Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Internet & Technology

My coworker is 33. She's convinced that technology is making relationships more difficult- both friendships and romantic relationships. Her current roommate is 22. She comes home from work, sits in front of the television watching reruns of 90210 on the SoapNet with her computer, and spends of the rest of the night IMing her friends.

"Do you ever get any time alone?" She asked.

I sit in my office with gchat running. She thinks it is the break down of communication that I've basically got my friends chiming in throughout the day without ever hearing another voice or seeing another face. In fact, she points out, when I don't see Suave for a couple of weeks, I feel like I've talked to her plenty. But I haven't.

Is she right? With text messaging, MySpace comments, e-mail, IM, are we having a breakdown of communication? Are we confining ourselves to a world of somewhat isolation? And, if babies who nurse and thus have more physical contact with their mothers live better lives than babies without, are we developing a society of introverted adults by allowing for all of these ways to get around actual communication?

Even as far as dating goes... did you know that there's a Rules book on internet dating now? Does anyone actually call and ask you out? I prefer to be called and asked out... is that not something I can expect anymore? Is that primitive? APK asked me out the first time over email. Is that just normal?

I had to block the friend I just decided not to talk to from my gchat. I talk to him everyday, all day, and deciding not to talk and then seeing his name and picture would just upset me more. But, I don't really see him that often! I don't talk to him that often on the phone. Basically, we IM all day, and the question is, does that harm our relationship? Would we be less likely to say the things we say to one another in person or on the phone? Without tone and expression, it is much easier to be harsh.

And, when people read my blog to catch up on what I'm doing it does bother me. Mainly because this blog is not the entire story... it's not who I am... it's a character based on myself. I would hope I'm much more complex a person then someone who can be defined by one post a day, filtered to allow my readers to be entertained.

I've stopped giving my email out to guys I'm interested in... not until we've firmly established the perimeters of such things. I try not to text too often. I think my coworker may be right. All these ways to get around personal contact seem to be the destruction of our relationships. I'm not sure that technology is a good thing anymore.


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