I was talking to a friend the other day about music and we got onto a topic regarding my concern about how everything in life seems to be moving toward Social Media. Currently, at your fingertips you can instantaneously enjoy music, movies, and eBooks. Unfortunately, I believe that this has created a culture of impatience. Especially in the current generation of teens that never knew TVs without a remote, never used a record player when it was actually a household appliance, and can hardly believe there was ever a time when people didn’t have mobile phones, let alone caller ID. But what I’m MOST concerned about is how this culture of immediacy has affected interpersonal relationships. Especially the romantic kind.
See, in an era where relationship statuses are broadcast in real time all over the world, couples are rarely given time to work out their issues before you get:
- 50 people liking the fact that you’ve gone from “in a relationship” or “married”, to “single” or “it’s complicated”
- a few dozen comments on how he/she was no good for you, interspersed with a handful of people making jokes about his/her appearance
- name changed and photos of the ex-SO either deleted or untagged in less than 15 minutes
I think social media allows far too many outside influences and doesn’t give many fledgling relationship time to breathe, and the people in them time to grow and mature. I believe this causes people to make hasty decisions based on emotion instead of taking the time to come to a rational and often peaceful resolution. Instead, Social Networking promotes the “spectator mentality” so that people are drawn to online relationship conflicts in the same way that people will run to the scene of an accident. This increasing interference is what I like to call “Social Distortion”.
Sadly, it would seem that young people are more susceptible to this interference because they have so little life experience and diminishing personal references for healthy relationships. My hope is that by working to model healthy communication and interaction in my own marriage, it might help my children avoid buying into the restless lifestyle and unnecessary heartbreak.
What do you think, do you think the tide of social distortion can be turned?
Or are we headed for further deterioration of intimate relationships?