Tuesday, May 02, 2006

MSN courtship?

I was having this conversation with the friend of mine. A girl to be precise but I felt that to debate what I wanted, I needed an opposite sex opinion. My topic of discussion was on the use of MSN to court someone. The precise definition being using MSN to purely court someone, without the use of any other form of communicatable device or face to face meetings. Just the MSN. Obviously, the two people must know each other but not well enough to be a couple yet. So the MSN would be used to further enhance his/her image and to see if just by MSN alone, a couple can fall completely in love with each other.

As expected, my friend and I had two completely different views. I posed a question to her asking if MSN conversations were like telephone chit chat or face to face conversations. She replied yes but only in to an extent of MSN being a medium where less can be said as compared to a telephone one. So she claims that MSN is indeed an acceptable form of conversation, a sort of 'real' conversation but just constrained in certain aspects.

I challenged if indeed MSN is a 'real' conversation comparable to a telephone one because by conversing through MSN, one cannot really determine the emotions the other party is having. In an example of guy courting a girl, the guy may be nervous for all you know but he is hiding behind the facade of MSN and behaving like he is the best orator in the world. So is this his real character? Can he behave this way when he meets up with the girl? Or will he barely be able to offer a squeak? I believe that a person can never show his true character and personality through just MSN alone. He can be a smooth talker and a really funny person online but that is because he is in front of his computer with all the time in the world to decide what to say. He is facing a medium not a person. And we all know typing your thoughts and feeling into a machine is completely different from sharing your thoughts and feelings with someone that is interactive. If the person is nervous on the phone, you can tell but online? Unlikely.

My friend agreed with me that MSN conversations will never be able to replace telephone ones and face to face talk and rather it just acts as a complement. Yet, MSN in a way is a good medium to interact with the other party too because it is easier to say certain 'difficult' things that is hard to bring up in a telephone conversation. Like the words 'I like you' is such a difficult phrase to say when you are actually talking to a person be it on a telephone or face to face but when it comes to MSN, a mere movement on the keyboard would successfully deliver the phrase to the other party.

However, I believe the need to deal with the emotional aspect of saying these words is simply not there. How true is a person when he merely types these words as compared to actually saying it? Which is better and more importantly which option shows more sincerity? My friend stated as well that MSN would then remove the awkwardness of saying these difficult phrases. Yes, but don't you want to see that person's awkwardness? if that awkwardness is hidden away, then you are not falling in love with him, you are falling in love with his online personality which is not the true manifestation of him.

I feel that if a person just insist of using MSN as a medium of communication and nothing else, then I think that person's character is flawed. He either has something to hide or he has completely no confidence in facing his feelings for the girl. How then would you fall in love with a person that is devoid of confidence? After all, I am sure in a relationship, the couple would have to see each other constantly and speak on the phone endlessly. You can't go on just being a 'MSN Couple'. So if the couple can only get along online but feel awkward constantly when they meet or talk on the telephone can they really sustain a relationship?

Indeed, the introduction of online conversations has really cheapen the importance of human relations. Conversations can now be conducted by just merely tapping the keyboard. Key aspects like feelings and emotions are keyed through this medium without the person actually feeling it. Is this the way we want human relationships to go? What has happened to the old fashion emotional goodbyes and hugs?

When there is a time when relationships are no longer based on true emotions and feelings and just merely robotic mechanisms, I think mankind has truly lost their humanity. After all, God created humans with something that the others don't have. Ethics. Devoid of this aspect and we are no different from machines.

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