A New World of Communication

By Lupita Nowak, Staff Writer

The world of relationships has been completely redefined by technology. Now it’s a matter of “sliding in the dm’s”, snap chatting, and liking each other’s posts on social media. Our grandparents and parents, the reasons why we are here, cannot comprehend such a world. Yet it is the new world we live in, and we adore it.

My boyfriend and I met each other on the picture social media arena of Instagram. After a series of likes back and forth, he finally got the courage to comment on one of my pictures and ask for my number. From there, we started texting, snap chatting, and finally went on a date. Now take this story to a different arena, about sixty years ago, when my grandparents met. They met at a local dance, and he had another girl friend already. But when he saw my grandmother, there was something about her that stuck with him. He asked his friends about her, and got the scoop on who she was and where she was from. About a year later, after he broke up with his girlfriend, he saw her at a dance again, and knew it was fate. He asked her to go on a date with him and the rest is history.

When I talk to my grandmother about relationships, the amount of technology that is involved bewilders her. Whenever I can’t see my boyfriend, I can face time him or text him or reach him a thousand other ways. There’s never any surprise in how our days go because we can tell each other instantly. In her times, things were a lot different. Sometimes she would have to go months without seeing her boyfriend, and all she could do was wonder and think about him. They’d write letters, writing all their feelings to each other in hopes that what they wrote could relate at least a sliver of all the feelings they had for each other. In our day and age, it takes us two seconds to type a text and for the most part, texts are unlimited. What we say to each other doesn’t hold a fraction of the value that it used to contain. We take our contact for granted.

The way relationships start and how we communicate is not the only thing that has changed. It’s how we flirt. It’s the way guts are taken out of approaching a new person and are replaced with a shiny bright phone that can do the communicating for you. In my grandmother’s time, it took a ton of courage to go up to a girl you didn’t know and hope that she would agree to go on a date with you. Now a days, the possibility of rejection is completely changed. You can like someone’s posts and see if they like yours back to see if they like you too, without actually having to have any direct contact with someone. You can direct message someone a simple greeting, and if it turns in to more than great, but if it doesn’t you can play it off and the entire thing can be done without actually having to approach someone. Messaging each other has allowed us to articulate our responses to perfection, when in reality we most likely wouldn’t have been able to come up with such perfect responses if we were in person and had to reply on the spot. Emojiis and emoticons are used to relate feelings that were never meant to be related via technology. From the dawn of time we were meant to be able to express ourselves, but limiting our ability to do that to a tiny screen is ridiculous.

So the issue goes beyond how our relationships have changed because of technology. It goes deeper, into the way we relate to one another. How we express ourselves. Technology has opened an endless amount of doors, but it may have just shut one. The one that allowed us to effectively express ourselves with in person, one on one contact.