It is really hard to get sick of the Internet these days, but if you ever wondered how it would feel, just log into Facebook on Valentine’s Day. Don’t get me wrong; I love my friends and I love their love, but never since the dawn of Friendster have I been so involved in their personal lives. In the social media age, romance is anything but intimate.
The example that inspired these comments happened just last night, when one of my friends back in San Francisco checked in to dinner with her fiancée. Cute, right? It actually was; they’re a great couple. Then she posted a picture of what they ordered, which was still very sweet until the comments started. To each other, on the same post, in live time while presumably sitting at the same table. If you have ever found yourself in this situation, you may have reached the tipping point where your relationship exists solely as content.
Yesterday, Mashable posted an article about how social media has changed the way we look at relationships. With detailed personal information about potential partners more accessible than ever, it’s hard to imagine our values wouldn’t have shifted a bit. My favorite part of the survey was the fact that the youngest survey respondents were more likely to embrace traditional romance than their older counterparts. Some things never change.
As of early February, Snapchat is the most popular free photo and video app for the iPhone, second only to YouTube. Programmed to destroy photos within 10 seconds of opening, this inevitably raises questions about users’ ulterior motives.
In Australia, all these opportunities to socialize might be turning people unsociable, with online friendships becoming just as important as face-to-face interactions. To be fair, I have always thought conversations would be so much easier with a “delete” button.
Finally, a must-read for anyone who has ever dreamed of working at Facebook. As it turns out, even social technology still comes back to truly being able to understand people outside of what they post on the Internet. This makes me think that offline relationships might still have a place in this world after all.