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Internet relationships- tips for young players


Well-Known Member
V.I.P Member
I?m really new to the whole internet meeting people game, and as an aspie who does not intuit rules of interaction, I thought I would start a thread where people could share their wisdom about the do?s and don?ts of internet relationships (whether it be chatting on the forum, friends, dating etc).

What information is okay to give out?
When is it okay to give it out?
What red flags do you look for?
How long do you talk to someone before you consider them a friend?
Any other tips/hard lessons learned?

And I guess the most important thing is why? If I understood that, then I have a hope of applying the logic to other situations.

There?s no right and wrong answers, simply your wisdom/experience shared for the benefit of other aspies. And please state the obvious, because often with this stuff it just isn?t obvious to other aspies :)
I’ll start… create a separate email account for signing up to forums etc. That way if ever something goes wrong, it is easy to delete the email without a big loss to yourself. The email should not include your full name.
Yeah, sign up to anything with an email account made for that purpose is a good one. I have a few ideas too:

I would suggest that if you just want to be friends with a person then state that clearly and in no uncertain terms, when you're getting to know somebody on the interwebs it is easier to cross boundaries set for yourself and others because reading a line of text is open to interpretation, so yeah, be clear.
If you tell people that you don't give out photos of yourself, don't let it be known that your giving them to other people.
Treat internet friendships with a touch more caution than real life ones, you don't know the hacking capabilities of somebody and they could be pressing you for information for a very scary reason.
If somebody predominantly talks to the opposite sex and looks to be ignoring those of the same sex, you may want to avoid them if you don't want anything more than friendship.
If a potential friend wants you to tell them things of a sexual nature or personal details about you life, like specific physical whereabouts, physical attributes, stop talking to them as they may have unsavoury intent.
It's not always a good idea to be friendly with people that are overly concerned about strangers, or that post a lot of doom and gloom, if a person is having an awful lot of personal issues or acting too friendly it may be best to reserve friendship.
If a person is in a relationship, just entering one, or just coming from one, it is probably best not to entertain thoughts of dating them or being romantically linked.
If somebody suggests you go off site for more privacy or whatever, don't do it because as moderators we can protect you here form unwanted situations but anywhere else and we have no authority, remember, no matter what site your on, Moderators are there to help, if you have trouble with anybody bothering you don't hesitate to mention it to one of them.
First rule: online dating isn't for minors, no matter how savvy they may be with social media.

Second rule: never give out personal information---not even your name---until you're damn sure you know you can trust a person and feel comfortable discussing important things with him or her. And even then, it's difficult to say with 100% certainty that you should. I got very lucky and found a completely trustworthy soul, but I'm pretty sure he's an exception and not the rule.

Red flags: abusive behavior of any kind, general disrespect for others, a lack of emotional maturity.

Spending more time to really get to know someone before starting a romantic relationship with him or her is best. Emotional stability is far more likely then.
First of, REAL friends are hard to make, whether is in real life or in internet. Sure you can have many acquaintances, but real friends are hard.

What information is okay to give out?
When is it okay to give it out?
I was only able to make real friendship with males. And I only made a real connection when we exchanged skype. It's okay to give this information when it's pass several weeks, and you know the other person isn't a creep. When you can hear the other person, it's another level of communication. Typing is ok, but you really get to know who the other people are, his/her personality if you can hear their voice. I remember stuttering a little bit, not knowing what to say on skype, but the more time I gave, the better I talked. I had anxiety meeting people both on internet and in real life, but in the internet the anxiety was less intense.

What red flags do you look for?
Anything that the person say that goes against what I believe, not about religion/political stuff, but if the other person is a criminal, sounds like a criminal, or if the other person can't respect others or mine integrity (which I believe isn't right). If he/she sounds insane or is WAAAAAAY problematic/suicidal. Another red flag for me is if the other person like to blame others or me for whatever. Emotional immaturity from others I can't handle, it makes me run away, wheter on internet or in real life.

How long do you talk to someone before you consider them a friend?
Depends. I talk to some for years and I can't say we're friends. It's really about connection, how well you both click. Although this connection may take a while to create.

