Every year calls for progress in the digital and media world. Along with the positive contributions it provides for individuals such as making it easier for communication and meeting people online, it also limits and jeopardizes the interpersonal relationships that individuals should develop. In Merkle and Richardson’s Digital Dating and Virtual Relating: Conceptualizing Computer Mediated Romantic Relationships there are four dimensions that compare computer mediated relations versus face to face relationships. “(a) the process of relationship formation and dissolution, (b) the nature of self-disclosure, (c) methods of conflict management, and (d) the meaning of infidelity.” Merkle and Richardson both argue that computer mediated relationships are limiting the face to face encounters that individuals should be having. Through the easy access that technology grants, one can lose personal connections that should be created while being physically around others. One gets so accustomed to the formed relationship online that they forget to form physical relationships as well. Another big dimension they touch on is infidelity. Having relationships formed behind a computer can challenge relationships and trust.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and social media in general is taking over the world! By living through these social networks, individuals are no longer able to form strong and healthy relationships. It is very difficult to have chat conversations with your partner all the time. Written words can never truly determine what you feel. Eye contact, body language and tone of voice are all important in communicating with a partner. Not being able to touch, feel, hug, kiss or smell your partner makes it difficult to stay attracted and interested. Relationships are formed and developed because of physical interaction as well as great interpersonal communication.
In the film Noah (2013), he supports the idea that individuals become habituated to the virtual world and refuse to create interpersonal relationships. This film is bases upon a young man, Noah, who sits behind his computer screen and tries to maintain a relationship with his girlfriend Amy. While on Skype, Amy tries to discuss their relationship. Skype fails to work so she sends Noah a text message. Noah insists that they continue having a conversation online. Why couldn’t they schedule a time to meet or see each other? This small encounter could have made the entire situation different.
As a college student I have learned that digital media is extremely necessary. I am living hours away from family and friends who are extremely important to me. It would not be possible to maintain these relationships without constant updates and chat messages. However, when it comes to romantic relationships it is very important to maintain a balance. It is vital to spend time with someone who you are devoted to. One cannot spend hours online without also spending a few hours together. The way we act impacts future generations that look up to us. If we develop online computer mediated relationships without having interpersonal connections, we will not be able to have healthy and successful relationship.