It’s true that we don’t know who we’re talking to in a cyber-relationship. The person on the other end could be Dracula’s half-brother, or a pimply-faced teenager, for all we know. But, that cuts both ways. On my end, I could describe myself as a desi version of Angelina Jolie, or a rock-climbing daredevil. I could be a brain surgeon with a dynamic, full life, looking for a little light-hearted online affair, or I could be a high-powered businesswoman, with a staff of hundreds at my command.
Online, I am draped in a cloak of invisibility. Even if I present myself as the person I am, I can be witty and daring. I can be bold and attractive, cheeky and free. Online, with a computer screen shielding me from all comers, I am not bound by social convention, or stunted by awkward silences. I can have a Google tab open and ready to give me ideas for a conversation, or a cutting comeback to anything. I can have my Cyrano by my side, and be intelligent, sophisticated and articulate.
I can slice through the debacle of first impressions (which, for some of us, is an ordeal of stammering introductions and sweaty palms) and draw him in to who I really am.
And, if I am very lucky, on the other end of my technologically advanced tin can will be someone who uses the same cloak, and understands the need to pretend, just for a while, that we are glamorous, dynamic people, and we deserve to be together.