They offer us the kind of instant gratification and validation that's not always easy to get from our partners.We turn to our laptops, tablets and cellphones for the kind of attention, stimulation and intimacy we crave. Divorce rates are increasing, infidelity stats are rising and social media is increasingly to blame; Facebook, as an example, is reportedly being cited in over 30% of divorce cases as the cause of the breakup. With a partner is an entirely different case, but with friends? For me, video chat is a very intimate way of conversing with another. Talking to a friend, in front of your computer screen, in your bedroom, with your headset, is very… To this day, I never actually had a video chat with the opposite sex who’s just a friend.It’s even more intimate than going out just the two of you. I would feel anxious, agitated even – seeing his face and listening to his voice while knowing that he only has me in front of his eyes (it’s not like I can look at the scenery or comment on other people’s food orders or something like that) make me uncomfortable.That's why is so much more potent: Instant access to our lover is in our pocket, our purse, or laptop. We can do it while the kids are playing in the backyard or our partner is downstairs watching TV or cooking dinner.
It’s a sexy topic, rife with stereotypes and joking-but-not-really stereotypes about men and women and teasing the idea that your supposedly platonic friend is actually harboring a secret crush on you and whether this is a good or bad thing for the relationship.
The thought on this matter came a few months ago when the three of us, a male friend, a female friend, and I, were having lunch together after lecture.
The female friend told us stories that she just had this video chat with her male friend who lives in London.
To start with: the fact that the man may be attracted to a woman – or believe that she’s attracted to him – automatically disqualifies a friendship implies that ultimately it is his and For another, the idea that just being attracted to somebody means that the relationship isn’t “just” a friendship carries the implication that there is a magical dividing line between romantic or sexual attraction and friendship.
Despite the obsession with the idea that men’s libidos somehow make them unable to be friends with someone they find attractive, I believe that not only can men and women be “just” platonic friends…