Facebook relationships that (basically) aren’t that
It is clear that Internet tools used to establish contact and maintain friendships are, in principle, intended for that very purpose. However, there is a chance to flirt, which gives rise to virtual sex and that can lead to (re)action in real life. Flirting is created in virtual space when participants in a relationship start showing a growing interest in intimacy or attraction to each other. Flirting concerns teasing and sexual innuendo, where correspondence triggers a process when the “body of a certain person is reconstructed in the head of an individual through the person’s written text and blurs the bounds between reality and fantasy on the basis of imagination (Whitty, 2003), which is here of key importance.
Virtual food for the fantasy world
In the event that one of the Facebook ‘friends’ wants more than just a one-off exchange of messages, the flow of sexual appeal through private messages is a fairly easy thing. Although an actual physical body is still present in a way, it is only based on a description. Consequently, the imagination of an individual to a large extent depends on details and embellished, idealized forms of the description of a person with which the individual flirts.
And it is the image an individual has about a person, which can be completely wrong in reality, that arouses interest and desire as well as interaction or seduction. In ‘real’ life, your partner lives in belief that he or she turns you on as never before. He or she may even do the same thing as you, which means that it is a tie – your relationship is reminiscent of the hide-and-seek game under the pretext that everything is fine, but in fact everything only clicks.
It solely involves maintaining a positive self-image
The objective and purpose of flirting, besides mutual sexual arousal, is seduction and testing to what extent is this attraction mutual as well as just passing time, which can be understood as a game with intent to maintain a positive self-image and strengthen self-confidence. The presence of bodies in the process of seduction includes the possibility of humiliation and rejection that is less likely to occur in virtual space because people can be more skillful and self-confident, even if they are more awkward and shy in reality. The fear of rejection simply vanishes in virtual space and even if rejection occurs, an individual doesn’t deal with it in a deeper sense because it was just an experiment.
Control over your relationship
The popularity of virtual relationships also lies in the fact that virtual space enables control. A person can control the tempo of a relationship in contrast to everyday relationships that are often full of rash responses and unexpected consequences because of their (usual) spontaneous nature. That is why virtual relationships are a pleasant experience because the course and content of a relationship can be created in a way that suits you. It is possible that you never met in real life, or as Andy Warhol already found: “The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.” This thought can help explain the life’s riddle about an ideal partner. He or she is ideal because you will never meet him or her! As the legend of a unicorn – everyone’s heard about it, but no one has met it yet. However, we say to ourselves that it exists and continue the search.