“The ultimate goal of technology, the telos of techne, is to replace a natural world that’s indifferent to our wishes — a world of hurricanes and hardships and breakable hearts, a world of resistance — with a world so responsive to our wishes as to be, effectively, a mere extension of the self.”
I thought to begin this week’s entry with this quote from a CNN Living article because, indeed, technology has become an extension of each one of us. It has penetrated our day-to-day existence from the moment we wake up through our cellular phone alarms to being constantly updated on work (or non-work) through our 3G-wired smartphones and until being rocked to sleep by our nighttime playlist softly blaring from our MP3 speakers. And the impact of technology is never more evident than in matters of the heart. Technology has both simplified and complicated love. It is now so much easier and also more difficult to navigate through our love lives. In my limited experience and earful of stories from friends, I have made the following observations of how technology has impacted this exciting, happy and dramatic aspect of our lives.
Immediacy. Everyone has different conceptions of love. There are those that believe in whirlwind romances and being swept off their feet; there are those who are fine with solid and stable romances; and there are those who are mad at the world for having ever felt in love. But all of these people must understand (or know firsthand) how agonizing a single text message could possibly be. Waiting for the reply of your special someone after a heated argument or a mushy invite may be the longest thirty minutes of your life. It’s because technology has made communication so efficient and just darn quick, that sending a text message only takes a few seconds (depending how fast one types). Because of the immediacy we expect in our interactions, any delay may easily be blown out of proportion, even if, 30 minutes later, there really was nothing to worry about.
Intrusion. Technology has seeped into every aspect of our lives and we can’t help but let it. For most, logging on to Facebook has become a daily ritual whether they have something to share or just to catch up on the lives of others. Therein lies the rub. My friend has recently broken up with his unfaithful boyfriend and this break up was a long time coming (yes, the cheating has happened before). Fortunately, my friend is firm in her decision and has refused the guy’s overtures to win her back. However, while logged on to Facebook, one of the news feeds was the guy’s status update: “I chose to stay because of all the right things done, rather than to leave because of that one mistake.” Of course, my friend’s blood boiled at the gall of the guy and she was sorely tempted to reply but she didn’t. Technology has become a means of intrusion in our lives because by keeping tabs on our friends, we are simultaneously fed unwanted information.
Erasing distance. Communication has never been easier, whether locally or internationally. It’s unimaginable for our generation to think of a time of calling someone in Cebu from Quezon City would cost a lot more than calling someone in Marikina. Now it’s about P7.00 per minute, regardless of local location. Technology has done miracles for long-distance relationships. As opposed to the years of yore, when talking for lovers situated in different countries could only be through wallet-emptying long-distance phone calls, now couples could keep in touch all day through instant messaging and even video chat via Skype. For a time, distance seems insignificant when you get to talk to your significant other and see their facial expressions in real time.
Love has always been simple and yet complicated but we can’t help but wade into the calm and treacherous waters every chance we get. Adding technology to the mixture only serves to clear and blur the horizon (mostly the latter) but again we can’t help ourselves. Technology has been deeply embedded in our lives that it has inevitably spilled over to our love lives.