In the Flesh (A Poem and Commentary about Finding Love Online)
Love in the Virtual World
Since the introduction of the Internet the world has seen a major shift in the way people communicate, and even find love. More and more friendships and relationships are developing online rather than "in the flesh."
Some of these people eventually meet and transfer their cyber relationship into real life romances, but the vast majority never meet and are destined to only find and share love in the "virtual world."
This poem attempts to describe one such relationship.
Instant Messaging and Chat Rooms
Instant Messaging (IM) and Chat Rooms operate via the Internet. This allows for instant communication between two computers anywhere in the world and because of this IM and Chat Rooms have flourished.
Instant Messaging is a service that allows users to send typed messages, pictures, files, and live video with sound to a recipient using their screen name. It provides a personal way of communicating with friends and other known acquaintances and is very popular among teenagers and adults alike.
In order to use these services users must download a free program and install it on their computer. There are several available with two of the more popular ones being Yahoo Messenger and AIM (America Online IM). The program handles all the communication and provides a window for the user to type and receive messages.
In the Flesh
by John Hansen © 2015
Your written name
Breaks through my crust,
Those feelings rise,
Of love and lust.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I hang on every word
Whatever time of day
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
You make me laugh,
You make me cry.
More often though
You make me sigh.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
How do you hold
Such hidden power,
That makes strong men
Wilt like a flower?
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
You say such words
That don't seem real.
I can't explain
Just how I feel.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
But funny too.
I crave my cyber time
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
I've never even
Seen your face,
Or heard your voice,
Or know your race.
♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
The love we share
Is young and fresh,
I need to meet you
In the flesh.
A chat room is similar to Instant Messaging but instead of one-to-one communication, users log on to a themed based virtual room and communicate with several people only known by their screen names. By sending typed messages to the room all connected users can read and respond like a big online community. The range of topics to choose from is endless: relationships, hobbies, sports, politics, health issues, and religion etc. Basically if there is an interest, there is probably a chat room available. It is often of a place for users to post their name, engage in some chit chat, and then wait for someone to request an Instant Message which is also known as “going private.”
- Internet Dating (an adult fairy tale)
A poem about the pros and cons of Internet dating based on the fairy tale Snow White.
Have you ever tried Online Dating?
SKYPE, FACE TIME, VIDEO CHAT
If you find yourself becoming attracted to or involved with someone through instant messenger or a chat room and the relationship appears to be getting serious, it is probably a good idea to request to communicate with them through Skype, FaceTime or other form of video chat.
This way you will have the opportunity to actually see the other (probably faceless) person you have been chatting with. Often people are not exactly honest when chatting online. They may lie about their age, show you a photo of themselves that is ten years old, or of someone they would like to look like but isn't in fact them. They could even be the opposite sex of what they pretend to be.
You still won't be able to confirm details such as if they are actually married or single etc. but you will at least have their appearance and voice to go on.
- You meet someone online and after just a few contacts they profess strong feelings for you, and ask to chat with you privately. If you met on a dating site they will try and move you away from the site and communicate via chat or email.
- Their profile on the internet dating website or their Facebook page is not consistent with what they tell you. For example, their profile picture looks different to their description of themselves, or they say they are university educated but their English is poor.
- After gaining your trust – often waiting weeks, months or even years – they tell you an elaborate story and ask for money, gifts or your bank account/credit card details.
- Their messages are often poorly written, vague and may even address you by the wrong name.
- If you don’t send money straight away, their messages and calls become more desperate, persistent or direct. If you do send money, they continue to ask you to send more.
- They don’t keep their promises and always have an excuse for why they can't travel to meet you and why they always need more money. (source: Scamwatch)
Don't Believe Everything You Read
"Is the above poem written from experience?" you may ask. Well not that I am admitting :) although, I have been approached online by a number of very friendly and exotic women who look like supermodels but are desperately lonely and can only find a kind caring man on the Internet.
They used to always be from Ghana or Nigeria, but more recently seem to be British or American (funny that their English writing skills are never very fluent..damn the school system today) who unexpectedly have to travel to the African continent to settle the affairs of a sick or dying father or relative. This usually recently deceased person remarkably always has millions of dollars tied up in their estate that their only daughter cannot access without it being claimed and transferred to a third party's bank account.
This is where they usually request my kind assistance, and for my help they will generously pay me around a tenth of the fortune. I only need to pay the solicitor's costs and that of transferring the money etc. usually a mere $400 or so. To arrange this all I have to do is email the President of some bank in West Africa etc whose email address they supply.
These women are very friendly and ask all kind of questions about where I live, what interests me, sport I follow etc. and I am so suave and adorable that they fall in love with me within the first five minutes of messaging, promising me anything and wanting to meet me so we can spend our lives and the million dollars together (maybe it's my Aussie accent,,nah that can't be it, they haven't heard it).
They seem to miraculously be experts in whatever sport or interest I say I like. For instance I told one that I loved football, so she came back telling me that Manchester United was her favourite team in the FA Cup and all these facts that held no interest for me. I told her I liked Rugby League or Rugby Union Football, not Soccer...and she was stunned into temporary silence.
Have you been scammed?
If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. Let them know the scammer’s profile name and any other details that may help them to stop others being scammed.
If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately. (source: Scamwatch)
Too Good to Be True
About this time I slip in the fact that although this is all very tempting, I am happily married and not free or interested in meeting them, but wish them well in their quest for online love or whatever they are looking for. These girls invariably do have trouble digesting this information however and after asking a few questions about my wife and if I have children, revert immediately back to arranging to meet me, what we can do together etc and how wonderful a person I am. Yes, what a wonderful person I would be, willing to cheat on my wife for someone I have only spoken with for five or ten minutes by Instant Message.
By now I have had enough fun stringing this person (probably West African gentleman posing as a voluptuous model) along, that I click "block this user" and never have to hear from them again. At least I wasted some of their time when they could have been scamming someone more vulnerable and gullible.
I am sure many women have experienced similar messages or emails from handsome and suave foreign men spruiking similar lines. I'd be interested to hear your stories in comments.
I just want to make it clear that what I have written here is in no way meant to trivialise the legitimate search for love online, or belittle those looking for it. I know a number of people who have met their life partners online (my family members included) and could never be happier. I'd love to hear those stories too.
© 2015 John Hansen