A big problem in today’s society is the lack of intimate, face-to-face relationships. By this, I mean relationships that aren’t maintained the majority of the time behind the screen of a phone or tablet. Genuine conversations that aren’t happening through text messages tend to get awkward fast, and end even faster nowadays. This is a depressing truth. As texting has become more prevalent, interpersonal communication has plummeted—leaving a broken and damaged social economy in need of repair. Texting does have it upsides, however. It is faster, convenient, and it’s much easier to meet new people, and create new friendships that can be maintained through electronic conversation. Although, those perks will never be able to replace the warmth and comfort that a well-functioning, face-to-face relationship offers.
This texting age has brought on the downfall of genuine communication. The majority of people don’t really know the meaning of a “real” relationship anymore. A long time ago, sitting down and talking with another person for hours on end was normal. Now, however, it’s a foreign, scary thing. We seem to find it easier to hide behind our phones. The same things can be said over text that would be said in a vocal conversation, but there is something absent. As many have figured out—it is substance. According to Dr. Grohol, transmitting words through a device to another device does not leave room for feelings, emotions, body language, and voice inflection (Maintaining Healthy Relationships in College). Body language is a huge part of communication, but we can’t use it as a valid tool anymore because we rarely talk face to face. In fact, as stated by Patricia Harmon in “Does Texting Affect Emotional Intelligence?” up to 93% of communication is conveyed in tone of voice and body language, while only the remaining 7% is conveyed in words.
It’s unfortunate that people aren’t able to feel those butterflies when someone smiles at them in the midst of a true conversation anymore. A smiley face emoticon does not begin to express the feelings that a real smile would. One of the worst effects of this problem is that people do not know how to function when they are not using their phones to communicate. A person feels like he or she is not in control of the conversation because of feeling vulnerable now that the other person is actually right in front of them. This will be a difficult thing to reverse, but with perseverance and determination, this society can go back to the way it was: a time of true, genuine relationships that were maintained not through text, but through vocals and body language.
We need to strive to get to that point where relationships are natural again, and flow smoothly. The road to salvation regarding this particular topic will be a long one. However, it is not necessarily a matter of solutions, but more of a matter of time. There are many viable solutions and steps that can be taken to stop this onslaught in its tracks. Things...