Thursday, January 19, 2012

Love in a High Tech World

I have spent the last two weekends nursing my 16 year old cousin back to emotional
health: listening to her cry over losing her first love, attempting to cheer her up after
he broke up with her via TEXT MESSAGE.  It has been heart breaking.  Her first high
school sweetheart, the boy who brought her to her first formal dance, the guy she
will remember sharing so many milestones with: crushed her heart by sending her a
message through his phone.
This, my friends, is a new generation.  My young cousins know very little about
verbal communication, they are inexperienced when it comes to deep, heart to heart
talks.  In today's society, when a boy wants to ask you to prom, he simply shoots you a 
text.  Prospective couples IM each other to discuss their new relationship and then 
shout their love from the rooftops by changing their Facebook status.  Arguments take 
place over cellphones using abbreviated words like OMG and sad face emoticons.  What, 
I find myself wondering, will this generation do when they have to settle down and 
get married and fight the good fight?
I realize this post makes me sound terribly old and out of touch: I don't care.  I'm an
old fashioned girl with old fashioned values.  When my high school love asked me to prom,
he took me out on a balcony at a Counting Crows concert and whispered sweet love into
my ear.  When Shawn and I have an argument, we speak to each other either in person
or over the phone, not through short hand typing or Facebook statuses like "Olivia is
in a relationship and its complicated".  In an effort to become more connected and mobile,
the technology of this world seems to have distanced us from each other more than ever.
It's TOO easy to sit behind a screen and express yourself rather than look a person in the
eye and tell them what's really on your heart, to open up your soul and admit that you
made a mistake.  How can the youth of the world learn to fully express themselves if
they spend most of their time immersed in social media?  
My cousin and her young boyfriend never got to say proper goodbyes, they didn't get to
pay homage to the love they shared and wish each luck and love for the future.  They
didn't acknowledge their mistakes or celebrate their successes.  In one short message, a
year long love story ended with no closure.  What will the divorce rate be if this type
of behavior continues?  It's a sad reality of a world that has gone high tech and I, for one,
wish it would just go away.  Drop your smart phones, interact with those around you,
and verbalize your feelings rather than generating them electronically.
We owe that to each other.

I also wanted to announce the winner of the Very Hungry Giveaway:
Per, Comment #7

Mandy from A Sorta Fairytale
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Anonymous said...

I could not agree more with you Olivia. Old fashioned maybe but I'd prefer face to face or written words with a purple ink instead of Text messages and Facebook mood. Where is the love in this High-Tech world??

Breaks-up are never easy but when done by text or voice-mail, I think it makes it even more difficult.

Let's try to pass it in to our children............

Anonymous said...

This is so so true. Sad, but true. My daughter is almost 6 ... and we are already dreading her future days of teenage-hood will be like with new technology by then.

deanna@delirious-rhapsody said...

so, so true. i had my first 'old' moment last year when peppy's 12 year old sister spend the weekend with us. she was talking about how sexy certain guys in her class were, and she showed me some of her friends on facebook. they looked 12, going on 30. it was so sad.

Little Gray Pixel said...

I was shocked at how plugged in my teenage cousins were when we visited them in the Midwest. They were constantly plucking away at their phones, and later I checked Facebook and saw that they "checked in" with us at the restaurant we were at and said they were having a great time. Um, thanks? But maybe tell me that you're having a good time instead of Facebook.

Caitlin said...

I do agree that technology kind of means more transient communication, but I don't think it's anything different than previous eras at least in terms of breaking up. When I was younger (before email and things) it was always considered rude to break up over the phone or through a friend...cowards are always going to be cowards no matter what! hehe. And I don't know how old your cousins are, but I was not great at verbal communication (or comfortable with heart-to-heart talks) until I was pretty old. I don't think the proliferation of technology changes who we fundamentally are as people, I guess is what I'm saying.

And while there are a lot of negative aspects that go along with increased technology (and as sad as it is that people are plugged into machines 24/7, myself included) I think all in all the pros outweigh the cons. I also don't think it's really changing much of anything in terms of who we are as a society and I think older people always think younger ones are missing something that they found integral to growing up when in reality nothing has really changed. Anyway this is just my opinion, I love your writing as usual :)

arielle @ a beautiful journey. said...

i so agree! there are some great things about technology but often times i think the far outweigh the bad. especially for the younger generations. such a true post! hope all is well olivia :)

She Said... said...

amen! I totally agree with you. I am not someone who spends a whole lotta time on the internet (other than when I am at work) and would much have a relationship (romantic or otherwise) in person. Personal communication is so important to me. Plus there are so many miss communications that come across when you are relating via a tech device.

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