Online relationships don't work
I argue that online relationships don't work for the reasons that we as humans need physical interaction (face-to-face communication, hugging, etc.) While yes, they might work for an extent, eventually, you will need to see each other in person. Online relationships of any kind can never substitute for real life relationships. Online relationships can get superficial as you both cannot know who the real person is. Just because they act a certain way online does not mean they are like that in person.
My opponent hasn't defined what I would consider to be a sufficient number of the terms in the contention, so here's my interpretation. If my opponent disagrees, I say we compromise in the comment section.
Pro: When a relationship is sustained primarily online between two individuals, neither individual can be satisfied to an extent where the net satisfaction would be considered sufficient by either party.
Con: In the same situation, both parties have a chance of being satisfied sufficiently.
My first round will be arguing with these as the understanding of the overall debate.
Woolgathers of the World Wide Web's Wonders
On the web, you are you mandatorily as dictated by your words, your rhetoric, your charm, your knowledge, or your ability to copy and paste. When dwelling the blagoblag, the following is all optional:
In person, all of these are not optional. They are there for people to see.
In day to day life, in person, people will judge you based on arbitrary and random factors due to various kinks in societies and cultures as well as lenses for perception evolved through random historical events. People will often be shallow, whether it's consciously or unconsciously. Who hasn't, by now, already read tons of research on how humans will treat you differently based on what color your shirt is, how much you fidget with your fingers, what tone of skin color you have, or what angle you tilt your head at? People judge your presence not based on your values, your thoughts, your philosophies, or your words, but on a million different things that don't affect anything remarkably or matter to who you are.
Online, it doesn't matter. It gets tiring when people like me just because of the way you look or what race I am. Doesn't it exhaust you when someone admits they they hang around you, not because you're funny or because you're a good friend, but because damn you've got nice tits? Online, you choose what parts of you you want to reveal, and they don't have to be the shallow parts. You can show who you really, truly are. People see you beyond your nice tits, is what I'm saying.
Putting aside the contention, whether or not it reflects reality, something I'll argue later, wouldn't you want humans to have relationships online that work? Isn't it very cynical and sad if we're unable to get along once we remove the shallow factors? But that doesn't mean anything. I'm arguing whether or not this applies in real life, and I can want this to be real all I want, it doesn't mean it is.
However, you have no need to worry, because here's the truth: Pro is wrong. We can have online friends. Our love can penetrate all the cybernetic passwords and firewalls to reach another person, and I'm willing you argue this side to the death. In reality, I'm a pessimist, I'm a cynic, and I regularly anticipate the downfall of humanity and lament on the ugliness of the phenomenon of life, but in this instance, just for once, I believe that the cynical side is wrong and I'm very happy to argue against it.
Without further ado, let's begin my rebuttals.
I Couldn't Think Of An Alliteration Here, But You're Wrong (so far), Pro!
"I argue that online relationships don't work for the reasons that we as humans need physical interaction..."
This is a ridicuous argument. A bit rude to say, but I think it needs to be understood how I feel about this. Yes, humans need physical interaction, but because this is a need that cannot be satisfied through a primarily online relationship, that makes online relationships infeasible?
Question: Do you know what else is needed by humans?
Answer: Water. Yet you will meet many people that will leave you thirsty and not every human you meet will be wet.
Answer: Air. And yet, in both online and offline relationships, being with others does not increase your supply of oxygen. If anything, it does the opposite.
When humans need certain things, they don't only limit themselves to interacting with things that offer each and every single one of those needs. We have multiple things for our multiple needs. This argument was very weak and Pro should've known that it would be shot down like this.
"While yes, they might work for an extent, eventually, you will need to see each other in person."
I'd like my opponent to provide where this information came from. Experience? That's unreliable. The contention should then be "Online relationships don't work FOR ME." Is there an actual study that supports this? Where the hell did Pro get this!?
I'd also like to point out that all relationships only work for an extent.
Then we die.
"Online relationships of any kind can never substitute for real life relationships."
Both absolutist and doesn't actually argue the contention.
"Online relationships can get superficial as you both cannot know who the real person is. Just because they act a certain way online does not mean they are like that in person."
This argument really irks me. What the f*ck does Pro mean by "the real person...?" Yes, we act differently in different situations. In a specific sense, just because I throw lit matches on wood, it doesn't mean that I throw lit matches on people. In a more general sense, I might be very politically correct during a job interview while very crass and offensive to society's values while casually debating on a large debating website.
