It is nearly impossible to live in today’s society and not be affected by technology in its various forms. Thanks to my smartphone, my friends and family can reach me by calling, texting, emailing, messaging, or video chatting, whether I’m home, at work, or out food shopping.
I’d like to believe that the purpose of technology is to make our lives a little easier, but more and more it seems like technology is seeping into our lives and changing the way we communicate.
I’m guilty of it too. Rather than call a girlfriend to make plans, I’ll just text her. Does this make planning any easier? No, but it requires less engagement. Even posting on a friend’s Facebook wall requires minimal action. I love the ego boost I get through the “likes” and comments from others, but is this meaningful communication or meaningless chatter?
While I’m at work, I can carry on simultaneous conversations with online friends and with my co-workers. This constant bombardment of access has only led to less formality in our dealings with others, and unfortunately this trickles down into the dating scene.
The New York Times article, The End of Courtship?, claimed that young singles “rendezvous over phone texts, Facebook posts, instant messages and other “non-dates” that are leaving a generation confused about how to land a boyfriend or girlfriend.”
Men no longer have to make a phone call to ask a woman out on a date; plans can be made by text. It has become so easy—and acceptable—to communicate in a casual way, that it’s no wonder people are confused. The idea of putting an effort into a date—even down to how to ask a woman out—has almost vanished in our society. Technology has made it so easy to make contact, that we don’t bother to abide by simple rules of etiquette. It seems like the easier our lives are made, the lazier we become.
The constant access to our phones and computers should be used to help us in our relationships with others, not hinder them. Using an online dating site can be a great tool for singles whose lives are filled with work and family obligations to meet new people. While it’s not completely fair to judge someone based on their Internet presence, it’s nice to know what someone looks like and whether he loves watching 30 Rock. Additionally, participating in the forums found on CatholicMatch can start new friendships with other like-minded singles.
The Internet is a great starting place for Catholics to look for a spouse, but as we learned from Manti Te’o and his fake girlfriend, it is just a starting place. Relationships aren’t meant to be carried out online. We are body and soul, made in the image and likeness of God himself. I encourage us to recognize the dignity in every person and let that reflect in how we communicate with them.