I have talked about this before, but I believe the Internet both degrades and enhances relationships.
It degrades relationships because now people don’t face the consequences of being a jerk. Oh sure, those people who are mean face shallow relationships with whomever they can find. However in the past before the internet, people would talk about them and they would be shunned. I am not in favor of shunning, but the Internet lets people believe that abusing people has no consequences.
For example, for many men dating on the Internet is about trying to deal with abusive women who make dating a business. Of course it is equally challenging for women who say that men make dating all about one thing. I wonder how relationships will continue to evolve when things like sex robots and virtual sex exist?
For many people the Internet provides them a way to make an income. For many others the Internet is destroying their income. For example, porn companies and that industry in general are on tough times. With all the amateur competition they don’t make the record profits they used to make. To me, it seems much like the situation with alcohol being prohibited in the 20s. When it was underground there were profits and deaths. Once it is public and regulated, the deaths and profits from individuals went down.
I think in many ways the rise of the Internet has changed how business works. Instead of gatekeepers, we have more power to the public. Social changes happens in spurts, and the internet allows special interest groups to form and change policy. It also has enhanced social movements like #metoo and helping call out peoples lies. I don’t think websites that check truth or the ability to distinguish lies would be at this level without the Internet.
The internet enhances relationships when it can help others communicate. It enhances it when it allows people to fulfill their dreams and get jobs and opportunities that otherwise they wouldn’t. It enhances helpful efforts to grow and become.
I think the Internet is the same as a relationship. I was once told that a relationship “Makes the good times better and the tough times more difficult.” I agree with that.