News / USA

Love in Digital Age Offers Opportunity, Dangers

Digital connections can make - and break - relationships

Social media can make it easier to form romantic connections but there's also a down side.
Social media can make it easier to form romantic connections but there's also a down side.
Faiza Elmasry

In today’s fast-paced world there are more ways to communicate than ever - e-mail, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and other types of social media. Relationship experts say such connections can help fuel passion and have already changed the way people date and fall in love. Yet, technology can cause people to fall out of love, too.

Game changer

Digital connections have changed the dating game. As two young, single women from New York City, that's something Olivia Baniuszewicz  and Debra Goldstein learned firsthand.

"First of all we’re flirting more openly, a lot more often," says Baniuszewicz . "Things like your phone for texting, or even just the Internet on your phone just helping you plan a perfect night out."

"So we decided we needed to figure out the world of texting and we wrote a book about how to navigate through this new love connection," says Goldstein.

'Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart' explores how texting has changed the dating scene.
'Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart' explores how texting has changed the dating scene.

The two women named their book, "Flirtexting: How to Text Your Way into His Heart." During the course of their research, they interviewed dozens of people to find out what they thought about flirt-texting.

"It’s become like a convenient way for people to connect through busy, fast-paced lives," says Baniuszewicz. "Also, it eliminates the shyness factor. It makes us a lot more open to saying things that we normally wouldn’t in person."

Goldstein agrees. "It’s really cool. If you are in a long distance relationship, for I actually was, it really, really helps to stay connected."

Relationship expert David Coleman, who's known as the Dating Doctor, agrees - to a point.

"Still with things like Skype or I-chat and texting and phones - just all the things that are available - long distance relationships often don’t succeed," he says. "We really miss the other person’s presence. Up to a point, sure, I can see the other person on the screen, they can see me. We can keep a bit of our passion alive, but at some point in time, if we can’t be in each other’s physical presence, the pain of being in a long-distance relationship will finally outweigh the benefits of being in it."

Revolution

Coleman says technology has revolutionized the way people meet and date.

"You can Google someone, you can go on Facebook, you can go on LinkedIn, you can go on Twitter, you can find out so much about these people before you even say ‘Hello,’" he says. "There should never again be a ‘blind date’, unless someone has completely voided their life of any social media."

That’s why, Coleman says, people should be careful about the image they create for themselves online.

"If you go to most of younger women’s websites on Facebook, you will see their profiles, they got some provocative things put up there. So you have to be a bit careful of the pictures that you’re putting up. Never ever give people your land address and things like that, because you just don’t know who is reading that profile."

Coleman notes that even the older generations are dating digitally and finding love on-line.

"Many of them are finding their ex-high school sweethearts on Facebook or someone they used to date years and years and years ago. And those couples are reconnecting and they are marrying. Now conversely, people are finding past love on Facebook and telling their current spouses, ‘I’m so sorry, I thought I’d never find this person again, but Facebook brought us back together. We had something special and we want to try to have it again.’ I have a friend who is a lawyer. He says in most of his divorce cases now, Facebook is being cited as a reason for that divorce."

Word of caution

Lovers, Coleman warns, should also realize that e-mails and text messages can be a double edged sword.

"Let’s say that I say, ‘I don’t think we should be together anymore. I’m breaking up with you,’ and I text that. The person who gets that text message can read that over and over and over again. And the more they read it, the madder they get. That’s what social media has done. And conversely it can be, ‘I love you, I love you, I love you’ and they can go back and read that 50 times, too. So it works both ways."

With that caution in mind, Flirtexting authors Goldstein and Baniuszewicz have come up with some digital love do’s and don’ts.

"If somebody sends you a text message, you don’t have to respond back right away," says Goldstein. "In fact, we interviewed a lot of guys and they say that response time says a lot about the girl. Also abbreviations, our motto is 'if you don’t want a date, abbreviate.' So we say, spell your words out. You have the time to create a message that says exactly what you want to say in that space. And just because it’s accessible it doesn’t mean you need to be doing it 24/7. You do not want to get a marathon texting situation."

Baniuszewicz adds,"Have a healthy balance between everything; texting, Facebook, Twitter. It's a way to enhance a connection throughout the day. You need to use everything in moderation."

And, they add, even though texting is more convenient, writing a love letter, or sending a poem with a card gives a modern relationship a special personal touch that a message on Facebook just can’t match.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs