The advent of technology has done a lot of positive things for our culture. Families are able to connect more efficiently, businesses save money by cutting time costs and research is literally at your fingertips (the greatest thing for a bookworm like me.) But this technical renaissance also has some adverse side effects, though nothing as physical as those of some modern medicines, whose labels read like Medieval torture plans.
Technology has the unique ability to total immerse a person and make the outside world drown away. In many ways, it’s a positive thing. Take me for instance: I live in a house with a lot of hustle and bustle and, by putting my headphones on and clicking a button, I can write in peace by listening to Mozart (can we talk about how great Mozart is? Listen to this aria from Marriage of Figaro and you’ll see why. Don’t question it, damn it.) But, it can also be negative.
The negative aspects of technology are the most apparent in romantic relationships. People aren’t connecting in that primal way that attracts lovers anymore, they’re too distracted by the little screen in front of them. I’ve read stories of first dates where the person doesn’t even look up at the person that they asked out! What’s so important that it can’t wait another hour? We’ve lost the art of conversation and soon we’ll be close to losing our minds. Going on a date is something that requires total involvement, not a half-assed gaze as you text your friends.
One particularly alarming trend I’ve witnessed as of late is the giant spike in cheating in relationships. Cheating has been around forever, even the cavemen struck out in search of greener pastures every now and then. But, since the advent of the smartphone, cheating has become more accessible and has become a sort of sport among my age bracket. Facebook makes it easier to keep in touch with old flames and texting allows you to message whomever you wish and then wipe the slate clean when you’re done. We’ve fallen into a culture of stylish adultery.
And please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not some sort of puritan pundit. I believe we all have free will and can do what we please. But, exceptions excluded, being in a relationship is a sacred trust. When you hold another person’s life in your hands you don’t play basketball. But people now, as soon as they start dating, are cheating. Girls, guys and everyone in between are swapping nude pictures before they even know the person’s name!
Where does the root of cheating come from? It comes from insecurity. If a person is secure with themselves, and secure in their partner, they won’t even think of straying. If you truly adore a person, you won’t seek juicier fruit. People aren’t introspective enough to identify their own ideals and morals, they’re too busy chasing the next conquest. In college I saw the same, guys who look like the wolf in an old Looney Tunes cartoon, chasing after every innocent and loose girl they could corner. As a casual observer, you start to become confused about the appeal of such activities.
People don’t know how to resist temptation anymore. We are in a state of constant sensory overload and we can’t focus on one thing – we must move on to the next thing and leave the old behind. The same goes for relationships: out with the old, in with the new! It has come to the point where we’re even glorifying cheating. Men share their conquests with their friends and women trade sordid stories like Pokemon cards.
To be in a relationship, you first need to go on a journey of intense introspection. You can’t expect to have a successful relationship when you don’t know who you are to begin with! To quote Ayn Rand, from her novel The Fountainhead, “To say ‘I love you’ one must first be able to say ‘I.'” We need to understand ourselves before we connect with another person in a romantic way.
If you have any imperatus to date anyone, I would say you need to spend a solid week identifying what you want and need from a relationship. How can a person help fulfill your needs if you don’t know what they are? Going into a relationship with no sense of self is like driving from New York to California with a quarter tank of gas; eventually you’re going to run out of steam.
I care about each and every one of you and I want you to succeed in your interpersonal relationships. So, please, reconnect with yourself and find out what it is you need from a partner.
That’s the key to true happiness.
Do any of you need any advice or help with problems? I’ve been bitten by the “Dear Ann Landers” bug and have often been told in my life that I give very sane, levelheaded advice. So if you have any problems going on in your life or questions, and you like practical advice like the content of this article, feel free to email me at email@example.com !