Facebook and many services out there have made finding old friends and making new ones pretty easy but, unfortunately wonderful as these many free services are there are some downsides to interacting on-line. Here are 3
- The Initial Reaction
It is a thing because when you meet someone face to face you have the chance to take in a lot about them instantly. You can take note of their reaction as you call out their name (especially if you have not seen each other for years). In the flesh you can make note of different things about the person in front of you. The amount of eye contact, the warmth or lack of in their voice and the way they position their feet (if their feet are pointing away from you, they can’t wait to get away).
Online when you reach out and make a friend request you can never be party to the initial reaction; the facial or verbal expression, the smile, or the smirk and worse still the letting out of a disdainful grunt.
- The Lack of Spontaneity
Yes, there are the emoji but emoji do not make sounds (yet) and there is nothing more heartwarming than when laughter breaks out among a group of people; friends or not. The laughter chain is irreplaceable as each person instinctively glances at the person nearest to them and laughs even more. Online, well, people have been known to share in the joke days or months later.
No one will be laughing then, except, maybe at you…doh.
- The Administrative Hoops
In person usually you are careful what you say to whom but, online you have to do some admin when you decide to add information to your account. When you fill out your relationship status, hometown, education, current place of residence, favorite quotes, views (political and other), favorite books, films, eating places and so on; you have to remember to tick a box and make sure to choose who can see your posts; friends, family, groups etc.
Yes, it is correct that filling out these fields is completely optional but most people tend to fill them out because they want to make more friends, or allow people to get to know them better. They do not expect this information will be harvested and passed on to others (for free of for money) whether or not they jumped through the administration hoops.