One inescapable side-effect of mobile love has been the increasing frequency and rapidity at which near-strangers suddenly enter our peripheral vision and penetrate our thoughts
Kimberley Wilson, Chartered Counselling Psychologist refers to this as "projection". "The rise of the internet presents a very new challenge for the mind. While the interface – your phone or laptop – is physical [i.e. it can be touched] the internet and everything in it is intangible and in some senses, dream-like. In this way the internet presents a perfect screen for projection. "Projection is a very early defence mechanism that has its roots in an infant’s need to keep ‘good’ and ‘bad’ in clear and separate categories until, with maturity, he/she comes to understand that these things often overlap into shades of grey. Projection is the unconscious process of attributing to others characteristics or traits that actually relate to the self rather than the other person. A simple example of this is when an unfaithful person in a relationship begins to suspect their partner of cheating, without any evidence. In this scenario they are projecting their own guilty feelings onto their innocent partner." Essentially, we can easily imbue people we discern as attractive with other qualities we might admire, just as we do with characters in books and films; beyond sexual attraction, it's easy to romanticise. You can see how one might add a lust for travel excitement and spontaneity to a simple holiday picture. As Kimbereley puts it: "Typically the less that we know about another person, the more we are able to project on them, because there is less evidence or reality to interfere with the story we are creating in our own minds." Maybe they've clicked attending on an event that would suggest a shared love of the same music. Of course, at a very sanitised level this is merely day-dreaming, a pastime lots of us indulge in when we meet someone who takes our fancy.
In the absence of any ‘faults’ to balance out this perfected picture, it is easy to see how we might become infatuated with a ‘flawless’ person