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ForumsThe TavernAge Difference.

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Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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I don't know if this has been discussed before. It's random, hence placing in The Tavern.

Age difference. What are your views on age difference and why is it so different in real life versus online?


Obviously there's different situations that will bring out different viewpoints. Where i am coming from is, age difference, romantically if usually frowned upon when you're younger - that is a 13 year old dating a 20 year old is usually viewed as wrong, but a 20 year old dating a 27 year old isn't. The reason i thought of this was actually the users of AG: As an active member i talk to numerous people. The age ranges from 13 to 30something [I think].

Now i get on very well with this young teens and older adults but in real life, i wouldn't be able to have a "friendship" as such with a young teen. Is it acceptable online because you don't have to be around them? If you were a parent, wouldn't you be worried your child was talking to someone several years younger/older? Final thought: Is it just me, or does it seem more acceptable for such a gap in age between friends on AG as opposed to a live chat room etc?

  • 36 Replies
ryan7g
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ryan7g
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I think it's acceptable and/or not really thought about as far as this site goes because personal information usually doesn't go out and you normally know nothing about the person you're talking to. As long as you can act somewhat mature, I think it's perfectly fine chatting with people of a wide age difference on here.

In reality though, it's obviously different. It's not all about chatting through a computer somewhat anonymously. It all kind of depends on the situation. You can't just go up to random people and say hey (as you can on this site lol) because it would obviously be weird, if the age difference was wide that is.

Like I said, it just really depends. Are you two hanging out or just casually chatting? Is your friend like a brotherly or sisterly figure who you met at church or other some sort of activity? I think in such case, it's acceptable to a degree. You don't want your 13 year old child hanging out with someone much older than them.

As far as the dating thing goes, it's pretty much the same here in good 'ol America. The age of consent in most places is 18. I believe it's 16 in a few states. And if you're over the age of 18, it's frowned upon to date anyone younger than you, simply because of the fact that you're dating a minor and any sort of sexual touching, even over clothing, could get you prosecuted, with the possibility of sex offender registration for the rest of your life. Even an allegation that you did something illegal could ruin your life, even if you were ultimately acquitted of any charges.

But anything over 18 is fine. As long as it's not a 20 or so year difference. It's not as strict, so to speak.

Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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I think it's acceptable and/or not really thought about as far as this site goes because personal information usually doesn't go out and you normally know nothing about the person you're talking to.


This is the same in internet chat rooms though, yet it's not as accepted to talk to someone younger, regardless of maturity on these. Get what i mean?

But anything over 18 is fine. As long as it's not a 20 or so year difference. It's not as strict, so to speak.


I don't know, i find 20 and 40 an acceptable relationship age difference. One it's over 18, i don't think age really matters in any form. But that's just my opinion.
dair5
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dair5
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I think the reason people get along well on the internet despite being so different in age is because they often don't have as much to judge them on. For mostly how they present themselves in their posts that defines my opinion of them. If you can have a good conversation with the person then you're probably okay with them online, since that conversation is most of what you have to go on. I think its also a lot more than age. People tend to associate age with an idea for what someone of that age group should be like. If they don't fit into our ideas, we treat them differently. For example I was always short and stared school early so I was young too. When I was in kindergarten and first grade I would be treated like I was much younger just because I looked younger. Even though I was maybe a year away from some kids they'd still pick me up and act like they were much much older. This happened for a while, even with people who were only a week older than me. I also remember a friend of mine who was nearly 18 with a girlfriend younger than usally accepted. And everyone was happy for them. Why? Because she looked around 16. If she looked younger and was smaller this may not have been so widely accepted. Of course it was mostly accepted because everyone knew both of them, and it wasn't as if one was any more mature than the other, but I still think our expectations for certain ages still plays a big role. You may feel uncomfortable speaking to an 11 year old about a serious issue, though there are some who can handle it, and those older who can't. The more you get to know a person in real life, the more your preconceived notions of them are filtered out. Here, there are already some of those filters in place. At least that's how I see it.

ryan7g
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ryan7g
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This is the same in internet chat rooms though, yet it's not as accepted to talk to someone younger, regardless of maturity on these. Get what i mean?


Human behavior is fundamentally uncontrollable. And some things have age restrictions because of exposure to..well.. human behavior. It's just like movies having an R rating. Children under a certain age shouldn't be exposed to certain things. Hence, this site also having an age restriction.
Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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@Dair: I like your view, the "filters" theory.

I guess it's easier to talk to people on here with the filters the internet gives us, yeah. I mean i know i've talked to people on here for like a year then they've mentioned they're fourteen and i'm like MIND = BLOWN as they're more mature than me.

GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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I'm seventeen and most of my friends are in their mid to late twenties. I just have more in common with them than people my age.
I think it's different on the internet than in real life because on the internet you can be whoever you want to be without people knowing your true identity, unless you show them. I've had experience with people that said they were in their twenties when in fact they're only thirteen.

I suppose if you tell people you're older than what you actually are, they'll take you more seriously. Seems to be the case, anyway. I've met a lot of people that think that just because they're a few years older that they automatically know more about certain subjects and are overall better than you.

The assumption that most people my age should be out partying, getting drunk, high, ignoring school, and stuff doesn't help either. I don't have a problem if people do those things as I don't focus on what others do with their time, but I don't like automatically getting put into that category. I do things that make myself better and focus on my future.

It would look strange if you're in your twenties and hanging around a ten year old, but if you can do activities that you both like, probably something having to do with legos or something then I don't see a problem, as long as their parents are around. Or if it's babysitting. It's just strange because people in those age groups are usually focusing on different things, you know. Age restrictions and stuff that are socially acceptable.