If you act differently online, you're suddenly taken over by a totally different person and are now someone else? How you act in different situations are all parts of a sum that make who you are. You can't just arbitarily cut out certain situations like my opponent implies and go "You're you, except when you're online, then you're the holy Internet monster that makes people do things when they encounter the internet. INTERNET IS MAGIC VOODOO."
In a sense, you can't really ever know "who the real person is" if you only ever interact with a part of them, a mere footprint of their soul. This argument is completely ridiculous and doesn't apply to anything in any way.
An Imploration To My Adversary
Perhaps it's because it's the first round, perhaps it's because the opponent doesn't take this subject very seriously as evidenced by the "...lol..." in the first sentence, but these arguments are very weak and almost insulting. I beg Pro to take this more seriously and put more thought into the next round in order to ensure that this debate is fulfilling and exciting for everyone involved. Thank you.
" Online, you choose what parts of you you want to reveal, and they don't have to be the shallow parts. You can show who you really, truly are. People see you beyond your nice tits, is what I'm saying."
And that's a bad thing because in order to make a wise decision concerning relationships, you need to know enough to decide if that person your planning to date/court, etc. is compatible. In person, it's alot harder to hide your characteristics whether good or bad. It's very easy to be straight-forward online because your comfortable with cyber communication, so you can present a superficial image to people, but it doesn't work as well in real life. I can tell whether your confident just by the tone of your voice and the very words you use. I can tell whether your angry, nervous, happy, sad, etc. by your facial expressions and the like. In an online relationship, that can remain hidden. It's quite easy when your in control of your image with the push of a button.
Most of my friends are not ok with online relationships for the reason that we can never share an intimate relationship when our significant other is behind a screen. An online relationship should never substitute a real relationship because we as humans were not designed to survive that way. The internet was made for many things especially in this case to transmit information and communicate, but not to create a relationship worth-while.
I do not believe that our love can penetrate through the cybernetic world. Love is when you can travel around with your partner and explore the world for what it is. Love is when you can appreciate their artwork with a smile and hug. It's when you can hold the other in your arms and laugh together as you watch a movie. Love is when you can defend them with your own hands both in person and online. Love is when you can mend their wounds, comfort them when they cry physically and emotionally. Humans need physical closeness and online relationships no matter how many video calls you send, pics, etc. can sustain the closeness you would feel in person. Online relationships cannot project any emotions unless the person uses illustrations to make it more direct. To assume would be dangerous as it is open to misinterpretation.
Communication in person allows you to see their emotions in an instant whereas online, you must wait for their chat response, so tell me, how many relationships work in person compared to online relationships?
To my opponent. A heartfelt note.
"First of all, the fact that i opened up with "lol" proves how superficial the online environment is."
Woah! I suppose you have a point, just like how some humans being murderers "proves" that everyone is a murderer and we live in a murder-tastic environment. Golly, superficial environment vs everyone-is-a-serial-killer environment...what to choose?
Oh, I know! [impatiently raises hand and jumps up and down***] Maybe this is an argument that doesn't actually "prove" anything, especially since the person who came up with the conclusion was the one who did the event that is the evidence for the conclusion, kinda like when a cop plants drugs on someone and says that that "proves" they're a criminal! I think there's maybe a possibility that generalizing doesn't actually prove anything! Lemme call the President of Logic and let her in on this crazy new factoid!
No, it doesn't prove anything. Sorry for the sarcasm if it made you angry, you're welcome if it made you laugh or something, but back to the point. If you saying "lol" proves superficiality, any time you're serious or any time I'm serious proves that the online environment is serious and not superficial. That's just...not the best reasoning, buddy.
The Cons of Concealment Compared to Computer Concealment Cons
"[Showing only parts of you is] a bad thing because in order to make a wise decision concerning relationships, you need to know enough to decide if that person your planning to date/court, etc. is compatible."
"Most of my friends are not ok with online relationships for the reason that we can never share an intimate relationship when our significant other is behind a screen."
Firstly, I must be blunt: I think it is dreadfully shallow to only make relationships with people if you're planning to date them*. I'm heterosexual, and if I avoided friendships with certain people based on whether or not their genitals protruded, I would have missed out on a lot of the experiences I cherished, a lot of big and little intimate moments with those that I would never have wanted to date on account of not wanting to rub pub hair follicles with them. True love and friendship doesn't care whether or not you have a dick. It's in my quote book, so it's true.
No, I don't think one should "need to know" with every relationship if starting a little romance with them is wise because they don't need to start a romance with every person they meet. My opponent seems to have this assumption that I don't think is actually a universal mode of thought.
