In Monday’s post we discussed the negative effects that technology can have on relationships that already have a solid foundation. Relationships such as those of a spouse or child etc. Foundations that you can say are “stuck like glue”. Thanks for sharing your insight!! Today I want to shed light on how technology and online media can affect the relationships that we have yet to make. You could say, our future relationships.

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We have the opportunity to be connected to more people today than ever before thanks to the vastness of the world wide web. However the quality of these relationships is very low. There is no face to face communication, every aspect of the relationship is played out through online messaging. When it comes to a business relationship email correspondence might be all that is needed. If we keep communicating by way of messages and tweets alone and we neglect the practice of face to face communication, could it possibly turn into a lost art?

Think about Facebook. I have added “friends” on Facebook that went to my high school and many of us still live in the same town. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and it was a hard night for communicating. A hundred or so people that regularly “like” or “share” each other’s Facebook status’ all gathered in one room. (The other 200 didn’t risk the social pressure.)  It was awkward for a while and hard for many to stay afloat socially. As the night went on communicating got a little easier. After all, these people had four years of shared memories. Without this past foundation I’d venture to say the evening would have ended a lot earlier.

I had another encounter with a women who also went to my high school. This lady is pretty well known in our city for the writing she did for a local blog. I had read her blog and saw her out and about. I tried to say hello and start a conversation but I was quickly bypassed with my mouth left open. Maybe she did not recognize me, a lot can change in a few years. Maybe she had to leave in a hurry. We may never know for certain. Here’s a question, is it a possibility that the more we express through social media the less we practice face to face interaction? Can we master both arts? Do we have a tendency to be strong in one and weak in the other? No matter the reason, no hard feelings. I’ll catch her next time.

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Do you think it is possible for online media to have an effect on future relationships? I do!!! We are constantly being shown by online media what we should considered desirable, valuable, and respectable. Professional counselor, Debra K. Fileta talks in her recent article “Marriage Material” published in Issue 67: January/February of Relevant on how society has put devastating limits on what attributes make up a desirable man. She then points out that if society has these expectations on men it’s expectations on women are out of this world. How does this effect modern day relationships? It sells a false ideal. Truth be told many of us are so busy buying into this false ideal that there isn’t much time left to build relationships with others. The problem also occurs when we believe that what you see on the altered website is more valuable than what is sitting in the cubicles of the real world. So even when we are out and about forming interpersonal relationships we need to be aware of the pull media can have on us. Feel rejected because you don’t measure up? We all buy into that stock at times. Here is some good news, Fileta says “Healthy people attract healthy people”. The Lord tells us these attributes should be valued in our lives. It seems that Fileta has observed that when we follow through with this command we often reap benefits.

Our God is a personal, relational God. So maybe we should focus a bit more on preserving the relationship? What would it take to preserve the face to face relationship? What do you think?

Photo Credit: Thomas Leuthard via Compfight cc & Nanagyei via Compfight cc