But We Are So Good Electronically…
August 19, 2010 § 1 Comment
Social networking sites, dating sites, text messaging, instant messaging, email, Google, Twitter etc etc, are useful tools to keep in touch with the people you cannot see everyday. Business deals abroad, sending your mother a picture of a dog in a hat, announcing what you ate for breakfast, pissing away a whole afternoon on Facebook searching for who’s preggers and who got fat; technology is great for all these things. However, veiled by all this text how can anyone develop a “real connection” with another human? Is electronic communication changing the chemistry of love?
Interweb society has conditioned us to be passive aggressive, hiding behind the disguise of our computers. We are Grocho Marx, Mac and PC, undercover in our own lives, doing our detective work, following the coded footprints left behind on the Internet by our current crush. The cruel fact is, they are leaving these Easter eggs behind on purpose! People want to be found and followed, our egos crave infamy and validation for every thought and action.
The stigma of these communication vehicles begs the question: are we really connecting at all? You don’t have the decency to honor a date with me, but you can sure ‘like’ a whole lot of my shit on Facebook. We are beginning to stake out behind our keyboards, becoming socially bashful, and over-examining every text and status update.
I recently dated someone with whom my connection was exclusively electronic. He was right there with a quick response to every text and email, very attentive to my digital needs. Our banter was light, smart and endlessly amusing. We were compatible in every way, our relationship shimmered brilliantly in the illumination of our iphones. So, why when we approached each other in the same physical space it was as if we didn’t even speak the same language?
Just about everyone is capable of coming up with a clever response when they have a couple minutes to think about it. Texting, tweeting, email, all keyboards and touchscreens everywhere allow the creation of a smarter, funnier you. Now that we’ve created these alter egos, can we live up to our electronic personas? The interactive catalogues of our relationships are starting to overshadow and complicate raw human chemistry, as if liking someone enough to date them isn’t complicated enough.
The way we react to these avenues of communication will affect our future and our children, our poor little computerized offspring preset to be an even more mechanical generation then our own. And when we reminisce about the ‘good old days’ will we say, “I remember when you had to wait a full minute to load your Facebook page on your phone.” Or, “I saved all the text messages your father wrote me while we were in graduate school.”