It has dominated our hopes and dreams, our imaginations and our fantasies but still, love seems to allude many of our generation as something frustratingly within reach but never 100 percent guaranteed.
In a world where people want an Austen or Brontë romance, why is it that we’re instead confronted with the reality of expressing our emotions through emojis on Facebook status’, potential love interests slipping into Twitter DM’s and reading into consistent double taps from people we fancy on Instagram?
It was at the beauticians the other day when I suddenly started to wonder about this. As I received my (long overdue) leg wax, the salon worker and I engaged in the usual customer-beautician chit chat before stumbling on the subject of relationships and love.
The lady mentioned to me that the majority of her girlfriends had met their other halves on social media or Tinder, and felt that her current “Bridget Jones like” (her words not mine) state was because of her unwillingness to bend and try to match with someone in this way.
Was she right? Has our society become so reliant on social media and communicative technology that we’ve lost our ability to fall in love the way people used to, face to face? At the rate we’re going, by 2030, the once exciting and thrilling story couples would tell of “How we met” will be no longer needed because everybody will have got together in exactly the same way.
Instagram is the new local coffee shop that our parents might have once plucked up courage to approach a potential partner and ask for their number.
Twitter is the new train or bus journey that was perhaps the shared, common thought that provided the first, serendipitous meeting between our grandparents.
And Tinder is that wine bar that all the older generation used to queue up outside on a Saturday night, eager to bag a few dates for the weekend after.
I guess you could just accept it. Times change, people change, lifestyle is never going to remain the same. However, I highly doubt I’m the only one who wishes our romantic relationships were a little more ‘The Notebook‘ and a little less ‘I-Robot‘.
Isn’t love about spontaneity and unpredictability? Don’t you think we might be missing out on those jittery butterflies of getting to know people in the flesh rather than over snapchat streaks?
Nowadays it seems that we are all so busy on our phones, “chirpsing” that new potential love interest, who started following us on twitter, before slipping into our Instagram DM’s and then asking for an add on Snapchat, that we’re potentially missing that old-school, serendipitous opportunity to form a connection with those who are physically around us.
I’ve personally found that anyone I’ve ever got to know on social media has never been the right match because they more often than not, have had a good old stalk of my accounts beforehand, and are trying to commit to this façade of the guy they think I would want to be with.
As well as that, romantic gestures have gone from calling somebody up on their landline, or visiting their house to take them out for a drink, to drunk texts at 2AM saying ‘Heyyyy‘ or a sudden influx of Instagram likes and comments…yes it seems there’s nothing that melts a heart more than a few double taps on a phone screen…
So the way I see it, whether we like it or not, we’re all in the same boat. We’ve all fallen into this social media rut that seems to be killing romance dead in its tracks. Even when people are lucky enough to find happy relationships, it still seems to haunt their day to day lives…
‘Why has he not replied to my message but he’s been active on Facebook?’
‘Why is she liking the guy’s pictures all the time?’
It’s a never-ending cycle of torment and we just can’t seem to turn ourselves back to the days when we didn’t have to rely on phones to start talking to someone we liked. I suppose there isn’t really a solution – you either embrace social media or reject it and face the alienation from the rest of society that would follow.
So what we need to think about is this – do we have to rely on apps as much as we do in order to find romance?
Has social media really ruined our chances to fall in love?