While no one doubts the usefulness of instant messaging apps to connect millions all over the world, there is one sad truth: due to its accessibility, price, and comfort, if given the choice of having only one way of communicating, the average person would choose this one.
This comes with some problematic situations. By choosing to mostly converse via data service provider, specifically with a significant other, we change the dynamics of the entire relationship. Here are some reasons why your romantic situation might suffer.
Humans require of several channels to exchange all sorts of information. This is even truer with something as valuable as a conversation with a romantic partner. On average, people assume that for important situations they require a direct form of communication to reach a decision. This comes in the form of a face to face conversation. This also applies to sentimental relationships.
No woman would inform their partner of pregnancy results via text. A declaration of love would lose its strength if sent through WhatsApp.
Face to face dialogue requires both parties’ attention and intent. A letter or a phone call comes with a personalized aspect, such as the voice or handwriting, which bridges the gap of the two people not being in the same space. There’s none of that with texting.
Through instant messaging and texting apps, all emotional elements disappear. There is no chance to get some essence of the sender’s or the receiver’s response. Neither party can guess the feelings behind the other’s voice or words, and even less their gestures and reactions. This tool can turn into the perfect scenario for misinterpretation and unrequited dialogue.
Difference between the virtual and the real
The casual tone of the medium is great for talking with friends about random stuff, catching up with relatives who live far away, or even for making plans. But, as a way to converse with a partner, it can only lead to confusion, misunderstanding, and bouts of petty fights.
Social media requires users to deposit their faith in them. Any profile, as simple as it may be, requires an image to personify the character it belongs to, a name, and even a quote or description. This poses a bias between the actual person and their virtual alter ego, which also affects conversational fluidity and breaks the channel of connectivity between two people.
Word lose their strength when they’re responded with LOL. While the one who typed this might actually be laughing, there’s a chance they’re upset, sad, or feeling any other emotion that does not match their written response. The one who receives the text has no way of knowing what the other person is thinking or feeling.
For couples who are not able to see each other as often, the use of these platforms as their main way of communication poses a risk to the relationship. At no other point in human evolution has it been completely acceptable to abruptly finish a conversation only to resume it hours, days, or even weeks later. Most of the time there are no salutations or conclusions to the conversation, leaving most of what is said as random unrelated statements.
This is not a problem of formality as much as it is a disruption of discourse. There is always the possibility of someone feeling underappreciated or ignored based on how quickly the other person responds or looks at the message. While there’s no need to be in contact with your partner 24/7, eventually one will find something more amusing than texting back and forth with their significant other.
Still, with all these negative connotations, it’s unlikely that anyone would we willing to rid themselves of all these apps and what they offer in terms of communication. The secret to keep one’s relationship from self-destruction via social media is by compensating remote conversations with as much face to face dialogue as possible.
Facebook can be a tool to capture special moments with your significant other, but what happens when you use it as a way of covering up your issues? Social media has become such an important part of our lives that now we’re now experiencing censorship of what is morally acceptable according to specified algorithms. Do you agree?
Translated by María Suárez