Thursday, February 15, 2007

Online meet-ups and break-ups!

Whatever you think of Valentine's day, you have to admit it has become a marketing bonanza for sellers of chocolates, roses and assorted gifts; not to mention the sold out restaurants and entertainment outlets.

Like everything else in our lives, online communication has also been put to use, or even abuse, and hundreds of websites attempt to cash in on the occasion by selling the aforementioned items, or charging for 'valentine introductions', particularly social networks and matchmaking services.

Arabic sites have got in on the act, with Maktoob launching a valentine promotion every year, online matrimony services like Bint Al Halal or Qiran highlighting the occasion, in spite of the fact that they have a somewhat Islamic character to them and there's very little about Valentine that is Islamic!

There are, of course, Arabic valentine cards which will have been flying around the web throughout last week into mailboxes of young Arabians, especially in the Gulf among nationals who still face difficulties in communicating outside the virtual world.

But here's the most interesting development: text and voice chatting to meet, date and even breakup.Technology provides such a convenience for those who don't have the courage or access to speak face to face. Online is aided by mobile in this new era of digital relationships.

Relationships can begin and end online, with exchange of usually fake photos and images. One of the hottest topics of female-targeted sites and forums is the growing adoption of online to end relationships.

As you would expect, it's one of the hot mail-bashing topics. What's new about that? Men and women usually end a relationship by phone, so why is sending a text message or email so different!

An October survey commissioned by Samsung Telecommunications America reported that about 11 percent of Americans say breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend via text message is okay.

The study goes on to say that psychologists are concerned that avoiding confrontation may not be a good idea for the person delivering the message or for the receiver. The ability to face up to things is an integral part of maturing.

People grow when they face tricky or uncomfortable situations. It also shows a lack of respect for the other party, which can be quite damaging to that person's perception of his/her self image.

Technology is also used in the post-relationship phase, to seek revenge! Teenagers in the US are reporting that instant messaging and texting is used to harass ex-boyfriends and girlfriends and even worse things happen; such as the upload of embarrassing pictures, videos and messages on social networking sites and blogs!

So, there are now 'breakup help sites' to get you through the tough times, and ensure you don't go crazy! This is al becoming too silly, but it's part of the digital landscape we live in. Don't be surprised if your children or younger siblings are already 'e-valentining'. Soon, they'll be e-breaking up too!


At 2:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Mr. Zeid,
I very much agree with what you've said.I've been through all what you described on one of the websites. The experience tore me apart and changed me. Now, I no longer believe these sites can be of any good.

At 10:42 PM , Blogger maha said...

well,as we can see relationships have become more shallow to the extend that one is not really involved & has the willing to quit without much remorse or bothering oneself to explain or hear from the other part!!!!I wonder why we pity the deaf or mute people?!


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