Relationships are the foundation of society. Without relationships, societal breakdowns occur, producing more modern-day hermits. Even the most antisocial individuals need relationships in order to thrive, let alone survive.
Relationships usually connote two or more people banding together to pursue a common goal or aspiration. The Bible delves on the second of all relationships, namely, the connection between a man and his wife. And yet, this is not the birth of relationships as we know it.
Antedating mating were relationships between man and God as well as humanity and the inanimate objects at the species’ disposal. Although relationships normally involve two or more breathing beings, both prehistoric and modern humans have demonstrated a connection with inanimate objects such as spears or guns–as a relationship by itself. Thus, it could be said that even loners have relationships with their own loneliness or their deep sense of individuality.
Thus, even inanimate objects can figure in relationships even though these connections are truly a one-way street. This makes it possible for relationships to thrive even if there’s only one self-aware being involved such as an Aibo dog and its master. At the same time, people who have relationships with their creator, for instance, do not expect reciprocation in the physical sense.
Still, they often value these relationships as the most important of all the relationships that exist. To illustrate, the doctrine of Christianity creates a stark difference between human relationships and that special relationship with the deity. The latter supposedly comes before any other relationships out there.
This belief is embedded in Jesus Christ reducing the long-revered Ten Commandments into two. That is loving God as best as you can and secondly, love your neighbor as yourself. Many Christians believe that the cross is a symbol of these two very important relationships. The line going up represents you-God and the horizontal line, you-neighbor relationships.
Obviously, the Bible itself puts a great premium on relationships just as much as psychology and sociology books do. Even businessmen and businesswomen are keen on building relationships. Real estate and insurance salespersons need to establish relationships in order to make their sales quotas.
Successful leaders particularly politicians need to establish meaningful relationships in order to achieve their goals both personally and career-wise. Solid relationships between political parties and their constituents are essential to winning the elections. This is why the politician who knocks on doors, personally hands out campaign pamphlets, and appears at most community gatherings–is usually the one who gets the most votes.
Original Baywatch Star Pamela Anderson was among the first celebrities to voice out just how social media could denigrate the importance of building relationships out in the open. The argument is that doing everything online to court a love interest, set updates or even make friends militate against the normal way of establishing relationships. However, when you come to think of it, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have sped up the means to create a web of relationships.
Even speed dating cannot compare with the speed at which social media as a whole can fabricate relationships in a matter of seconds. People just have to like your tweet and lo and behold, relationships are born almost instantaneously. Together with the mass media, social networks are the biggest harbingers of new relationships.
Whether these relationships last or are short-lived, will have to be the subject of future research. Critics are prone to questioning the quality of such relationships. Still, many of these relationships all over the world have established strong bonds that result in marriages, unbreakable friendships and unexpected reunions.
In the classic movie Pretty Woman, the character of Richard Gere claims to be an expert at creating impossible relationships. The worldwide Web does the same, only on a grander scale. It’s sad, even tragic when relationships are established between terrorist networks and either their sleeper cells or future followers.
However, the world celebrates when relationships over the information superhighway are established over, say, a major tragedy like the Orlando Massacre or the recent floods in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico. These relationships are borne out of shared suffering as well as responsibility for the homes and lives that are lost. People complain that the major TV networks are becoming increasingly intrusive with personal lives.
Nevertheless, the mass media are a necessary evil in the dissemination of information as well as the daily practice of democracy worldwide. TV, radio, and newspapers coupled with social media are responsible for the wholesale establishment of relationships. That a precise tally of these relationships is next to impossible underscores the major importance of electronic communications that humans seem to have alternating love-hate relationships with.