Inadequate. A failure. Not good enough. These are all feelings some people have about themselves, and words used to describe that person by others. Absorbed deeply enough and they can cause one to fold in upon themselves leading to apathy, lethargy, isolation, depression, thoughts of moving somewhere far away, thoughts of suicide, and in the worst cases, actual suicide. Alternatively, the inadequate person may resort to violence to try to compensate for their utter lack of abilities.
Enter online romances. An online romance can give the inadequate person a sense of worth. They feel accepted and cared for. Attractive and desired. Their failures in the real world are erased and replaced by an invigorating sense of accomplishment that exists in the world of the internet and electronic devices.
Online romances often begin when the two people meet on decidedly unromantic websites such as chat boards, discussion forums, brand loyalty sites and entertainment-oriented sites. One feels an affinity for the other based on something superficial such as a shared sense of humor or that they both love Goober Grape.
That shared experience or feeling sparks one of them to suggest they take their discussions to personal messaging or email "so we can more easily talk in detail." And the online romance is birthed.
But contrary to the participant's fabricated beliefs, the person remains inadequate and a failure in the world of reality.
This article is the first in a series dealing with the false sense of adequacy and worth that can be created via the internet. Next, we look at the world of online gaming and role-playing.