posted by Anonymous on 18 February, 2020
hi, i've recently come to realise i have an addiction to online chatting with internet strangers. for the past week, i've been doing nothing but spending hours chatting with people online. i am normally a quiet shy person in real life and sometimes find it difficult to be able to interact with other people and express myself. but when i'm online, i have nothing to worry about as i am offered anonymity and therefore given the freedom to talk about anything to anyone. i've have met tons of people online and have had many intriguing discussions with them. i've spoken to them about topics that i would never talk about with friends, family, or other people, and have even confessed alot of things that no one in real life knows about me. it makes me feel so satisfied and happy that i'm able to connect so well with people online that i keep coming back, hoping to have another intriguing experince with someone else. initially i wanted to use this as an outlet, but i'm aware it's becoming more than that. i spend so much time chatting online, it's gotten to a point where i no longer attend to activities such as chores, work or going out. i don't even answer texts from friends or family but would i would be more than happy to engage in a convo with strangers online. please help me.
what you're doing is satisfying your human need for emotional connection by finding solace in people who are not permitted to judge you. perhaps you've had tough experiences in the past that made you realize it's easier to curl up into a bottle and keep all your feelings, thoughts to yourself, because then no one can judge you and hurt you with their words and actions. you've fallen into a habit of finding satisfaction from the words of kind strangers; they talk to you, and in return you get the emotional connection you've been craving. in the absence of such connection elsewhere in real life, talking to internet strangers has become your go-to medium for satisfying this particular need for connecting with your social circle, your community. but there's a caveat though. with anonymity you can't build long-term relationships. long term relationships are built by leaning on each other further and further. you invest by opening up and helping others, and they do the same. when you unload onto internet strangers, it's a one-off; there is no investment. in times when we fall hard, its our support network, the people we mutually invested in, who will catch us. i don't see what's wrong with you opening up to strangers to release things. the challenge is, it has become compulsive, and perhaps a replacement for healthy relationships. maybe you're shy for good reason - maybe when you opened up in the past, you were treated with disrespect, or felt judged. but there are great people out there too, who will not judge you for who you are. it takes some vulnerability and trust to do this, but this is necessary for you to be able to find your tribe. when you signal to people who you are, and what makes you uniquely you, you start attracting people who think like you. so keep opening up to internet strangers if it helps you in the short term, but start paying attention what aspects of your online social/conversational skills and what topics you can start bringing to your real life so you can start building real, tangible, long-term human relationships.
hello there! i've spent a lot of time praising friendly striped swan's answers, but i'm going to do it once again. you're resorting to online relationships because, obviously, they're a lot easier to sustain. being a shy, quiet person, you understand it's way better having the opportunity to talk with others if, somehow, you don't have the restrains that usually come with "real life" conversations. and trust me, i understand how and why you feel so drawn to online chatting. first of all, let me just assure you that, taking the necessary security measures, there's nothing wrong with having online friendships. everyone's a stranger until you've met them, am i right? of course, the internet, having its own pros, also has its own set of cons, so i'll recommend you, once again, to take the necessary security measures when talking to a stranger online. from what i can see, you're starting to feel like your online shenanigans are affecting your "real life". from my point of view, this is where the problem starts. an addiction can be considered as so when it starts affecting someone's life. however, i'll congratulate you for having the courage and the conscience to understand what's going on. sometimes it's a little hard to perceive reality, and it only keeps getting worse. what i'm going to tell you is something you (surely) already know. if you want to break this chain, you have to take a step back and unplug for a little while. make yourself have a little convo with a friend or with a family member, knowing that, if you want to go back to online chatting later, you can. as long as it doesn't have an impact on your actual life, there's nothing wrong with it. answer the texts from your family, the texts from your friends. at the end of the day, those are interactions that you want to maintain in your life. and those are people that you want to have around you, even if, sometimes, you feel the need to not talk to them for a while (which is, also, completely okay, because alone time is just as important as socializing time). don't let something that you enjoy become a bigger problem. have all the online conversations that you want, but don't let it retain you home. hope you learn how to deal with it in the best way!
Anonymous ● 26 March, 2020 ⚓︎
i honestly get how you feel ,you can always talk to me. i’m here for you.