Now it’s even harder to connect with people let alone maintain a connection. We live in a time and generation possessed by technology, phones and laptops, and we are hijacked by our social media presence that we are ignorant to the basic ability to interact with each other. I got rid of Facebook for a while. I wanted to have a period of my life where I was not connected to the virtual world where most socialising and connection unfortunately takes place. Previously online dating was seen as more taboo and for the retired or for people who were having trouble connecting. I found the online space for “dating” worse that the real world. Whilst it may be more appealing to some people as it clearly states who is available, what they’re looking for and what they’re interested in, the emotional walls are even more obvious. It’s like applying for a job. There is no social responsibility to respond or engage. You have to try so much harder and ultimately it ends up being a contest of who can pretend to appear cooler. People argue that the online platform is more “real” in a way because people are being their more authentic selves, however do we really want people to only be their true selves when there is a buffer, or when there are supposedly less consequences?

The dating I have sparingly experienced over the past few years has been very screen oriented. I went out with someone I had met online and we had a really nice time. We met at a pub and had dinner, drinks and chatted for ages. We texted a little after that and later reconnected to have drinks again and then dinner the following week. After we had a lovely dinner I received a message from them telling me they wanted to make a move but they weren't sure how I felt. I appreciated that but at the same time these types of conversations are better dealt with in person and we were just in person together. I understand that there is the possibility of rejection and as a result the normalisation of using texting as a method of popular communication has become favourable, but it is such a downward slope.

We are currently in a state of social “crisis” where very few people know how to effectively communicate and engage with people in a healthy and coherent manner. Too many people can’t create sufficient conversation or make eye contact whilst passing by. Often people resort back to “safe spaces”, such as text messages or social media to communicate, creating a cushion for rejection; except what that does is make us more incapable of participating in important conversations and relationship maintenance. The online space has painted this illusion that we have ample opportunity and the luxury of plentiful people to sieve through. However, this concept has also generated a poor culture of perceiving people as disposable items where we don’t fix something or engage in conflict resolution, we just loop back to our online platforms to start again.

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Nitasha Akerman

I am working towards promoting human rights, peace, security, equality, feminism, justice, equity and sustainability. I enjoy anything creative and want to share my and other peoples thoughts and experiences through writing.