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The Daily SlackerThe Daily Slacker

Internet Killed the Loveletter.

Monday, October 10, 2005

So lately I've been having a bit of a weird situation. I met this girl, we talked here and there and then at some point things really clicked and suddenly we're talking every day. It's rather crazy, weird, strange, confusing (all in good ways) and all that, but it's fun. I love talking with her, more than anyone I can remeber in a while. We talked on the phone and I could have kept talking for hours more than the over an hour conversation we had. She's beautiful on more than just the outside (and lemme tell ya the outside is good!). We did hit a little bit of a wall recently as reality starts setting in that we live nowhere near each other as well as other things. So now it's kinda in sort of a holding pattern to take a breather and see what's really there. But yeah, fun!

That's two good ones now that live 1200 miles away. First Orientation Girl (Who reads every day apparently, but is to WUSSY to comment!) and now there's the new Long Distance Cutie. Why can't I find a good one that lives NEAR me? And spare me the talk about how you made it work from 3000 miles away. To me, it's just too easy to make yourself believe you have something more than you do when you're not around each other much. Some people work like that, but up to present I haven't. Does that mean I won't? Does that mean the times I've tried it wasn't that good anyway? Who knows. Eh, something will work it's way out eventually.

Anyway, now that ADD brought two extra paragraphs out, on to the topic I meant to write about...

All this chatting and thinking lately has made me come to a conclusion: Technology is killing romance. There's an argument to be had that technology is hurting society as a whole, but I'll keep this topic more narrow. I'm sure some of you will disagree and say that romance is what you make it. True as that may be, I still think Technology is giving real romance a slow death.

Chivalry may not be dead, but it's gotta be on it's last breaths. Gone are the days of throwing down a cape so a lady can cross a puddle. Removing the hat and bowing has gone the way of the dodo. Even things like a kiss on the hand and moving a dining chair are the romantic equivalent of the Celicant. Yeah, some guys still open building and car doors, but even that is being killed by technology. More and more places have automatic doors and even cars are starting to have doors that open and close themselves. Nowadays a midnight serenade is more likely to get you blinded by the motion light and a date with Bubba in county jail than it is to nab the love of your life. **Edit - yeah, maybe these thigns aren't all directly affected by technology, but I think they're a side effect of people getting lazier due to technology.**

It doesn't end with Chivalry. Actually I think that's just the start. I just think back to early on in my dating life, and the one thing that sticks out was the love-letter. I remember starting to date someone and if you didn't get to see your crush in school and have the delivered through friends you mailed it. Remember the excitement of opening that envelope to see what was inside? A little perfume added to it, or maybe a pressed flower. Don't even try and tell me you get the same feeling opening email. I really don't even wanna get start on the travesty of language that is shorthand texting. "I Luv U!" It's... That's... NO! BAD!

Email killed the loveletter, chatting and texting killed the romantic phone call, even with good care in using the off button, it's inevitable that the cell phone is going break up a romantic dinner here and there. Sure, the web opened the door to meet more people and maybe find the love of you life you wouldn't have met otherwise, but at what cost?

Maybe it's not that bad, but slowly things are being picked off. I don't see it getting any better though. It'll just be Chinese water torture until romance becomes some unrecognizable technomance. Maybe we should just blame it on MTV, as the Buggles pointed out "Video killed the radio star." Maybe that was just the beginning of the end?

posted by Chief Slacker @ 2:34 PM,


At Mon Oct 10, 04:53:00 PM, Blogger Tierney said...

Hey there...interesting look at things...I don't know I think romance can still be there without all the laying of the cape and the kissing of the hand...I am more of a living in the present kind of girl I guess. I definitely think technology does nothing but HELP romantic relationships these days...I know many people who have had successful relationships and even marriages...Also look how many wonders it does for our troops over seas...I do agree a letter is great but in reality you are able to send and receive emails so much quicker that it is a convience most cannot resist. A phone call is usually included even for those with online relationships, but instant messengers are an easy way to stay in touch with more people at one time and costs a lot less than long distance phone calls. I know I am able to keep in touch with my family who lives all over the US and I totally appreciate the net because of that!
As for long distance relationships...I know many that have worked out. If you want a relationship to work out and you are willing to put the effort in then more than likely it can work. I hope things work out with you and your many girls...

