Shakespeare has written that “love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind”, but in this Internet age where we boast of having friends and fans in thousands we look only with eyes, where is the mind? We get connected and disconnected with “friends” in a second because everything is in absentia. We spend hours to take the best selfie picture for posting it on Facebook and Instagram, playing with best words for articulating the wonderful Facebook status, and coming up with the perfect Tweets. Whether true or not, our online personas are most articulated because that is how we want people to see us. I wonder how people can forget their “real self.” How many online people that we meet in real life are true to the way they have projected themselves?
It is not possible to live up to the image one portrays on social media. Falling in love which is the most wonderful experience in life has become rare. Gone are the days of giving and receiving roses, saying hi over a cup of tea, dating, sending love letters, and the other meaningful gestures; instead they are replaced with cut copy paste message available on Internet, a like, a poke, and ‘pop up’ online. This has affected relationships between two keen lovers too much. The anxiety to describe how much you are in love and the anxiety to plaster a virtual relationship in perfection puts too much pressure on the budding relationship.
The most common trend amongst today’s generation is need for instant gratification. They grew up and continue to thrive in a culture that allows instant access to just about anything and everything – including a partner. If they want food, they have it delivered with the click of a few buttons or walking a block or two and grab dinner. If they are bored, they have endless distractions in the form of phone apps. If they need directions or a question answered, it only takes a couple of seconds. This easily available convenience has spoiled the youngsters to no end. We never experienced anything even remotely close to it. Therefore to a great extent, you still find modest genuineness in our generation; whereas, instant gratification in anything and everything has become an addiction for the millennial.
Of all the things, love is not meant to be experienced in one or few instances, but in a lifetime. Instead of really discovering the quality, culture, likes and dislikes of a person, the edgy lovers begin conversation with booze, often even with drugs. Drugs and alcohol often end up high and dry because they are love’s biggest enemies. These substances give us the illusion of an alternate reality, a reality in which our emotions are heightened, and the love we experience becomes exponentially intense. In the first or second meeting, individuals immediately go for sex. And, these days most individuals have multiple partners, but sleeping around with different individuals leaves one feeling extremely empty.
The experience of going to bed with different partners starts out feeling exciting and gratifying, but ends up making one feel lonelier. The feeling of being loved, the feeling of being understood and finding someone genuine becomes more difficult. This happens because you are wasting your time with people who mean nothing to you and, to top it all, multiple partners make sex a sporting activity. Unfortunately, the feeling of love becomes elusive. Till one is under influence of booze, he/she feels loved but later it all fades away.
Today’s generation is more egocentric; they are I, me and I. They say ‘my need first’ whether this is good or bad doesn’t really matter. The problem arises when the egocentricity overtakes one’s ability to feel empathetic. As human beings, we are left with no choice but to live and function within society. When we focus on only ourselves, our needs, our wants and desires, the needs of the others in our life and out circle get overlooked. When this happens in a relationship, it all begins to fall apart. So people today have short-lived relationships.
Relationships cannot be pushed. True love is a very beautiful feeling which you don’t feel like boasting, it blooms in heart, and it’s a sweet relationship that you share with your partner and is inclusive of just the two of you. True love does not grow only with passion; these relationships take time to develop.
When we become busy updating our story feeds and check-ins online; when we rush in and out of relationships just for the sake of it, as though it is mandatory to have someone to show off to the world, true love runs far away from us. We date because we believe we’re supposed to date. We’re supposed to find someone to fall in love with and spend our lives with, and we are under the impression that the best way to go about it is to date as often as possible. Precious things are always rare, that is the reason love is rare.