As more people today
have access to use of the internet through careers, school, or
home computers, the trend of communicating online is on the rise.
With the increasing popularity of this form of relationship, some
individuals do not often consider this to be a potentially
dangerous situation. However, there are people and places on the
internet to be cautious of, as my own experience clearly shows.
While taking a
break from working on my home computer, I logged onto a chat room
and quickly joined in on the room discussion. I entered these
rooms periodically, but had never continued a conversation with
someone outside the rooms. I began chatting with a male individual
on this particular day, under my fake user name. I felt a strange
connection to this person while speaking with him. We enjoyed all
the same hobbies and activities. We had similar careers and both
of us were happily married and had children. Neither of us were
unhappy with our lifestyles, but we both had quiet natures and
didn't have many friends to talk with.
We spoke a few
times after that and revealed more personal details about
ourselves each time. We eventually exchanged photos of ourselves,
and began corresponding through email as well. I found myself
rushing to my computer as soon as my husband left for work each
day, and I realized I was becoming attracted to this man. In the
midst of a conversation one day this man told me he was in love
with me. The rational side of me said he was crazy. After all, we
had only known each other for a few weeks. Still, my confidence
was soaring by this point, and I wanted to continue talking with
A short time later, he began talking about leaving our families to be
I decided it was time to end this cyber relationship, as I had
never had any intention of actually meeting this person. I was
very polite and simply explained my position to him. That evening
we received the first of many prank phone calls, until we finally
had to change our phone number. Unfortunately, this wasn't enough
of a hint for this person.
He preceded to
inform my husband about our ''fling.'' My husband and I eventually
worked things out, but there will probably always be a sense of
distrust between us. I have spoken to many people who assure me
this does not always happen with cyber relationships. However, my
experience certainly taught me a lesson and I only hope that
others realize that not everyone is what they seem to be on the
to follow online:
Don't use your
real name. Make up a fake user name.
When on a chat line, leave your public profiles
blank. Only people you really ''know'' need this information
Never give out
your address or phone number. Be cautious when someone else
gives you their phone number, many people have caller ID today.
out your picture to people.
If you decide
to correspond through email, set up an account with a fake
name, or an account that does not display your real name. Many
sites offer free accounts. Remember, you can always give your
real name after you've established trust with a person.
No matter how
sincere someone seems, it takes a long time to trust a person.