At Mon Oct 10, 05:02:00 PM, Blogger Pieces of Me said...

Damnit! I was beat for #1! I am gettin really sick of trying to compete! *EVIL LOOK* you were supposed to let me know! TTYN mwah

At Mon Oct 10, 05:05:00 PM, Blogger Sunny said...

Sigh......Okay- I'll spare you the romance is what you make it speech.

You are so wrong about the love-letters.

I wish I could share one of Paulius love-letters with you all- but I can't.

And I did get the same charge from opening an e-mail from him as I did when it was an actual postal letter.

I don't agree about making something more than it is when you're around each other much.

For me it would have been much easier to choose to not read things into a relationship- and paulius and i have discussed this topic alot- because people can see how an internet relationship can work out. We talked about a LOT of stuff over the time we knew each other- we started out as friends first- so if one of us was insinsere about something- or were posers or liars- we would have slipped about something during that time. It's so easy to spot a BSer when all you get to DO is talk over the net or the phone. There's no physical stuff to get in the way of things like logic and common sense. You have to go with your gut feelings.

Think about it.

I agree with all the rest of it basicly tho. The doors thing especially. I am so used to automatic doors that when I walk up to a store that DOESN"T have them I just stand there wondering why it's not opening for me. No joke- I have actually DONE that.

But what is the deal with pulling out a chair for a woman at the table to do with technology?

Or kissing her hand? Sure, dinner might get interupted by a cellphone- but there is a button on it that allows you to either put it on vibrate or turn it off so it won't interupt. That isn't technology getting in the way- that's a man/woman not caring enough about good manners and self respect getting in the way.

Sometimes we are our OWN worst enemy.

At Mon Oct 10, 05:08:00 PM, Blogger Chief Slacker said...

Tierney - Oh I agree, tehcnology has done great thigns for the world, its just taken away from some other "classic things." And I think for a LD relationship to work out, it needs a lot more than jsut "work" ya know? thanks for the wishes! I need the luck :O)

Pieces - I did let you know, it's not my fault you're POKEY. *Big Grin* And what, I writer all that and you have nothing to say about it except complain about not being #1? ;O)

At Mon Oct 10, 05:13:00 PM, Blogger Chief Slacker said...

Sunny - Ya snuck in while I was typing... And thanks for the comment about making making thigns work. Kidna what I wanted to see if anyone said... And yeah, the Chair and hand stuff is not jsut about technology, but I think it's related, people are jsut getitng lazier when it comes to that. And yeah, I've walked into a door at work here too, luckily no one was around! ;O)

At Mon Oct 10, 05:21:00 PM, Blogger Domi said...

Hi! I am new here...but as a lurker I thought I would go ahead and make a comment on this subject.

I believe that a lot of online "relationships" can be very easily mislead because of the circumstances. It is very easy to lead someone on or believe that one has feelings for you when in reality it is all just fun and games. Some just find it amusing to get to know others online through messaging and seldomly speaking over the phone. I believe that you can never tell ones true intentions until you meet them in person...and even then it may be difficult.

My only assvice for you is to not get so wrapped in things like these. As stupid as it sounds, try to focus more on the real world and the women in it. I know several people that have met and married through the web, but that is rare.

I hope you are not too upset by your mistress...I am sure you will oneday get what you deserve from someone.

As for the long lost gestures of romanticism....I believe they still do exist.

At Mon Oct 10, 08:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooooooooooooooooh my.

Where to start...

Since your Orientation Girl reads, I'll keep it real pure. Distance is never an issues if there's something real there. You'll only know if you try and I've already beaten that issue to death in the past.

Next, chivalry...IMO, it ain't dead, but it mostly is not necessary. Women speak out about independence - then they can independently open their own damn doors. It's an incredibly politically incorrect statement, but entirely true.

