How has technology changed love and romance in today’s world? I have the advantage of the long view: I’m about to turn 76, but my daughter only recently turned 26. In addition to that, I work in an office populated by people mostly my daughter’s age.
Back when I was that age, we met in the workplace and in bars, more often than not. Today more than 30 percent of all marriages in the United States are the result of meetings through social media.
The mobile phone has made a huge impact on relationships. When my daughter was in high school, I recall her being incredulous when I responded that no, when I was a kid (back in the ‘40s and ‘50s), I didn’t have a cellphone. The joke among parents back then was that, just wait, when your kid becomes a teenager your phone will be tied up all the time (remember, in each household we all shared a single landline).
There were certain advantages in not being available 24/7. It was much easier for a girl to avoid a boy she didn’t care for. When he called, she could always instruct her family members to “tell him I’m not home”. And there was nothing comparable to a text message. You could escape, if you wanted to. Today, as we say in New York, “Fuggedaboutit!”
Not to be indelicate, but this very day when I walked into the office men’s room I heard a young man say, “Honest, I love you”. Then I realized that while using the urinal, he was speaking to his beloved on his mobile phone. From the little bit of pleading I overheard, it sounded as though she had tracked him down and was none too pleased with something he had or had not done.