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The Tartan

(title)

By: Meghan Mcneice

It’s right around Valentines Day and all the famous romance movies are starting to air on TV. Of course those shows are only meant to stir up feelings and pressure men to out do themselves or risk disappointing their loved one on that special day. But it’s hard to compare our love lives to these movies because we all over-look a major problem that often times can ruin a relationship: too much technology.
When you were younger, relationships seemed so much easier and juvenile because we didn’t have all different kinds of technology to contact each other constantly, and it made the times you spent together so much more meaningful. When you got your first cell phone, you were mainly allowed to talk endlessly between certain hours with free minute restrictions, until texting became the next biggest movement. Having your cell phone on and by your side all day, everyday, isn’t that just kind of torturing yourself if you don’t hear from your loved one by a certain time or not at all? Then in a fit of frenzy you call, text, leave a voicemail, and repeat the same hysteria a few hours later. Now all you’ve managed to do is seem like a clingy psycho and potentially drive this person away.
Expansion of smart phone users now have the guilty pleasure of checking Facebook, Twitter, and any other social networking application out there to see if you’ve updated your location, wrote on someone’s wall, tweeted to meet up with so and so, it’s overkill. Do people not feel suffocated? This isn’t healthy and creates obsessions and keeping up with who your holding a conversation with on what system is frustrating!
From the movie “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Drew Barrymore’s character Mary feels the same frustration I’m trying to convey, “I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he emailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”
People abuse the power of communication in this way and have almost lost their touch on how to interact with people in person. I find it hard while talking to people, to make eye contact. Think about it, when is the last time you talked and looked the cashier in the Bonnie or the gym attendant in Peters, in the eye when they asked you a question or took your student ID? Have we all resorted to hiding behind technology and forget how to function?
Facebook was created as a social networking website and can’t argue that it hasn’t served its purpose. It’s social aspect has led to good things for some and bad for others. In the relationship point of view, Facebook is the source of all problems for those who are curious and slightly insecure in their relationship. Once you flip through every single picture and take note of all your possible threats, minutes later some attractive looking guy or gal writes a little memo on their wall and sends you into frenzy.
Depending on your relationship status (Facebook official or not), your next conversation could be a full-blown questionnaire about this individual. Also, since when is your relationship not considered real unless Facebook says so? Then there’s the people who suddenly change themselves from “single” to “married.” Whether they do it for attention, a rebuttal from a nasty break-up, either way, you’re confusing the hell out of your friends and looking desperate.
Romance movies don’t involve this constant communication that we now a days are so used to and that’s what makes the relationships inside the movie so much stronger. It forces people to go out of their way to connect with that special someone.
Take a few of Nicholas Sparks books for example “The Notebook,” had Noah had a phone and Allie’s phone number, he could’ve called and said “Hey babe, I know you left town I’m sorry for our fight but I still love you.” Where the rest of that conversation could’ve gone who knows, but then Allie wouldn’t have just appeared after years of no contact and fallen right back in love with Noah.
His other book, “Message in a Bottle,” that journalist could have done a simple Google search and probably found him in 0.92 seconds, but that would be the end of her search for the man of magic words. Or she could have done a fast Facebook check and saw he was once married and that could cause some slight heartbreak and disappointment and ruin the chase.
Let yourself hang on suspension of what your significant other is doing, how their day is going and simply ask them later. Knowing every single detail of their day is obnoxious and you’ll eventually run out of things to talk about. Nobody liked it when his or her parents constantly asked, “Where are you? Who are you with? When are you coming home?”  Have a little trust and don’t always assume the worse, and most of all don’t check Facebook, Twitter, email, Pintrest, any other portals you can update constantly cause you’re only torturing yourself. We’re privileged to have all these social networking tools, but we shouldn’t let it take over and use it as our only source of communication.
If only we could go back to the days when a boy brought you a mud pie or a handful of short stemmed dandelions making it “playground” official.

Email:mmcneice@radford.edu

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