Technology and Affairs of the Heart

Poor Sandra Bullock. Apparently, she received an apologetic letter from one of Jesse James’ mistresses via fax.

I didn’t know people had personal fax machines any more. Hadn’t the scanner and the PDF replaced them? Clearly, an “I’m Sorry” Hallmark card is passe. Perhaps, a fax retains more sincerity than an email or a facebook message.

The tabloid sites say that James met this Other Woman via MySpace. Remember those days when husbands used to meet stripper mistresses at strip clubs?

I know I’m not the first blogger to bring up the subject, but it’s amazing how technology has changed the way we meet people, date people, and break-up with people. We know we’re in an age of hyper communication. Thanks to our smartphones, we’re never out of touch. Gone are the days of landlines and dial-up modems only (yes, I’m old enough to remember late nights before wikipedia and craigslist). And gone are the days when our only means of meeting prospective significant others involved leaving our cozy apartments.

Let’s think about this…

If we want to find a date/one night stand/long term relationship we can log onto okcupid, match.com, eharmony, craigslist or myspace. We can find those “missed connections” from the subway platform or establish a flirtation through dating site aliases. Maybe we can coordinate a single’s night through a facebook group.

Then we meet someone and exchange email addresses, pins, skype names, or screenames. We go home and become friends on facebook and start following feeds on twitter or blogs on wordpress. We keep in touch/track movements through text messaging, bbming, gchat, AIM, and phone calls. Eventually, we announce that we’re “in a relationship” to the world through an avalanche of statuses.

And then we break up…

The breakup itself can happen through all the above forms of messaging. Apparently, the fax and the post-it note are also modern forms of communicating the end of the affair. In-person is always preferable, but thanks to technology, if that’s not convenient for you, a face-to-face termination can be initiated by video chat. In-person breakups are mandated only by rules of tact.

Then there’s the change of “relationship” status on the social networks followed by the defriend maneuver. Then we have to block his email address and delete him from our contact list.

There are so many things to keep track of… it starts to get a little overwhelming.

Especially for folks like me who, on top of her all the aforementioned “buddy lists,”still insist on keeping an actual hardcopy address book.  A left-click on delete is, in the end, far less messy than whiteout.

Good thing I switched to pencil…

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