"In person, it's alot harder to hide your characteristics...button."
Characteristics are hidden either way. Here's the thing. You only ever see someone on the outside. You can induce or deduce or abduce your way into the inside of them. You can use statistics and create a personality matrix and reason that a certain set of behaviors must mean that they are like so and so on the inside, and then you can love the inside of who they statistically are, but you are loving them from the outside and you are doing so because of a belief that this theoretical inside will continue production of things you love on the outside. Is anyone getting what I'm saying? This is a rather difficult concept to get across, but I'm trying to make it as clear as possible.
So when you love someone, you are loving how they act, and when you love "who they are," you're loving how you predict them to act. I really hope I'm not just screaming at a wall, I really need someone to get what I'm saying, here.
It follows if a relationship is sustained primarily online, if you love them for who they are based on how they act online and how they'll continue to act online, it would be essentially identical in nearly every way to loving who they are in person and how they will continue to act in person.
I, of course, imagine that my opponent might say something to the effect of "Love is eternal, it shouldn't matter how someone acts, if you love someone then you love someone forever regardless of what they do." Perhaps not, but given the likelihood, I'll reply to it to save potential time.
A harsh fact: Time is a thing. People change constantly, everything changes constantly towards entropy. Life changes to death. Dead people weren't always dead. They changed. Who someone is will not remain, it's not something that stays with you forever as much as people like to believe there's something that stays consistent within them. If that were the case, dead people would still have personality remnants of their living counterparts, in which case you'd act more like them if you ate them or some other backwards ancient logic. Your love for someone, as cynical and as shallow as it is to say, is not for "who they are," but for how they act and think and what that makes you think is who they are.
And that brings me back to what I said earlier. Who the f*ck cares if someone acts differently from how they act in person!? Because what did you fall in love with in BOTH SCENARIOS!? How they ACT in that medium, and someone has the same likelihood of changing how they act online in comparison to how they act in person. Both times, you're loving only what they show to be like in that medium, right? I mean, by Pro's logic, relationships with a presence aren't sustainable because it's easier in person to hide how you act online in the same way that how you act online lets you hide how you act in person. "Characteristics" are just ways people act.
Also, what's with this "in real life" stuff? That's a very peculiar wording. The internet is something that exists in real life, not just some imaginary concept where nothing that happens ever has any context or impact on reality. I worked at Cracked and made money there. I made money on the internet. Oh no, I guess I didn't make any money in real life! Whoops! And since I bought a house with that money, I guess I'm homeless! It's a very interesting phrase, no? Not really anything to do with the argument, I guess. Just a funny little thing.
"An online relationship should never...worth-while."
Humans not being designed to do something is a horrible argument for not doing that thing.
For instance, we were not designed to like sex so we could do it recreationally. (And if we only used sex to reproduce like it was designed, rape would totes be cool.)
We were not designed to enjoy external stimulation so we could play games.
We were not designed to have a capacity for anger so we could stupidly get drunk and yell racist slurs at our ex-girlfriend to proceed to a very brutal beating by her boyfriend followed by the most confusing threesome ever. (Maybe this one isn't a good thing.)
Yeah, okay, Pro is totally right in that when we evolved, we didn't evolve so that we were all okay with not touching anyone ever. I know that more than anyone. I'm extremely intense and touchy-feely. I cuddle with acquaintances. I cuddle with strangers. I cuddle with dogs I find on the street before I find out they have heartworms. However, if we didn't use things in ways they weren't designed, we wouldn't survive either. We were designed to survive like that. I can't think of a single day where I didn't come up with a new invention and made it. My car, my jacket, my everything is so heavily modified that the word "customize" just translates to "my life" for me. I bagged me some sexy degrees in philosophy and science to hang on my wall to impress the poor people I've courted that come to my place with****, and if there's anything I've learned from my degrees: Everything is more than it seems. The internet is more than just transmission of basic information. The internet is a medium of the collective psyche of humanity. The internet is the largest fingerprint of every human soul since its invention.
It was invented for basic communication. It became a way of living.
"I do not believe that our love can penetrate through the cybernetic world. Love is [all this other stuff]."
Not much to back this up. Just sorta one of those pamphlets that people read and the audience goes "I guess, sure, I'll sign up for your Christian Camp thingy or whatever it was you were advertising..."
"To assume [you know what people on the internet are saying] would be dangerous as it is open to misinterpretation."
