By Vinitha George
This is the age of cyber pals!
'Chatting', has indeed made the world a smaller place. Now, with new chat programmes that have a lot of state-of-the-art technology and user-friendly features, 'chatting' has become more personal.
There are people, young and old, who get onto the chat-line for the fun of it. Well, almost everyone starts chatting to pass time – just for the sake of fun. But, some do find their soul mates here in cyber-space.
Well, what is the real story behind this 'romance through the net?' How can two sensible people just 'chat' through a screen and fall in love? How can anyone, for that matter, fall for each other without even seeing each other? OK, looks don't matter in true love, but do you fancy not even knowing what lifestyle he or she is leading?
Are we growing up in an age where loneliness is so strong and acute that we are falling for illusions?
Well, whatever logic we can come up with against this growing phenomenon, the fact is that people are falling for it – and more and more relationships are blossoming in front of the screens.
It is a different world altogether, one that you have no control over, but one that is so ironical. The same technological revolution that has taken chatting and socialising out of our lives is creating a world where you can find happiness by opening your mind and letting it all out.
The aggressive, selfish nature of today's generation has led many to find solace in a world where there is promise of friendships, and, sometimes, a bit more – without any judgement on their individuality.
Here, there is a feeling of intimacy, as there is no element from the 'outside world' that could possibly disturb you. And, there is more: he or she is all yours. It is two hearts knowing each other in mutual companionship.
Whether or not these relationships are a success depends on the individuals – as in any other relationship. Well, may be more. It is not just two people that matter here; it sometimes is a fusion of two entirely different cultures and backgrounds.
The two individuals can be from as far as two different continents. Then, it is a real challenge, because you are treading into an unknown world, where there is nothing to lead you but the words on your screen. It is an adventure through two lives, exploring each other's unknown world – and getting to know each other better.
You start casually, but it grows to become a part of you that you cannot deny and, gradually, the story of love begins.
It is a chance on love, in real. You can never know how far it will go or what will be the end result. You tend to heed your heart rather than your brain. But then, isn't that what love is all about.
Let's listen to one real-life story:
Mathew, Marketing personnel, working In Dubai, began, as usual, trying to kill his loneliness and chat to someone, anyone, for the sake of chatting. Amid the clutter of chat-lines, he found a girl from Peru, South America. They began as friends – or, more clearly, 'chat friends'. It began as a 'void filler', but gradually became a part of both their lives. They both found solace in each other, and the "mails" became an undeniable part of their lives.
True love always comes uninvited and you really can never say no when it touches your heart. They both fell under love's clutches, despite distances that surpass even the geographical calculations. Two hearts join in one – through a screen!
They both created a dream world of their own – with words. When love hits your heart, common sense goes for a walk!
Immersed in their fancies, they both forgot coming from different cultural backgrounds, different traditions, when family values are in the forefront, they could never make their own decisions. They slowly began to realise the restrictions of reality.
In this early stage of cyber relationships, when most developing countries are still getting to grips with netting, people do find cyber romance too hard to swallow.
But true love always wins. So after much pressure and cajoling, their parents gave in. Today, they are happily married and have a baby son.
This is a story, which would act as a catalyst to many youngsters out there who are full of colourful notions about the world outside. But before you fall into the grips of fantasy, please read on.
Well, it is not all love and promises in the cyber-world. The cyber-world also has its own handicaps: some sex-hungry perverts who just want to have some fun; others who, under false names, mislead you in passing judgement on his/her gender and play tricks with your heart; couples who cheat on each other, and some other wise-guys who run three or more chat relations at the same time!
The chat zone, according to a regular chat user, is a "safe haven for married people to bring out their secret fantasies, without creating any havoc in the family life".
As an afterthought he adds, "It may not even be fantasies; maybe they are trying to find comfort, solitude or advise from an unknown person. Something, which they don't get from their dear ones".
Shouldn't we pause in our tracks for a second or two, and give that idea some serious thought? In our strife for the 'better life', are we taking our loved ones for granted?