Love has become Electronic and for all the Wrong Reasons

Humans are naturally creatures of leisure, constantly trying to change the world to make life easier. This behaviour has transferred to romance, which was once an interaction of love and connection. Nowadays the only connection people are getting is through their wifi. Back when phones were only for calling, people had to express their feelings face-to-face. This provided a more intimate connection between two people and gave a more honest representation of what the other person was like. When people talk over text to someone they care about, the communication is de-humanised due to the lack of emotion, tone, pitch, body language or influences from the environment. It is these factors that can dramatically change how someone is perceived by another.

News has turned digital with stories being uploaded to websites daily. People from different places in the world can communicate instantly with the help of video chats like skype. By the year 2020 it is estimated that 2.95 billion people worldwide will use social media, this shows how ingrained it is becoming in our society (Statista, 2016). It is now expected for people to be connected to social media in one form or another, whether this be facebook, snapchat or instagram. With these new features and uses for communication, people are replacing basic human interactions with status updates and snapchat story uploads. People find it easier to talk to others online, with 51% of teenagers saying they would rather communicate digitally than in person. The lack of face-to-face communication when forming relationships is making people build a virtual image of one another. The issue is that when talking to people online you’re only receiving responses and information (photos and posts) of that person that they want you to see. Thus people create a virtual image of what they perceive the person to be like, which is usually nothing what they’re like in real life. This can create awkward and uncomfortable situations when the people see each other in person, because they’re unsure of how to interact. Technology is detaching people from the skills they would have originally learned, such as socialisation skills when talking with other people.

With the influx of technology people are developing new ways to find their significant other through the use of apps such as eHarmony, RSVP, Tinder and Grindr. However the loss of direct social interaction when first meeting makes potential partners seem emotionless. The only connection the two people are having is through letters on a screen. Touch is crucial in developing and maintaining a strong relationship, without it partners will be less inclined to stay together. “Not only is social media such as Facebook changing the way we relate to one another, many are also confusing digital intimacy with true intimacy,” said Dr. Rachel Needle, a psychologist at the Center for Marital and Sexual Health of South Florida. “It has been estimated that Facebook activities contribute to at least 20% of divorce cases.”. Physical interaction is vital in relationships and builds a connection, which is imperative to couples.

When communicating with someone face-to-face you’re picking up on multiple things such as, the tone of their voice, how quickly they’re speaking, their facial expressions, body language and more. These factors are extremely important for reading a person as they talk. “I have spent countless hours parsing through misinterpreted text messages between couples,” says Michel Horvat, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in couple’s therapy. “All of the nuance, and specifics of prosody, intonation, emotion, emphasis on a certain part of a sentence is lost when dwindled down to a text … all of that human quality to communication is lost. In that loss is where assumption and misinterpretation sprouts. It contributes to de-humanizing our connection and leaves room for assumptions and inaccurate intent.”. The main issue faced with communicating largely over text and through social media, is that lack of emotion can lead to misinterpretations and sometimes heated arguments. “Eighty percent of human communication is nonverbal and during texting, because we cannot see the other person’s face, hear their tone of voice or observe their physical posture and mannerisms, the information transmission quickly breaks down,” says Laura L. Ryan, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and a Certified Imago Therapist in Austin, Texas, “Messages feel more accusatory, conflict gets more hostile, and anger escalates quickly”. Couples all around the world are having difficulties in their relationships due to the integration and constant use of social media, it draws out any emotion from their partners which helps lead to arguments and fights.

Humans are social creatures and need to learn social skills in order to appropriately interact with others. The influx of new technology has made life too easy for people and teens, who are now starting to say they’d prefer to talk via social media than face-to-face. As people communicate more online than in the real world they are starving themselves of vital humans needs such as physical contact, which is extremely important in any relationship. Not only are people losing their sense of physical touch, but the alternative being used (texting) provides an emotionless and blank way of communicating which can easily be misinterpreted, leading to strained relationships. People need to start putting down their phones and reconnect with those that matter most to them, in this ever evolving digital age we need to be careful in how we balance our lives.

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