Intertwining love, gaming, and social media in one post – sounds fun! At first, I wasn’t sure how the 3 aforementioned would blend with each other, but my mind immediately went to the numerous videogames that offer different levels of social interaction between us human beings all around the world. You might be thinking why am I mentioning videogaming? First, my blog Lou-Cyo Reviews’ purpose is to expose news, reviews, and commentary about the world of videogames – I want to keep it relevant. I owe it to my readers. Though I won’t be focusing on videogaming, I will refer to it all throughout. Secondly, if we are talking of social media, videogames constitute a vast portion of such category especially if we’re discussing “21st-century love.”
Modern age love. When I read the previous sentence, I immediately consider the Internet being involved in some way, shape, or form. In this era, the Internet has given an immense number of the Earth’s population access to connect with each other via instant texts, videos, illustrations, and microphones. If we’re not on facebook checking for Notifications, we are tweeting and retweeting people we find fascinating. And if you’re immersed in the gaming culture and into massive multiplayer online games, you might already have a set time to meet with your team to either raid a sorcerer’s cave or take down your enemy’s armed forces. We live in the times of connectivity – the resources seem endless. With each passing second, people are trying to find easier and better ways to connect and share their lives. So with that, how can one even entertain the idea that love CANNOT sprout between two (or more) people?
It all appears wonderfully uncomplicated written down, doesn’t it? However, it’s far from the truth. Yes, social media gives us countless ways to communicate with others and create possible healthy relationships with one-time strangers. But social media is just that: the means we use to communicate. If people don’t utilize their resources appropriately and effectively to nurture their relationships the same are as good as dead. It’s not a matter of what a pair of lovers use to communicate with each other. It’s a matter of how they communicate with each other. If people cannot interact in a healthy manner in order to promote understanding and trust between them, it won’t matter whether you both have a Twitter, facebook, Skype, ooVoo, Xbox Live, or email accounts.
I found myself playing the Long Distance Relationship Love Game once. We started a friendship in a popular chat site and after several months decided to meet in person. I believe we never exchanged photos by that time, so it was awkward as HECK when we finally met. Outcome? We became really good friends and later our friendship bloomed into one of the best relationships I’ve ever had in my life. Obviously ups and downs occurred, but for 95% of the time I felt satisfied and happy. Lucky even, that I had found such an individual to share my life with. Then the universe decided it was time to test just how strong our bond was. I was presented with an opportunity to expand my education and get a Master’s Degree in Chicago – I couldn’t say no.
I was scared. Scared to face my significant other and make my decision of moving to another country which meant the end of the relationship we had. I remember days of pulsating anxiety and dread. When the conversation finally took place, I remember my lover at the time tell me, “We don’t have to end it. We’ll make it. I believe in us.” And I believed it. We discussed how we still have our cellphones, facebook, and laptops to video chat. I was confident. However, the minute I left my home island things turned for the worst. My other half started to alienate from me because I was “not [there].” The phone conversations went from “I miss you” to guilt trips of “I hate this. I don’t understand why you needed to go so far.” Video chats rarely happened. We exchanged maybe a couple of emails… Long story short, the person I loved called me one night and said, “I can’t deal with this anymore,” and just like that, it was over. I was devastated. I felt at the verge of depression, but thankfully I was surrounded by wonderful individuals who kept me going and pushed when I needed it.
We both had facebook, Skype, and our respective cellphones… But it didn’t matter –effective communication was nonexistent. I was so eager to share my new-found passion in life and what the big city of Chicago had to offer. And what did I came across? My significant other saying, “I really don’t want to know about it. I don’t want to believe you’re gone.” My LIFE became Chicago at that point in time, so what was I supposed to talk about? Conversing about what I ingested and if my bowel movements were normative can only take you so far. The lack of communication served as toxic waste in the field where understanding needed to grow in order for our relationship to survive. The methods were there, but never used in an effective manner. Relationships, created over the Internet or not, last because people WANT to work on the relationship and make it last.
(P.S. – Post is in respond to Weekly Writing Challenge: Love in the 21st Century.)