Romance in the Age of Connection

I recently became single. I broke up with my boyfriend approximately 3 months ago. It’s taken me time to dissect a few things, and I wanted to journal about my thoughts on what happened.

He was a wonderful guy, and our time together taught me a great deal about expectations, my worth, and how I want to live the rest of my life. We ended on fairly good terms, and I was ready to be by myself. I won’t go into details for both of our privacies, but what I want to comment on how technology seems to be infiltrating the most intimate parts and relationships of our lives.

@daniellechanette

Social media, texting, and instant connection to every part of the world has inundated us with information. We feel as if we could really be everywhere at once. Yet it turns out, we’re never actually where we physically are. In my experiment with slowly axing off social media accounts, I’ve found that I actually a) haven’t died and b) live a perfectly content and connected life.

In this day and age, we joke about “If you didn’t Instagram/Snapchat/Tweet/Facebook post it, did it actually happen??!” And the truth is, yes. Things happen to and around us 24/7. If I don’t post a bagel picture during breakfast, that breakfast continues to happen, tastes just as it did before the picture, and will not be any more ~special~ since the few likes or views. In fact, it might even be a little colder and less appetizing since it took me a few shots (and several minutes) to get the perfect one.

Now, my gripe with technology isn’t necessarily about the technology itself. It ends up being the usage by people that really grinds my gears. Back to my most recent boyfriend (and the one before that too). They would sit across from me at a restaurant and be completely absorbed in their phone. It was as if I were eating alone, or sharing a meal with a brick wall. To me, technology has taken over our worth. If I’m not liking this, will my friend still talk to me? If I’m not posting, will people know how much I travel? If I’m not doing _______, will ______ happen? And I’m here to tell you…everything will be fine. In fact, I find myself having more meaningful and connected interactions now than ever before. I go out of my way to call someone to see how they’re doing; friends invite me to hang out in person instead of texting all night; I enjoy meals and events (little or big) without wishing I was somewhere else.

You don’t need to take pictures of everything. You don’t have to proclaim your love on Facebook every single day. You don’t need followers, likes, reactions, etc. to make your life meaningful. Relationships, romantic or not, should not be encapsulated in technology. They should be shared through conversation, hugs, kisses, and time well spent together. I am not trying to preach, but rather tell you…that pressure — I couldn’t quite figure out where it was coming from exactly, but it is definitely there — is all a facade. I hope other people out there realize there is much more to being someone’s significant other than a relationship status. I’m trying to find that eventually. And I hope you do too.