Chivalry was a product of the times, and those times are fading. I open doors from time to time, but I split payment on dates and the whole sch-bang. I think chivalry in fact just pointing out more sexism - I fully believe women are on an equal status with men, so it is entirely unnecessary to be opening doors, paying for everything, etc. That's paying for attention, in a way.

Yeah, I have a different way of thinking.

Love letters ain't cool unless you're already hitting it, IMO. Other people might think different, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

I love the technology age. Instead of looking at it as a hindrance, look at it as a positive. You can contact many people almost any time of the day...constantly in touch, be the consequences good or bad.

I would write so much more but I have lab reports to do.

I just think that the 'traditional' way of things is dead.

At Mon Oct 10, 08:33:00 PM, Blogger Southern Sweetheart said...

I loved this post. Some days I think I would agree with you and on other days I think I'd disagree. I love technology -- afterall my livelihood depends on it -- but I also like the fact that I can meet people from all over the world that I never would have met without it. But its the people that either use or abuse what technology has afforded us that make us lean one way or the other with regard to what you're writing about here. I'm sorry it sounds as if you're a little jaded when it comes to technology. I personally have gotten many emails that I was really excited to open and that my heart skipped a beat when reading them. I could go on and on and on but I'm sure you're wondering who the hell I am & why I'm rambling on and on here (I found you thru Marie months ago but don't visit regularly - I just have to start though).....anyway, I did enjoy your post -- good luck with the ladies - and don't let technology get in your way -- use it for your benefit! :)

At Mon Oct 10, 08:47:00 PM, Blogger Jezzy said...

Great post - so true. I want more love letters in the mail, dammit, - on scented paper with a pressed flower enclosed within and love hearts drawn all over the envelope!

I want a long, handwritten, letter that speaks of love and passion.

Where the hell is that these days, eh?

At Mon Oct 10, 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Jezzy said...

On the other hand, without technology, I really couldn't have had a long distance relationship with my English boy. We did write actual letters and talk on the phone, but email and chat and texting made it so much better. So, it's got it's good points.

At Mon Oct 10, 09:32:00 PM, Blogger Nicholas said...

I have to say that romance, or no romance, text-messages just plain suck as a mode of communication. I have been hosed several times with this:
Cant com tonite, talk to you later, bye
What is that? I hate text messages when used as a serious communication mode. For an unexpected joke in the middle of the day, or something, they are great, but otherwise? Bah!
I hated e-mail right when it came out because I had trouble being sincere, but text-messaging makes e-mail look...well, like something really great. I am having a hard time with analogies, tonight.

At Mon Oct 10, 10:23:00 PM, Blogger Pieces of Me said...

Okay so I didn't write much the first time cause I get mad when I don't get to be #1! LOL!! This is a tough one. I think that the net has opened many doors and introduced many people. I have had a good experience and I know many people who have had some as well. I also know many people who have long distance relationships and it works and then I know some where there is no way. LOL wow I really think I am helping! I can't tell ya what to do...I mean you know how you feel!
As for chilvary gosh I think it's dead! Personally I am the type of person where I can order my own food, I can open my own door, I can actually manage to pull out my chair as well...BUT it is always nice to see a gentleman offer. On the who should pay for what, that is a little tricky! I don't think a guy should pay for everything but then again I dont think a girl should half it ALL of the time. Wow I think I really don't know what I expect haha! I am just going to leave that alone cause I just dont know...
As for the letters vs emails vs Text messenger vs instant messenger...oh gosh! Letters are great I mean who doesn't like going to their mailbox and getting something??? BUT I prefer immediate contact. I think snail mail is more for holiday cards but I guess that is just me. I enjoy instant messenging and I enjoy writing emails...There is one flaw though, since it is hard to tell about the mood of what you are writing there are often altercations. I have had plenty of fights because someone took an email the wrong way. I guess thats about the only drawback I can think of at the moment.
I hope you figure it out with the girl thing...tough situations! Keep us updated! TTYL

At Tue Oct 11, 07:14:00 AM, Blogger Amy said...

The love of my life lives 3000 miles away...as far away as you can get from Maine....Seattle. I just can't let go however.....I'm stuck.

