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MODERN information technology has led to poor communication between couples,  says a Bridgetown magistrate.It was because, explained Magistrate Christopher Birch, couples now Tweet, Facebook and BBM instead  of holding actual conversations with  each other.“We are now tweeting. We are now ‘facebooking’. We know how to send emails but we don’t know how to reach out physically,” Birch said.“We can send messages via Blackberry but not one message contains those three words that set us apart from the animals.”The magistrate was speaking as he dealt with a couple, one half of which brought an application for a protection order against the other, in the Bridgetown Traffic Court last Friday.One of the accusations was that the woman caught her husband investigating her Facebook friends. Another was that he sent her messages on her Blackberry demanding  to know where she was and with whom.The husband conceded he spent much of his time on his computer but said it was because his wife ignored him and spent most of her time with her girlfriends.After letting the couple get their grievances off their chests, Birch noted: “In all the protection orders, I was wondering how long it would be before Facebook would become an issue. “Facebook at its best,” said Birch, “is a way  to stay in contact  with friends.“At its best, it’s a way to meet people. At its worst, it has become a weapon for married couples and other couples to check up on each other.”The magistrate mused that in moving into a digital world, where information could be sent and received at the touch of a button or click of a mouse, it would appear that people have forgotten how to be human.“We are all technology and no heart. That is the problem ultimately,”  he said, adding that  the modern ways  of communicating had led to “modern isolation”.“Real isn’t Blackberry; real isn’t Facebook; real isn’t Twitter; real isn’t Myspace. Real does not come with dotcom attached.“Real is looking across the three or four inches  of pillow and remembering why you are wearing each other’s wedding bands,” Birch told the couple. (HLE)

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