A new survey performed by Shape and Men’s Fitness magazines has found that technology can lead to faster sex for men and women. According to the survey, 80 percent of women say that Facebook and other social media sites lead them to have sex more quickly, while 58 percent of men say that flirting over these sites encourages women to have sex with them sooner.
The results of this survey have many people wondering: Can you establish true intimacy on the Internet? For millions of Americans, the answer appears to be yes. More than 20 million Americans log on to the Internet each month seeking to find Mr. Right (or Mr. Right Now). Yet while the Internet has helped to establish many happy relationships and unite many happy couples, I fear that our society’s online obsession might be leading us to forget what true intimacy and romance really feel like.
While social media sites can help people to stay connected across the globe, they don’t necessarily lead to the type of intimacy that is created in face-to-face interactions. Tone, facial expressions, and subtle looks and touches simply can’t be transmitted via the web, so even though you might be having a deep conversation online, you won’t be bonding in the same way you would in person.
Hence, even though couples are virtually connected to one another (thanks to Facebook, text messaging, Google Chat, BBM, iChat, etc. couples can be constantly connected online), it seems as though all the social media in the world can’t make up for traditional, face-to-face communication. Sadly, for many couples (particularly young people), this type of intimacy-building is a rarity.
Those who came into sexual maturity around the time of Facebook’s implementation never had the opportunity to date the ‘old-fashioned’ way. They never waited at home eagerly anticipating a phone call from that cute guy in class (nowadays, they just log into Facebook and chat with him online or send him a text). They never get to know someone over dinner or discover common interests over coffee. Instead, they already know everything about their date simply by googling him beforehand (or at least, they think they do.)
While I am certainly no technophobe (I love my iPhone as much as anybody!), surveys such as the ones mentioned above prove that young people might be selling themselves short when it comes to romance. A few late-night texts hardly translate as romance, and a couple hours of Facebooking doesn’t lead to the kind of intimacy and connection that strong relationships need to survive.
Luckily, I think we can have the best of both worlds, and I can certainly see the value of technology when it comes to staying connected with your partner during your busy day. You can use your email to send your partner a sweet line or two to let him know that you are thinking about him, or you can text him a naughty message letting him know that you can’t wait for date night. But when, date night does come around, make sure to shut those phones off, give each other your undivided attention, and flirt the old-fashioned way!