Are Managing Relationships Easier Online?

We’ve all come across this:

1. You call someone, the phone rings and rings and no one answers. A few minutes later you get a text:

“What’s up man?”

Why didn’t they call you?

2. You’re on Facebook scrolling through posts and you see 2 people talking up a storm back in forth in the comments area.

Why don’t they just call each other?

Why are people easier to reach and more talkative/engaging online then they are in person? Have people forgotten how to engage in relationships, or is there something else going on?

What could it be? Here are some of my opinions:

1. You’re too talkative – Maybe you’re a gabber. People love talking to you but they know that calling you will demand a commitment.

2. People are busy – Sometimes people need answers on the go, or maybe they’re in the middle of something (like a meeting). They know you can add value, and they’ll most likely call you later to thank you. (depending on whether you get back to them quick enough)

3. Social Media can disguise a bad communicator – The fact is, managing relationships IS easier online. Although prolonged response can be bad when it comes to keeping the conversation going, there is no awkward silence between back and forth communication. When we’re face to face and ask a question, our response is immediately needed. Although our response online may be needed, we have time to think about it before we spit it out. This allows people to say the right thing and not some stupid thing that’s going to make them sound dumb.

4. People can sound intelligent – This plays into #3, but during face to face debates/arguments most people will not get on their soapbox to stand by their opinion due to lack of knowledge on the subject. Online, a person can quickly google knowledge that will help them prove their point.

5. Conversations can remain simple and effective – In all reality, sometimes texting or social media can keep a needed conversation simple and effective. In crazy times like today we work in places that demand more of us due to the inability to hire more help. This causes us to run wild having to manage not only our work schedule but also our multitude of relationships. Since social media has come into play, our relationships have increased 10 fold making it difficult and sometime near impossible to manage all of them offline. You have to remember, we are more connected then ever before having access and insight to all of these peoples lives online.

All 5 of these factors can attribute to reasons why people choose to communicate online rather than in person. At the end of the day though, building a strong relationship will require you to represent yourself in person. If you avoid the face to face, eventually your relationship will fade. Be sure to identify which relationships are most important to you and be sure to maintain a level of face to face. Having healthy boundries will allow you to manage them effectively and avoid feelings from being hurt.