This relationship can be between people in different regions, different countries, different sides of the world, or even people who reside in the same area but do not communicate in person. Michael Jaffe, author of Gender, Pseudonyms, and CMC: Masking Identities and Baring Souls, "the Internet was originally established to expedite communication between governmental scientists and defense experts, and was not at all intended to be the popular 'interpersonal mass medium' it has become", yet new and revolutionary devices enabling the mass public to communicate online are constantly being developed and released.Rather than having many devices for different uses and ways of interacting, communicating online is more accessible and cheaper by having an Internet function built into one device, such as mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and smartphones.
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Several studies have shown the availability of online dating to produce a greater closeness and intimacy between individuals because it circumvents barriers that face-to-face interactions might have.
"Participating in personal relationships online allow for almost full freedom from power relations in the offline/real world." A plethora of virtual sexual identities are represented in online profiles.
This relationship can be romantic, platonic, or even based on business affairs.
An internet relationship (or online relationship) is generally sustained for a certain amount of time before being titled a relationship, just as in-person relationships.
The overwhelming result was that children and youth consider their online relationships to be just as "real" as their offline relationships.
The study also showed that the internet plays a crucial role in most sexual and romantic experiences of adolescent users.
Although the availability of uploading videos to the internet is not a new innovation, it has been made easier since 2008 thanks to You Tube.
You Tube began the surge of video streaming sites in 2005 and within three years, smaller web developers started implementing video sharing on their sites.
Other ways of communicating online with these devices are via services and applications such as Email, Skype, i Chat, instant messaging programs, social networking services, asynchronous discussion groups, online games, virtual worlds and the World Wide Web.
Some of these ways of communicating online are asynchronous (meaning not in real time), such as You Tube and some are synchronous (immediate communication), such as Twitter.
They have the ability to venture outside of their comfort zone and act as someone completely different. They concluded that "when asked what they were looking for in an online relationship, the considerable majority of participants expressed interest in seeking fun, companionship, and someone to talk to.