At Tue Oct 11, 08:48:00 AM, Blogger Anisa said...

great post! yeah, i think the internet is diluting friendships as well. people just email to catch up now...not even phone calls are as common anymore...

At Tue Oct 11, 09:03:00 AM, Blogger OzzyC said...

The love letter isn't dead per se... it's just changed forms. I'll concede that we seldom write our thoughts and feelings with paper and pen. Heck, a lot of people use that offensive internet shorthand. But there are a few of us who have implemented technology, but kept the original prose of the classic love letter.

It's true that there's no paper to touch... that there's no "handwriting" to experience... but the thoughts and feelings remain nonetheless.

I take a slightly different look at chivalry. I think chivalry started dying when women started burning bras. When women began demanding a change in the status quo, men gave them what they wanted, but re-evaluated their relationship with women in ways that women didn't expect... men started expecting women to open their own doors, step around puddles, etc.

I'm not trying to make a value judgment, just calling it like I see it... it's not necessarily laziness that brought about this change, it was a shift in cultural expectations, brought about by a cultural revolution of sorts.

At Tue Oct 11, 11:36:00 AM, Blogger Pieces of Me said...

Oh BTW...if you really like orientation girl (since she reads) maybe you should watch what you say about other girls...LOL!!

At Tue Oct 11, 12:09:00 PM, Blogger The Other Half said...

will somebody please slack off today and email me a love letter? ;-)~

At Tue Oct 11, 12:58:00 PM, Blogger Kira said...

Internet doesn't kill anything you don't want it to kill. Alex and I talk daily on the net via msn when we are apart (nowadays that's just the workweek proper; we see each other every weekend since he's back to being only two hours away by car). We use our webcams, too. In addition to spending about two to three hours a night on the net, we each exchange emails once during the day. I hate cell phones so I've never messed with the text message crap, but we also do really mushy shit like....well, we have a journal. Our journal. He writes in it for a few months, then I do. We trade it off. He sends me love letters regularly in the mail, usually with rosepetals inside or something similar. He opens my doors. He takes my coat. He pushes in my chair. He kisses my hand.

He leaves rosepetals on our bed...he lights candles and gives me nightly massages...he wakes up before me and fetches a chocolate cream cheese muffin plus a hot chocolate from the Starbucks near his apartment just for me...there's really nothing this man does that is NOT romantic. It's his nature to do so, and the existance of the net does not change his basic temperment.

If you want romance...find a romantic lover. Find one who has that as a priority.

If you want love...you have to take risks. Blah blah blah, you don't want to hear about how X made it 3000 miles away. You don't want to hear...because you don't want to take the risk. That's your own decision to make, but I can tell you true: the wrong woman next to you in the same town never ever works. The right woman far away at least has a chance, especially if one of you moves (like Alex eventually did for me!).

At Tue Oct 11, 01:59:00 PM, Blogger Esther said...

Ok, I've been reading for a while too, but just decided to comment on this one. Granted it was a long time ago, but when I was in high school, my then boyfriend typed me a love letter. It was weird. His handwriting was awful and his excuse was that I wouldn't be able to read it. But later on he wrote me a quick note that meant a heck of a lot more, even thought I was in the process of trying to break up with him at the time...There's something to be said for chivalry and hand-written notes.

At Tue Oct 11, 02:06:00 PM, Blogger jlybn123 said...

I too think that romance is what you make it, but that a lot of it lies in how you were raised.

One of the most attractive things about my b/f is that romance is still alive within him, that he has major respect for women, and that he gives everything he has to offer, when it comes to love. I feel loved, adored and like the most beautiful girl in the world when he looks at me!

However, his parents are very loving and some of the most beautiful people I have ever met! I think that has lots to do with it!

Funny, you bring up the love letter. For our first anniversary, I actually typed up a love letter to him. It was about the day we met and the first year we spent together...how grateful I was that we met, etc. I added all sorts of luxorious papers and little gold charms with romantic sayings on them and framed it. He cried!

Romance is still out there...just depends on where you are looking for it!

At Tue Oct 11, 03:03:00 PM, Blogger Wolfgang62 said...

