Personal relationships ... in the times of Facebook
The millennial generation or "millennials" are the generation that brings together young people born between 1981 and 1995 who became adults at the turn of the millennium, who today are young adults very different from the young people of the generations that precede us .
According to information from INEGI (National Institute of Statistic and Geography) in 1990, a total of 19 million Mexicans were between 20 and 34 years old, while in the last census, in 2010 the population between 20 and 34 years old reaches a total of 27 million people. With these figures, there is no doubt that today, in Mexico, we are the young people who have the greatest participation, politically, culturally and socially.
Millenials: a generation with its lights and shadows
And no, it is not that we are more rebellious than the youth of the 80's or that we have more ideals than those that the 60's generation had in their time; it's just that We were born in an era with different characteristics, especially as regards the technological and media environment . We were baptized by internet and everything around him. Today we are just a click away (and a good internet connection) to know the whole world.
Internet and social networks and changes in communication
The emergence and boom of the internet. as well as the different technological advances related, they make talk about social networks, search engines, applications and "the cloud" are everyday terms for today's young people, who undoubtedly use expressions every day such as "google it", we "whatsappeamos" or "you left me in sight".
Internet has permeated our day to day, from the way we get work (it is common to hear of job offers online where the only contact is made through email exchanges), to how we keep in touch with our friends ( since we no longer spend hours stuck to the landline telephone, it is easier to send an instant message with a photo and video).
The Internet has also changed the way we consume. Activities as basic as going to the supermarket have begun to be outdated, since it is no longer necessary to stand in line or go through the crowd because we can make purchases from the computer or tablet. Talking about the impact generated by the internet in our lives would take us more than one article; However, we can highlight an aspect that has been transformed thanks to the Internet: the way in which "the millennials" establish social relationships.
Before tackling this controversial issue, I have to clarify that the feeling is not modified, that is, love is love, friendship is friendship and even the feeling of rejection towards a person is maintained despite technological advances. However, what are modified are the places, the processes through which we establish personal relationships and even the temporality with which they are established and the new dimension born of this new technological and cultural paradigm.
Social networks as scenarios
Today we establish links in social networks, applications and through videoconferencing , because it is easier to treat a topic of interest in a WhatsApp group than to gather the 25 contacts to whom you are sending the message; You can also keep up to date, whether you want to or not, what your contacts do without the need to talk to them. If you really need to talk to your friend who lives several kilometers from your city, you can solve it with a coffee by videoconference, you do not even need to imagine moments, a photo on your wall can bring you closer to the experience; And if that is the intention of social networks, keep in touch.
This means that social networks as a scenario only motivate us to take our personal relationships to another plane , just to make them simpler, although along the way we lose certain levels of privacy and intimacy. Through the exchange of "inbox" or thanks to the video call in "Skype" we enjoy the possibility of immediately connecting with friends who live far away. The above situation is explained by answering a simple question, most of our contacts, for example on Facebook Are people we know outside the virtual ?; our best friend, relatives even our partner.
At this point, social networks fulfill their function, make it easier for us to be in contact, the essence of relationships is the same, I am someone's friend, I have a relationship with someone, I dislike someone, etc. What changes is that now we take it to the virtual plane to keep us closer.
The scope of social networks
Social networks (whether Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Skype, WhatsApp or any other) as the hypothesis of "the 6 degrees of separation" (retaken by Milgram in 1967) arise with the idea that we are a few people to know to all the world. This could be exemplified by the idea that each person has an acquaintance, and this acquaintance, in turn, knows someone who knows someone who knows someone who knows us. A very real idea that leads us to become aware that the world is a handkerchief.
Although we are not six people to know everyone, thanks to social networks we are a little closer, since we can be in contact with acquaintances of our acquaintances, but we can also meet people with our same interests even without knowing how they are, if we "like" the same pages we are already connected. It is also notorious the ease with which we can establish contact with people who maybe we thought was impossible, we are only a "follow" away from our writer, singer, commentator, artist or favorite person.
Social networks catapult us to the world , to the extent that we can publish a photo and in less than two seconds can be "liking" someone on the other side of the planet. This makes it common to know cultural customs of other countries thanks to a video that someone shared, or that it is increasingly common for young people to have long-distance love relationships.
This way of establishing virtual relationships thanks to the reach of social networks leads us to know the new processes through which a link is developed, even by means of a smartphone or a computer, and with the limitations that this support entails.
Social networks and new interaction processes
Now it's time to move on to the most interesting part of the article, analyzing the impact that virtual life has had on our lives. This influence is not only reflected in the way we speak or in which we write; It has undoubtedly upset the way we relate; then we can be part of different groups without even knowing their members. If we have a common taste we are already connected, although we do not like the idea very much, and I mean the typical one: "You do not know me but I added you because I liked your profile picture".
A tool to lose the shame of knowing other people?
It is no longer necessary the whole ritual of seeing each other, chatting once, going out again, and realizing the things in common, because with the profile of this contact you already have knowledge of many relevant aspects of your life . This makes it easier to know if you like it or not before you meet it in person, or at least you can better assess whether it is worth trying to know more.
It is more: it is no longer necessary to think "Are you interested as a friend or something else?", You are a "match" away from knowing your ideal partner, and although it sounds like a joke, this is due to the appearance of applications of This guy, who in seconds relate you to a person, either because he likes the same things as you, because you live nearby, or because both of you are looking for a partner. They have even appeared apps that put you in contact with people who are physically close ... Who said fear?
The good and the bad of social networks
Do not get me wrong: social networks are not good or bad by themselves . We usually recreate talking about their shortcomings, but they also have their positive side. For example, they save you many horrible dates, because before going out with a person you do a review of their profile and you get an idea of who they are; It also offers you the possibility to meet many people from different places, or so close to you that you knew or did not exist.
But we can also reflect on the problems that social networks cause. We have all noticed how the profile photos of some contacts do not correspond much with their appeal in real life. Another small problem is that we tend to delegate some positive communicative intentions, such as compliments, in a simple like to a profile picture: it is more comfortable. Now we know that you are interested in someone if you do not leave in "seen" in the WhatsApp conversation, and it is more important that your partner change their sentimental situation in Facebook from "single" to "in a relationship" than to receive a bouquet of roses with dedication.
Tinder: the definitive app to link?
Tinder, my favorite app, and no, not because I use it, but because it is a reflection of the impact of social networks on our relationships.
We start a session with a profile that we build based on our tastes, indicating the place where we live and adding a description of oneself, bearing in mind that we can not have a single photo because this application links us to the Facebook photos, all the photos, the ones we upload and the ones that were labeled; (eye, a lot of eye).
After, the application, thanks to a "magical" process, puts us in contact with the people who are close to us , in the same country and region, so you can "flirt" anywhere. Is app allows you to discard or "like" any profile that appears. If you are demanding when it comes to finding a partner you do not have to worry because there are hundreds of thousands of profiles, some may like you. We get to the strong part of the process, the "match", which means that you liked a profile that you liked too.If you get a "match" you can start a conversation with the profile and after this point everything depends on you, and that person with whom you converse.
Tinder would be the friend that introduces you to those you like at the party, but without having to get the invitation to the party. It has another advantage: you do not have to choose what clothes to wear and, more importantly, you can discover hundreds of people without moving from where you are and quickly.