With increasing advanced in technology, the way we as people communicate and relate to others continues to change. Online dating sites match individuals who would have most likely never met without the help of the Internet. Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media allow users to interact with many others without ever having to leave their home. It seems as though face-to-face interaction is slowly becoming a thing of the past. However, is it really? I don’t believe so at all.
Although many people find electronic communication effective and efficient, including myself, these means of maintaining relationships will never truly replace traditional methods. Take romantic online role-playing games, for example. These games provide a sense of comfort for the users partaking in them, and even some emotional support, but there are limits. The lessons learned from living together, the physical and sexual aspects of a relationship, and the overall closeness that comes from physically spending time with someone cannot be replicated by these games. No matter how far technology progresses, these basic needs will go unattended to by online games.
Some critics believe Facebook will completely wipe out face-to-face communication, especially between teenagers and young adults. I believe this prediction to be completely inaccurate. After observing how my friends and family, as well as myself, use online social networking, I have concluded that Facebook is primarily used to enhance or maintain already existing relationships. These were built first from interactions in person. Without these first interactions, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are practically pointless. The grand majority of people don’t care enough to spend time talking to total strangers on the Internet.
So, although technology continues to provide alternate forms of communication, I don’t feel that it will ever replace the most significant way to interact with others: face-to-face communication.