It is only a moment of time before “I Dos” aren’t shared in person anymore. Social Media and new age technologies are changing the way in which we foster relationships and connect with friends, family and strangers. Arnold Brown sums this up perfectly in Relationships, Community and Identitiy in the New Virtual World.
“Clearly the Internet has radically re- shaped our social lives over the span of just a couple of decades, luring us into a virtual metaworld where traditional interactions—living, loving, belonging, and separating, as well as finding cus- tomers and keeping them—require new protocols.”
Why is it that this culture is so rapidly taking over every generation that exists today? Brown accounts for the fact that elderly citizens are getting more comfortable with the internet and turning to social networking sites to meet new people and connect with individuals who share similar interests. There are several sensational viral videos of elderly couples and widows getting remarried resulting from social networking sites. They always say, “Age is nothing but a number.” or “It’s never too late to find true love.” Well, these stories are a prime examples.There are plenty of statistics about today’s generation being so dependent on technology and fully immersing themselves in this virtual world, but Brown states that we’re not the only ones.
“By 2008, more than 20 mil- lion social networkers in the United States were over the age of 50, ac- cording to a study by Deloitte.”
Social networking is the phenomenon that it is because EVERYONE is in on the act. What makes it so appealing is how convenient it is to live a life outside of your own world. For instance, if an elderly woman is bound to her bed due to old age and illness, she can still continue to experience everything the new world has to offer right there from the comfort of that bed. All she must do is grab a lap top or iPad and experience a virtual world that sometimes depicts the real world a lot better than what it truly is.
Depicting yourself in a better light is sometimes what takes the cake for individuals dedicated to virtual dating and online relationships. This technology finds a lot of people getting themselves into trouble with the law as well. Online, you can be anyone you want. You can meet the most beautiful 25 year old blonde bombshell and talk to her for days or even years and eventually find out that “she” was really just a 50 year old man. On the other hand, social media has even helped maintain relationships that drastically became distant due to unforeseen circumstances. I actually have a friend who was proposed to over Skype while her boyfriend served in the military over seas. Thankfully he didn’t text her, “Will U Marry Me? <3” BUT… by the looks of our world today, we’re headed that way.