Before you read my thoughts below, I encourage you to read a short article titled: Love Online by Henry Jenkins. Although this piece was written in the ancient times of technology, yes 2002 was a very different time, its messages still ring true in 2018.

Mr. Jenkins does a great job prompting the reader to think about relationships and how they evolved with technology. During our history classes in primary education, we read and listen to countless stories about long distance relationships. The founding fathers, war heroes, and ordinary farm workers all sent letters across Continental America to their lovers. So, what makes online dating any different? If anything, it is more convenient than ever before! With a single click, you can send your message spiraling through fiber-optic cables only to travel across the world in a few seconds. This ability to communicate with a wide array of people, not only broadens the social pools, but it allows the formation of new groups based on interests.

Just like Henry’s son, individuals can connect with one another based on interests. Groups can be formed based on shared interests such as pro-

wrestling, hockey, music, pets, hobbies, and much more! This allows people to be immediately connected with people that they already have common ground with. Shouldn’t that make dating easier? Unfortunately not. With online relationships in general, romantic or otherwise, comes unique barriers and challenges. For example, nonverbal communication makes up the majority of our interactions with other people. Simply by our subtle facial expressions one can determine whether we are angry, happy, sad, confused, frustrated, etc. When communicating online, it can be hard to really understand the message others are sending; they are not always perceived correctly. Although some barriers may be hard to overcome, like the lack of physical interaction, positive attributes are present as well.

When we have the ability to communicate instantly with almost anyone, it’s like evaporating the oceans and pushing the continents back into Pangaea. Physical distance is less of an issue that it had been previously. Of course letters can be sent, but from the time it takes to send the letter and be delivered, messages change and you lose the simultaneous nature of communication. When that back and forth pattern is lost, it makes communicating even more difficult than it may already be. This idea is changing the way in which our society interacts, and you can see that change everyday. Not only our we communicating with each other instantly, but so are businesses and organizations across the globe. Instant and border-less communication is revolutionary, and it unlocks endless possibilities for our future selves, and the societies in which we live in.


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