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SMS and Facebook Are Harmful to Real Relationships

Published on Thursday August 13th, 2020

The intermediary between Yaakov and Rachel announced the news to Rachel. Yaakov was going to call her in the evening (he was finally available!). And they would arrange a date. While waiting for his call, Rachel tried to imagine what he looked like, and wondered where they would go for their first shidduch meeting…

Her cell phone vibrated, announcing that she had received an SMS which shook her from her reverie. To her surprise, it was Yaakov, with a plan for their meeting. "What a chutzpah (how rude!), she thought to herself (she shared it with her friends later)! He does not even have the decency to call me and talk to me! "

If you ask someone who was in a similar situation only ten years ago, what place SMS and emails had in their relationship, they would certainly answer that they were non-existent. Nobody, to my knowledge, had a functioning "texting" facility in their cell phone (if it even existed), and although its absence seems unimaginable nowadays, it certainly simplified the convenience of arranging dates
The world is very different today and SMS plays a much bigger role in our relationships. The benefits are indisputable; the difficulties are less glaring, but more complex. Managing the subtlety of "chat", SMS and emails in the dating world in which we live sometimes requires Herculean efforts. When to chat? When to call? Is it impolite to set the time of the date via the internet? Will he think that it is daring of me to send him a text message? The questions never end. If there are so many uncertainties about SMS and emails, why do singles rely on this form of communication so much? Would it not be easier to refrain from using them for dates?

Not always. Singles sometimes use text messaging and emails to advance a relationship. Sandy Weiner, a dating coach, explains: "We can keep in touch with someone and show them that we are thinking of them by sending them an SMS during the day, without being too intrusive."

Another expert in the field believes that these means of communication sometimes facilitate things for singles - but do not necessarily make things better. "I think that many singles use SMS and emails to prevent themselves from getting too involved in a relationship or to talk about topics they prefer to avoid face-to-face. For example: taking a break in the relationship.

"I've heard stories of people breaking a relationship that was based only on a text message or an email - that's not right," he adds. While a text message may help a person to express a difficult feeling, the fact that it can also be detrimental to the relationship or allow inappropriate behavior makes it a double-edged sword.

An underlying factor for the many problems related to modern technology is a lack of protocol for accepted behavior. Many people, (men or women) are completely disoriented by the lack of rules regarding SMS and other techniques, and about arranging dates. There are no set rules and what is right for one person may be considered inappropriate by someone else. "Women do not know if it's too daring to start texting a man. And men do not know that if they send too many SMS messages, they risk pushing a woman away because of it. "

 

Facebook can also be detrimental to a relationship. If people post pictures of themselves with other people of the opposite sex (who are not their partners), it can cause jealousy and confusion. Some even change their status and move from "who has someone in their life" to "single", without informing the person with whom they were going out.

But, apart from the mistakes made during a date, SMS, e-mails and the use of Facebook can end a relationship. Gestures, body language, tone of voice, facial expressions, all communicate emotions and attitudes that cannot be expressed in words.

"Sending an SMS is a poor substitute for having real communication," she says. People cannot maintain a close relationship without eye contact. A text message can be used to communicate short information, but not to create an emotional connection. In short: ''send an SMS to communicate facts and signals. Do not use them to express your emotions. "

"You can be the most tech savvy person in the world, but to build a relationship, you have to spend time with people. An honest and sincere relationship must be more than just words exchanged on a screen by two people."

Despite her reservations, Rachel met Yaakov. He was courteous and polite, and they had a very positive first date around a sushi dish. She had a good time and realized that her indignation was excessive and that Yaakov's first text did not really reflect his character.

There are so many question marks when dating and technology meet. Perhaps the best thing to do is to keep in mind that the other side should be considered with the respect and courtesy we would like to receive. Despite the evolution of technology and the disappearance of old devices (do you remember rotating phones?), keep in mind that good manners will never be out of date.

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