Technology has become a convenient way to do many things. You can quickly text a friend to let them know you are running late if you are on a crowded noisy bus. If you forgot to send an email before you left the house to go out of town you can do it while you are waiting at the airport. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are equally awesome. Where else can you get news, talk to people from across the globe, and get in touch with people you haven’t seen in years?
However, some people seem to take this whole technology thing too far and don’t realize how completely impersonal it can be. Technology is kind of like having eight shots of tequila right in a row at the bar – it enables you to do things that you normally might not do if you were sitting with the person face to face. The reason? You don’t really have to face the consequences.
Let’s take chatting with a woman from an internet dating site for example. All too often I have had conversations where a guy is trying to flash me his penis and then describing (in very graphic detail) what he would do to me with that penis if he had five minutes of my time. It’s pretty rare that anyone would meet a woman randomly at a coffee shop or the grocery store and flash her (people tend to frown on that sort of thing).
Fighting with your significant other has now been taken over by technology as well. Not too long ago the whole Jim Carrey and Jenny McCarthy fight over Twitter was all the rage. Then a blogger friend of mine recently wrote about an article in the New York Times about couples fighting on Facebook. Apparently for a couple (in their early twenties) this was a great way to air out their frustrations and even their friends could join in. Of course this is the same age group that thinks interrupting sex with a text is just fine, but that’s a whole other story.
Then let’s definitely not forget about break-ups. I have read countless articles on the tactful way to break it off with someone on Facebook or through email. I wasn’t even aware there was a tactful way. How about you just use another method to end a relationship? You know like in person or at least over the phone. And do I really even need to go into that whole status change thing? I mean, really, I can’t think of a more disrespectful way to end things.
Of course I am writing all of this while I am frustrated with a guy who doesn’t seem to know how to text a girl back (which is the polite thing to do for those of you that are keeping track). Sure, I understand that people sometimes lose interest. However, a text that simply says just that is equally polite in my book.
The bottom line is it seems all too often we are starting to forget that there is a person attached to these texts (or Facebook or Twitter accounts). And that the person has a little something called feelings. While technology is great (hello, I can admit I am an avid fan of my Blackberry) the simple fact is there are certain things that technology was never really meant to replace.