Digital Deceit

Posted: 21. jaan. 2010 in Life

Are people you meet online really trust-able? This is the question that has been on my mind recently. I have gotten to know some very interesting and nice people through the internet. But only a few of them have stayed and become real friends – they message you, take interest in what you are doing etc. And I can say that these people I trust. But the others…… Some write me few messages and then give me their phone number and ask me mine. And I’m like “No way I’m giving my phone number”. And after that they just disappear. I can’t just trust people I’ve exchanged few messages to give me my personal phone number. I know, I have trust-issues. But I can’t be 100% sure that the person behind the screen is who he/she claims to be. And the internet is full of “freaks” too – pedophiles, criminals, stalkers etc. So I guess that building trust between people needs time and definitely more communication than 3-4 messages.

The other thing that really bothers me about internet-acquaintances is not answering the message. When I get a message and if I want to reply, I’ll do that on the very first chance I have. But some people I know claim to be interested in how I’m doing and then don’t answer you in a week or two weeks time. And then I feel like  “why the hell I even wrote how was I doing?”. To me it seems a betrayal of some kind. I open myself to tell how my life is going and in return I get nothing. Then two weeks later I get a message saying “I’ve thought about you a lot. How are you?”. Damn it, it’s just confusing to me. Do I matter to them or not? In my own little (maybe weird) world it’s a definite sign of not caring and then a red light starts to blink warning me to stay the hell away from that person.

I guess internet is a good way to communicate with people that are not close by and for meeting new people but it’s very rare that you actually find some real friends. I don’t know, maybe I’m too pessimistic and distrusting but until now nothing has proved me wrong.

But not to end this post so negatively I wanted to thank my friend John for supporting me when I needed it and giving me strength. So, thank you John from the bottom of my heart 🙂

  1. Anton Masik ütles:

    That’s a good subject. I think I can help you understand why some people act in a way that may seem confusing.

    Let’s say some person finds you and gets interested. Sends you an e-mail, Facebook message, leaves blog comments, etc. Followed by your answer and a couple more messages. Then that person wants your phone number.

    This is the Internet which is a poor medium for communication, as you admit. It doesn’t transmit people’s tone of voice or body language — only written words. Scientific studies show that actual words play smaller part than all other aspects of communication. Add the issue that the language being used may be a foreign language for the person.

    It’s quite natural for people to want better communication than that. Phone adds voice and still keeps you safe, because you can just end the call if you don’t like it. If you refuse, maybe it means to the other person that you have some issues (or are lying about something). Or the other person concludes that there is no interest on your part, especially if previous messages were all initiated on the other side. Initiating communication is in itself a hard task for some people. In fact, this is the opportunity for you to confirm if trustworthiness of the other person to some degree — it’s harder to fake voices.

    To sum up, any communication where you don’t also see and hear each other has a great potential for confusion. Luckily nowadays there are things like Skype and webcams that help overcome this and leave you the option of blocking unwanted people. You also need to remember that the communication is two-sided and the other person can also get confused by your communication.

    Oh, and the unanswered messages really hurt. Being ignored sucks. Sadly I have ignored people like this myself. The point here is that there are many things going on in each person’s life. It would be nice if you were the top priority of all your acquaintances, but it’s not realistic to expect that from people with whom you exchanged 3-4 messages. Eye to eye communication prevents this ignoring issue as well, by the way.

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