Is The Digital Age Ruining Our Relationships?

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In the age of texting, email, social networks and message boards it has become so much easier to keep in touch with family, friends, acquaintances and old colleagues. It has become easier to network which lends a hand to finding work and advertising. Thousands of people find love via the Internet, which is much easier than going out to the local bar, club, library to find love. It begins with a quick chat in a room or message board, then its instant messaging, email, Facebook friends, phone and eventually if they are still interested it is time to meet in person and begin traditional dating. Many friendships are also formed in this way.

There are other aspects to the digital world that has people on the fence about it. People being stalked has risen and hard to detect, it is not illegal for someone to follow you from one social network to another and since once you post any pictures of yourself anywhere it becomes the property of the Internet which means it is out there forever and anyone can see and download them.

Posting personal business, even if not your phone and address can be dangerous, such as hometown, current city, place of work and schools attended. If someone wants to find you and any of your personal business it is quite easy.

Then we have the social media politics, who is on your friends list? Do the people on your friends list paint a picture of the kind of person you are? If a prospective or current employer looks at your page or friend’s page will they be put off by what they see? Who is on your #1 spot? Do you have questionable people on your site? Do you accept people you barely know? Do you have friends who may be enemies with each other? So on and so on.

Then we dive into love relationships, dating, and marriages. While dating online at first may be good in order to get to know someone before investing real time, real emotion and money, it can also be misleading. Without body language and touch one can’t really tell if the person could be a good fit, so someone may be misled by the cutsie chatting, sexting and well taken and photoshopped photos.

I remember, well before marrying the love of my life, doing some online dating and meeting a guy in person for the first time and thinking…hmmm, he doesn’t look as attractive as he did in his pictures….then after a few dates I not only realized that I wasn’t very attracted to him but also that his body language and way of expressing himself wasn’t what I had expected. So there was a few months of online dating wasted. Time that I could have devoted to something else.

Then we have people that are in relationships, marriages and have all of these social accounts still opened. Everyone changes their status from “single” to “In a Relationship” to “Married” and that is how they let the rest of the world know they are now off limits or available. Problem?

Well, in an age when anyone can contact you within seconds of googling your name it makes it hard to keep those ex stalkers, bf’s, gf’s and interested people away. Relationships start to suffer when people forget that there is not much of a difference between email, chat and phone conversations, eventually one or the other will want to meet in person or reconnect in person; and that is where the trouble begins. Where do we draw the line?

Then we have the final downside to the digital machine. Ending relationships has recently become a game of who will post it first. People are ending relationships simply by texting, email or worse changing their relationship status. Are we becoming anti-social, anti-communication zombies? Or is the digital age the new and maybe safer way of dating? Will it continue to evolve to a point where people will forget the importance of eye contact, body language, touch and very important boundary crossing?

The Digital Explosion has changed our lives in ways we probably never thought could be possible. The younger generation didn’t get to see the evolution so their life is this way and they will never know any different. Is that a good or bad thing? Is the digital age ruining our relationships?