I love you, via text
Updated: November 11, 2011 4:18PM
Recently, I sat at the dinner table with my grandparents and a thought occurred to me. Where did they meet? Such a simplistic question with a simplistic answer — they met in high school. I learned how there were periods in their relationship where their half a century nuptial was almost nonexistent. I never fathomed how they struggled with distance and kept in touch only by hand-written letters.
As I listened to their reminiscent history, I was baffled about how things have changed. What if we didn’t have e-mail, Facebook, Skype and smart phones? Could our relationships thrive off of periodic visits and hand-written letters until “death do us part?” Has traditional love been cemented between technology and a modernistic way of living?
Now, I am in no means discrediting the way modern relationships evolve today. In fact, there has been an ample amount of relationships that have blossomed with the cyber world to thank. Nowadays, when high school sweethearts say their goodbyes as they trot off to different universities, they no longer have to worry about seeing each other’s faces months down the road. An unpretentious FaceTime or Skype call will do upon arrival of their remote locations, and they might sugarcoat the security of their relationship with a sturdy post on their Facebook walls. But let’s rip the meat off the bone and get to the bare truth.
If you look at successful relationships half a century ago versus today, you are slapped in the face with statistics. Divorce rates are through the roof, the average age of marriage has been set back ten years and more people are choosing to live the bachelor/bachelorette lifestyle. Times have changed, personal independence has heightened and more options are available. You get into an argument with your significant other, sign online, and bing, bang, boom, a potential lover’s relationship status has miraclously changed to “single.” Well, at this point, your current relationship is “clearly not working out.” Time to move on.
Or how about that high school sweetheart relationship or long-distance relationships in general? You swore your eternal love and devotion to the person, but when 1,000 miles strips you of physical contact, suddenly it becomes easier to resort to other routes than to stick by the promises that are in the midst of being shattered. Are these illustrations of us giving up on each other too quickly? Are we too caught up in garnishing our own sense of independence to let those we truly care about drift into an endless sea of exes and goodbyes?
Now, of course there are exceptions. This is the generic trend of the resourceful generation. Technology has opened a gateway to many possibilities, including being connected with a vastly larger group; hence—opaque possibilities. Maybe, when things get hard and you start to think about all the different people in the world, don’t change your Facebook status just et. Try archaic acts of emotion before you throw in the towel. I personally feel that it is about time to let traditional love seep through the cracks of our modern world, drip onto our technological devices and short-circuit them temporarily.
Perhaps call that person and tell them you love them, instead of texting. Send a hand-written letter and 50 years down the road you might have a story to pass on to your grandchildren.
Alyssa Samson is from Indian Head Park