Social networking: Cupid or killer?

By BenitaZepeda

As each day goes by, it seems there are more ways to communicate, and technological advancements have reshaped the way humans function with one another. Whether it’s in a romantic, friendly or business relationship, many people are losing touch with real life.

The Internet has even changed the way people date. Instead of meeting someone at a bar, coffee shop, book store or supermarket, people use online dating sites to meet their significant others. Websites such as claim “every year, hundreds of thousands of people find love.”

OK, this is great, people have a new way to screen and meet a potential companion, but what about all the strain social networking adds to a romantic relationship? And as technology advances, these types of websites are available at any time with mobile devices.

Because of websites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, how many times do people tell stories about their significant other flirting with someone on Facebook? And forget about calling your relationship a real thing unless your status is“Facebook official.”

Technology, while making it more accessible to meet someone and communicate at all times, makes it even more complex for relationships with traditional values to exist. For people to function and have healthy relationships in a society where interests move faster than the rate one can change a profile picture, perhaps relationships need to evolve as fast as our mediums of communication.

It’s not impossible to maintain a healthy relationship, but these new ways of networking create more temptation and more ways to connect with someone your significant other might not like. For instance, what if your boyfriend chats up the pretty blonde he used to date or your girlfriend has a plethora of men messaging her every day? This is a medium controlled completely by you, unless you happen to give your password out. Therefore, you can message, get to know, make plans with, look at pictures of or create an emotional relationship with whomever you like with a click of a button.

When you’re in a relationship, flirting with someone else is easy online but it is even easier to get caught. Sometimes it’s harmless, but other times it can cross

the line.

Lately, it seems like almost every fight or breakup is battled in the public eye via Facebook, revolving around something happening on a social networking website. Comments such as: “My girlfriend is talking to her ex-fiance,” or “She’s just some girl I knew from high school” are the catalysts to some blow-out fights.

But we can’t blame these sites for ruining relationships. After all, people start them online. What we should look at is how we function as a culture. Should we continue to expect to have the same types of romantic relationships our parents and grandparents had? Probably not.

We should prepare ourselves by knowing the world is different and maybe stop heavily relying on social networking communication. And, as we socially interact differently, we need to change our relationship expectations because communication is the key for both.