The term ‘virtual reality’ basically means ‘near-reality’.

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We all know that teenagers text—a lot. But as the mother of a teenager, I am sometimes shocked by how much a lot can be, and more to the point, the impact that all this texting, virtual relating, is having on our children’s real life relationships. Many young people are now experiencing their first “romantic” relationship on their phones. Teenage couples begin texting each other intimately and voraciously often before they are even friends, texting things to each other that they would never (ever) say in person. Having a real life relationship with your boyfriend is no longer a prerequisite for having a virtual relationship with him. 

These days, when a girl says she is “dating” someone, it generally means that she has someone with whom she texts around the clock.  It doesn’t however, mean that she talks to that person more (or at all) in real life.  It is not uncommon for a girl to have a boyfriend whom she never actually talks to in person but spends most of her day texting with.  Being part of a couple also doesn’t mean that you do anything in the world together, like go for ice cream or see a movie.

On their own, texting relationships might not seem like a big deal, but the problem that they create is indeed a big deal. Virtual relationships stunt real relationships (and the skills they require).  The pseudo intimacy of the texting relationship preempts real intimacy, which then creates a divide that is difficult to cross.  The virtual romance happens at a pace and rhythm and with a hipness and ease that has little to do with real life romance or, for that matter, the emotional maturity of teenagers.  And furthermore, the closeness that has transpired over text becomes imprisoning; what has been experienced in the device is not appropriate to the real-life relationship, which then becomes reason to avoid one other in actual life. The real relationship not only can’t catch up with the virtual relationship, but also becomes its hostage.

Read More - Is Virtual Love Sexier Than Real Love? | Psychology Today