lee writes: TECHNO-ROMANCE: WTF?… FTW!

This editorial/essay was originally posted online by The-Gaggle.com (then known as WTFisUpWithMyLoveLife.com) on March 29, 2011, which you can still view (with lots of cool still photos from my Web series WINK) by clicking here.
* Yes, this post is pre-dated on my blog here so the Eats/Shrugs can all be a row for your viewing pleasure. 



by Lee Porter


Like it or not, we’re living in a techno-age. And, unless we want to become monks (or attend BYU – just joking, Danny Ainge!), for better or worse, we’re living in an age of techno-romance as well.

Aren’t sexting, tweets and relationship status updates so “romantic?” Awwww. (That’s sarcasm. Spoiler Alert: be prepared for more. A lot more.) So, we’re frustrated, right? Our boyfriends only text us and never call us to have “real” conversations on the phone. Our girlfriends are fun and flirty with total strangers on their social networking websites and blogs. Our partners sit glued to their cell phones, not communicating with us, as they BBM their friends during entire meals.

Shell-shocked by these behaviors (or lack thereof), we are left wondering – WTF Is Up With My Love Life?!

Well, more power to us, for that is exactly the right question to ask. Lucky us, we’ve won the prize of living (and dating) in what may be one of the most confusing times ever. Our communication methods have changed rapidly overnight. And, let’s face it, if communication has changed, then, yes, our dating and love lives have, too. So, now, we’re frustrated – and we’re on a website, of all places, looking for a cure to our techno-romance blues.

Well, rest assured. I’ve found our cure. (And, have no fear … No, it is not Charlie Sheen.) You’re asking “WTF?!” My short answer to you: “FTW.”

Confused? Good, I am, too.

As described above, our means of communication have not merely “changed,” as some may say. They have been absolutely obliterated, like the Death Star being blown up to smithereens. (Sorry for the Star Wars reference, ladies. It had to be done.) Thereby, our romantic interactions have been turned upside-down from what we’ve either experienced in the past, or grown up expecting our love lives to be.

Long-term dating (even marriage) can be shattered, so quickly and so severely, by social networking. Those first few weeks of dating, which should be so much fun in “Perfect Land,” can be jostled and overturned by relying on techno-communications and an extreme lack of personal communication. Heck, even hooking up can be less fun than it used to be, with mindless, going-through-the-motions 3AM text messages. We’re in a backwards, upside-down, topsy-turvy world. And many of us can agree: we’re outraged and frustrated.

We feel disconnected? We feel like everyone we date is unable to communicate with us? We feel like techno-romance is ruining everything? Well, maybe. But …

Look, it’s a natural habit to judge others but somehow fail to judge ourselves. But in order to deal with this WTF?! world, we need to look in the mirror.

Are we texting too much ourselves? Are we posting on Facebook walls instead of having private conversations? Are we Tweeting personal feelings? Are we being fun and flirty with total strangers online or on our blogs? (Okay, guilty as charged, but this is a guest blog, and I ain’t offering any juicy private details of my love life, so cut me some slack.)

To get even deeper: have we communicated our feelings to our partners? Have we explained that personal communication is essential for us (even if not for everyone) to maintain a healthy stable relationship? Obviously, communication is the key to any relationship – even when, in this case, we would be communicating about our communications.

So why are we not having real conversations? Why are we going to happy hours and kickball games with our partners (and a ton of other people) instead of going out for private romantic dinners or nice quiet walks? WTF?! What’s the answer? What’s the “FTW” to the “WTF?” Well …

I’m guessing you’ve notice that FTW is WTF backwards. (Wow, that Lee Porter sure is a brainiac guest blogger, huh?) But, simply put, that’s my answer to this techno-rat/rap/romance-race. Do exactly that. Look at everything backwards. Switch it up.

As Ray Liotta says to Sylvester Stallone in Cop Land (yup, I just dropped 1997’s Cop Land on you): “You don’t go down Broadway to get to Broadway! You zig! You zag!” As Missy Elliot raps (yup, a “Misdemeanor” reference): “Is it worth it, let me work it. I put my thing down, flip it and reverse it.” As Faith No More sings: “You want it all, but you can’t have it. It’s in your face, but you can’t grab it. Is it. What is it? Is it. What is it?” (I really wanted to squeeze FNM into this blog somehow. Mission accomplished.)

Look, these are weird times. So we need to figure it all out — including ourselves, as we get through these days. We need to hold ourselves responsible, learn and evolve for the better. Let’s face it, Twitter, Facebook, text messaging and the like ain’t going away. So instead of fighting the techno-age, seize it. Instead of pointing the finger at others, let’s look at ourselves.

There are plenty of people out there who still believe in homecooked dinner dates, who believe in handwritten Thank You cards, who believe in postcards while away on business trips, who won’t text us once a day, who won’t call us on the phone once a week, who won’t take advantage of technology to push us further away. The question is, are we romantically involved with such people? And is that even important to us? If so, are we going to find such people at the places where we are hanging out? Are we willing to sacrifice other attributes in order to find those right people for us, the ones who communicate in a fashion that doesn’t include simply texting us for the first time that day: “c u in 5”?

Personally, as a writer, I actually enjoy a lot about techno-romance. I love texts and emails, because it’s the ideal way for me to show off my (“brilliant”) personality and be (“amazingly”) flirtatious at the same time. And, if a woman isn’t able to charm me with her wit and personality, with her own words (or, at the very least, laugh at mine – or just laugh at me), then, more often than not, she and I probably are not the right match (no matter what a wonderful woman she may be).

Maybe we’re still longing for that old-school romance. Maybe we still want to be swept off our feet by Mister/Miss Perfect, while trumpets blare, as we sing and dance on the sidewalk in the rain, overjoyed with love, while Dr. Ruth, Frank Sinatra, and the fab WTF?! girls all give us their thumbs-up in approval. Okay, then. Well, here’s the kicker: KYP. Know Your Personnel. We’re in a “Press Send Now“ society, where no one thinks or takes responsibility for their words. Be the one to take responsibility, and then expect that others should do the same.

So, I guess, in the end, what I’m suggesting is that we stop trying to fight the new means of techno-romance that have frustrated us. We can sit there and complain about this screwed up world and the lack of phone calls we’re receiving from the people we’re currently dating. Or, we can switch it up, adjust, zig-zag, improvise, and turn our WTF into FTW.

Most of all, we can each seek to find someone who feeds off of our communications. After all, communication is a two-way street. If we speak and communicate with our partners (with everyone, for that matter), then we will end up happiest with someone who reciprocates that communication.

Life’s tough enough without the worrying. So keep on keepin’ on. Let’s all find someone who makes techno-romance fun (because it can be), and who also knows when and how to handwrite letters instead of sending text messages. Take it from a writer (who loves/hates technology), these people are out there.



This editorial/essay was originally posted online by The-Gaggle.com (then known as WTFisUpWithMyLoveLife.com) on March 29, 2011, which you can still view (with lots of cool still photos from my Web series WINK) by clicking here.
* Yes, this post is pre-dated on my blog here so the Eats/Shrugs can all be a row for your viewing pleasure. 

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