Any other tips/hard lessons learned?
I had a really cool friend from another state. I would say we bonded because we had the same problems with career, dating, finding a meaningful life, etc, even though he was NT and liked poetry and I liked math. But when he started dating in real world, got real friends, went to a great university, in a nutshell, fixed his life, he never went online again. I understand his decision, real life pleasure can be more enjoyable for some, and I'm glad for him, and miss him.

And I guess the most important thing is why?
Internet relationships have advantages and disadvantages. Advantages is there's billions of people you can find, statistically, by meeting people ramdomly, it's more likely to find someone more compatible with you on internet, due to more people are "meetable". There's less anxiety behind a keyboard. It doesn't drain all your energy, unlike meeting real life people.

The disadvantages is people can be really creepy behind a keyboard. The distance and time fuse can make communication problematic. And even if you both click, it's hard to give a hug (a thing I value in friendship) through thousands of kilometers of distance. Or hang out to bowling, eating, play pool, doing fun stuff that helps making a bond. Even if you're willing to invest time and money on travels, it's hard to hang out with internet friends. For some people they're not looking to hang out, but to me it's important, at least once per 3 weeks, on maximum once per semester.

So far, the number of real internet friends I have is zero, because we got busy with life and stuff, or maybe the bond wasn't so strong as I thought. But I had quite a few 1 year ago. But I still have some good friends from my high school, now that we went to the same university.

I know I forgot something, but screw it. That's enough of my experience and knowledge.
What information is okay to give out? When is it okay to give it out?

I think this is dependent on both age and familiarity. A child should, ideally, not give anything besides their first name. Anything personally identifiable, such as their last name, city, school name, social media links, photo, etc, should be kept a secret. There?s no reason anyone (even another child) needs to know what they look like or what city they live in, though I think if the parent chats to them and decides they sound safe that?s fine.

Adults can safely give out what they please, but there will be less trouble with unpleasant types if they withhold personally identifiable information. I tend to not give anything out until I'm familiar with someone over a voice-chat medium such as Skype, which is a much easier way to get to know someone than text. Women can count on being approached by horny men, especially if they have or are willing to give out photos for assessment.

Having your personally identifiable information readily available in multiple places online also means that your mother on Facebook can find all the forums you post in as well as what you post in them. Even worse, people on those forums can find your real-life identity, where you live, where you work, and everyone you know and do what they please with that knowledge. A simple search may be all it takes.

This video details just how creepy it can be to broadcast both your real-life identity and your thoughts and activities. And people think I?m weird for not participating.
The most important rule about internet relationships is to nit emotionally invest yourself into them. As shown by MTV's Catfish, and from personal experience, people are not always who they say they are. You don't know them in real life, so it is all too easy for them to lie and deceive you. Being gullible is a very dangerous trait to have in the realm of online relationships. Also, as previously stated numerous times, don't share your personal info until it is completely 100% sure the other person isn't some type of serial killer.
If someone likes to ask questions about your sexual life/sexual history (this includes questions about lack of sexual history (eg"Are you a virgin?)): watch out!
If a potential friend wants you to tell them things of a sexual nature or personal details about you life, like specific physical whereabouts, physical attributes, stop talking to them as they may have unsavoury intent.
I've recently been reminded how important this is so I thought I would bump the thread for the sake of all the newbies to the site.

Thanks Gomendosi.
Hello Christie

I actually find internet friendships TONS easier than face to face. I use facebook and although I have been using it for about 5 year's or so now, I run in and out of addiction with it, but have some "friends"that I feel pretty close to, despite never meeting them personally and I prefer that way.

I also use Yahoo Answers and have been on that for nearly 9 year's I guess and met my first real friend there and we bounced to facebook and not a day has gone by (well once when we couldn't chat) when we have not chatted and she has taught me SOOOOO much about what friendship is and I tend to mimic her. I am the kind that if some one said: back away (not that they have ever done so), I would back so far away that a friendship could not be got but when she said: hey Suzanne, I feel so sad that I didn't hear from you or have I offended you? Or even being plain silly or stupid and it sort of helps me to get "permission" to do the same thing, which has resulted in a friendship so special that we love each other very much. I actually went to see her for a week and it was, in one respect, a terrible idea, but also amazing! You see, I am 100% myself online, but face to face is quite difficult and all we had chatted about, we found ourselves deeply embarrassed and actually, once again, she taught me that it was ok to text whilst in the same room! Now normally, I would throw the "friendship" out because of sheer disappointment that what we had in life, was not the connection with have online and at the time, I did not acknowledge I was an aspie. But something pretty amazing and break through happened with me. Suddenly I didn't want to throw that friendship away and actually, almost painful and so, with a lot of mental effort, I preserved and if possible, even closer than ever! Get this? She is soon to be 20 and me 45 but we seriously meet in the middle. Oh and since I came to accept I am aspie, I believe strongly that she is too, but she is not ready to accept that fact!

