According to an article published by Dr. Tamara Knapp-Grosz, 90 percent of long distance relationships will end within the first year. Based on those numbers, if you are in a long distance relationship, the chances of your relationship lasting longer than 12 months is about the same as you getting into Princeton. While the numbers may be no more than a statistical reference, the fact remains that long distance relationships more often break a relationship than make them stronger.
Look how far we have come today though and you realize that 90 percent is just a number. Technology and human innovation has made us smarter, improved the quality of life and has enabled us to understand far more than we ever imagined. Not only has technology helped improve these aspects of our lives, but it has also helped improve relationships, especially long distance. Today, no ‘long distance survival package’ is complete without a webcam, an unlimited texting plan and Facebook.
The Global Reach
First used in 1991, the webcam is one of the most widely used communication tools today. Thanks to low costs and improved features such as instant messaging and video conferencing, couples no longer have to go months at a time without seeing each other. Nothing will ever replace being with someone in-person, but technology has made it easier to stay in touch with friends and family.
Additionally, according to TeleGeography, since its initial release in 2003, Skype is now the largest provider of cross-border voice communications in the world. With over 521 million total Skype accounts worldwide, Skype helps couples span continents and time zones. With the help of tools like Skype, you no longer have to hop on an airplane to see loved ones. What may be a 10 hour flight is now just a few clicks away.
Facebook is also helping couples stay ‘connected’ with each others lives by providing a platform for them to stay updated. Through Facebook wall posts and photo walls, couples can message and keep up with each other in a convenient way. It is important, whether you’re staying in touch with a loved one or you’re jumping on to check the status of a Skyped poker tournament, that these methods of connection are open to you. Long distance calling plans are cheaper than ever, thanks to VOiP. To learn more about VOiP, you can read VOiP reviews.
Does This Increase The Number of Long Distance Relationships?
As technology continues to make communicating with others easier, the number of couples engaged in a long distance relationship is bound to increase. A great example of this are college students who are in a long distance relationship. Based on studies done by Dr. Gregory Guldner, 20%-40% of college relationships are long distance with that number increasing. While this can be attributed in part to high school relationships carrying over into the first-year of college, much of it has to do with couples accepting that there is a chance they can make it. The percent chance may be low, but thanks to an ever growing spectrum of technology, long-distance relationships are becoming a realistic option.
Furthermore, thanks to technology, long distance doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a death sentence for your relationships. In fact, statistics show that being away from your partner may not be a bad thing. For many of us, both genetically and instinctively, we want to be at the side of our partner when possible. Based on a study by The Center for the Study of Long Distance Relationships, proximal relationships versus long distance ones share very similar trends as far as breaking up during the first year. While the fact remains that absence of ones partner for an extended period of time decreases the quality of a relationship, what doesn’t work in one relationship, might not necessarily apply to another.
As technology continues to improve, long distance relationships will continue to benefit. Skype for example recently announced a partnership with LG and Panasonic which will allow consumers to use Skype via their television. Not only will users be able to communicate through their televisions, but in high-definition quality. Additionally, it has been rumored that 2-way video chatting through your phone may soon be making its way into the US market.
While technology that allows us to teleport anywhere we want is far from possible, little improvements like those mentioned will help bridge the distance and hopefully help a few more couples ‘make it.’
Photo by Cynthia Lou