Texting, Tinder, and Technology

 Living in the digital age has permanently changed the way we communicate with one another. Advances in technology have availed us to a variety of electronic means of communication that do not require face-to-face interaction. From texting to snapchat, these “shortcuts” are intended to make life easier. But they also have a down side that often causes confusion, unhappiness, and stress. Part of the appeal to these alternative forms of communication is that there is less human interaction with one another; making the beginning of a relationship feel less intense. For instance, pressure of rejection is lessened because you are not forced to actually confront the other person.

Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola, authors of It’s Just a F***cking Date, explain how the “continual morphing that has come with the advances in communication technology and social networking has turned dating into a blur of booty calls, ambiguous hanging out and ‘window-shopping’…”

Case in point – you need go no further than your friendly and convenient app store to meet people. Tinder, a mobile matchmaking app akin to “window shopping,” matches couples based on their attractiveness to each other. All that is required is a link to your Facebook profile photo (photo only!). It allows you to set your own geographic radius to find a match. Although, take caution in using this app, you never know who is really behind the picture.

Based on my relationship experiences, electronic communication sucks. Two things about it that really bother me. First, people are now making assumptions of who you are based simply on your photos rather than actually getting to know you. The second is simple, yet seems to be overlooked, text messages lack tone, voice inflection, and facial expressions making it easy to take things the wrong way.

While it seems more comfortable and convenient to communicate with friends via electronic messaging, it is actually a less effective way to establish a meaningful relationship. Conversations are shortchanged when you rely on texting, because you miss the emotional complexity that takes place in a face-to-face interaction.

Ultimately, you reap what you sow here. You can’t depend on electronic communication to sow the seeds of your relationship. It’s then doomed from the start.

23 thoughts on “The Relationship Failure Of The Digital Age

  1. JenBetween says:

    Reblogged this on JenBetween and commented:
    This….

  2. Falling in love with your writing.Getting addicted slowly.
    Thanks for sharing such lovely experiences mixed thoughts of yours.

  3. I love the idea that love is Like light from a distant star: if you look for it you don’t see it
    Best way to find friends or whatever is to do things you love, and you up the chances of finding someone who shared interests.

  4. seanplan says:

    This is so true, the digital era has significantly impacted our relationships and how we communicate. Nothing can take away the feeling of a good ol’ fashioned hand written love note closely followed up by quality face to face (getting-to-know-you) dialogues. Sometimes when we advance we actually take two steps backwards.

  5. Well done and agree completely. Call me old fashioned but whatever happened to ‘courting’ proper!

  6. I completely agree. Well written!

  7. dehardesty says:

    Digital communication can seem like a massive exercise in making imaginary friends. The person on the other end of the line can be whoever you need him/her to be. Think of Tom Hanks in the movie, “Castaway.” His imaginary friend during his four years alone on a deserted island was “Wilson,” a volleyball. How much different from a volleyball is an imaginary online friend?

  8. Eva Finn says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, Avery. It’s interesting because I was just thinking about posting regarding this topic. I just had a first date with someone recently and he started out by calling, which was a nice change, then canceled a date, then began texting. And I was like, what we are now, text buddies? I’ve had one date with you that lasted like an hour and a half. I ended the text exchange, or rather haven’t heard anything for a few days by not following the protocol of answering each text with a question. It seems like a lot of work for not a lot of reward. And it brings about a familiarity that really shouldn’t be there until you’ve gotten to know someone. It’s like having this fake relationship. Great post and thanks for sharing your insights! 🙂

  9. Levon says:

    I prefer face-to-face interaction. Many times a person’s body language speaks volumes. Thanks for sharing.

  10. lunaeavan says:

    These comments need edit buttons. Lol

  11. lunaeavan says:

