Press Room

Communication Scholars Available to Discuss Valentine’s Day in the Time of COVID-19

February 9, 2021
Experts Available
Relationships, Technology

Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Valentine’s Day is likely to feel different for many couples. The National Communication Association can put reporters in touch with leading scholars of interpersonal communication who can speak to the role that technology plays in nurturing both new and old relationships. These experts are well-equipped to address a variety of questions related to this topic including: 

  • Are people seeking different kinds of romantic partners because of the COVID-19 pandemic? 
  • Are relationships that started online during the COVID-19 pandemic likely to lead to long term relationships or marriage?
  • How are people in established relationships using technology to maintain their relationships? 
  • How can people in new relationships use technology to make Valentine’s Day special if they’re celebrating at a distance? 

These experts will also be featured on a special February 14 episode of Communication Matters: The NCA Podcast that will address how COVID-19 has influenced relationships and the important role that technology plays in fostering connections. 


Liesel Sharabi, Ph.D. 
Assistant Professor, Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University

Dr. Sharabi researches in the areas of interpersonal communication, communication technologies, and romantic relationships, with particular emphasis on how relationships initiate and develop on online platforms. Sharabi’s research has been featured in media outlets such as New York Magazine, Men’s Health, the BBC, and The Huffington Post.

Stephanie Tom Tong, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor, Department of Communication, Wayne State University

Dr. Tong is the Director of the Social Media and Relational Technologies (SMART) Labs at Wayne State, which investigate how technology affects how people make decisions about their relationships. Tong researches interpersonal communication and new media, in particular how relationships are initiated, maintained, and terminated using social media. 


To schedule an interview with any of these experts, please contact Grace Hébert at or 202-534-1104. 

About the National Communication Association

The National Communication Association (NCA) advances Communication as the discipline that studies all forms, modes, media, and consequences of communication through humanistic, social scientific, and aesthetic inquiry. NCA serves the scholars, teachers, and practitioners who are its members by enabling and supporting their professional interests in research and teaching. Dedicated to fostering and promoting free and ethical communication, NCA promotes the widespread appreciation of the importance of communication in public and private life, the application of competent communication to improve the quality of human life and relationships, and the use of knowledge about communication to solve human problems. NCA supports inclusiveness and diversity among our faculties, within our membership, in the workplace, and in the classroom; NCA supports and promotes policies that fairly encourage this diversity and inclusion. 

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