Cyber Tool, Not Cyber Dating

cyber dating

Trust is the foundation of every healthy relationship, whether it be friendship or something more intimate. Many intimate relationships today are sparked by either a text or Facebook message. Right away we get the sense that the old-fashioned intimacy and closeness is lost. So, what exactly is “old-fashioned”? Face-to-face interaction, especially when it comes to dating. In the short film Noah, Noah, the main character, asks a girl he meets on chat roulette, “What’s your Facebook name?” Instantly, we get the sense that Noah is interested in the girl and wishes to get to know her on a more personal level. This may not be so obvious to older generations, but for my generation this is the new way of connecting and communicating with other individuals. In my opinion, a relationship and intimacy can never be fully established without face-to-face interaction. Erich R. Merkle and Rhonda A. Richardson support this when they say “in a face-to-face relationship, one of the most powerful predictors of liking another person is having sheer proximity to that person” (189) in “Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships.” Proximity isn’t only a predictor in the likelihood of a person of the opposite sex, it’s science as well. It’s a term called the Mere Exposure Effect, I learned it in my AP Psychology class in high school. What it basically means is the more we’re around a person or something, the more familiar it becomes so we develop more of a liking to it. Gillian Fournier says “Just because we see a stranger occasionally does not make them any more trustworthy…we just feel like they are because we “know” them.”

findmydate

Fournier brings up a good point in mentioning trust. In my personal experience, trust can either build or destroy a relationship. I’m sure for several of us who have dated out there have experienced “trust issues” at some point. I’m a strong believer that trust is built through intimacy and closeness, which there is a severe lack thereof in “Cyber Dating” or dating that doesn’t involve face-to-face interaction. Texting or cyber messaging is a great tool for interaction in a relationship. It is a tool for a relationship, not an actual relationship. It makes an individual extremely reliable when he or she can answer a call or message quickly, or send us an update for when they’re not available. Reliability builds trust, which sets the foundation for a healthy, loving relationship. Cyber dating is not a relationship, it is a tool for a relationship.

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2 comments

  1. Trust seems to be a similar concern among the blog posts this week, for good reason. I too used trust as the foundation for my reasoning as to why I believe that relationships that begin on the internet are not as sincere as those that begin or eventually meet in face-to-face interaction.

    We both also mentioned the topic of future generations not knowing what intimacy really is. I disagree with Merkle and Robinson when they claim that internet relationships are more intimate because of the anonymity that the Internet provides.Intimacy is something that bonds two people, but not just through telling someone you deepest secrets,hopes and dreams through a computer screen; intimacy is revealing that information but doing so with the courage to do it face-to-face, with the pride to admit that you have made mistakes, and to trust that the person won’t make a funny face and will push their judgments aside. This being said, I believe its easier to form relationships online because people do not need to worry about judgments, they do not need to be courageous or strong. But, by no means, can these online relationships be considered real relationships until the participants muster their courage and pride and decide to, as you said, remove the internet as the foundation of their relationship, and rather use it as a tool to strengthen it.

  2. One thing that I really loved that you pointed out was the idea that the internet is a tool for a relationship and not actually a base for a relationship. One can use it as a tool but one cannot truly rely on it to withstand a strong relationship.

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