3 Downsides of Interacting On-Line

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

  1. 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.

  1. 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…

  1. 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.


A Zambian site sharing quick read articles around work, money and adulting life with selective interviews and quotes.
The founder, editor and lead writer who left university with a good grasp of public administration, economics, money, banking and international relations is also qualified in journalism and creative writing. She has been published in Drum and The BBC Focus on Africa Magazine and has been featured in several local and international publications.
An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo