Sunday, January 22, 2012

Digital Media and Break Ups

To Ms. Ilana Gershon:

While reading “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover: Media Ideologies and Idioms of Practice”, I could not help but to nod my head in agreement to some of the points you made. The ways in which people communicate and the means by which they communicate definitely make a difference to how individuals perceive the contents of a message. Before you wrote this article, I had often wondered what others thought about when their significant other ended their relationship by using a digital media source, such as email, text messaging or instant messaging. I would much rather prefer face-to-face interaction because it is more personal and more intimate. I like seeing reactions and I would want them to see my reaction so they can witness how I feel about their decision.

When I think of emailing, texting, etc., I often think of messages that are exchanged between employers, professors and, sometimes, friends who you do not see or speak to very often. It is not a medium that I would choose to have such a personal conversation such as breaking up with someone. However, after reading some of the examples given where instant messaging was the preferred choice for breaking up, I found it strikingly interesting and found myself agreeing with the points made, primarily because I had never took the time to think about how instant messaging can make break-ups easier for the "dumper". In the example, the person breaking up via instant messaging felt that it was appropriate because she did not have to physically see the reaction of the person she was breaking up with, which made it easier for her to do it without feeling guilty about her decision. If someone broke up with me via instant messaging, I would definitely cut off communication with that person because I think that is such an informal way to relay such a personal message. It gives me the impression that they do not care, or possibly have not really cared about you for a while. Another example you gave was of Halle and her boyfriend using text messages primarily for jokes until one day, he sent her a text about breaking up. 

It caught her off guard because they used text messages for jokes and she didn’t know whether to take him seriously or not. With that said, I definitely agree that it depends on what a person thinks about the source of the message because that can change how they take in the information being presented to them and it is important that people understand what others think of the medium used to communicate, so there won’t be any misunderstandings.


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