The 60’s brought us the sexual revolution. Women suddenly had the option of birth control and were able to earn their own money. They burned their bras and a whole new culture began.
It’s been a confusing journey for the sexes. We are living much longer lives and when you say “I do” in your youth, you don’t fully understand the meaning of “until death do us part” until you’ve been married long enough to get bored. High divorce rates and infidelity have played a large role as a result of the revolution. It wasn’t necessarily better before the 60’s, women just had less options. If they were unhappy in their marriage, they tended to stay to avoid a less than favorable “reputation” as well as not having the ability to earn enough to support themselves. The burden was mostly felt by women but men also chose to stay in an unhappy or dysfunctional marriage simply because appearances were too important, or he didn’t earn enough to support two households.
In the last decade, we’ve seen the explosion of social media and have enjoyed reconnecting with old friends—and lovers. We meet new people from all over the globe as we peruse our Facebook and Twitter feeds. Conversations start up and relationships begin which can lead to romanticizing who this other person is—or who we want them to be. Men and women both participate.
One of the dangers that social media flirting offers, is that when we are in a committed relationship that is going through a lull or boring phase, the temptation to find excitement with a stranger is very easy and very tempting. If it goes too far, the otherwise healthy relationship that just needed a little time to get back on track, can be forever ruined. Remember Anthony Weiner?
You’ve more than likely seen the many articles on how Facebook has broken up marriages and causes fighting and arguments. It’s difficult to decipher what is innocent and what is intentional flirting. Something that can start as an innocent “like” on a picture can easily and quickly result in that inevitable question “ Are you on Skype?”
Cell phones are now equipped with video chat and it’s quite simple to make that leap when no one is looking. But frankly, everyone is looking. So much is out there for anyone to see and with all the great things that come with the technological advances we’re making, our relationships are under construction— a new revolution.
It’s my theory that the next generation, who will grow up in this tech world, will view relationships differently. It’s fairly easy to catch someone flirting online and it’s also easy to jump to conclusions. It’s impossible to accurately understand what the truth is behind a comment or a “like.” What we have been experiencing for the past fifty or so years is now changing at a rapid place and we are forced to keep up.
I don’t know what it will mean exactly for our romantic relationships but I like to believe it will force both genders to really take a look at what they want in a mate. People will always pair off and have children. There’s bound to be divorce in any scenario—people change, they grow apart or they choose to marry for the wrong reasons and eventually part ways.
Social media is redefining the way we are conducting our love lives. It is increasingly difficult to trust someone who appears to be an Internet flirt. I question if it will make our relationships more difficult or if we will benefit from the changes taking place.
I’d love to know your thoughts.