So last night, my girlfriend and I had another one of our philosophical discussions. It started because I got invited to a a friends wedding this summer and my girlfriend asked me how the friend and her fiancee met and I said I think they met online to which she was like “what.” I asked her what her surprise was about and reminded her that online dating/friendships are more than common to which she responded by telling me that she doesn’t believe that it counts as a relationship or friendship if its all online. I stared at her and asked if she was serious and she said absolutely and told me she doesn’t believe one can get to know someone in the same capacity as in person. Her response obviously made me think about the past year and how I have actually been in online relationships and friendships online and find them sometimes easier than in person friendships.
I probed her and asked her if that meant that she agreed with the Canadian girl when she said that it wouldn’t add any value to her life because it was all online to which she kind of said she didn’t agree with the way it was said but she understood the point that sometimes if it isn’t going anywhere, it doesn’t make sense to keep in contact if the whole friendship or relationship wouldn’t go any farther than that.
I was a little angry to be honest at her response and I asked if she thought that no kind of online contact was authentic to which she called out my bullshit and said no because a shared interest in something like sports, dance, theatre, can obviously be meaningful and with social media it does intensify community.
I then decided to go to bed because part of me knew she had a good point, but the other part of me knew I have made some good and meaningful connections with people online and no matter where we stand now, those relationships and contacts shaped who I am today.
I don’t really know if this post made any sort of sense but I wanted to share it nonetheless. I think the topic is interesting because so many people have different ideas about the impact of social media on authenticity and connection. I will post more about this because I know we will be talking more about this.
To end, I want to share a quote, sociologist Sherry Turkle said, “Technology proposes itself as the architect of our intimacies.”