Love

Is Twitter ruining your relationship?

How social is 'social' media making us?

In an age where 140-character tweets has replaced talking on the telephone, and where social lives are run via Facebook, emails and texts, it’s easy to admit that our attention spans are shrinking. With all these modern distractions, we are suddenly incapable of focusing on just one thing for more than 10 minutes. After all, there are exes to Face-stalk, crushes to tweet and links to celeb gossip to share. So how the hell are we supposed to keep a relationship going at the same time? A recent survey shows that Twitter users are the worst. Just as with their 140-character musings, Twitter users seem to end up in relationships that are bite-size. I don’t know about you, but that scares me slightly. Er, let me re-introduce myself: Hi, my name is Tiffany, and I’m a Twitter addict. I’m very willing to admit that my attention span has wavered slightly in the past year. It’s true that I can’t just sit on the sofa and read a book – oh no, I have to sit on the sofa, tweet, check what friends are doing on Facebook, order pizza via the iPhone app AND download music via iTunes. ALL AT THE SAME TIME. So, (deep breath now) how the hell and I suppose to have enough attention span to warrant a relationship? The current MOTM (man of the moment) detests Twitter. In fact, he is so anti-anything-social-networking-related, that he is able to pull a tantrum worthy of an Oscar nomination should Twitter ever make an appearance in our relationship. Take the following for example: Last week, I was happily getting ready for a night out. Not knowing what shoes to wear I TwitPic’d a photo of my two fave pairs, asking my followers to help me decide. MOTM was so horrified when he realised that I had spent the past 20 minutes agonising over my fashion choice with 20,000 virtual online friends, that he swiftly turned on his (already clad) heels and stormed out. It was our first big fight for months. That immediately got me thinking: whilst Twitter was helping me with my fashion dilemma, could it also have started to hack away at my relationship? Twitter has also been responsible for the demise of my best friend’s dating spree. Having been single for years, she decided to start dating some of the men she had met via Twitter. Just last week, I asked her how it was all going only to have her reply with a telltale grimace. “I only like the 140-character version of him,” she said. It appears that her most recent Twitter date, complete with his hilarious, 140-character observations via Twitter, was not so capable when it came to having full-on, face-to-face conversations. “It was as though his personality completely disappeared once he came out from behind his Twitter musings” she admitted. “Once I met him in the flesh, I realised that anything he said past 140 characters was just dull, dull, dull. I might try Facebook dating next – at least you don’t have a limit on the wording there.” And there’s still more Twitter dangers to come, as I found out only the other day. One of my fellow tweeters constantly tweets about the great things her man has done for her (boat trips, surprise flowers, a weekend trip away… you get the picture). I, in return, look over at my MOTM and lament the fact that the nicest thing he’s done for me in the past week is handed me his socks to wash. Where’s MY weekend extravaganza away? What about MY roses? Which got me thinking: perhaps it really is true that Twitter is ruining our relationships. Do we no longer have the concentration span to commit to a long-length relationship? Do we need the constant approval from our 1200 followers before we make any decision in our lives? Do our constant Twitter comparisons mean we are never allowing ourselves to be truly happy? I came to the following conclusion: maybe sometimes, we just need to drop the #sarcastichashtags and focus on the flesh-and-blood lovers in our lives instead. How Twitter/Facebook/email-addicted are you? Has your relationship suffered because of your constant check-ins and status updates?