Have you ever considered the fact that computers have made flirting easier than ever?
Especially for "shy guys" to whom romantically approaching the opposite sex has always been a challenge. Speaking for myself, I can tell you that asking a strange woman to dance at a party or in a singles club was always very difficult.
Some guys are born with the chutzpah that gives them the confidence to easily hit on a woman and a skin thick enough that a negaative response can be quickly shrugged off. Others, however, are easily wounded and quick to give up at the slightest hint of a woman's disinterest.
I don't pretend to have any knowledge of how women deal with issues of low self-confidence, but I've had plenty of experience from a male point of view.
So how does a computer make getting personal with someone easier? Well, I'm sure today's young people who have grown up with computers, cell phones, web cams, and other high-tech communication devices could give you all kinds of examples. However, all my adventures have been with adults who got into cyber communications mostly by trial and error.
And we have made some pretty interesting errors. More on those later.
I'll begin in the mid-to-late 1990s, when IMs (instant messages) were relatively new and quite amazing. Although there are youngsters today who have never known a life in which they couldn't chat online with friends all over the world, I know lots of adults who have never used an IM — including many who don't have a clue as to what an IM is.
For those who are not yet familiar with the concept, here's a brief explanation: if you are connected to the Internet, you will have a "Buddy List" on your screen which will show if any of your "IM Buddies" are also online. If one is, and you would like to contact him or her, you double-click the name to initiate a "message window." You then type a greeting and click Send, whereupon a window appears on your friend's screen and displays the message.
When your friend sees your greeting, he or she will type and send a reply back to you. You can then spend as much time as you want exchanging these instant messages — and it is all totally free. Yes, you pay an ISP (Internet Service Provider) for your Internet connection, but the IM feature is yours at no extra charge of any kind.
AOL and CompuServe users have an IM systems built in, while anyone can sign up for AIM (AOL Instant Messaging) at
www.aim.com. Yahoo, MSN, ICQ, and many other services also offer free IMing.
Nowadays it's also possible to have a webcam (web camera) connected to your PC, whereupon you and a webcam-buddy can see each other as you converse. Personally, I've never found this idea too appealing — it would mean having to comb my hair and putting on a shirt. I'm happy using typed IMs.
With a good microphone and speaker setup, you can even communicate verbally — in other words, free long-distance voice communication. Check with your IM provider for details.