It seems quite easy to forget that the online relationships we form are such a new and important aspect of how human communication and attachments and bonding have evolved. So, it’s only natural that it will take us time to adjust and adapt to this world where even when we are across the globe, we can communicate in an instant. Everything is instant. And it places much more strain on our relationships. People follow up emails with phone calls or messages with “did you receive my email”, and this only happens because your reply wasn’t instant enough for their liking. Or is it that they need reassurance that the email didn’t get lost in cyber space? I think the former is the most likely answer but hey some of us are still worried about the latter. Then we have the realm of “why didn’t you reply to me – I saw you online” and also “why were you online at 3:42am when you said you went to sleep at 11pm?” It seems quite funny when you put it like that but it really does happen. This added pressure on us to keep up with all our relationships isn’t something people used to experience before. You wouldn’t send your babes a letter first class by Royal Mail and then send him a telegram too saying “ay why ain’t you replied yet I’m sure you read my letter… look I just wanna know where we are going with this… what are we?”
What’s actually funny about all of this is that a lot of friendships, romantic relationships and even attachments and bonds with siblings and parents could actually be improved if we just spoke to each other more face to face as opposed to having deep, in-depth discussions via whatsapp or arguing over text etc. We have time to think about the replies we give when our communication with one another is digital. Then again, this can also be an advantage as that means some of us (me) may be able to articulate our feelings better through typing them as opposed to saying them. It’s easy to give good advice when you’re sat on the other side of the screen and processing things in your own time as opposed to when you’re sat opposite someone because you don’t have as much time to think about what you will say/how you will portray yourself.
Online we only display a small part of a few aspects of our personalities and we can monitor them as closely as we would like to. I think we are all guilty of forgetting how complex humans are at times. A person will tweet an opinion of theirs that differs from their opinion on the same topic a few months or years ago and people will call them a hypocrite. I don’t understand. Our opinions evolve, we become more mature – are we not allowed to make mistakes or change our opinions? We’ve become so unforgiving of each other it’s actually such a shame.
The dynamics of our relationships have changed so much due to the advances in technology that it’s no wonder that some of us may not know how to deal with it. It’s all a bit two-dimensional. There isn’t much depth at all for us to make the judgements and conclusions that we do. Social networking platforms, messaging sites, email, WhatsApp etc. will never be able to communicate the complexities of each and every one of us. It may show the worst of some people and the best of others. But we won’t really know unless we actually know these people offline. That’s when you really can get to know the real them with all of their flaws and dumb jokes and weird quirks. That’s the real us. All of it.
Just one lady’s thoughts on digital communication and its effect on our relationships. Thank you for taking the time out to read my post! As always I would love to hear your thoughts. Comment below, drop me a tweet @SOUTHALLYAT / @Hotstepper__ or you can send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org