FaceBook is, in a sense, the modern-day all-seeing-eye.
I mean, everything I learn on a day-to-day basis, I learn via my FaceBook newsfeed. The last time I found out that somebody was pregnant or getting married due to word-of-mouth? Gosh, I honestly can’t even remember. These days, I know what someone’s newborn baby looks like just seconds after it’s born because women are busting out their cell phones just minutes after giving birth.
So what does that tell us? In a nutshell: we live in an extremely fast-paced society. And our newer generations thrive on an environment in which we need constant and instant gratification.
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everybody. There are those out there that actively choose not to have the most up-to-date technology or the fanciest cars – but, for the most part, society as a whole lives this way. A “Keeping Up With the Jones'” kind of lifestyle.
For business purposes, this is an ideal way to live. With how quickly people can fire off emails and set up meetings or make phone calls, the most successful individuals are the ones who can keep up with the fast paced environment.
However, to another point, is this negatively affecting our relationships? Not only with others, but with ourselves?
I recently read an article that somebody posted on FaceBook [no surprise there] about how modern-day society is making it harder and harder for people to have lasting relationships and fall in love. It speaks mostly to the younger generations, those of us who don’t remember a time without cell phones, millions of video games, or 24-hour television. C’mon, that’s just an old wive’s tale. Nobody actually played kick-the-can or cops-and-robbers, did they? Much less outdoors?
Ah, but we did. And those days are just nothing but a sweet memory now.
The article [which you can read here], focuses on ten main topics that lend to dysfunctional or nonexistent relationships in today’s society. As I read through these theories, I realized that they all kind of tie in to one another. For example, topics 2 and 3 – we are a culture that avoids problems by imbibing in drugs and alcohol, and we are a sexual group who think that having multiple partners is natural and normal.
I think that we can safely say that most people don’t just sleep around unless they’ve indulged in a fair amount of some sort of substance. Key word there is most. I can attest to my fair share of regrettable decisions that would not have been made had I been sober.
A couple of the other topics in the article suggest that we are a selfish society which has taught our youth that to get ahead means to be independent and to only look out for oneself. I actually took a class in college that specifically studied how individualistic the American culture has become in comparison to other countries around the world. The minute our kids turn 18 we are ready to give them the boot. It’s time to spread your wings and get the fuck out! In Asian cultures, families stick together forever. Parents raise their children until they are married, and in turn the children then take care of their parents until they pass on. There is no separation – everyone helps and supports each other.
Are these modern-day changes really affecting our love lives and our ability to build strong, loving, lasting relationships?
It’s hard to say.
Every single person on planet earth is 100% different from the next. And how we become who we are is shaped by our life experiences. I come from a loving and stable family who have basic family problems like arguing over where to eat for dinner or why a credit card bill is so high one particular month. Other people grow up in a loveless home where mom and dad struggle with addiction and there is absolutely no stability whatsoever. That’s not to say that my experience is going to make me more open to love. In fact, I can personally attest to the fact that I have had nothing but a long string of completely fucked up and dysfunctional relationships. I can also personally attest to the other side – my best friend was adopted into an abusive family, and instead of it getting into her head, it has turned her into the most positive and upbeat individual I have ever known, and she is marrying her soulmate and absolute love of her life.
So, yes, maybe modern-day society and the evolution of technology has hindered what used to be a natural progression to finding and falling in love, however, there are so many other influences in each of our lives that can contribute to these loveless factors.
I’ve spent most of my adult life struggling through horrendous relationships in which both myself and my partner mistreated each other or had some skewed perception of what a healthy relationship should be. I’m not sure why I chose to join myself to these types of men – my past and my family are clearly not a reflection of my dating habits. But, alas, the last 10 years have been devoted to nothing but that. And the worst part is – I honestly didn’t even care. I didn’t care that I was wasting precious years of my life on people that I knew deep down I wouldn’t end up with. It wasn’t until my grandmother’s recent passing that it finally hit me – life is way, way, WAY too short to be wasting time on people who aren’t going to be there in a year or two. And it was this event in my life that triggered something inside me. A will to put my walls down; a yearning to actually allow myself to find my counterpart in the world who would ultimately complement me while simultaneously challenging me.
I mentioned in a previous post that right as my grandmother passed I met a guy who made me feel differently than I had before. In some part of my soul I believe she placed him in my life so that I could see that there are, in fact, good people out there who will give me the opportunity to feel what love really is. I also mentioned before that I don’t actually know if it’s a relationship that will ever take off – but it’s given me a new look on what the next chapter in my life could possibly, hopefully look like.
The moral of the story is, I don’t believe that the changing of the times has any lasting effect on relationships and love. Those of us who are ready and are willing to take the next leap in life will find it. Those who are closed off to it or are just simply okay with settling.. Well, they won’t. The beauty of this life is that we are all different – some of us really aren’t meant or built to mate for life, and others of us are. I don’t think we can actually say that the main contributing factor to relationship instability is modern society. What it really comes down to is whether or not each of us is built for or ready for that crazy thing called love.