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.