Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

Cyberlove Isn’t Very Loving

In Uncategorized on September 2, 2010 at 10:15 am

written by Swag  

Keith Williams construction mural, detail

Image by gwen via Flickr

Technology is killing our relationships. Whatever happened to the days of love letters and phone calls? Now, a quick text suffices as a form of communication and “I LUV U” is considered affectionate. OK, I am exaggerating quite a bit but my statement still stands: TECHNOLOGY is killing our relationships. Unfortunately, (or fortunately depending on you take) there is no substitute for sitting down and talking to someone face-to-face. You don’t get the same quality of content as you would if you were in person. For me there is something very satisfying about being able to look in my girlfriend’s eyes and a soft kiss on the cheek says more than I ever could on the phone. I can’t hate technology, seeing as how I was a computer science major in college but there are some very real ways it may be screwing with how we all perceive our relationships. 

eHarmony – Ah the myth of eHarmony. What’s their claim to fame, something about creating more marriages/relationships/connections than any other dating site? The point of a dating site is not create or maintain a relationship. It’s to create the possibility of one. A dating site allows people to meet other people who share their same values. And for those people  who have met great partners through eHarmony (my sister is in this boat), then more power to you. No discrimination, but this isn’t for you. This is for the people who aren’t on eHarmony but see the commercials everyday. I hope you haven’t been fooled. While you should be looking to meet people who are compatible with you, this doesn’t guarantee a perfect relationship. Nothing does. All relationships take time and effort to maintain. I’m not knocking eHarmony, I’m only hoping to dampen the expectation that eHarmony equals instant love when it only increases your opportunities to create love. 

 

Text Messages – The dreaded text message. There are so many things wrong with trying to communicate through this medium. Have you ever talked to someone in person and gotten angry with something they said. They feel they there was nothing wrong with their words but you rebuke them with: “It’s not what you said, but how you said it.” Changing the pitch and intonation of you delivery changes the underlying meaning. Sarcasm works on this exact principle. 

Text messages do not have this quality. They don’t allow you to convey feeling and intonation. The only thing you can do to truly change the tone of a text message is TYPE IN ALL CAPS. Even then, you can’t be 100% sure whether someone will think you are surprised about something or yelling at them. Every meaning we derive from text messages comes primarily from our own interpretation, so try not exaggerate the meaning of a text message. It’s just letters on a screen after all. 

 

Cell Phones – “But I texted you like four hours ago.” I know I am guilty of assuming that an instant message implicitly means an instant response. How many times have you texted someone and expected them to respond immediately? You hit send and two minutes go by.  Time begins to drag like honey down the side of that plastic Sue Bee Honey Bear. You know they got your message. It’s instant for crying out loud. Why won’t they text you back? Maybe…just maybe….they are busy. 

The same goes for calling people. More and more people are forgoing land lines for cell phones that they can carry at all times. I know I have taken this for granted and have caught myself expecting to reach my girlfriend at a moments notice. If she doesn’t pick up then I should definitely be getting a phone call in the next few minutes, right? Not at all, and the fact that I believe this sometimes makes me kinda self-centered. If I’m not a controlling person then why should I expect her to jump at my beck and literal call. 

  

Kicking Television

Image by dhammza via Flickr

Television – Particularly reality television. Disclaimer: I also watch reality television and am not condemning all it’s viewers because it does not affect everyone the same way. Some of us, however, watch so much reality television that we begin to look at our own lives like television shows. This is why we get so flustered when our instant communication isn’t received the way we expected.  Instead of being realistic with our reasoning, we spin imaginative webs of deceit and spiteful plots. We decide that if people aren’t actively working to please us (translation – awaiting our every request) then they must be out to hurt us. We place ourselves at the center of their world and assume we are always on their mind. This is usually not the case, but we accuse and blame people, wielding no evidence but what we created in our own minds to support our fears. 

When looking for some tech love remember that A) a text message may not be enough to satisfy your partner’s desire to communicate with you. B) That pause between their response and your original call or text probably isn’t because they want to make you suffer. C) Real life is better than reality television and even though you can meet people on the internet, the first date will always happen in person. D) Technology is a tool and it shouldn’t replace what has worked for millennia: Speaking to someone face-to-face. 

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  1. I’ve tried to explain to people about the texting thing but nobody listens. It’s so much better to hear an actual voice and being able to tell a person’s tone instead of just reading words all day.

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