Love is in the air but does it matter if it starts in the online or offline world?
The month of love is fast coming to an end. B
oth Valentine's Day and Chap Goh Meh are over but the debate on online versus "offline" relationships rages on.
Many arguments have been made for both sides.
Due to the fact that digital technology is a relatively new phenomenon, the main question that's almost always asked is if online relationships can work as well as traditional ones.
Over the years, those on both sides of the fence have cited many examples to support their arguments.
On one hand, there have been many stories of people who have formed successful relationships after meeting online, with some tying the knot.
Then there is the flipside - online relationships that failed not because the couple lacked compatibility but due to lies and deceit.
This was epitomised by the recent incident involving American collegiate football player Manti Te'o who was fooled by an acquaintance into a fake online relationship with a "girlfriend" who later "died."
However, the arguments over the years haven't changed that much.
Detractors describe online relationships as transient and fleeting.
The anonymity and distance that technology affords is also a recipe for disaster, they have argued.
Supporters talk about the serendipitous nature of the Internet - it allows people who wouldn't normally cross paths to meet.
Plus, it's easier to find like-minded people in chat rooms, forums, websites and social networking services.
The truth of the matter is that both sides are not wrong, IMHO.
There are enough successes and failure stories to support both arguments.