1999, and I have learned many things about the different personalities you get to meet on the internet. I do not trust right away--whether it's online or in real life. I study people and try to know as much as I can, and if they are believable before accepting them. Also, I know how much of myself I am to expose online. Basically, just know how to keep personal information private.
Let's face it... This generation is all about being connected via the internet. You probably met someone via a friend through Facebook, or blogged about something and someone followed your posts since she can relate and your friendship blossomed, or you probably met someone you used to just watch on Youtube, and you ended up becoming good friends. Again, the internet is also a place where people meet, and the guidelines as to where MORE TRUSTWORTHY people can be found and HOW TO DETECT THEM must still be applied. Just because you're behind the laptop or your mobile phone doesn't mean that responsibilities do not exist anymore. So whether you meet online or offline, you should be ALERT with regards to trusting those you meet. Be smart and don't just trust anyone right away. Interact, but be responsible-- just like in real life.
This post is dedicated to the great friends I met online through blogging and Youtube. =)