Exploring The Benefits and The Risks of Online Relationships
Start writing a post

Exploring The Benefits and The Risks of Online Relationships

Whether it's platonic of romantic, online friends can be risky...

Exploring The Benefits and The Risks of Online Relationships
We Heart It

In our world currently, you can do so many things without leaving the comfort of your own home. You can shop, you can rent movies, you can work, you can do mostly anything. Growing up, we probably all heard the same things from our parents, our teachers, our School Resource Officers and many other adults - "Don't talk to people online." While the point is valid, and I understand the risks of making online friendships with people you don't know, why did adults fill absolute fear into the minds of children?

I am well aware that having friendships online can be incredibly risky. But, have you ever though about the benefits of them? I'd like to take you on a journey of exploring both the benefits and the risks of a online relationships and friendships.

Benefit #1: Support

The first benefit of having relationships, either platonic or romantic, online is that online friends can sometimes support you better than a regular in-person relationship. Sometimes, when you're going through a situation and your real life friends just don't get it, your internet friends do.

Risk #1: Catfishing

If you own a television and have ever tuned into MTV, you know what this is. Catfishing, by definition, is to pretend to be someone you're not online by posting false information. Thanks to the popular TV show, Catfish, starring Nev Schulman and Max Joseph, we have all been exposed to the harsh world of catfishing. Having online friends, it is not uncommon to come across a Catfish. I, myself, have encountered one. I had a group of online friends on Twitter and at one point, one of the friends randomly died. This person just "died" completely out of nowhere. They had no warnings, no goodbyes, nothing. Of course, we were all confused and smelled something a bit fishy. After some research, we found out that this girl was completely catfishing us and her "death" was just to cut ties with us before we figured out she wasn't who she was pretending to be. Catfish are awful, they're unfortunately common and they can be heartbreaking when you fall in love with the like people on the TV show. If you, yourself, reading this are catfishing someone get some sense and come clean, they'll always somehow find out in the end who you really are.

Benefit #2: Great Secret Keepers

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F07%2F636035077876236349-760653558_friends3.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=840&h=c92016116c969e2c014c4b32e0e4a887028a5648101f5dcba413f9d82d1150b7&size=980x&c=2442586702 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F07%252F636035077876236349-760653558_friends3.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D840%26h%3Dc92016116c969e2c014c4b32e0e4a887028a5648101f5dcba413f9d82d1150b7%26size%3D980x%26c%3D2442586702%22%7D" expand=1]

Sometimes, you have just things going on in real life you don't feel comfortable talking to your friends about. For example, I had two online friends that were thinking of dating and one of my friends didn't feel comfortable telling her real life friends how she felt about having a crush with a boy over the internet. She didn't think her friends would understand and that they would make fun of her for having and online relationship. Sometimes, only your online friends understand things and that's okay.

Risk #2: Scammers

This risk kind of goes along with catfishing, but it takes catfishing to a whole new level. Instead of just pretending to be someone hotter than you because you feel self-conscious putting yourself on the internet, this is someone pretending to be someone else with the intent of stealing from you. This is like the cases you hear on Dr. Phil with the sweet, old ladies who are dating who they think are sweet, old men who really turn out to be twenty-one year old men in some far away country. But, these meant are our for a relationship - they're out for cash. They make things up like needing money for surgery, needing money to get a plane ticket to the US, needing money for God knows what. These people only want one thing from you, money. If anyone ever asks for your money on the internet, never give it to them. If they really needed your money assistance, make sure you know and know exactly where your money is going.

Benefit #3: Life Saving

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F07%2F636035082517411899-1589273847_friends5.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=463&h=02acc708c33365f6fd2a763590fb9522aef468444f151a7f885a953b99140e8c&size=980x&c=1322652311 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F07%252F636035082517411899-1589273847_friends5.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D463%26h%3D02acc708c33365f6fd2a763590fb9522aef468444f151a7f885a953b99140e8c%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1322652311%22%7D" expand=1]

For people who have social anxiety or just feel awkward meeting people in person, having the chance to make strong bonds and relationships online is life saving. They can grow their bond online and it will help build their confidence and create a lifelong friendship. Online friends don't always have to remain online friends; later on when they feel comfortable, they can meet in person and create an even stronger bond from there.