As well as every type of communication ever. Fun little fact, back in the day before I became the hottest ever**, people thought I was, and bear with me here, socially awkward. Talking to someone in person has just as much, if not more, potential of producing miscommunication. Everyone in my life can see my face. Very few people ever see my emotions.
"...tell me, how many relationships work in person compared to online relationships?"
Irrelevant because regardless of which one works more, we're not measuring each medium's dick, we're arguing whether or not online relationships work in general. But taken literally, the internet's dick is bigger because its sex is all selected pornstars.
*My opponent, when asked what type of relationships were being referred to in its mention in the title, said relationships in general. That's not in the debate, but it's in the clarification of the debate elsewhere, so I thought this would be important for readers to know.
**the most insecure ever
***and wets pants and everyone pointed and laughed at me I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT MY CHILDHOOD
****not actually true
I never said that, but ok. This doesn't prove that online relationships work.
"It follows if a relationship is sustained primarily online, if you love them for who they are based on how they act online and how they'll continue to act online, it would be essentially identical in nearly every way to loving who they are in person and how they will continue to act in person."
It's not. Do you really want to spend your life with someone over the computer screen? Do you want to get married through a video call? Most people in this country probably wouldn't. Eventually, you'll want to see each other in person. I (a rare person) am willing to travel to another state or country if the person i want a relationship with is worth it, but as far as i know, i have not found one person who is worth it for a relationship. Why is that? I take notice of their problems in real life (living conditions, personality, mentality, relationships, etc.) that they probably try hard to hide and see they have fatal flaws.
If you invest too much time in online relationships and less in human interactions guess what? Your going to lack confidence, lack trust, probably lack empathy, your communication will be weak, it's just going to ruin your social life. The world is so much bigger than the internet, so go out there and talk to people, spend time with family, join clubs with people of similar interests, practice communication. Expectations change over time and eventually you outgrow the need for online relationships.
Online relationships eventually end with people getting bored or just moving on with their lives. By you putting up pics of yourself, you admit that you want some realness to the relationship. Real relationships that require you to eventually pay the bills, help your wife around the house, help your children with their homework, struggle with your wife to find solutions to life's problems last longer than just sharing casual interest online.
"I never said that, but ok. This doesn't prove that online relationships work."
My opponent said that the reason they and their peers weren't okay with online relationships as a direct result of being incapable of sharing an intimate relationship behind a screen, and that it's hard to have an online relationship because they aren't certain if it's wise to date them. That was my understanding. I responded by saying that not every single relationship that we have in our lives involves dating, especially since Pro said that this debate would be referring to all types of relationships.
Pro says that they never said that, but Pro offers absolutely no correction. I wasn't proving that online relationships work. I was proving that my opponent's argument for online relationships not working was short-sighted and shallow.
With that out of the way, I will move on to the bulkier arguments.
Cumbersome Contentions Countered by Con (Cave (That's my name))
"Do you really want to spend your life with someone over the computer screen? Do you want to get married through a video call? Most people in this country probably wouldn't. Eventually, you'll want to see each other in person."
In terms of spending my life over a computer screen: That is an extreme way of wording it. Talk about argumentum ad absurdum. I'm obviously going to do other things, it's not like I spend my entire life solely doing one thing, but I do have online friends that I hold dear to me, even with the low likelihood of ever seeing them. Of course, the problem with Pro's question is that if I answer it with all my friends I've met online and our experiences together and how I feel about them and how they feel about me and the philophical discussions we've had, even though there are no more rounds, this is how Pro is probably gonna want to answer.
"But that's not REAL love, and EVENTUALLY, you're gonna have a burning desire to see each other! JUST YOU WAIT!"
And the problem with this type of argument, which Pro has been doing this entire debate, is it's the hypothesis contrary to fact fallacy, and when you say that something will happen or you say that had something in the past not happened, the present would indubitably be like so, you invoke this fallacy. To say "Oh, but you WILL want to see each other" is such a horrible argument because it doesn't actually require any sort of thought or reasoning to be put into it. You can say anything when you're not stating facts, when it's all just hypothetical.
I could equally make the same baseless argument. "You will never eventually want to see each other" and just end it at that just as my opponent likes to say "Eventually, you'll want to see each other in person" based on...what? Their own experience? How does this person's needs dictate the needs of everyone? This argument is extremely unfair. Don't you hate it when your parents use this same fallacy? "Oh, you'll understand when you're 18." And then they shut down the argument and say that their choice is best. Now, no matter how well you argue or debate, there's nothing you can say that can convince them otherwise no matter how reasonably or logically you argue. No matter how many facts or truths you throw, this argument essentially means "I'm right and you're wrong. I will not listen to you, now."
