I guess love really does come in all shapes, sizes, and ages. Reading Henry Johnson’s “Love Online” I was not as surprised that love could sprout between two teenagers online. I’ve never seen teenagers fall in love online so the story was quite amusing and even, dare I say it, cute! Instead, I was more surprised that their families supported their virtual relationship. I could imagine trying to tell my mom that I had a crush on a boy I was talking to in chat rooms. My mother would go off, demand that I stop talking to this boy immediately, and take away all my technology for around a month…Actually, maybe more.
I guess this article surprises me so much because I can’t even imagine a world where this would be possible. For myself and many of my friends, our parents are weary of us even casually communicating with people we don’t know online. Honestly, I have never even talked to a stranger online unless they were part of a website’s support team. Thus a relationship was completely out of the question. When I first think of online relationships begun in chat rooms, I think of those Lifetime movies where young girls get abducted. I know…not the best frame of reference. Perhaps it’s because I am a female, but honestly I could never imagine having the courage to start a relationship from a conversation in an online chat room.
I enjoyed reading Johnson’s anecdote. His perspective on online teen dating seemed as if it was just another development in dating relationships. What do you think? I’m all for love but when it comes to young teens chat rooms with strangers I think I draw the line. It’s great that Johnson’s son told his parents who his love interest. However, lots of teenagers aren’t as frank with their parents. I know – much of the dating that begins in online chat rooms is harmless. However, the risk factor that something might happen to a young, unsuspecting teenager has completely turned me, my family, and many of my friends off from online dating. I do not however, have any qualms about adults dating online. Adults have more life experience, wisdom, and can protect themselves a bit more. Additionally, adults often use trusted matchmaker sites to find love interests. I think that’s a way more credible. Though, I probably wouldn’t begin an online relationship, I’m much more supportive of adult relationships than young teenage ones.