Interpsonal Communication- Interpersonal Relationships in the Digital age
Maya A. McLaurin
February 27, 2014
Digital communication has had an extremely large influence on society as we know it. Today it seems that the majority of our population would rather send a text, tweet, or Facebook post instead of picking up the phone and calling someone or just going to talk face to face. As technology continues to advance, digital communication is becoming more popular. It sounds great but there is no doubt the Digital Age has impacted our interpersonal skills as humans.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of dating sites available to any and every one. ...view middle of the document...
Online, you usually only have a profile picture to look at, if that at all. This makes it hard to form an opinion based solely off of physical looks, therefore forcing you to look much deeper.
Online dating has its perks, but it also comes with many disadvantages. One big issue it presents is miscommunication. Fullick (2013) suggested that online dating sites operate through a mode of communication that requires users to develop a new, complex literacy. When behind a screen, it can be hard to emote feelings and even harder for the person on the other end to pick up on them. It becomes difficult to tell each other’s tone. At that point you’re left to decipher what a person really means through their choice of words and punctuation. Online dating also eliminates the interpersonal interaction. There is no physical face to face correspondence. This postpones initial basic physical attraction we has humans experience. “Driven by the social needs of human life and wellbeing, people make relationships, specifically romantic ones, driven by human basic needs” (Alam, Yeow & Loo, 2011). People initially feel more comfortable being able to immediately see who they’re speaking to in their entirety. One has to ask, can the foundation of a relationship be made online? Being online definitely makes it harder. For a period of time, you miss out on the human interaction and physical connection that helps to build a solid relationship. Online dating also presents all the room in the world for lies and deceit. As stated by Hancock, Toma & Ellison (as cited in Alam, Yeow & Loo, 2011), “Online dating sites are involving the deliberate misrepresentation of the truth…” A person can lie about anything from their personality to appearance. This can be dangerous emotionally, mentally, or physically. If you meet someone online and their profile picture is attractive, you would expect to meet that same attractive person in real life. That isn’t always the case though. Many people use old photos that they no longer resemble or even flat out false photos. Some people take it to the next level by lying about who they are as a person, what they do, and even lead people on for their own enjoyment. Whitty, 2007 (as cited in Fullick 2013) stated, “People are very strategic in the way they present themselves online”. Take the movie Catfish for example. Nev Schulman began an online relationship and fell madly in love. When it came time to meet, he was stunned to find out the person he met was not the same person on the computer. After the movie aired, there was such a big response from people who had been in the same situation, he and his best friend Max decided to help those people. They would help people finally meet up with their digital lovers to prove whether or not a person was who they said they were. Eventually, MTV would make a show out of it in order to show the world that the risk is real and it was happening more than we thought ("Catfish: The tv," )....