Meeting people online has its pros and cons. While girls may have perfectly legitimate concerns about meeting stalkers and sex maniacs, there are those who take the risk with a good dose of caution, common sense and intuition, and end up with lasting friendships. Cyber savvy teens give StarEducation a perspective on today’s latest dating service.
I KNOW people who have found boyfriends and girlfriends online. Everyone I know chats, that’s just the trend today.
A girl who is shy in real life can express herself better in the chat room. You get information about people via their profiles. We don’t always tell the truth online because the other person might be lying anyway. In secondary school, we fake our age because we’re too young but we freak out when old people, like in their 40s, talk to us.
I wouldn’t say “never” to meeting anyone from the Net. You need to build cyber trust first. It’s easy to lie on the Net. You can lie about your age and looks.
For instance, we say we have lots of pimples and we’re fat just to test if they still want to chat with us. Most of them ask about your body type and if they like your answer, they will continue to chat with you. That’s a real turn-off. – Amy Ying Mei Chin, 19
I thought it was really interesting when it first started but now it’s a bit outdated because the SMS phenomenon has taken its place. – Sameeah Taib, 19
IT’S less hassle choosing online which guy you want to be with or what type of boyfriend you want. It’s better to get to know people online rather than off-line because if you don’t like the person you are chatting with, you can just leave him and not worry about his feelings as it is just an online thingy.
I met my first love on the Net when I was 18 but it only lasted seven months because he turned out to be totally different from what he was in the chat room. – Raja Faraadiana Raja Muzaffar, 22
THE advantage of online chatting is that it allows you to make friends with people from all over the world. It’s also a much cheaper method than hanging on the phone to chat. When you chat online, you don’t have to reveal any of your true personal information, you can make things up. The disadvantage is that you can’t trust what the other person is saying. – S. Thina, 23
CYBER relationships do work! Many of my friends meet their partners through the Internet. I can totally accept this but I think most parents have a harder time accepting it. Sometimes I find chatting with strangers more enjoyable than chatting with friends in the real world. – Teong Po-chien, 19
CHATTING has become so popular it’s part of our everyday lives. People who want to fill up their time when they’re bored, love it. – Cynthia Chew, 19
THERE’S definitely less stress and tension when you chat online because you don’t meet the person face to face. You also look beyond physical beauty because you get to know the depth of the person by the way he/she converses online.
However, naive people can easily be “talked-up” and fall for smooth-talkers who can then take advantage of them. – Esther Rani, 18
CYBER relationships are popular partly because the Internet has become a big part of our lives. We use it to communicate with our peers, especially these days because of all the restrictions placed on us by our parents, like no late nights in the wake of the Canny Ong rape-cum-murder. – Serena Sit, 18
I’VE been chatting since 1998. Its fun meeting people from different parts of the world. Then when you get close to someone, you kind of get into a relationship without realising it. But this relationship does not just stop on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) because you can meet in person and decide if it can go to another level. It works! – Jagdeep Kaur, 22
I chatted with a guy on the Internet when I was in Form Five. He wanted to meet up but I didn’t, so we started sending SMS. It’s okay to chat and fool around online but usually, they just want to chat about sex and it’s very irritating. I don’t think you can find a boyfriend online. – Sheena Moo Tin Ting, 19
Being anyone you want to be
Basically, it allows for privacy; your close friends and family don’t have to know about it. It’s like having an alter-ego, a fantasy away from our real lives. – Chin Wei Li, (Willy) 21
When I’m online, of course I lie; it’s hard to be honest. It can be dangerous when you’re young and naive and you have all these old guys trying to take advantage of you. Like when I was 14, these 30-year-old guys would come and try to chat me up. I’ve only met up once with a guy from the Net, but he was a friend of a friend. Other than that I wouldn’t advise anyone to do the same.– Nor Inayah Ariffin, 20
If on a blind date with a person from the Net, girls should take all precautions to protect themselves.
Basically, there are two types of guys – those who ask about sexual stuff and other things, like if you’re bisexual or lesbian, and those who just want to talk to you, get to know you and, at the end of the day, meet up with you.
I think it’s sick when old people prey on young girls online. I can’t imagine my dad chatting online. – Christine Wong Shook Yee, 19.
I didn’t have a different character or anything like that. I guess if you want to have a real relationship with someone online, you’ll have to meet offline as well. – Joseph Chua, 21
I never expect to meet up with any of the people I chat with. In cyber space there are no commitments; after all, it’s not a very safe environment with the possibility of stalkers. – Shafique Khatib, 24
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