Risk #3: Cyberbullying

[rebelmouse-proxy-image https://media.rbl.ms/image?u=%2Ffiles%2F2016%2F07%2F07%2F636035085131436832-1189391501_friends6.gif&ho=https%3A%2F%2Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net&s=16&h=a990e5ebee53ed23792bdd7673087bc1345c16970f4d1814ae041313e95afd81&size=980x&c=1486347107 crop_info="%7B%22image%22%3A%20%22https%3A//media.rbl.ms/image%3Fu%3D%252Ffiles%252F2016%252F07%252F07%252F636035085131436832-1189391501_friends6.gif%26ho%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Faz616578.vo.msecnd.net%26s%3D16%26h%3Da990e5ebee53ed23792bdd7673087bc1345c16970f4d1814ae041313e95afd81%26size%3D980x%26c%3D1486347107%22%7D" expand=1]

We all know what this is. It can happen with both online friends and real life friends. Cyberbullying is when someone goes online and begins to make fun of you; they can do this either anonymously or not... it still hurts. It is easier for your online "friends" to do this than your real life ones. They do not know you in person, they can immediately delete you and block you afterwards. They'll never know what their hurtful words did to you after they've completely blocked you on everything. They can say anything they want about you on Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Kik, ect. and never face the consequences of their words that are as sharp as knives. That's crazy.

Online friends are both a blessing and a curse. It sucks having online friends that you appreciate and can't go on random ice cream runs with. These people will be the first to back you up. Whenever you post a status claiming you're upset or mad, they'll be the first to comment claiming how they have their plane ticket in hand and they're on the way to kick whoever hurt you's butt. Appreciate an online friend, you don't have to fear them.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Soccer, Spain and Racism

The whirlwind events of last week reflects the sad state of sports in Europe.

Soccer, Spain and Racism

When we think of events that have transpired in the US over the last few years, a lot of it ends up in spotlighting the division in the country. However, things across the pond seem to be no better - at least when it comes to sports. Last week, Real Madrid - arguably the richest sports franchise in the world, had one of their Brazilian strikers subject to vicious racist attacks in Valencia. The player, Vini Jr posted this example video in his Insta account:

Keep Reading...Show less

The ultimate itinerary for travel in South Africa

6 days travel for under $1200

brown leopard on top of grey rock

With its stunning natural beauty, diverse culture, and exciting cities, South Africa is a must-visit destination for any traveller. Great News… it's more affordable than you might think. With the current USD to Rand exchange rate, it's possible for 2 people to travel around this beautiful country for under $1200. But to do so, you'll need some insider knowledge and tips from local students and travel enthusiasts. In this blog, we'll share some of the best hacks to help you explore South Africa on a shoestring budget. From wildlife spotting to city adventures, we've got you covered. So grab your backpack and let's get started!


Exploring South Africa will be an adventure, but let's not ignore the fact that you’ll be a tourist and some areas are not considered safe. Don’t worry, I’ve only included the tourist-friendly spots.

Keep Reading...Show less
A Thank You Letter To My Dance Teachers

Here's to the women that encouraged, disciplined, and loved on me! If it wasn't for you all coaching me through out dance and throughout my life, I think I would probably be on the crazy train to what the good-golly-gee-wiz am I doing with my life?

Keep Reading...Show less

Dating A 'Type-A' Girl

It is all worth it in the end.

Dating A 'Type-A' Girl

You have probably been asked before if you were a Type-A or Type-B personality. People who are considered to be "Type A" tend to be impatient, competitive and ambitious. They know exactly what they want to do and when they want to do it. Then there are people who are considered "Type B." People with Type-B personality are just all around more relaxed. There isn't much that is going to stress them out.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments