[1]        It’s possible these days for people to fall in love sight unseen-though not unknown.  Daily, tens of thousands of people spend hours at computers hooked up to the Internet in pursuit of love.  Many applaud the ease of intimacy in this high-tech version of courtship, and some turn their on-line connections into off-live, real-life relationships.  

            [2]        Brandi Chionsini, 23, of Houston , met her fiancé.  Jim Gavigan, 26, of Memphis in a “chat room” last March in her first hour of socializing on the Net.  They plan to marry in December.  “It’s like we’re two lost souls who found each other,” says Chionsini.  How do people on the Internet get to know each other?  With a personal computer linked to a modem, plus a subscription to an on-line service, it’s simple to have an active social life, albeit a virtual, not face-to-face, one.  Each commercial service provider offers its own opportunities for members’ interaction and also provides access to the World Wide Web, with its own communication options.  

            [9]        After a virtual connection is made, notes, love poetry, photos, even virtual flowers can be sent via e-mail.  Then, for many who develop feelings for someone on-line, a major dilemma arises:  whether to have a face-to-face encounter.  Will the passion carry over into real life?  Will the person they’ve gotten to know actually be the person as advertised?           

[10]      The accepted wisdom is that it’s best for potential partners first to get to know one another through e-mail.  Then, when they’re comfortable, they can converse on the telephone and exchange photographs.  If they decide to meet, they should take the same precautions they would in meeting any stranger-getting together in a public place with other people around.  

[11]      “Maybe the computer was just incidental in our meeting,” says Alan Luxenberg.  “Maybe we would have hit it off just as well had we met some other way.  But a person from Philadelphia and a person from Boston are not likely to just meet.”  

(from Kaleidoscope 4-Reading and Writing by Sokmen/Mackey)