It’s The 21st Century, I Love You

My perception of relationships nowadays involves a heavy dose of technology. This is, after all, the twenty-first century. Originally when I saw this post I had ideas of a short story, but a rescan of the prompt saw me thinking about the social media side.

Social media is something I use a fair bit. ‘I’m a fan of anything that replaces human interaction,’ Sheldon Cooper of the Big Bang Theory said one time, and I feel like that’s becoming more true. I certainly agree with it: I’m shy, I don’t really venture out, and spare time sees book in hand, a drink on the table and music in the background.

Bearing in mind my shyness, social media and technology would have a big part, I think, in a relationship. It’s not just for shyness either, but convenience and quickness. Can’t make it to breakfast with your significant other? Skype/FaceTime/iMessage them. Technology allows you to arrange a call, then you sit back with your croissant and coffee and talk. Just hold up the device necessary, and if you forget the fact that you can measure their face on a small screen, it’s much nicer.

Still, it isn’t a substitute for the real thing. I, personally, don’t imagine it would be much fun sitting on your own while your partner sits somewhere completely different. It’s more impersonal, which is what I confess to like about technology.

Technology provides a barrier. It means that there are no awkward silences, and with texting you can stop, erase what you’re saying. (Just please, use proper spelling). But on the flip side, you can conduct everything online nowadays. Facebook is the worst.

Person is now in a relationship *little red heart*
13 people like this. 8 comments.

Three new photos have been added.
Joe Bloggs and 9 other people like this.

And so on, I’m sure we’ve all seen one Facebook user show their relationship through statuses, ‘likes’, comments and photos. From there, you risk oversharing. Those singletons still there might scroll through their feed, reacting with a potential plethora of emotions. And yes, Facebook now has a function where you can tack on a smiley face with a label explaining how you’re feeling.

With the rise of apps for social media, it becomes even easier. Gone are the days when Facebook was restricted to your computer. Soon you could download an app to your mobile, iPod, iPad, and possibly the kitchen sink. Now, you can listen to music while you upload the cute photos and sweet statuses. Then you can pop over to twitter and those photo websites, adding them on and maybe send out a few tweets.

Relationships become less private. You can declare your love for your partner, and it soon garners like after like. I think that cheapens it a bit: people know you love your partner, so what do the 17 likes do? Does it confirm the fact? And all those comments – are they really saying anything new? Possibly worse is the online breakup: I’ve read tales of people changing their status to Single, and then some poor soul thinks, ‘wait, what?’ because their newfound singledom is news to them. And of course, comments.

Social media strips away privacy if people use it, which in this age of blogging and instant everything, we do. We blog, maybe for attention, maybe to share our stories or creative work. We Facebook to keep in touch, yes, but on there we also want attention and so we work on it, employing methods that gain dubious attention which soon fades away. People gush briefly, but liking is quicker and there’s always something new to amuse us.

Such is the fickleness of the twenty-first century.

(Response to the prompt http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/weekly-writing-challenge-love/comment-page-1/#comment-204425)

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