There has long been a stereotype of long distance relationships not working out because of a lack of closeness and communication between the couple. There is truth to this sentiment, as people who have gone off to college or moved somewhere can attest to. However, since the beginning of the digital age, technology companies have released gadgets that they say can solve those long distance relationship issues. The question is whether the technology actually works to bring people together or if it only acts as a poor substitute for the real thing.
Some long distance technologies have entered the public lexicon, such as Skype. The Kissenger, a less well known and newer relationship technology, is a robot that plugs into Skype. Basically, it’s a little ball on a stand with foam lips. If you or your partner kisses the foam lips, the corresponding Kissenger will mold into the shape of the other person’s lips, simulating a kiss.
Along these lines, there is also a device called Pillow Talk; it consists of a pillow and ring sensor. When people go to bed wearing the ring sensor their partners pillow will light up, telling them that their significant other is laying down to sleep. All of these technologies make claims that they will bring a person closer to their significant other. Some of the technologies like Skype seem to work, but the others seem like they could be strange gimmicks.
“I think that technology like Skype will help people feel closer to each other, even when they are far apart,” said Christina Lally, a Communications Sciences and Disorders major at Florida State University. “Also, it could all depend on what you want to use. My brothers are in the military and Skype is what we use to talk. It helps to keep us close. I think that technology like the Kissenger and pillows are just a company’s ways of trying to make money. I would never use them.”
Skype is the most well known long distance technology currently available to the public because of it’s accessibility. There are plenty of people who agree that Skype has helped them feel closer to their long distance partner and kept the relationship going.
“I have a boyfriend in Pensacola, so we have a long distance relationship,” said Heather Edenfield, a Communications Sciences and Disorders major at Florida State University. “We talk on Skype, text, and call each other all the time and I definitely think it helps keep us closer together.”
Others are not as optimistic about whether the long distance technology could actually help them feel closer to others.
“I think that even though it could be helpful, it would only work for a certain amount of time,” said Aliah Smith, a Biochemistry major at Florida State University. “After awhile it makes the relationship impersonal and it’s a substitution for a real relationship.”
As the digital age continues to expand, people have become more and more connected to others and the world has essentially shrunk, allowing long distance relationships to become more common.
“I think long distance relationships are going to become even more common as time goes on,” said Christina. “More people are traveling and seeking careers outside the home.”
As this expansion continues and more technology continues to be released it will be interesting to see whether it will actually help relationships. At this point, with how fast technology evolves, it is too soon to tell for sure what will happen.