In a way, through finding a real true friend with her, has bounced on to me making a great friend face to face, but the difference, is that she is as crazy as me and VERY accepting that I am aspie and does not judge me. I have another close friend, but find her a bit too cruel in many ways, but there you go, she taught me to forgive and not harbor bad feelings and to also talk about how I feel.

So basically, I learn off others on what is the right thing to say and if you talked to any of them, they would always say that Suzanne does not volunteer conversation but takes note and thinks: ah so that is ok to say and go from there.
What information is okay to give out?
I give out my pen name (Ashe Skyler), what state I'm from, that I grew up in the sticks, and whatever education or job I'm pursuing. I never give out my name or precise location. Any names, really. I use generalizations like "my sister" and stuff. I'm pretty free about interests, like drawing, crocheting, and stuff. Only twice have I ever bumped into somebody I met online, and both events went quite well! I gave them my real name then, we had a great time chatting about random things or seeing a movie, and then they just kind of vanished. One I still wonder if he works at the local community college, but I haven't heard anything from him in years.

When is it okay to give it out?
What little bit I'm okay with, pretty much anytime you want as the conversation directs there.

What red flags do you look for?
An inability to talk about anything but sex or my personal body parts or their personal body parts or the clothing covering those personal body parts. Creeps.

How long do you talk to someone before you consider them a friend?
A few weeks of consistent chatting. Maybe a few months.

Any other tips/hard lessons learned?
As soon as they start in with the "show me your tits or I'll kill myself and you'll go to jail for my suicide", block them then.
If they ever get abusive and start calling you stupid, block them then.
If they threaten to kill you or friends or family, block them then and get a pistol permit.
And if you happen to know their friends who are rather cruel to each other, save any pictures they take of their privates, you might need it for blackmail later and threats to pass it out to their friends if the creepy person doesn't take a hint.
I've recently been reminded how important this is so I thought I would bump the thread for the sake of all the newbies to the site..

I'll go ahead an make this a sticky. I can see how this might be relevant for the demographic on this forum.
Any other tips/hard lessons learned?
As soon as they start in with the "show me your tits or I'll kill myself and you'll go to jail for my suicide", block them then.
If they ever get abusive and start calling you stupid, block them then.
If they threaten to kill you or friends or family, block them then and get a pistol permit.
And if you happen to know their friends who are rather cruel to each other, save any pictures they take of their privates, you might need it for blackmail later and threats to pass it out to their friends if the creepy person doesn't take a hint.

These sound terrifying! :fearscream:

Very good advice so far. I'd add/emphasise:

- Don't feel pressured to do anything you're not comfortable with. Even if it's something like going on webcam/sharing your Facebook details..if the person is worthy of being your friend, they're sure to understand!

- If you feel someone is being creepy or disrespectful, it's best to block/ignore them. Not worth the drama!

- If you do meet up, always meet in a public place the first time and tell a friend/family member where you're going, when you'll be back, and that you'll give them a call when you're done. Even if they seem nice enough - you never know!

Since doing online dating as well I've had some funny messages, but everyone who I've met in person from talking to online (in general, not just dating sites) has been really lovely, and I've met some of my favourite people from it. Got to love that the internet has the potential to connect us with so many more people, not just tiny narrow 'traditional' social groups!
These sound terrifying! :fearscream:
Surprisingly, they weren't. I did find them highly annoying, varying levels of revolting, and the analytical side of me was interested in what psychology lead to such behaviours so I'd screw with their minds to see what made them tick, but not once did they scare me. I may need to investigate if Aspies have an innate lack of proper fear and judgment.
Here's another internet safety tip that I see violated all the time: forwarding emails with all the previous addresses intact. That is like giving out the keys to everyone's house on the list. Don't do it. If you must forward on something that has been forwarded to you, remove all previous addresses. Because once it is sent on, you and everyone else on that list has lost control of that information. I have heard of cases where people found their names linked to porn sites. This can cost people their jobs if it shows up on company equipment.

