Among the LOLs, texts and Facebook posts, genuine and interpersonal conversation can get lost in a smartphone's digital abyss. According to A. Barbour, author of "Louder Than Words: Nonverbal Communication," only seven percent of communication is based on the written or verbal word. The remaining 93 percent is based on non-verbal cues like body language and tone. How can young couples not let meaningful communication, full of facial expressions and intonation, die?
Anyone can hide behind an emoticon or Instagram filter, but video communication exposes the true self. Long-distance couples can share a more genuine, personalised side that inherently fosters intimate communication through video apps like Vine. Skype and FaceTime also provide more interpersonal communication other than texting and phoning.
If it's your girlfriend's birthday on Facebook, you know better than to celebrate by just posting "happy bday" on her timeline. Order birthday flowers at FTD.com and surprise your loved one with a bouquet of red roses at work. Any gesture that shows effort comes across as much more genuine and heart felt. Similarly, make sure you're maintaining a healthy balance of in-person and digital communication with your special significant other. Everyday texting may be more convenient, but don't be afraid to be spontaneously romantic and write a handwritten letter or stop at her doorstep unexpectedly with a sweet dessert.
Don't Be a Coward
When the news broke that Russell Brand filed divorce from Katy Perry via text message, who didn't shame the celebrity for being so distasteful and selfish? Breaking up with a loved over a distance is disrespectful and arguing through text messages only exacerbates the problem. Even if you're upset with someone or scared to confront a person face-to-face, resorting to email, Facebook messaging or texting is cowardly. Smartphones and Internet chats are supposed to enhance how we communicate — not demean it.
Turn Off Your Phone
Checking Facebook, sending a text message, or Instagramming a picture is disruptive and interrupts moments shared between a couple. If you're going to spend personal time with a loved one, ditch the phone. Your Facebook notifications, Instagram likes, text messages and emails will still be there for you when you're alone. Treat your relationships like a movie theater and turn off your phone, respectfully. Engage in a real life conversation and take a break from the constant bombardment of media. Are you addicted? Head to natural, reception-less environments to make it impossible to use your phone. Hiking, snorkelling, or rock climbing are fun dates, and phones have no place in the water or on the mountain.