Still bare, my office on 8th.

The rise of the Internet has proven to be quite the double-edged sword for society. On the other hand, it has become an abundant source of knowledge and learning, but it is also populated by all sorts of ignorance and misinformation. Similarly, blogging and social media has given every citizen a voice and an opportunity to be heard, but there are many people that we’d probably rather not hear.

And the same is true when it comes to meeting people. On the one hand, we have social networks like Facebook that make it so easy to amass hundreds of “friends,” but how many of these people are really your friends? How many of these people have you actually met in person and with whom you’ve forged some sort of real connection?

Quantity vs. Quality of Relationships

Perhaps this situation is exacerbated by working at home and the associated “urban cabin fever,” but it seems that we are moving toward having a greater number of superficial relationships and fewer close connections. We’re all linked together and we “meet” all sorts of people online, but we really know nothing about them other than what they have posted on their profiles.

To be fair, I met some of my best friends because of the Internet. We connected through online forums and social media, for instance, and if I probably would have never met them if it were not for the Internet. And let’s not discount the business side of things either. If it were not for the Internet, I may have been able to get my start as a freelance writer, I may not have connected with my clients, and I wouldn’t be writing this blog post.

What About Dating?

Perhaps I’m not the right person to ask about such matters, since I married my high school sweetheart, but Internet dating is huge. For people who are tired of trying to meet new people at the bars and clubs, dating sites like can be much more useful and insightful. You can know more about your potential date–like interests and hobbies–even before you ever meet in person. That takes some of the pressure off and it lessens the likelihood that you’ll waste your time with someone who has nothing in common with you.

In the end, I don’t think the Internet has made it harder to meet people. If anything, it has facilitated the process and opened you up to meeting a much larger number of people than you may have otherwise. However, the onus still falls on you to develop these “superficial” online relationships–personal or professional–into something more meaningful and fulfilling.