“I need 2 talk 2 u!”
People are connected 24/7 through social media and texting. Communication in relationships has changed dramatically throughout time as people now utilize technology as an immediate, less-personal way to send a message to a loved one.
“There are a lot of positives and negatives, but I think overall technology is not good for relationships,” said Tim Eicher, associate professor of family consumer studies. “You don’t need to be talking to each other every minute of every day, or at least it doesn’t help anything.”
Eicher said people’s constant need to communicate comes because parents give their children cellphones at such a young age. In turn, children grow to become less capable with self-calming techniques during stress. He said students will contact someone immediately when they’re upset without ever spending the time to work problems out themselves.
“Whenever they’re upset they simply call somebody, and they keep calling,” he said. “As soon as students are out of class, they’re texting somebody.”
Regardless of the rampant desire to text-text-text, some students at Dixie State College consider the “old-fashioned” approach as the most appropriate means for dating and courting.
“I was raised the old fashioned way,” said Jessie Cox, a freshman theater major from Las Vegas. “I like face-to-face. I’d rather be with him [than text or call him].”
Cox said her boyfriend approached her as she was playing basketball at a church activity. She said communication was personal before technology was involved.
“You have to actually go and meet the person and talk to them,” said Nathan Kahrs, a freshman music major from Las Vegas. “Later on down the road [after meeting my girlfriend], I asked for her number and then we kept in contact that way.”
Sometimes technology is necessary for maintaining some relationships.
Kahrs said technology, including Facebook and Skype, played a big role in his relationship with his girlfriend.
“[Technology] supports a long distance relationship,” He said. “It kind of keeps it fresh with the aspect of social media, sharing with friends as well as playing video games together. But if you’re meeting someone online [for the first time], it’s kind of sketchy.”
Eicher said it’s refreshing to not involve so much technology and he extended a challenge to students or anyone to turn their cellphones off and step away from Facebook for at least a week. He said they can seek out different ways to communicate with friends and family, which will improve their relationships and overall happiness.