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It is possible to hold real-time audio and video conversations over the Internet (creating telepresence), providing levels of interactivity beyond plain text.
Psychologists in at least one study found that Internet dating can be successful Internet friendships are friendships between people who have met online, and in some cases know each other only via the Internet.
The internet allows complete confidentiality so it is often easy for the deceiver to find a picture of an individual they chose to later represent themselves as to the victim for a variety of reasons.
Information is easily altered, and many people state incorrect information about their age, their gender and their appearance.
In cases where people in a relationship are geographically separate, the relationship can often be started or continued online, which some people call online relationships or internet relationships (in some cases for some time between an initial meeting and one of those involved moving), this bears significant similarity to long distance relationships which were maintained over other forms of long distance communication in the past, including telephonic or pen pal relationships.
It has been argued that the development of the internet added a significant enhancement to long distance relationships (regardless of whether those involved had met physically) because it allows for much more frequent and personal conversation than any previous technology had, thereby reducing some of the difficulties associated with traditional long distance relationships.
Still, use of these technologies is not always feasible or convenient, and some people may prefer not to use them.
The process of the relationship initiation is similar but because it is not initiated face to face the propensity for questionable ethical behavior may lead to deception and other problematic relationship issues.
Researchers are now just beginning to broach this category as it applies to interpersonal relationships.
Studies have shown that although internet relationships take longer to develop due to the slowness of the communication exchange inherent in using the web, these couples are able to become as close as those who meet face-to-face along dimensions such as affection, immediacy, receptivity, trust, and depth (Walther & Burgoon, 1992).
A person can take advantage of the fact that there is no opportunity for a partner to compare a self-presentation to what he/she can physically see; this can be done either by misrepresenting himself/herself or even creating a new self (Schnarch, 1997).
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This can lead to deception and other ethical issues.