We share a cab ride with a stranger and when the guy strikes a conversation, we call him a creep and sometimes even clutch the pepper spray in our bags sure enough to use it if the guy so much as budges from his seat. However, after reaching home, we log on to that dating app we love so much and make small talks with another stranger who is typing at the other end. The screens between us makes all the difference. And so, we don’t need a pepper spray now. Not yet anyway.
More and more people are turning to online dating apps to find love. While, a lot of us are only looking for a companion on a boring weekend when all our friends have other plans. Some of us actually find love!
And then, we bore each other with snapshots of some good looking food. During the meal however, we tap tap tap away the time with eyes stuck on our cell phones chatting with another.
We come across so many people at work, at events, social gatherings, but we don’t make an effort to talk even when we want to because well, who does that? We like them, we admire their pictures on social media but we don’t tell them. We fear being called ‘weird’, ‘clingy’, ‘too friendly’ or something worse. There are so many people we are connected with on social media who like our pictures regularly and maybe even slide a comment or two, but when we see them in real life (IRL as people call it) we look the other way. Not weird at all…!!
After a breakup we are still Facebook comrades and all their information is laid down in front of us. We know where they are vacationing and with who and also what they’re eating! The not-so-long lost love has found a home in our twitter feed. We don’t miss seeing them… Social media doesn’t let us.. we see them virtually everyday! Where is the longing?
During their courtship, my parents wrote letters – long heartfelt handwritten letters to each other. They’d wait for the mail eagerly and patiently, 2-3 letters a month. And sometimes, the letters went missing in transit as well. Today, when a text isn’t responded to, we call each other and start an interrogation.
After 15 years of marriage, Mom was away for a year in another town for work and she’d call us several times everyday to tell us how much she missed us. One night however, she longed for Home a little more than usual and called my father, told him she missed him and started to cry. The next morning, my father drove 12 hours straight to meet her for a few. He did not ‘check-in’ on social media to show off his road trip! Nor did mom write a thank you post tagging him and announcing “relationship goals” to all her friends. The moment was for the two of them and they lived it.
We as a generation are too far into the ‘social network’ but it’s the old fashioned love I crave and sometimes, I wish I was born in another era when there was no technology to track the electronic footprints of our lives…