I have had an ‘isn’t it ironic’ post floating around my head about how we first got together, how we talked about everything and anything…how we got to know each other inside out…how we talked about our pasts, honesty, trust! Anyone whom knows my situation will see the irony in that alone SO…apologies for the negativity (and rambling) but this weeks writing challenge seemed like the perfect place to do it.
21st Century love is instant. It’s fast, its varied, it’s easy… But it’s also dangerous. It feels safer pouring your heart out from a distance, being braver than you would in real life but it also feels that way for whomever you’re talking to; while hiding behind a screen can protect you physically, it doesn’t stop you getting hurt emotionally.
If I had written this 6 months ago I probably would have swooned about the night we met and how it definitely wasn’t love at first sight.
I’d have cringed at the memory of getting his name wrong within minutes of him telling me what it was and how we parted ways thinking nothing more pf each other. I would have smiled thinking about how we got talking a day or so later; about how we fell in love with each others personalities before anything else – because we had spent an entire month talking for hours every day (and every night and every chance we could in between) before eventually meeting face to face again.
I would have reminisced about how we really got to know each other inside out during those talks and how great it felt to have someone who liked me for me… Rather than what they could get from me physically. How we would stay up till silly hours just talking on the phone about anything until our ears were hot. How my heart skipped a beat each time my phone vibrated with a new message from him and how I would look my best from the waist up for our video calls but would often get busted when the camera tipped to reveal my pyjama bottoms and fluffy slippers…but it didn’t matter to him.
I would have marvelled at the fact that I felt like I knew everything there was to know about him because all outside factors were removed, no date nights, no low cut tops… Just me and him talking about our lives- past and present, our wants for the future, our fears and secrets.
I would have raved about the power of the Internet -in particular Facebook chat which then progressed to Skype– and how it managed to connect 2 people (whom were a mere 77miles apart) in more ways than just the literal sense. It allowed us to be together, to talk, to hear…to see each other despite the physical distance. It provided comfort, excitement…But overall it produced love.
This isn’t 6 months ago… And now I know what those fond memories of mine really are… I know the truth behind the story of how “we” came to be. I know that all of those heart to hearts, all of those deep and meaningfuls… all of that “connecting” was just an act. It was pretend, a virtual reality… perfect on screen but not much good in practice.
It was done for my benefit as well as his own with no intention to be malicious…but it still hurt in the long run and it was executed brilliantly. I mean acting and lying over a text is so much easier than face to face isn’t it? Which is the ironic thing in this…because I would store those texts, those emails, that chat thread. I would cherish them, I would re-read them if ever we couldn’t get time to talk to each other. I would use them to comfort me when I had a bad day, to encourage me when doubtful of the path ahead… To make me smile when I had nothing else to smile about. They were my modern day love letters – sent and received within seconds AND saving paper 😉 The written text felt so much stronger than just hearing it, more solid… So real!
But they weren’t, none of them were. They were just words formed in a way that he thought would have the greatest impact. Copied from past conversations, heard from TV shows, mimicked for years. Just words from someone who was hiding behind a screen. Like a firewall or an antivirus protecting himself; Testing it’s perimeter and managing to block out any threats… Until one slips through and the whole system fails. Well fuck the system, I’ve slipped through and I’m not going anywhere. I’ve thought about how easy it would be to just hit ‘delete’ on all of those cherished ‘love notes’, the ohotos of us… but I can’t. I don’t want to, it would take seconds to delete them all but I’m sure I would regret it just as quickly. I don’t want to delete parts of our past…even if they weren’t real for him…they were and are real for me.
21st century love is being able to store virtual memories on an external hard drive, deleting the rubbish and rebooting the system so that when the day comes for you to look back at them- they are safe, protected and unharmed. A perfectly edited version of you…of your past…just the way you want to remember them.
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century (dailypost.wordpress.com)
- What is “Love in the 21st Century”? (secretangelps911.wordpress.com)
- Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen (diaryofdennis.com)
- Love in the 21st Century, As Told by Martha and the Vandellas. (wordsbecomesuperfluous.com)
- Romance in the Digital Age (soheresus.com)
- The Hard Truth (kimicolney01.wordpress.com)
- Love Online | Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century (kyladanica.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century (satchi5.wordpress.com)
- Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century – Love, longing, and long distance (goomfh.wordpress.com)
- 25|6 Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century (familyphotosfoodcraft.com)