I’ve always felt the key to relationships was trust, understanding and communication. I whole heartedly believe these practices serve as the foundation for building a solid relationship in every aspect of living, be it romantic or not. Over the years advancement and technology has completely changed how we communicate and socialize. I’ve said this many times, but I’m not sure how many people actually grasp the notion of this to a depth that we can truly understand what that means.
Today, privacy has become a luxury. If you choose to engage in social media there is an almost 100% chance nothing you do is private. Whether the content you post is targeted via location or the friends you’re connected to choose to tag you in a moment of a digitally socialized shared experience. There’s an endless list of popular social media applications that we can revel in every second of our day to day routine. The most popular are obviously, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat, and Vince just to name a few. And that doesn’t even count the number of online dating services available to us.
By choosing to participate in social media you’ve agreed that everything you share is basically public domain. When you begin this journey however, what you don’t come to realize is the effects it has on you, those you’re close to, and those whom you have yet to meet but will connect with in the future. Not only that, when everything you do can be captured in a single moment using a smart device, you have to be consciously aware of who you’re with, where you are, and what you’re doing at all times if you leave your home. Thing is, most of us don’t do that at all. Why? Well we have a blind trust with those we surround ourselves with, even if we don’t know them all that well. It much of the time it tends not to work in our favor.
Today nearly every thought, emotion, and experience is shared online in some way. Some of those are positive, many of them serve little to no purpose at all, and some can even be detrimental to our social infrastructure if we’re not careful. Dating in the digital age is a perfect example of the dramatic turn we as a species have taken that we aren’t adequately equipped for on an emotional level.
We’re emotional creatures. Its our nature. Its biology, there’s no way around that. Its what differentiates us from every other animal on the planet. Yet often we choose to forget that, or even worse we flat out deny the impact that has on each and all of us. This is why dating in the digital age has become somewhat of a problem for many lost souls out there. We try so hard to find someone to connect with on a deeper level but are still frightened by our own insecurities and character flaws. We try harder to hide what we don’t want seen about ourselves but forget about the digital footprint we leave behind when we share our thoughts online via social media.
Its come to the point that no moment shared with a partner is private, as a single fight or disagreement can now be blasted online simply out of spite or jadedness. And that has created pure chaos for us on an emotional level. Say the wrong thing or lie to a partner and all the sudden, secrets, sacred moments and pictures are used as ammunition to harm one another simply because of inability to control ourselves with the power we’ve been given with technology. And that’s only part of this damaging trend that I see plaguing the digital world.
We’ve now become so obsessed with visual appeasement that digital pictures have become religion and praise for those the most physically attractive has reached new heights. Whether its selfies that serve as a backbone for Tinder, or a vast array of Twitter hashtags & parody accounts, the narcissistic nature we’ve embraced has now moved to the forefront of prioritization in finding a suitable partner. But what kind of partners are we seeking in this method of lustful embellishment? Safe to say all we crave now is temporary pleasure and connection in the most shallow means possible. And its a wonder why the youth of today is so emotionally imbalanced and disconnected.
Can you imagine being 14-17 years old and know that the one flawed “selfie” can bring about scrutiny from thousands of peers that consist of both friends and strangers? Can you really fathom an entire generation of strangers who grow up sending nude photos to one another after an hour of an online convo before they even have a chance to physically meet? Just dwell on that for a second. With this being the new norm of how adolescents court one another, its no surprise they pride themselves on “single-4-life, no feelings, bae-to-bye real quick, 4-ever alone, and quick to cut everyone off.” None of this can be good for emotional development and I can’t imagine trusting anyone with that frame of mind, especially at such an impressionable age.
Yet with all this we still have yet to see what is obviously contributing to not only the spike in depression and social anxiety amongst the youth, but also the disconnectedness of each generation who can’t seem to relate or even understand the source of the problem. Its truly turned into a tragedy, and because of my strong empathetic nature, it pains me to see it every single day. Which is what lead me to write this piece to begin with. And trust me, finding the right words to address it with out getting overly frustrated or saddened took me some time.
I’m an artist and a writer. And at the core of what drives those aspects of who I am is keen observation. Therefore thats what I do almost as well as the talents for which I use it for. I can’t create an honest and sincere piece of work without the proper source material to do so, which is what allows me to approach these issues from this heartfelt point of view.
That being said the purpose of my work is to stimulate your thought processes on certain issues in hopes we can all try to understand what causes certain problems and how to find reasonable solutions. In this specific case I’d like to point out that dating is already exhausting as it is. Though technology has given us more convenience its also ironic how we now feel the need to hide even more-so as its become so much easier to share. One would think we’d be less reluctant to take off our masks to show one another who we truly are since we have the means of a more simplified and direct form of communication. But maybe that’s just our human nature… To be inclined not to show who we truly are.