Recently I have pondered over the flirting and love-type messages going around Twitter, and I have realised this: Twitter is making it easy to find love, acceptance, support, and even some affection (albeit in that weird cyber-sex I-would-like-to-fondle-your-avatar type way) across borders and over vast distances. But Twitter is also making it difficult, because we are constantly engaging in these relationship-building activities when in reality it is difficult, and sometimes impossible to ever meet the person in real life.
The use of terms like “Twitter Boyfriend” and “Twitter Lover” have been more common, and I see request for such on a weekly basis.
One has to wonder if this all makes any sense. Yes, I do believe that long-distance relationships can work, and most of them do, but is it really worth our while to have a relationship over Twitter (or any other social media tool for that matter) over the vast distances, and never have that physical contact? Heck, some people don’t even know what their “Twitter Boyfriend”‘s voice sounds like, as they have never even had a phone conversation.
Are we wasting time finding love on Twitter, with great people far, far way? Even if these people are perfect for us, and would, under any other circumstances, make the perfect life companion? Shouldn’t we rather look closer to home, or would that be too difficult? Has the convenience and reach of social media tools made us lazy “hunters” or pursuers? Are we perhaps losing out on a bigger and awesome relationship because we are too afraid to step away from the protected are behind our firewalls?
I think so. We have become lazy. The effort is gone. It is easy to hide behind emoticons and the excuse that you can’t convey your story in more than 140 characters. We don’t have to woo, date, or spend intimate and interactive time with someone. We just hop on to Skype or MSN, and voila! we have a date.
(On that subject, getting a “Skype date” isn’t always possible. We have all heard the excuse “My webcam is broken”. Seriously? If they don’t wanna Skype with video, they’re just not that in to you. I am not even going to start talking about the plethora of Twitter accounts with their fake photos, or people who upload photos of some unknown model and pretend it’s their own photo.)
Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that it is all bad. I have seen many people meet great companions over social media, and yes, social media has its merits. All I am saying is that we need to be concerned about the impact social media is having on our relationship choices, and how it is impacting our abilities to interact (and possibly start a relationship) with someone outside the scope of social media.