Digital Families and Digital Relationships

The first time I saw a social networking site, which, for me, happened to be MySpace, I had a nagging thought in the back of my head that sounded like a cranky old relative. All I could think about was the future of communication. The future of the “family.”

As I contemplated these nostalgic thoughts, I sighed and sent out a few text messages. These technologies didn’t exist a mere few years ago.

How did people live without this? I keep wondering to myself.

There was a time where people were content with not knowing what someone was doing every waking moment of the day; not being in contact with someone throughout the work day/week was a normal expectation. Now, people get anxious when someone doesn’t reply to a text message in five minutes. Is the digital era corrupting families and relationships?

The answer honestly varies by each person.

It’s unfair to bias technology toward an entire population. Some users of text messaging, for example, only use it in case of emergencies or when they cannot speak on the phone. However, the way that these technologies have affected our lives and relationships is something that can never be unseen or forgotten.

Long distance relationships rely solely on the digital medium and, as such, could be considered a true digital relationship. But, is it honestly healthy to establish any sort of emotional connection on a digital medium? Be it family based, love, or friendship. I find myself extrapolating between people’s analog and digital forms. Some people, albeit fluent speakers of English, type in “text-talk.”

It seems as if there is a “split” of sorts in people nowadays thanks to technology and the digital world. Some people are more digitally open than others, while some prefer the old fashioned vocal chords. In the end, digital relationships aren’t necessarily a bad thing I suppose. It’s just something that needs a lot of attention paid to it; as it is growing at an alarmingly unhealthy rate.

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