Allow me to speak from my experience with younger people. I have a little brother that's nine right, we don't have much to do together or talk about since he's younger. There're stuff like sports and games, but that's about it. I also have to watch what I say around him because he's too young to be exposed to that stuff. There's a limit to what you can do/say around younger folk.

xNightwish
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I don't mind how old the person is I chat with as long as they act mature and not just scream around a bit. I have a few people on Steam who are 14-15 year old, not isn't that that much of a age difference but they act like they are way older and they seen smart. I like that, it is better than some people I have seen here who just scream around and say nothing but nonsense.

As far as dating goes, I don't really mind as long as it is for love. Not some 50 year old millionaire who marries a pretty 18 year old girl because she looks hot.

Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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Ghost, you're one of the people i had in mind when i refer to younger people seeming so much more clued in than me, ha.

There's a limit to what you can do/say around younger folk.


The internet kind of eradicates that courtesy though, don't you think?
skater_kid_who_pwns
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skater_kid_who_pwns
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Ghost, you're one of the people i had in mind when i refer to younger people seeming so much more clued in than me, ha.


More clued in, or attempting to become a mod?


But in the real world, your interactions are normally pretty limited to people your own age group, take school for example. You would expect a person to want to talk to his/her peers. If a 15 year old is friends with a 20 year old, that isn't related to the family that's seen as a bit strange. No sensible reason can be thought of as to why they hang out, so in the minds of everyone else, it's a bad reason.

As for dating, here in the grand ol' USA, there is that nice conceptual **** law. So once you turn 18 every thing under the age of 18 becomes jail bait, which is a better reason then any to frown on that relationship.
Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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More clued in, or attempting to become a mod?


I'd say more clued in - as in more knowledge than myself on world affairs etc, not to mention a much more mature manner. Even if he did want to be mod, doesn't take away from how he conducts himself online compared to older people.

But in the real world, your interactions are normally pretty limited to people your own age group, take school for example. You would expect a person to want to talk to his/her peers. If a 15 year old is friends with a 20 year old, that isn't related to the family that's seen as a bit strange. No sensible reason can be thought of as to why they hang out, so in the minds of everyone else, it's a bad reason.


I don't know. I understand it in terms of school, but doesn't think change when schools done? For instance i know these two people and am very friendly with them both. They used to date and are best friends. They're 19 and 30. I never thought this bad until today because they're my friends. Then i realized they *used to* date, when she was 16 So he was 27. Now, i'm not one to judge age differences because in my opinion it goes on maturity, obviously. But i can't help but worry about kids vulnerability.

As for dating, here in the grand ol' USA, there is that nice conceptual **** law. So once you turn 18 every thing under the age of 18 becomes jail bait, which is a better reason then any to frown on that relationship.


Can this fully be implemented with the internets wicked ways? As mentioned, it can be very easy to lie about your age. If you start dating someone online who has lied about their age, and you meet up and continue a relationship in person, which could be.. more intimate. Is it really a crime?
GhostOfMatrix
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GhostOfMatrix
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The internet kind of eradicates that courtesy though, don't you think?

Kinda. We can't really make an assumption of how old people are since we don't know what they look like, but there are usually guidelines to how you can at on certain sites. We just have to go off what they tell and/or show us. But I only really chat with a few people while online, and most of them have told me they're 16-22. I don't go out and try to make new friends everywhere.
or attempting to become a mod?

If I really wanted to become a mod, I would go post around everywhere with a fake smile - treating everyone like they're actually important, start friendly conversation with all the mods, agree with all the mods on every topic, and make my posts fit in with their ideals instead of having my own opinion.
I don't do any of those. Try again, Skater.
No sensible reason can be thought of as to why they hang out

They have more in common. However most of the older folk I'm friends with were friends with some family member, while some I've met at the gym and only talk to them there.
ryan7g
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ryan7g
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If I really wanted to become a mod, I would go post around everywhere with a fake smile - treating everyone like they're actually important, start friendly conversation with all the mods, agree with all the mods on every topic, and make my posts fit in with their ideals instead of having my own opinion.
I don't do any of those. Try again, Skater.


Ghost 1, Skater 0. Hahahah.
idigit
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idigit
255 posts
Nomad

well my friend's brother is really tall, built up, etc. and he was dating a girl the same age as he was but there was a HUGE size difference between them. it looked weird because he looked 17, 18 ish and she looked like she was 12(they were both 14). this got weird looks from people and she used this look difference to accuse him of harassment (lies). this sort of has something to do with this age difference talk, but not much. i guess i am trying to say that there are some prejudice with couples that look like they have a huge age difference.

Jefferysinspiration
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Jefferysinspiration
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@Jeol: So you think forums are better because they portray a persons personality more?

See this one is difficult for me, the live chat versus forum personality thing. I used to think that since it was live and more interactive you'd see a persons personality more due to the fact it was fast paced. I'm unsure now though.

skater_kid_who_pwns
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skater_kid_who_pwns
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If I really wanted to become a mod, I would go post around everywhere with a fake smile - treating everyone like they're actually important, start friendly conversation with all the mods, agree with all the mods on every topic, and make my posts fit in with their ideals instead of having my own opinion.
I don't do any of those. Try again, Skater.


If this was said a few years ago, I would have gone and found examples of everything you said you didn't do. Sadly, I don't really give two s#hits anymore.


Fast paced interactions force you to make quick decisions, which often leads to you seeming less mature. If you can sit, and think out a post before you type it, you're more likely to say something worth saying.
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