You might wonder how these two topics can mix. Well it appears that technology has brought people closer together by means of email, instant messaging, video collaboration, chat rooms and discussion forums to name a few.
Sites like omogenia personals, greeksingles, marriedsingles, hi5, match, myspace etc. were created to bring people together irrespective of race or ethnicity. Discussion forum software was developed purely for this reason.
Can technology help you find friendship/love over the internet? Possibly would be my answer. People meet over the internet in discussion forums and talk about a subject (or a variety of). Soon enough the “regulars” tend to form bonds of friendship that could not have been established in any other way.
Instant messaging software like Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Gaim etc. allow people to send instant text messages through the internet at no cost and at real time. These packages have evolved in such a way that one can now exchange files, enable camera (hence video conferencing) and in general bring people together even more.
Voice over IP software (VoIP) like Skype allow for cost-free communication between people that can be in different parts of the world. Skype addons (although only available for Windows platforms) allow for video conferencing as well. Skype also allows the user to conference with up to 4 people simultaneously (voice only) and to call to normal land telephone lines at a fraction of the cost the local telephone provider charges.
A complete suite of online collaboration that I found is Marratech. This piece of software allows clients from various operating systems (Linux, Macintosh, Windows) to connect with a central server and collaborate on video, instant messaging, voice and applications. Paid versions of this software offer more features one of which is encryption of data.
So this available technology is a blessing since it allows people to get closer to one another, to communicate irrespective of the distance.
The curse as I see it is basically dishonesty. This can be found all around the internet especially in chat rooms and discussion forums. People will start posting and communicating with other people pretending to be something else. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing who is the other person on the other line so one has to be cautious. Parental controls must be enforced in order to protect the young.
I have been on the internet for quite some time now and I can safely say that I met some very interesting people, some of them I am proud to call as friends. Hence I embrace this technology since it brings people together irrespective of distance.
Try it. Who knows? With a bit of caution on your part you might end up meeting really interesting people that could end up as your friends or something more.
Boldly goes where no other coder has gone before.... and other ramblings
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