As I was typing this, I got a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft who claimed that they have encountered several error messages coming from my laptop and that someone has hijacked my IP address. I find this more than a little creepy as I have no way of knowing whether this is legitimate. It just goes to show that when you are online, you really do not have any privacy.

Because I work in a sensitive industry, I have to be more cautious than most regarding what I post and allow to be posted to me. I had a discussion with some friends at church recently about that very topic. I said I cannot allow my name or my picture to be linked with anything controversial, and that some of the postings made in the name of our "discussion group" raised some real red flags as far as I am concerned. There was one e-mail in particular that seemed to condone the violence that broke out after the Ferguson verdicts. The person who sent it to me did not realize that by doing so she was potentially putting me in a very bad spot. I told them, there are some conversations I do not want to have with my supervisor and/or Human Resources. Something like that is very easily taken out of context, so please think before you send.
If you feel you are developing a good relationship, you can tell people where you generally are from. Like you can say "NYC" rather than the small suburb or rural area you live at exactly. If they ask more, just simply tell them you aren't comfortable answering that question. Also, you can always meet other(s) in public places during the day if you want to meet them in-person, but aren't sure how to read their character. No matter what you do or don't do, you can take all the precautions possible and still end up unlucky. Don't badger yourself for it. Just deal with the situation and move on as best as you can.

It can be good to take risks in life too, but if you aren't sure if it's the worth the risk to do something above what you normally would communicate, then just say you're not able to answer that person's question or meet them at such and such a place. You don't need to go to the lengths of making obvious lies or pushing the person away too unless they are being mean to you. Just simply state something along the lines of "I don't feel comfortable answering that question."
My negative personal experience that I will bring to this is not everyone is honest. I was lied to for years, and I had a feeling because this person wouldn't talk to me on the phone, or skype. If you make a friend, or even maybe a romantic connection, make sure to verify their identity, especially before EVER meeting them.

The best way to do this is to call them on Skype first, and then at a later point in time webcam with them. I suggest doing it in parts because it can be a lot for some people to webcam immediately. Make sure that the video is not a pre-recorded video, and don't settle for just photos.

If the person claims to not have a camera, not have any pictures of themselves, not have a microphone, not have a webcam, not have a phone with a camera, and they come up with lots of excuses - they are probably lying. This is my personal experience.

If you do meet them, make sure someone knows, and it's in a public place, like a coffee shop. Do not get into a car with them before you have known them for a long time (maybe months) and have no reason to distrust them.

If you can, google them. If they add you on facebook (which I do not recommend by the way, especially not if you've only known them shortly), take a look and see what kind of friends they have and how many. If they have for example 10 friends and none of them seem to be people they know in real life, and maybe not even real people profiles (fictional characters, personas), this can be an indication that they are not who they say they are.

It is important to be critical and protect yourself. Some people will try to hurt you once you start uncovering lies. (I was once even told to go kill myself.) If any abusive behaviour should occur, cut all contact immediately. Even if they say they are sick, going to kill themselves, etc.

Sadly some people on the internet are predators, and lying is very easy for some people, especially online.
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I agree with you...all tho I had to nuke my skype do to rat hacking and scam hacking...and super cookies, (spam bots), can come in on skype...so go over the security settings carefully and shut down as much stranger access as possible. Also some collage students $ may be tight one of my friends is happily married with a baby to a Russian girl and she had to sell her grandmas wedding ring to get a modem to keep talking to him. What do you think of the hello coffee date thing at a big public place, separate cars? Or is the internet thing just stupid?
I'm always lonely and look for Internet friends a lot. I get taken advantage of a lot though.
Hey, welcome Schubert! Why don't you introduce yourself to the community at the Introduction section by opening a new discussion thread. You are bound to meet some internet friends here on AC. And the moderators will give you an official welcome with some useful site tips if they see your introduction. :)

Introduce Yourself | AspiesCentral.com

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