All is fair in love and networking

robin shin, online editor

In this new generation of mass communication, we are able to communicate with those who live in places we haven’t even heard of, as long as they have an Internet connection. We use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and many other social networks to get our lives known and shared by those who have the same interest.  

You meet a cute girl or guy in class, you want to know their relationship status or what their interests are, so what do you do? Ask their name and look them up on Facebook to see if they are single or taken.  It’s what many people of nearly all ages now do. Not everyone asks in person. We are slowly relying more on our social networking for social interaction.

Some people who are in a relationship find that online social networking can ruin relationships due to the massive communication they are able to achieve and the lack of privacy due to paranoia created through the relationship. Why did your boyfriend just change his relationship status to being complicated on Facebook? Why is your girlfriend getting the same status likes from a certain guy from her English class? Along those lines of paranoia, there are also new doors that social networking opens.

Online relationships.

We are now in a generation where looks aren’t everything. We actually have the ability to meet people who share the same interest, share the same point of view as you. Like the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover,” we are coming to a generation where we, at times, look at a person’s interest before seeing their faces.

Now there is and eHarmony, which are commercialized for people to use in order to meet “the right person,” but there are other ways that it works.

I’m not saying Craig’slist, but rather interest sharing sites such as: Tumblr, Pintrest, DeviantArt and more.  Now I’m not saying use those sites as a dating site, but to use it as to find those who you share interests with.

As a person who has been in an online relationship for one year going to two now, I met my girlfriend through Tumblr.

We met through a history tag we were both very much interested in. I never really saw how she looked due to the fact that her photos were heavily layered with Photoshop graphics, and I didn’t expect anything out of our friendship and connection.

In the end, we got together, and I saw a clear photo of her just a week before she came to visit me so that I was able to pick her up from a hotel by LAX.  She is from Ireland, a country that is over 5,000 miles away from Bakersfield.

Internet not only made us blind to genders, but to ethnicities and skin colors. Now, I’m not saying that we should all meet strangers online and start dating them. Trust, as it is in any relationship, is the strongest connection you have with those you meet online. How do you know that they are telling the truth? How do you know if that picture they have on their Facebook page is real? How can we tell that person isn’t actually your neighbor who stalks you from behind the curtains of his window every day? How do you know that you are not being “Catfish’d?”

Well, I’ve gone through that level of relationship, too. A few years ago, I was a fool and was tricked into believing that a man I met online was interested in me for over a year.

We talked and exchanged many emails, but I am now glad that I didn’t send him any photos of myself, for I found out later that he was actually a high school student who was trolling online for ignorant people at the time, like me.

Now I’ve heard many people ask how does an online relationship work without the physical contact.  If you’re fortunate like me, you may have your significant other visit you from far as Ireland to Bakersfield. If you aren’t, you’ll have to work something out in order to meet up further down the road into your relationship.

Also, the communication works, e-mail, messages, chatting, or even texting and snail mail if you are willing to push your trust that far. Communication and trust is the master key to an online relationship. In order for those two to click, you’ll need to have the key of patience.

I believe that social networking really opened many views, regardless of the blindside of who is behind the screen name. Imagine an online relationship, in which you get to judge their personality first instead of their physical appearance. You meet someone for their interests, get to know them and then you meet their face.

Maybe not everyone works that way, but the majority of the people online do. Social networking truly helps people from not judging someone alone by their looks.

Social networking, be it an in person relationship or an online relationship, truly has changed how communication works between two human beings, and I think everyone should give it a try.