Can Virtual Reality Enhance Romance and Relationships?
It’s not easy being single in today’s world. Finding your soulmate on Tinder seems about as likely as winning the lottery, and although we’re more connected than ever, we’re also lonelier than ever. Our relationships—both romantic and platonic—can be the most satisfying aspects of our lives. But is it harder to form these deep relationships these days? In many ways, yes. Our increasing dependency on tech has made us lose some of our ability to connect and communicate, despite the fact that we’re now connected 24/7. But if tech got us into this state, can it also help us get out? Can virtual reality help us to make more meaningful connections?
Rise of Social Media and Tech are Impacting Future Generation
There’s no denying it—social media and technology have changed our lives permanently, and those changes are impacting future generations. Many young people have no idea how to communicate face to face or even over the telephone in different settings, because they have been able to chat over texts and social media, in snippets that reduce real connection.
Because of this, many young adults today are starting to learn real communication skills later than previous generations did. They’re having to learn from scratch how to communicate in a business setting, how to make friendships that last, and how to find love in a world that can be very superficial and fragmented.
VR as an Educational Communication Tool
VR is becoming more and more popular as the technology improves and becomes more engaging. It has a history of helping to treat emotional and mental health problems like PTSD and acting as a training tool. With the number of different applications for VR, it’s possible that the technology could help to heal some of the communication issues we face as a society by becoming an educational tool.
Through VR applications, people could learn how to create meaningful connections, empathize, and enhance social interactions. VR can teach people to create better connections by putting them in someone else’s shoes—allowing them to experience something new and build connection and empathy. That immersive experience is far more powerful than watching a movie or reading someone else’s story. It’s that empathy that can build strong relationships and connections.
Understanding our Differences and Unique Cultures Can Create Connection
Each year, the world becomes more connected, and immigration changes the makeup of countries all over the world. In the United States, for instance, 14% of the population was foreign-born in 2016, up from 5% in 1965. Increased globalization has a lot of benefit, but many people have no idea how to interact with people from other cultures and perspectives. This can create tension and make meaningful relationships and romance difficult.
As the United States becomes more and more diverse, it is important for people to think about how they can communicate more effectively by understanding and valuing one another’s differences. VR could be an important tool in helping us to understand one another by using immersion. Those experiences could answer a lot of questions and help people open their mind to other people and cultures.
Virtual Reality Can Affect Romantic Attraction
So can VR make it easier to form a romantic relationship in this day and age? Because it provides an immersive experience in contrast to dating apps that focus on text-based communications, it does offer a richer experience and enhanced potential for connection. That said, what we know about how virtual reality can affect romantic attraction is still limited. There’s a lot to learn, but there’s a lot of potential for virtual reality to set the stage for romance—which could change how we date and fall in love in future years.
Creating Stronger Relationships
One thing has become clear in the last few years: our human connections need to be repaired. It’s not enough to text and comment. We have to be able to really empathize with others and understand their point of view. Our understanding of what makes a strong relationship, combined with tools like VR, could be a big part of the solution, helping us to become more fulfilled and connected throughout our lives.