Digital Age Relationships Part 5 : Conclusions

I wasn’t going to do conclusions to this week’s series of posts about relationships in the digital world, but as I was pottering along through each post something struck me.  Social media hasn’t really changed a great deal, all it really does is change the ease of certain behaviours.

In the days before social media and mobile phones becoming computers, we were still able to interact and ignore and we were still able to get together and break up and everything in between.  Now we do it with green lights and blue ticks too. 

What the digital age has done is make the volume and simplicity of those communications much easier to manage.  If you want to talk to someone or you want to find out what they’re doing, it’s really easy to do that (or at least get a sense of it) once a connection has been made in the first place.  If you don’t want that interaction, social media allows blocking and hiding although the internet and blogoshpere is much harder to police.

From my experience, social media can be used in two ways.  It can be used to share, or it can be used to discuss.  Where relationships are uploaded, the tendency is to share the good moments for everyone to see or possibly even just to seek positive reinforcement of that relationship.  It’s possible to take that positive reinforcement and allow it to become a feature of the relationship.  In an age where self-worth and self-esteem is taken as much from likes, hits, shares and retweets, it’s natural to draw inference from reaction to those posts and lose context.  The tools need to be used in the manner in which they were intended, and not in a way that can cause us to lose the authenticity of the important relationships we make.

In entering or breaking a relationship with or without the use of the glowing pieces of glass at our fingertips, the level of interaction we want and need is the difficult decision and the interpretation of that interaction is the part that can cause massive highs and massive lows.  In essence, how we manage that interaction is a responsibility rather than a privilege, and that is nothing new.

 

 

Lost inside out
I’ve been down this road before
I’m breathing in and out of my mouth
It tastes like something else
I’ve waited for all my life
I’m done waiting, now

I’m raising my head, I’m taking a new look around
What now seems lost and fading
Surely can be found

Stay another minute there
Wait it out
I am finding out just how good it feels
To be so real in this carnival
Of hopes and dreams coming true (coming true)
All you do in this life
Echos in eternity

I’m raising my head, I’m taking a new look around

Raising my head and taking a new look around
What now seems lost and fading
Someday will be found

Found by Honor By August


The previous four parts are Ghosting, Misread, Passive Ghosting and The Purge.

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