And other parts of this quote...
Again, argumentum ad absurdum, when one argues by taking something to its extreme. I pointed this out before, my opponent's tendency to only look at the most extreme forms of relationships like significant others and marriage, to which they only replied "I never said that, but ok."
No, I don't want to get married through a video call. True, most of this country probably wouldn't. That doesn't at all prove that online relationships don't work. Pro keeps coming back to these types of relationships and I can't understand why. They're insignificant in the grand scheme of this debate. With so many intimate moments to be shared, it does not stand to reason to have such extreme tunnel vision.
"If you invest too much time in online relationships and less in human interactions guess what? Your going to lack confidence, lack trust, probably lack empathy, your communication will be weak, it's just going to ruin your social life."
Okay. "If you have too much of X, it will hurt you, so X is bad."
Too much of anything is bad for you, buddy. I'm not saying ONLY HAVE ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS EVERVJKSAQTIOM, you obviously need a balance of both, and I'm saying that if you have a balance of relationships in person and online, you'll be fine with all of them. Once again, argumentum ad absurdum.
"The world is so much bigger than the internet, so go out there and talk to people, spend time with family, join clubs with people of similar interests, practice communication. Expectations change over time and eventually you outgrow the need for online relationships."
The Idea of Growth: Its Arbitrary Aspects
I am rather irritated by Pro's constant treatment of online relationships as though talking to people online is a childish thing that needs to be outgrown.
The world is big, yes. So why limit yourself to your location? Your location is arbitrary. There are certain types of people that are compatible with each other. Sometimes, these people are born far apart. Sometimes, people are born into cultures that they don't agree with. It's not their fault, they didn't choose to be born there. So why should they carry the burden of arbitrary factors?
Why are all those things listed exclusively for things done in person? Why do I need to "outgrow" certain friends just because I haven't seen their face? I didn't befriend their face, did I? I befriended someone online. I'm not going to cut off people dear to me off of this totally baseless reasoning.
"Online relationships eventually end with people getting bored or just moving on with their lives. By you putting up pics of yourself, you admit that you want some realness to the relationship. Real relationships that require you to eventually pay the bills, help your wife around the house, help your children with their homework, struggle with your wife to find solutions to life's problems last longer than just sharing casual interest online."
AGAIN WITH THE SAME ARGUMENT. "Online relationships don't work because they don't end up with you bagging a wife. I mean, dude, if you're not hittin' that, what's the point, amirite, fellas? Yeaaaaah."
NOT EVERYONE I MEET
IS SOMEONE I WANT TO HAVE KIDS WITH SO I CAN HELP THEM WITH THEIR HOMEWORK
And yes, maybe a marriage is a stronger relationship than an online friendship. You know what else a marriage is typically prioritized above? FRIENDSHIPS IN GENERAL. Should I STOP HAVING FRIENDS because I'm not gonna help their children with their homework or help them around their house or pay their bills!? I'm getting extremely agitated by Pro constantly making this argument, then when I shoot it down, Pro looks around cluelessly and plays it coy. "Oh, who? Little ol' me? Don't be silly. I wasn't saying anything of the manner. I daresay, you've gone and lost your bolts and nails!"
And once again, the first sentence arguing that people will eventually move on because they get bored is hypothesis contrary to fact. No statistical evidence. Nothing. Just a random hypothetical thrown in there and then never mentioned again. This isn't an M. Night Shayamalan movie or a David Cage story, okay? Things need to be coherent and need to be actual arguments.
Rendering Response Ratio
Throughout this debate, one of my biggest disappointments would be the lack of my opponent replying to many of my points. I believe I adequately made a counterpoint to the majority of what my opponent said, but this favor was not returned. During one round, my opponent had, literally, one quote. This might have been Pro's way of trying to demonstrate a point. "Look, you can't even have conversations right online," but I've demonstrated that you can, in fact, reply to all the points.
I feel that Pro has not exhausted the options of this debate and didn't go into depth with enough of their arguments. I did enjoy replying, but I must admit that I really, strongly wished that Pro took this debate to its full capacity or, at the very least, tried. Probably was just spread too thin amongst other debates. Ah, well.
That's all. Thank you for reading this whole thing, I know it was a lot to read and there was a lot of content to be sorted through, and for anyone that made it all the way through and thoroughly read everything, you have my gratitude and appreciation, and regardless of how you vote, it's reading through the whole thing that really makes most debaters here happy and I hope you're aware of the good deed you've done by absorbing everything.