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.
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