As humans, we adapt to our surroundings and evolve over time, progressing into more modern version of ourselves. As we progress, we are bound to leave some fragments of ourselves in the past, absorbing the latest elements of our time, but we ultimately hold on to our rooted values that make us who we are. A good way to understand the evolution of communication is to compare modern media, to media from the past. The Notebook is a romantic drama set in the 1940’s, and the most significant theme throughout the movie is that love conquers all.
Regardless of opposing factors such as Allie’s refusal to see Noah at first, her parent’s disapproval, and waiting years for Noah’s letters that never came, their love never died. On the other hand, Friends with Benefits is a modern day romantic comedy that follows the relationship between a New York headhunter that enters a no-strings-attached relationship with her latest client, but unexpectedly finds herself in a complicated situation when emotions get involved.
As well as being a human phenomenon, this concept allows for the better understanding of the modern relationship as well. As we observed the various generations, technology has become a major influence in most modern day relationships; not only used as an outlet to reach your loved one, but also as an easier communication avenue to cheat. Maybe our grandparents are old fashioned, but until women wise up and ask for the things they deserve, chivalry will seize to exist. Eloquence of romance and courtship has evolved just as we have, becoming increasingly casual and forthright.
Due to the rise and advancement in technology, Chivalry is completely dead. In the culture we now live in, it seems to be completely impossible for men to do what is perceived to be the ‘normal’ thing. From our grandmothers to our mothers, boys have been taught to pull out chairs and hold doors, pay for dinner and drinks, and pursuing a woman implied a date. When did what was once an expectation become an acceptation? Dating is done, but on the rare occasion that a girl is taken out, it is most likely initiated via text message.
The channel of communication is less personal; thoughts that are said are easily communicated through text messages. Text messaging allows for emotional expression without vulnerability. Courtship has evolved rapidly in the 21st century, such as the acceptance of online dating and the assortment of smart phone dating applications as a ‘norm’. Tinder is a social application that helps individuals meet new people by finding nearby matches and connecting them if they are both interested. Grindr, is a location-based application to meet gay, bi and curious guys for dating purposes.
In an constantly changing society of communication between 140 character tweets, hashtags, and posting status’ reflecting ones feelings, we have lost the ability to communicate altogether. A noisy bar is a common place where singles expect to get to know someone new, and wind up in uninteresting small talk with someone they will most likely never speak to again. As seen in the younger generations, such as Matt and Tracey who met at a party, or the Aguilar’s relationship which began with Eric “just trying to get some tail. Women have begun to allow men to adhere to the bare minimum. “Many technologies look at the features that face-to-face communication offers and try to integrate these options into technological advances,” (Mottet, Vogl-Bauer & Houser, 2012) such as skype. This allows for the couples that are already in committed relationships to keep in touch during times of separation, as seen with Constance and Andre who “once a day everyday used skype” during Andre’s deployment, abuse of such communication tools is much more rampant.
Also, older generations were more prone to love at first-sight-type encounters, possibly because they weren’t exposed to all of the options in the world. Mary Lee and Richard met on the dance floor and fell madly in love, and Gilda exclaimed that “once he came back from England, I knew I was going to be with him and he didn’t even know it yet” regarding her relationship with Barry. Where as, younger people are over saturated with options via mass communication.
They are more likely to be hesitant to jump head first into relationships, such as Nick who receives “ pictures of engagement rings and he ignores them” from Hazel. Clearly, older generation couples such as Joe and Paulette, who explained “other then the advancement of technology, we are still us,” aren’t aware of the array of options that are easily assessable. Not only does the 21st century provide people with effortless dating outlets, but it also provides them with effortless cheating outlets as well.
The Ashley Madison website has been featured extensively due to their unusual tag line, “Life is short, Have an affair. ” The unusual nature of the website promotes adultery and cheating between long term partners, but like most dating sites, Ashley Madison allows anyone to sign up to their system for free. Having a wide variety of options at your fingertips results in insecurities, and untrustworthy relationships.
But of course, technology has a solution for that too, The Journal of Law and Family Studies explains “retailers of spyware have attributed the steady rise in sales to ‘wary married couples. ’ In essence, technology has made uncovering secrets about one’s spouse, ‘such a painless, anti-septic process that the boundary delineating what is permissible in a relationship appears to be shifting. ” Spyware software allows a user to convert information of another user through Internet connection or access to their hard drive.
Before finding ‘the one’ most people are involved in prior relationships, better known as exes. There was a time where breaking up meant cutting all ties, completely, which is no longer so easy, nor, do we want it to be. Maureen O’ Connor from New York Magazine elucidates how “we gorge ourselves on information about the lives of our exes. We can’t help ourselves. ” O’Connor explains that everyone has exes; it might not be your boyfriend or girlfriend of several years, but possibly a one-night encounter, or even a flirtatious friendship.
All of these situations have allowed for a casual view on relationships “because not committing means keeping more love interests around as possibilities, and because the digital age enables us to never truly beak up. ” More often then not, you will be seeing them again, maybe not face to face, but online, you watch your exes’ lives unfold parallel to yours. Gilda and Barry connected at a party, except Gilda was dating someone else at the time, and shortly broke it off after meeting Barry.
Now in social media culture, ending a relationship isn’t as easy. Social networks allow an ex to provide affection even after the break up, and “sometimes the medium is the message. An ex who “likes” your selfies thinks you still look hot. An ex who ignores 2 a. m. texts is either asleep or over you. ” Casual conversations with ex’s are a normal occurrence which involves catching up, and a small reminder that the history did happen, but then it ended and both individuals moved on, sort of (O’Connor).
The youth today is becoming more and more attached to technology, and it seems to be rapidly progressing. Relationships are being built online and through phones. Technology should remain as a form of communication, not the only form to communicate. Technology is a great form of entertainment, but shouldn’t take away the social skills that are learned from face to face interaction. If you never unplug, you can never partake in what comes with personal relationships among family and friends.
Cell phones are creating a distraction from reality and constantly send the irritating non-verbal message of “don’t bother talking to me. ” Technology is clouding the advancement of personal relationships such as providing iPad’s to elementary students as an easier form of learning, or giving a six year child an iPhone. Chivalry will continue to cease to exist until the norm is changed. Younger couples haven’t had to grow up, so they haven’t. The ideas of marriage and children have remained exactly that, just an idea because technology provides options.
The economy is making it harder to become an adult and adhere to the responsibilities that are involved, which creates an indolent culture. Men no longer have to put in the creative effort of the small pleasures involved in an intimate relationship. Society has evolved the idea of a date from a friendly gesture between two individuals with the common goal of getting to know one another, to sharing a meal with a potential life partner. Eventually, women will start asking for what they deserve, the things that used to be expected of men, but until then, chivalry still exists.
Mitchell, J. (2007). Sex, lies, and spyware: Balancing the right to privacy against the right to know in the marital relationship. Journal of Law & Family Studies, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com.libproxy.txstate.edu/hottopics/lnacademic/?verb=sr&csi=270077&sr=cite(9 J. L. Fam. Stud. 171)
Mottet, T. P., Vogl-Bauer, S., & Houser, M. L. (2012). Your interpersonal communication. Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.
O’Connor, M. (2013, July 21). All my exes live in texts:why the social media generation never really breaks up. New York Magazine, Retrieved from http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/07/texting-exes-social-media-generation.html