Wednesday, May 5, 2010

cri du cœur.

There are a lot of online dating websites out there. Not that I'm looking. I've just so happened to come across them in my journalistic queries. I question, though, how effective they really are. Do people actually find true love via the Internet? I've seen enough Tyra Show episodes to know it's possible, but I'm still highly skeptical. Maybe it's an unnecessary skepticism though - is meeting online any different than meeting at a bar or meeting in class? You're still engaging in the same brief encounter, gaining only a rough sketch of the other person. The only difference is the face-to-face interaction, which I think makes any encounter more meaningful.

I've written about the topic several times before in articles and in blogs, but I'll reiterate my hypocrisy: We are too attached to the Internet, relying too much on a back-lit monitor to hide our faces from one another. We prefer text messages and IMs to phone conversations and coffee dates. We learn about one another through Facebook or Twitter instead of small talk and intimate discussions. We've forgotten how to interact with one another in person without appearing as socially awkward beings who anxiously await the moment we can return to our laptops to Google or Facebook one another.

Those are gross over-generalizations, but the bare truth of it is almost inescapable. I'm guilty of it as well. "Without a Facebook, how else are people supposed to keep in touch?" The question disturbs me, yet it's true. I think we've become all too lazy to put in the effort to call someone up and meet them for lunch to catch up. We've also become busier creatures with little time to socialize with old acquaintances, particularly if we fear we'll have nothing to say during the hour-long (and potentially) awkward lunch.

But shouldn't we want the relationships that don't require Facebook to ensure communication? The Facebook-only friendships seem artificial. Though you'd have to take into account the long-distance factor...Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I do miss the days of lengthy emails - or even (gasp) handwritten letters.

This is all probably just a part of my longing for a simpler time, which probably wouldn't even suit me much if it came true. I am my own object of loathing - a young adult of the 21st century, attached to the Internet in every way, shape or form. I'm even blogging this now as opposed to handwriting it in a journal. C'est la vie.

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