When Love And Technology Collide

Text Messaging During A MeetingCommunication is very easy nowadays and getting in touch with someone is as simple as pressing the call key – but are we within the reach of those who are prospective partners who could make love blossom?

Internet dating sites can set you up really easy when you really have to be with someone.  Love-searching on the internet is definitely not new.  Early technologies like the ‘wire’ and the ‘telephone’ were already used for the same purpose.  A particular research that aimed to apply digital science to love was attempted in 1965.  Current dating sites are the offspring of this 1965 attempt.

Can technology be instrumental for romance, or simply something that can prevent people from becoming intimate?

While love letters were the only means of sending your love centuries ago, electronic love notes now shoot back and forth faster than the speed of light, especially among intense relationships.  As a result, people are able to communicate with someone less the physical contact.  The ‘touching’ is substituted with emoticons, stripping away the intimacy of person-to-person encounters.

“Connected” in cyber language may not actually mean the word in real terms because, in more ways than one, cyber connections cause intimate disconnections in many ways.

Cyberspace Matchmaking

Bringing people together can be achieved with technology.  A popular online dating site claims that everyday, 90 of their 17 million registered users actually get married, and the number of matchmaking sites on the internet as many as stars in the night sky.

Other small sites even offer more specific matchmaking either by religion, gender, age, cultural interests, political convictions etc.  If this is not weird enough, try out the site that matches Klingon and Vulcan impersonators!

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Some people believe that technology enhances relationships because it enables people to get to know each other more; the approach allows people to bare all.  Relationships are actually a part of a healthy lifestyle and should be given ample attention.

Here’s an answer that I really have to give

Communications technology has made the world smaller – it is not impossible to talk to someone on the Great Wall even when you are tucked up in your bed in Russia.  On the other end of the spectrum, however, there are propositions that suggest that technology can affect everything from business to one’s sex life.

An online survey showed that 4 in 10 MBAs reported having to stop having sex to check out a message on their Blackberries or other digital communication devices.  45% of these respondents admitted to foregoing the deed for a meeting, a game or a night at the opera.  With this being the current situation, it would be a wise move to designate Valentines Day as ‘Turn Off your Blackberry Day”.

The ‘Second Life’ Online Game

Bedfellows can also come out of technology.  The multi-player, on-line role-playing game ‘Second Life’ actually has a third of its women players marrying off their avatars; 10% of the male players do the same.  These virtual marriages don’t last beyond weeks though. Some players of online games also admit to having dates with whoever they meet online.

If there are online marriages, then there is also online infidelity.  Women find it upsetting at times when they find out that their real husbands lead a separate life online, with an online wife, complete with online sex.

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She broke up in a text message

Technology, while allowing us to keep in touch, also allows us to break up with people. Studies have shown that about one-fourth of instant messaging users have used this mode of communication for a break-up.  Even cell phone users are increasingly finding it more convenient to break up through text messaging.

These events can damage the self-esteem not only of the one who is broken up with but also of the one who is breaking up.  This is such because the pain caused by this mode of rejection can be magnified by the cold and impersonal nature of the break up.  Guilt is common among rejecters because of the thought of having to lead someone along and giving false hopes; even without the guilt of leading someone on, rejecters, upon inflicting pain, can also be distressed.  These feelings of a loss of self-worth are considered symptoms of medical depression – break-ups can also lead to major depression.  This can be caused by disputes between partners, social adjustment to the new role of having no partner, and interpersonal lacks that may lead to feelings of isolation from society and deprivation.

The loss of human contact in technology

The absence of face-to-face or hand-to-hand contact in technology can take away the human element in our everyday lives.  Workplace technology is spreading vastly even getting into spaces that used to be private.  Almost everything that a person does nowadays involves communication technology; from the time a person wakes up in the morning, on their way to the office, and even when they have come home in the evening.

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The danger in this is that people rarely find the time to unwind, and are at a risk of just getting really exhausted.

Be wary of the following signs that may be telling you that technology is getting into your personal relationships:

  • You barely spend time with your family and friends and use up most of your time on email, returning phone calls, or text messaging.
  • You are no longer punctual in your engagements because you were surfing the net, texting, or talking on the phone.
  • You opt for digital communications even in instances when face-to-face interactions are the modes of communication called for.
  • Everybody asks you to stop and you can’t and you hate it when they make a big deal out of your using technology.

Electronic communications can often make us indifferent about hurting others feelings; it’s either we don’t know that we’re hurting others, or we don’t care.

Getting rid of your cell phone is of course a very impractical and unrealistic solution to the problem; but there are things that we can do to get our lives on track and keep technology from interfering with our dealings with others.

There is no substitute for an actual pat on the back and the attention of someone, and so we must have rules and limits in the use of technology.

Physical and mental presence is vital in building and maintaining healthy and worthwhile relationships.

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