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

    Video Somali, AU Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    Somalia’s Western backers frustrated over country’s slow progress in establishing its armed forces to bring security after 25 years of chaos

    Israel Makes Push for Gaza Strip Recovery

    After years of economic blockade and attempts to disable Hamas, Israeli leaders eventually realized that Hamas’ downfall could lead to chaos or the rise of a more radical Jihadist group

    Slump in Chinese Tourists Hitting Hong Kong Retail

    Mainland Chinese account for up to three-quarters of visitors to Hong Kong, but that number is falling, and shopping centers are struggling to 'shift gears' and maintain sales

    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.
    Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shababi
    X
    Henry Ridgwell
    April 28, 2016 4:20 PM
    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Town Receives Refugees but Lacks Resources

    A wave of refugees is pouring into the Kurdish town of Afrin in northern Syria as a result of fighting between rebel forces and Islamic State militants. VOA’s Amina Misto went to the town and reports local authorities are finding it difficult to cope with this influx of internally displaced people. Bronwyn Benito narrates her report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Build Human Tissue on Animal Matrix

    The question has always been, if a gecko can grow back its tail, why can't we regenerate our lost body parts? Well, maybe we can, someday. Scientists are moving towards the ability to rebuild fully functioning organs, and have made significant progress replacing muscles and other tissue.
    Video

    Video Containing Chernobyl Radiation Continues 30 Years After Explosion

    April 26 marks the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. Hundreds were killed following the explosion and it's estimated that thousands more have died from cancers caused by the radiation. Henry Ridgwell traveled to Chernobyl and reports for VOA on the continuing efforts to decommission the site -- and on the fledgling plans for a new future in the vast exclusion zone.
    Video

    Video Frustration Builds Among Refugees Trapped at Macedonian Border

    On the Greek border with Macedonia, 12,000 refugees continue to wait. Since the route to the rest of Europe was closed last month, the makeshift camp at Idomeni has seen protests and tear gas. But while those here wait, their frustration grows — as do reports of people attempting to find new ways of continuing their journey. John Owens reports from Idomeni.
    Video

    Video Researchers: Bees Help Kenyan Farmers Fend Off Elephants

    Elephant crop-raiding continues to be a major source of human-wildlife conflict in Kenya, so one elephant researcher is helping to alleviate the problem near Tsavo East National Park with beehive fences, which use elephants’ natural aversion to bees to deter them from farms. VOA’s Jill Craig visited the area ahead of this month's Giants Club Summit, which will bring together dignitaries at Mount Kenya to find solutions to combat poaching, the No. 1 threat to elephants.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora