Sage Thoughts

Pondering with purpose…



It's hard to form bridges when we are all behind screens

Relationships have never been easy. They are hardest yet in the 21st century I believe. For years I have fought to keep my relationships personal. I know that sounds crazy, since relationships are the most personal thing right? Wrong. In this electronic age they are a dying art.

I have left 2 marriages because of a lack of desire and maybe on some level a lack of ability to compete with what is “out there”. My first husband had a video game habit that cast me aside night after night for 16 months, for chasing the enemy, more levels and more energy to defend his world.

My Second husband left me in the dust of the pursuit of more code, more html, webpage design, and eventually chat with anyone but me. I left him in the dust to the tune of losing lots of money in the process just to find a relationship that was once again personal.

Now I sit here with that person, night after night while he sooths his internet surfing, facebook voyeurism addictions. Night after night I watch him scroll and read and surf, if not on the computer, then playing scrabble with people he doesn’t even know via his phone. I have recently gotten to enjoy this at work too with my co-workers . Relationships are hard to come by these days without having a screen of some sort between you and the person you are trying to relate to.

How to handle it? I feel myself withdrawing, thinking of ways to unplug and not even picking up the email, facebook for a day at a time. I don’t have a smart phone and the way I see it sucking people in around me I don’t want one. Relationships are personal, they are meant to be personal. People seem to be filling the need for company, entertainment, conversation, all the things we spent time with other people for in hours upon hours of screen time relating in some way to strangers.

I have watched this phenomenon grow since 1995 when I got my first taste of AOL. So many men complained their wives were boring, I was so much more interesting in chat than their wives were in person. I see now why. They were ignoring their wives, who probably sat next to them naked on the couch without even getting noticed. I see now what this desire for novelty does to relationships. It may not have been the marriages, may not have been my judgement all the while. It was the electronic phantoms that enmeshed themselves where a human connection between 2 people used to be. Just as is happening right now as I write this, sitting on a “love seat” with the man I love, being ignored another night, one of many since he moved in 3 months ago. It seems some sage with a blog is more enthralling than human communication in real time he could be having with me at this very moment. I can’t, I won’t, I should not have to compete with such trivial things.

What is love now? Is love and having a successful relationship learning to surf the web next to the one you love, conducting your relationship in chat boxes side by side? If that’s it, maybe I was wrong to leave my last marriage, we had that down to a science.

I am moody, I am lost in thought. I am contemplating if I want to go forward living my evenings this way, living my life this way with a man who can not put the internet down. I guess maybe I need to find an old fashioned man, someone who would rather talk, play scrabble, write love songs than read over and over the trivialities of “facebook friends”. That phenomenon in itself, the virtuality of it becoming reality for many is just plain sad. I don’t want to fit in to this. I don’t want to be overcome by this. I am too real for this virtual planet. Only nature and god are real, the rest like words on a page are illusions, creations of our own minds to occupy the hours we should be spending going inward and preparing for better things.

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