Technology has expanded our ability to communicate with others. That’s pretty obvious. It’s impacted our relationships as well, and has even changed the way we communicate with people who are in romantic relationships. We can talk more, share more, and laugh more together. Granted, technology can be and has been used for evil when it comes to relationships (cheating, Ashley Madison, etc.) but that’s not the point of this blog. Texting, cell phones, computers, etc. have all changed the way couples communicate.
Back in my freshman year of college, if I wasn’t staying up until 3 A.M. hanging out and laughing with my crush, I would be up until 3 A.M. texting him and laughing at our messages to each other. We still enjoyed being together, but the nights where we were both too busy to hang out, it was nice to have that form of communication. Of course we always wanted to be talking… We liked each other. That’s what people do. And when you have a new romantic interest, you never want to stop talking to them. At least, that’s how I felt.
Flash-forward a year… New crush. I remember when I was just starting to talk to Brian; I would leave hanging out with him and text him while walking back to my dorm. There was one instance where apparently I texted him something extremely funny, he showed it to all his friends, and they for some reason thought I was hysterically funny. But I had thought over what I was texted him, and formed an answer in my mind. We can fabricate who we are extremely easily with the technology we have.
When forming a new relationship through texting, you could very easily make yourself out to be someone you’re not. With texting, you can take the time to form a response to make sure you don’t sound like an idiot. However, with a face-to-face conversation, it’s socially correct to answer right then and there. It would be pretty weird if you sat there staring at the other person for a whole sixty seconds before you responded. So with this technology that we have, we can more easily pretend to be someone else to make ourselves more interesting to the person we’re trying to impress. This can lead to false relationships and perceptions of other people.
Once you’re actually in a relationship and not just in the “talking phase,” communication changes a bit. I’m engaged, and have been dating my fiancé for over two years. We’ve had time to get to know each other well enough so that we don’t feel like we have to impress the other or win over their favor. Now we’ve moved into the phase where one of our main forms of communication (other than face-to-face) is Facebook Messenger. If you looked at our conversation, you would see a lot of dog videos and baby videos. Even when we’re not together, we can share these things with each other. It always brightens up my day when I get a message from Brian with some weird video he found. It shows me he was thinking about me even when we’re not together.
Technology has changed the way people communicate with each other, and possibly some dynamics of relationships, but that’s not entirely a bad thing. We are able to communicate easier when we’re not together. I’m not going to pretend to know what it’s like to be in a long-distance relationship because the farthest I’ve been away from my S.O. is two hours over the summer. However, I do recognize that phones and computers have expanded the means of communication between people.