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Internet Romance

Good Idea or Bad Idea?

By Shanon NormanPublished 6 months ago 4 min read
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Ballerina Warrior (painting by Shanon Norman)

You're probably going to think this article is silly. That I'm just a "stupid" girl who fell for an obvious trick. Perhaps there is some truth in that dismissive and insensitive statement, but it is more true to me that there is a question of more importance that is at hand at this time. What is the internet really good for? What was it really designed for? Did it help humanity become better people? Did it help us with socialization or progress? Or did it just make our conditions worse and increase the risk of crime and apathy? Should it be used solely for entertainment purposes or was there any chance of using it to level the inequities that the economy or elitists are always so clever at keeping up like indestructable towers? I do not have the answers, so I will simply share my personal story about how the internet can break your heart.

Long before I ever surfed the world wide web, I had seen a movie titled "The Net" starring Sandra Bullock. It scared me tremendously and it wasn't even classified as a horror movie. Many years later I watched a movie starring Melissa McCarthy who poked fun at the idea in a movie titled "Identity Theft" which was appropriately classified as a comedy. With both movies in my mind, I proceed with my personal story about bad romance and how it all occurred because of the internet.

Shy people like me most likely became addicted to the internet and social media. It was so much easier if you suffered from any anxiety disorders to just sit in the comfort of your safe four walls and discuss any topic of interest with strangers online, than to risk a confrontation face-to-face. It was fun to surf from one app to another, from Facebook to Twitter to Instagram to Youtube to TikTok, etcetera. It was fun to play with usernames and identities. Well, if someone or a group doesn't like me "here" I'll just surf to "there" and be someone else. They'll never suspect and I'll have the last laugh. So much deception and for what? Simply because people lacked the courage or strength to say "I'm sorry," or "Let's work this out,"? Or was it some missing economical factor like the eompany wasn't making as much money as the stock market claimed or they were too greedy to pay workers to take care of "real" problems on their sites instead of letting a Q&A page be the moderator?

In 2010, I first surfed to a "new" website called Craigslist and thought it was the best thing since apple pie. Wow. How clever, I thought. With the newspaper's classifieds section falling apart because of greedy sales reps and false ads, an online free Classifieds section makes perfect sense. I spent much time there getting to know the site. Well, lookie here! Personals! How sweet. So my lonely depressed self sought to use that opportunity and I quickly placed a "free" personal ad. (This was when the website still had that section, which was removed a few years ago.) I had done well with a personal ad way back in 1998 so I thought it couldn't hurt to try it again online. Vwala! It worked. I met someone, went on a date, and 8 months later got married for the first time in my life at the age of 40 in 2011. Thanks Craigslist. That's what I said when I was so grateful and still believed in internet romance, because Hey, I like vocalizing gratitude.

Now I can't blame Craigslist for the unhappiness I feel regarding marriage in 2023, but recently I found some romance joy on Facebook. The perfect photo with the perfect face and the messages had the perfect words. I fell hard. MY DREAM MAN! MY SOUL MATE! FINALLY!

Well, he gave me the ol I need money speech, yadda yadda yadda, and even though I could see between the lines, I had to take the gamble because I hadn't heard such sweet words in person in so long that the feeling I was getting was worth the gamble. So I invested. Only $75. Not detrimental to my overall finances, however, as soon as the transaction was complete, I realized that the love affair was over. And even though I knew I was probably being a fool, I cried about it for many days or nights because that feeling was gone and so was the happiness that it had come with.

What could I do? Not much. Surf on to another app to distract myself with. Play more video games.

There's no romance face-to-face. I've looked and all I've found is awkward and uncomfortable situations. And as for dating apps, online personal ads, or Facebook, there are too many scammers just using those sites for financial opportunities, not true love. All you hopeless romantics like me, please guard your heart. They are preying on us.

So my last bit of advice is this. If you can't find love face-to-face or in a real social situation, you better believe that you won't find it online.

social mediapop culturehackersfuturefact or fiction
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About the Creator

Shanon Norman

Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  • Jay Kantor6 months ago

    My Dear Shanon - I so always 'love' the way you tell it like it is - Mom would always say: "Have I got a 'Girl' for you." And, she always did. j-bud

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