In today's digital age, where smartphones and social networks have become integral parts of our daily lives, it's no surprise that young people are increasingly turning to the virtual realm to seek love and connection. However, according to Rolando Díaz Loving, an academic at the Faculty of Psychology of the UNAM, this surge in digital romance is giving rise to relationships that are often unstable and non-functional.
During a recent talk titled Love and Lovelessness in Social Networks, as part of the Cycle of New Dialogues organized by the General Directorates of Dissemination of Humanities and Dissemination of Science at UNAM. In the talk, Loving shared his insights into the world of virtual relationships. He pointed out that while some may see these connections as convenient and disposable, they frequently lead to more disappointments than pleasures, with episodes of depression and even suicide attempts becoming all too common.
At the heart of this issue lies the fact that human beings have an innate need for attachment and protection. In the digital age, this fundamental need is being channeled through communication devices rather than direct, personal interactions. Díaz Loving emphasized this point, saying, “We have an artifact or mobile device through which people can put a phrase and start receiving popcorn or little hearts. What does it mean when I put a photograph and someone puts a little heart? It means that the photo is excellent, or I look attractive, or they want to start a relationship.”
However, the illusion of connection that these virtual tokens create often falls short of fulfilling the more profound need for genuine affection, tenderness, and attention. Many people mistakenly believe that they can find this emotional fulfillment in the vast space of social networks.
Díaz Loving went on to highlight the negative effects of spending excessive time on social media and dating apps. These include reduced self-control, heightened states of anger, and increased anxiety levels. It's a stark reminder that what seems like harmless scrolling and swiping can have profound consequences on our mental well-being.
Moreover, the virtual world is not immune to real-world dangers. Díaz Loving cautioned that individuals who engage extensively in virtual relationships may find themselves susceptible to depression, harassment, violence, and even identity theft. The anonymity that online platforms provide can lead to unfortunate situations where individuals are exposed to harm without recourse.
Given the vast amount of information circulating on social networks without restrictions, it becomes imperative to consider mechanisms to establish limits. This may involve platform regulations or legislation to safeguard users from the potential dangers of the digital world.
In conclusion, while digital devices and social networks have undoubtedly revolutionized the way we connect with others, it is crucial to approach virtual love and relationships with caution. The allure of likes, comments, and virtual gestures may seem appealing, but they should never substitute for the genuine human connections that offer love, support, and protection in the real world. As we navigate this brave new world of digital relationships, it's essential to prioritize our mental health and well-being and seek genuine connections that go beyond the confines of our screens.