Wow Chief- I take a few days off from reading your blog and you go and kill off romance and chivalry!

And you've got two long distance chicks! Cool! You know you can always take a road trip and go see them. That would be romantic!

Chivalry is wounded, but it lives on in the hearts of true gentlemen...

At Tue Oct 11, 03:22:00 PM, Blogger Pieces of Me said...

It's me again..
Okay first of all I forgot one thing about the complaining of automatic doors...Do you know how helpful these are esp for parents pushing strollers???

secondly I have been reading all of the comments and where did y'all find all of these romantic guys?? Do they have brothers?? LOL!!

At Tue Oct 11, 04:32:00 PM, Blogger Taylor said...

Pieces - YOU ARE MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

At Tue Oct 11, 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Chief Slacker said...

Domi - I think you're defintiely right, it's easy to beelive something is there even when it's not when it's all online. I'm not really going to get TOO wrapped up until it doesn become a real thing. Who knows if that will happen. thanks for De-lurking, comment often would ya?

Cap B - You're defintiely right, a lot of "traditional" things have gone away because of the shift in gender roles. And I may have come off against technology, but I actually do revel in it. most of this post was for the sake of argument, and with 14 commenters it worked! thanks for the comment.

Wanting More - Again, I do totally dig tech, and use it to great extent. And I hear ya with being on both sides of the fence. I have gotten email and been excited to read them, but it's not quite the same as opening that envelope. The effort in an email isn't the same. Jsut a feeling I guess.

Jezzy - I agree. I want one too. And I think tech helps maintain, but I don't really think you can HAVE something until it's real and not online. I think a yone who says they're in love with someone they only know online is lying to themself.

nicholas - Yes, texting is really only good for quick notes. nothing serious should EVER be discussed on TM. And yes, email isn't really a good way to discuss anything important either. one side of a convo at a time never raelly gets things done. The proper dynamic for conversin is all wrong.

Pieces - I agree the net does open doors, and an LD thing CAN work, but like Ive said, I don't thik a net only thing is ever really true. Also for a LD thing, you need a solid base to stand on. I tend to think a purely LD thing is never taht real since youer not around each other. Or maybe it's jsut a totally different kind of relationship. Who knows. As for the doors and paying, I think some of it is just being nice.

Amy - Have you met this person i9n real life though?

Anisa - I think it can dilute a lot of thigns because it takes a ton of the personality out of things. Emoticons can't convey nearly enough.

OzzyC - Very true, I think a lto fo this is a cultural shift. I made a correlation between the shift and tech simply to create a converstation. I think you are probably more right though. the womens movent has helped to kill chivalry, you can't be equal and on a pedestal at the same time, so to speak. And for the love letters, yeah, you can use the same style of writing, and thoughts in an email, but I guess reading it on a monitor to me takes at least a little bit away from it.

pieces - We've talked, she knows how I feel and we still talk about my other girls and her other guys. That's jsut the way it goes.

Wendi - what's your addy? ;O)

Kira - I'm fine with taking a chance on someone who lives 3000 miles away, but I'm not going to believe it's soemthing real until we've met and spent time together. If you haven't met it's all to easy to convince yourself of something that's not real and act differently that your actual personality is. Some people are honest and things work out great, some aren't. You got a good one with Alex it appears. And it seems to be incredibly hard to find someone who's really romantic nowadays.

Esther - I can understand typing soemthing, but it's jsut the personality of handwriting that makes the letter so much more. yeah the words carry the meaning, but so much more can come from how it looks and the handwriting style. Thanks for commenting! Keep it up :O)

JlyBn123 - yes, it deifnitely has to do with how you were brought up. That's where all the "traditional" stuff carries on or doesn't. Adn the way you feel is how you should ina good relationship :O) And I think the typed letter with stuff added, now that's totally different, he was adding personality to it. Something it's hard to do with email.

wolfgang - yeah, I figure if I;m not happy no one should be, lets kill it off :O) hehe And the problem is they're in opposite directions. DOH! And yeah, the problem with chivalry is a woman has to accept it.

