COVID-19 physical distancing measures appear to be hastening online relationships, according to a guest column by Jen Kirsch in the Toronto Star. The author quotes U of G professor emeritus Serge Desmarais.

Kirsch writes there is a higher level of intensity to online romantic conversations and things may be moving too fast for some. In the column, Desmarais, professor emeritus in psychology, said connections have escalated during the pandemic.

“In times of challenges, as we have right now, we are social animals, and we seek the attention and presence of others,” he said, adding that social norms can be abandoned in times of crisis.

“What’s happening with online circumstances is people seem to be jumping and not abiding by the regular process in this emotional context.”

Desmarais studies close relationships, sexuality and the use of social media.