In Adam Briggle’s Love on the internet: a framework for understanding Eros online, he develops a framework to aid in understanding and evaluating love online. According to his findings, the factors that comprise online love are diverse and complex.
Digital Eros: A communication major’s guide to online love
Feelings + Internet mediation + Evaluation
I am no love expert nor do I claim to be one. However, learning about different communication theories has given me an insight into how and why people interact. Of course, these theories are not perfect.
They can only explain and simplify communication practices that already exist. Yet, they can give a wonderful insight into people’s reasons and decisions for their communication practices. With this in mind, I will incorporate them within this guide with Adam Briggle’s paper as the basis.
Adam Briggle’s framework consists of 3 variables: the feelings of those involved, the mediating technology, and their evaluation of each other. The following explains these overlapping variables further in a simplified way.
Feelings: They love me…maybe?
Tip #1: Be clear and upfront with your feelings and intentions when showing interest in someone. Even if you are not, it will be obvious through your interactions with them.
If not now, maybe they just never told you. Nowadays, messages are not only sent through text and calls. You can send a message through other online interactions unintentionally. How often you chat with one another, as well as the duration between receiving a message and reading it can be indicators of interest.
Internet mediation: What app/site to be on?
Tip #2: Get off freedom walls, video games, and Omegle if you are searching for love online. They are not good mediators since they do not give a suitable platform for mingling singles to assess each other for desirable partner traits.
Although it is still possible to meet someone through these channels, there is a huge chance that they may not pass your evaluation, you might not pass theirs, or they are just trolling.
The right channel (in this case, the internet mediator) can increase your chances of meeting your online partner in person and allow for a lasting relationship. For example, if someone thinks facial expressions are important to communicate interest then they would choose apps and sites that allow them to see someone’s face in real-time.
Hence, use apps and sites that suit your preference and values to have a better chance. You might also find people with the same preferences and values that would make evaluation easier for you.
A given technology “is more suitable for certain activities and more readily supports certain values while rendering other activities and values more difficult to realize” (Friedman et al., 2006, p. 351).Adam Briggle (Love on the internet: a framework for understanding Eros online, p. 220)
Evaluation: A two-way street
Tip #3: How well you communicate your intentions and interest could either positively or negatively affect their evaluation of you. Here, evaluation covers expectations, future plans, and core values, among others.
The beauty of the internet is that you can get creative with the way you communicate. This allows people to adopt different styles of communication as well as interpret messages differently. Like with how people would send links, GIFs, and memes in place of actual words. Use this to your advantage and maybe you are just a GIF away from finding out similar interests.
I like to think of evaluation as a continuous variable. People never stop gauging their compatibility with their partners. There might be an action or a situation that would just break the camel’s back which can end a romance sourly. The brokenhearted end up confiding to their friends, “I love him/her but…” Hence, I advise that honesty and being upfront about yourself be first and foremost in the budding stages of finding romance online.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know these already
For most people, these are common sense and there may be some variables not included here. Perhaps, you find this list of variables too general to even consider as a guide.
However, I want to point out that online romance may be dependent on how people consider and combine the variables listed here. Again, online love is diverse and complex. The writer himself has considered all these.
“My framework is designed to accommodate any “thick” theory of love in later applications. To construct the framework on any one conception of love would bias it from the start and blind us to considerations that would only be apparent or meaningful from the perspective of other theories.”Adam Briggle (Love on the internet: a framework for understanding Eros online, p. 221)
Do not knock it until you have tried it! Maybe you will find that this guide works for you. If not, at least you shot your shot.
All the way from Mindanao, Reimeline is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Arts at UP Mindanao with hopes to be an accomplished writer one day. She is mainly a homebody who owns three pet cats and likes to crochet, read stories, play online games, and scroll the internet when she is not writing.