Pieces - I'm not debating their usefulness, just that it takes away from some things at some times. And us romantic guys are around, they're just harder to find...

Taylor - Yes, She is. Not stepping any further into that war.

At Tue Oct 11, 06:43:00 PM, Blogger Jezzy said...

Hmmm, actually I dunno if I agree with your reply. I've been in both situations - both in love with someone known offline first, and purely online. I think you can be most truly in love with someone you've never met - and I'm as cynical as they come!
But, you have to be smart about it - realising the restrictions of the medium. You might be able to get into the other person's heart, soul and mind, but the practical everyday things are what you ultimately have to love in someone to live with them.

At Tue Oct 11, 09:46:00 PM, Blogger Peanutt said...

You are so true. And I love what you said about getting the high beam motion light in your eye in a serenade! That was hilarious!
Romance is more dead than it used to be. Its nice to find someone who can put the phone down just to be with you. You can't even have a good conversation with a friend without them having to answer their phone. Sending a call to voice mail while spending time with someone can be about as romantic as all get out just because it makes you feel special. Like they'd rather talk to you than anyone else. Just gives ya warm fuzzies inside. Letters in the mail are nothing like email. I guess people view it the same, but getting something in the mail means they had to actually write it out, fold it nicely, put it in the envelope, spend the money for a stamp and drop it in the mail. Lots better than typing a few lines and hitting send. LOL. Unless you want to think since they are paying for the internet service its the same thing! Email is nice, but delivered mail to your house is always fun to get! Great post!!!

At Wed Oct 12, 04:35:00 AM, Blogger Leesa said...

Very cool post :)

At Wed Oct 12, 09:54:00 AM, Blogger Amber said...

I loved this post. I thought about stealing your idea -- not totally, but the love letter part. I still might if you're cool with it.

I think technology has improved my relationships -- not necessarily romantic ones, but definitely long distance friendships. I can talk to my far away friends a lot more often than I normally would and I get emails from my friend in Croatia much more than I would if he was snail mailing stuff.

I like technology in that way.

At Wed Oct 12, 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Chief Slacker said...

Jezzy - See, to me, if you haven't met them, you're not teally in love with the actual person, you'e in love with their personality and in love with the idea of being in love with them. And i guess it should be clarified taht the lveo I'm atlking about is the marriage kidan love, real true love, not love as in I lvoe my friend.

Peanut - Motion lights suck! hehe. Yeah finally more people agreeing with me! And yeah email is jsut too quick and easy and cold, yeah some of the feleign comes with it, but not as much. everyone wants instant gratification now.

Leesa - Thanks! :O)

Amber - Feel free to use it! Blog away girly! I don't disagree that email and other tech is good for communicating easier, but not for communicatiing romantically!

At Thu Oct 13, 04:04:00 AM, Blogger Jezzy said...

I'm still confused on this issue.
I've thought I've been in true love with someone I've only known online - even though I kinda always used to agree with you - it seems like bullshit, really, doesn't it?
I mean, I don't know what's he's like to live with day to day, I know nothing of his physical presence - I'm aware of the limitations of the medium - but I was obsessed to the nth degree - thought about him all the time, knew the way he worked, the way he thought and felt. I knew his heart, mind, and soul. In fact, it was a soul searing kind of love - where you think you've found someone so connected with you that you can't fathom how you found that person. Where you feel dizzy just thinking about them - all the time, for months on end. That kind of love. And, for a while, he felt exactly the same.
In fact, I don't even have that kind of "soul connection" with my hubby - I just love him in a more "you're the best" practical kind of married love.
But I dunno.

At Thu Oct 13, 08:49:00 PM, Blogger Wethyb said...

Great post Chief. I don't think I could have said it better myself. I never EXPECTED the guy to always pay and do the door/chair/whatever thing....it was just nice when and if they did. I think it's great if there are still men out there who'll do things like that. As for the email/love letter thing...I don't think I've gotten a actual love letter in years. I remember getting one sprayed w/ the guy's cologne.....too bad that seems to be going bub-bye.

As for the long distance thing, I never had to do it, but I can't imagine it's the easiest thing in the world. Good luck!


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