Boy meets girl. Boy texts girl over the course of a few weeks. Boy and girl become enamored with each other.
What a love story, right? According to an article in The Telegraph, it takes modern couples “224 tweets, 163 text messages, 70 Facebook messages, 37 emails and 30 phone calls to fall head over heels in love.”
The article also added that it takes couples above the age of 55 around 78 days to fall in love, whereas younger couples took around 24.
How is 24 days of sending text messages, tweets and Facebook messages enough to make a couple fall in love? According to the eHarmony website, there are six determining factors to know whether or not a person is experiencing love. The online dating site states, “Real love ebbs and flows in terms of interest, ease and feelings” as well as the fact that “real love is based on shared values and solid friendship.” How can there be a solid friendship after not even a month?
The infatuation stage of dating is often confused with love, and in this case, the study was either inaccurate or the participants did not recognize the difference between infatuation, love and lust.
Another component of this study that seems illogical is the assumption that both parties in relationships tweet, text, Facebook, email and make phone calls. Not every person communicates through each of these channels, so do these individuals simply not fall in love, according to this data? Additionally, are all of these technological ways of communicating messages of substance or more along the lines of “Hey, what’s up?”
It seems hard to believe that a couple would have 30 phone calls with substantial conversation within a 24-day time span unless they were a long-distance couple, which should have been noted in the study. Otherwise, it seems as though couples would have the opportunity for more face-to-face interaction, which was not mentioned in the study.
Does that mean that face-to-face communication is failing? Is that the general message behind this study? Over the past few years, it has been a constant debate whether or not society is becoming too reliant on technology as a means of communication. This study does not necessarily prove this point, but it does beg some serious questions.
The article pointed out that less than one in 10 couples write old-fashioned love letters but then acknowledges that this technology was not available throughout all generations of dating. It insinuated that relationships of the past took longer for love to form due to the speed of the courtship in general. With faster technology, it makes sense that results would come faster.
But let’s think about 24 days in the span of a college student’s life. Even with a 15-hour class load, students still find time to socialize. About three weekends exist in that time frame, and the ability to meet outside of class time during the week is one of the greatest perks of a college schedule. Even if the students involved in this equation have jobs, the chances that they could not meet up at least once over the course of three weeks are very slim.
Even if this study is accurate, and couples are falling in love this fast, there is still no need to rush. Technology is a fantastic gateway for a lot of aspects of society, but it can hinder face-to-face interactions. Take a minute to stop and smell the roses. Maybe you’ll fall in love with the person who gave them to you.