    I only disagree a little bit with this, but I agree with 98% of it.
    I will explain why.
    I don’t necessarily think that the technology itself is what causes the ruining of relationships in the digital age.
    I think it is how some groups of people use it.
    From my personal experience, the internet and technology has helped me reach out to more people and stay in touch with very important people in my life.
    I met my current Significant Other at a spiritual event last year.
    We met as two individuals who shared the same deity (freyja) and traded stories about her as well as some energetic shielding techniques.
    He gave me his email in case I had any questions or just wanted someone to talk to about freyja and various other pagan practices.
    I chalked it up to a once in a lifetime meeting and had no intention of contacting him.
    Well certain circumstances in my life happened in my life to push me to contact him.
    I got positive feedback, and we agreed to meet up again.
    Thus began the journey of our beautiful, nourishing and uplifting relationship.
    He and I are long distance by a few states and only get to see each other once or twice for a few days each month.
    But we text, call, skype, and email each other almost daily.
    This helps us keep the bond flowing smoothly and helps us feel close to each other even when we can’t be beside each other.
    We are able to get to know each other more on an intellectual level because we are always communicating with each other.
    This is also true for me in the case of a lot of my friendships.
    I have a handful of friends that I have kept since middle and highschool, one I have had since elementary school, all of whom I regularly keep in contact with via facebook and text, skype also when possible.
    All of us have gone our own ways as far as moving and such, but we talk all of the time and this strengthens our bond.
    So when we do see each other it is like we had never even parted.
    So while I agree that dating sites such as tinder and some other social media sites have ruined some relationships and has the potential to push others away through miscommunications that are not handled maturely, I disagree on the stand point that it ruins it all.
    I think it also has the potential to bring others closer together when used maturely.
    My close friends and I rarely have miscommunications via typing because we know each others speech patterns and who we each are as individuals, so we are able to hear the tone and inflection through our texts because we remember them.
    And if we do miscommunicate, we aren’t afraid to ask each other to clarify what we meant.
    I think healthy face to face communication is essential for healthy communication from a distance.
    Sorry for the story, just a slightly different angle on it. 🙂

  12. We lost the art of communication due to this 😦

  13. Speaking of pictures, you seem to be quite young, but your thoughts are mature and thoughtful. Thank you.

    Shallow, shallow,shallow people. The first girl I ever asked out (boy was that hard), said, “Sorry, I only date blondes.” We aen’t bodies, we only live in them and then we move on. We only really know someone when they choose to honestly reveal themselves to us, then we can begin to relate to the “meat” not just the shell.

  14. Morguie says:

    They don’t call it “singularity” for nothing! 😉 Thanks for visiting my blog. Eventually people will be craving a real relationship with depth and meaningful companionship. The world for the moment seems to be ‘all about me’ and self-absorbed beyond a realistic saturation point. If you ascribe to the belief in the 7 deadly sins, Pride/Vanity is thought to be the actual root for all of the worst transgressions. This is pride at its basest, I think. “Hooking up” with complete strangers is bound to result in a later time, wrought with the regret it often brings. It’d be one thing to be an animal; people were given a conscience and an ability to think rationally, intelligently, emotionally. People can fool themselves all they want…most of them will realize they have only himself to blame for regrettable behavior. I hope the trendiness of the current “me-me-me-ness” will finally reach its critical mass soon..then we should see a return to a more interactive society.

  15. Inese Poga Art Gallery says:

    It’s also a very easy way to misunderstandings which often ruin a good relationship. Basically messaging is fine, but serious relationships need to be real.

  16. Danielle! says:

    THAT SKETCH AND THIS POST IS SO TRUE!!! Can’t even tell you how many texts have been mistaken to other people and then responded with attitude! All bc a conversation over stupid text messages! Thats why I like to at least pick up a phone and call friends. PS- I met my husband through Myspace (when myspace was cool like 10 years ago) It worked bc i met him for coffee based on how we went to the same 2 schools but didn’t know each other -hes older- and it was not based on his pic; anyway the pic looked not at all like him. I did make a great choice though! And we both LOVE watching Key & Peele!!!

  17. dotcamomblog says:

    I didn’t meet my husband through any online dating website. So we actually passed by each other for several months in the building and on the same floor where we both worked 🙂 .

    I agree with you that technology — which is your smartphone, lap top, and any other computer device — actually works against your intention and goal to meet a person who wants to be a partner.

    I see that a dating app like Tinder is only used to make a hook-up. This is unfortunate, and it’s a waste of your emotions, your mental health, and your time when you’re wanting to make a partnered relationship with a person who likewise wants the same.

    So actual courtship, which is an actual date where eating together is expected and not hook-up sex, is never offered by any person who uses the dating app Tinder. Basically, Tinder is worthless and useless for the people who know that their time is precious. Any app and online dating website that attracts a majority of guys and the girls who enable these guys to ask and get causal hook-ups, is a distraction for the guys and girls who want to date and make a relationship that’s a partnership with someone.

    Also even the step above the one night stand that’s the hook-up is a waste of time and the mental real estate for anyone who just wants a partner. This step above is hanging out, which then involves the eventual request to be friends with benefits 😛 .

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