Making Friends Online

Mar 20, 2013

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girl on computer2Online friends. Everyone has them nowadays. Some you know in real life, and some you don’t. There’s nothing wrong with having online relationships, of course. The problem comes when the relationship is entirely online from start to finish. People lie online, just like in real life. There’s no guarantee that the person who says they’re ten years old just like your daughter is actually even a child at all.

But let’s assume that you can verify the identity of the person on the other side of the screen.

Online relationships can be good to a point. They can help kids keep up with relatives and friends across the country, or the world. They can expose them to new people and new ideas. They can let shyer children get to know each other in a safe environment without all the other stresses of interacting in real life. But at some point, the relationship needs to be more offline than on.

The problem is that interacting online can never be a real substitute for interactions in the flesh. It’s hard to hear inflections in typed words. You’re missing out on the nuances of face-to-face interactions. And, even though our world is becoming rapidly digital, it is still essential to interact with people on a day-to-day basis. If we allow our children to make all their friends online, they’ll miss out on learning how to handle day-to-day interactions that are important to survive in this society. Real life, unlike the digital world, cannot simply be turned off at the flip of a switch. The consequences of saying or doing something wrong must be dealt with immediately. There’s no backspace button in real life.

Digital relationships have their place. But let’s face it. Online friends are little more than words on a screen. If you need help limiting your children’s computer time, get Net Nanny, with built-in online time controls. Get your kids out and interacting with real flesh-and-blood people who can teach your children the joy of living in this crazy world. 

I work for Net Nanny and all opinions are my own.