On different wavelengths
Because words can so easily be misinterpreted, chatting online would have been much harder without being able to use emoticons or abbreviations like LOL.
But even with them, without the guide of facial expressions or the sounds of a giggle or a cheeky wink, chances are that you're getting the wrong end of the stick when chatting online, or that the guy on the other side is misinterpreting what you typed.
When meeting someone in person after chatting online however, things may be clearer, but you may not always like what you find.
Shannon and Andrew got on like a house on fire when chatting online. He cracked her up with his jokes and sharp comments.
When she met him though, his jokes annoyed her to no end. Andrew could not stop joking around to have a proper conversation, and her attempts to get to know him better failed miserably.
Shannon was torn between the great guy that made her laugh online and the childish clown she met in person, and ended up continuing their online chats but not meeting again in person.
When chatting online, it is important to remember that the person reading your ramblings may not have the same frame of reference as you.
Their sense of humour may be different, or they may be from a different culture or country and have different ideas about sarcasm or teasing. Use emoticons when you think what you're saying may be misinterpreted, to clarify things.
And bear in mind that the idea you have in your head about what this person is going to be like in person, may be completely off target. Better to have no expectations of what a fantastic guy he is going to be, and maybe you'll be pleasantly surprised.