About socks, relationships in crisis and help from the crowd
A woman, let’s call her Lisa, buys socks for her husband. The socks are good brand name quality, warm and comfy. Her husband, let’s call him Kai, is pleased with the gift. But Lisa often has cold feet and soon starts to wear the socks herself. Kai is not pleased. The heels of the socks are soon thin and whenever he wants to wear them, they are either in the laundry or his wife has them on. They get into a fight – and let the crowd decide who is right.
What sounds like the script of an early evening soap is reality on the Internet. Couples talk about their relationship problems on the couplesspark platform. Using their anonymous identities, “Mate 1 ” and “Mate 2”, they respectively describe what their problem is. According to their source, the problems are divided into categories for example “money”, “pets” or “stepmother”. Hobby therapists and other Internet users vote which of the squabblers they agree with and can also post helpful comments. “Buy your own socks Mate 1” is the advice Lisa received.
Recognizing whether a post is serious or tongue in cheek is sometimes difficult at first glance, but it seems that some people are really looking for support from strangers. A woman complains,” My husband is as cold as ice.” “She doesn’t give me any real support when I’m down”, says another user. The range of topics includes jealousy, unfaithfulness and communication problems.
Registered users can comment on the stories. Particularly active advisers become “Top Ref’s” and can acquire virtual awards.
A large, virtual self-help group in the anonymity of the Internet. Great if it actually helps some couples. Some posts make you chuckle. But I would really like to know what became of Lisa and Kai’s sock problem.
Image by flickr user Amonja