No one has the time to squeeze in tête-à-tête ‘catching up’ sessions every day. There have been times when the internet has appeared as a blessing and come to my rescue; when I needed to convey a token of love or a quick update to people in the middle of the day. Long-distance relationships also have come a long way along with a few more benefits to new age romancing. Thanks to internet communication. Now while the internet has been a boon for us, at the same time, has it also tampered with the authenticity of romance?
Yes and no. I still see sixteen-year-olds walking hand in hand by the beach, sharing one coconut water when they could be staring into their phones sharing wild fantasies over text messages. And, there is still a section of the crowd that makes love confessions with their naked facial expressions than with empty heart emojis on Instagram. I still hear ‘how we met’ stories that haven’t taken place on Tinder or Facebook. And, I would still prefer resolving misunderstandings by showing up at someone’s doorstep with a frown instead of simply tweeting it away. So, I can say that old-school romance hasn’t been completely wiped off yet.
Using internet as a medium to be in touch with your significant other is something that we need in this hustle bustle of a life we are living. However, relying on it to sustain companionship and letting it rule your love life is the pathway to degrading relationships. No doubt, internet has made it easier and almost convenient for people to communicate well. Now, look at these emojis making text conversations more virtual and expressive. Sometimes, emotions can be better conveyed through the add-ons of emoticons than just a set of edited words. But, again, is there anything more articulate and insightful than facial expressions?
This again brings us to the illusory of virtual communication. What you say during a text conversation might not be as effective and eloquent as a conversation held face to face between two people. Intentionally or unintentionally, our real emotions tend to be morphed in the meaning before getting conveyed through online communication. The same emotions, when it comes to direct communication, won’t have the time and space to be forged into something else, making them authentic and truthful. Social media helps in thriving relationships with its constant benefit of proximity. At the same time, it takes away the mystery of romance and the anticipation of looking forward to those few moments.
Love in the era of internet has been made to look like a social necessity with the internet as your playground and romance as your game with a thousand other participants.
Love in the era of internet is easy and aptly favourable for many. At the same time, it’s also deceiving and hilariously ambiguous. It is measured by the length of the captions and expressed with carefully drafted text messages at 2 AM. Love in the era of internet is expectations taking escalated and quite unrealistic heights. It is the element of surprise taking a back step and emotions getting forced into a set of virtual words. We don’t need any less of the internet nor do we need any excess of it. Internet is a boon for us when it comes to new-age companionship. It’s also a bane for the ones who let it rule romance and smudge it with their digital ways. But, we can find the common ground.
We can try looking at love from our eyes instead of our phone screens and then maybe, stringing that attachment with your Wifi networks when needed wouldn’t hamper its authenticity. If we can do that, we can definitely engage in real conversations instead of typing away a virtual conversation, hiding behind technology and calling it ‘love’.
Illustration – Vikas Singh