Sunday, July 17, 2011

Does technology make us lazy about love?

After posting the other day I started thinking how technology has changed relationships and romance. I know we wouldn’t have made it through a five month stint apart without Skype. I could never have been one of those women during (what we call in Australia) World War One, who sat waiting for monthly letters from their boyfriends or husbands. I need much more immediate forms of communication.

Mero Budda says he hates Skype but I credit Skype with our marriage (Oh shit maybe that’s why he hates it?).

Anyone who has tried to Skype Nepal knows how frustrating it can be sitting, waiting for a call to connect, then finally… “Can you hear me? Can you see me? Hello, are you getting this? Is my text coming through? What about now? Now? Now?”

As annoying as it is the excitement when that grainy, lagging picture finally comes up and you see the face of someone who has put up with countless dropped calls and static ridden lines just so they can have a few minutes talking to you is always worth it. I think I speak for a lot of long distance couples when I say Skype is one of the things that gets you through the times apart.

But it isn’t just modern couples using technology to foster romance. I know two women in arranged marriages who used the internet to check out the partners put forward by their parents. Both of these women were given options of Nepali men studying abroad and both engaged in some cyber stalking, using Facebook, to give the guys the once over.Then they both used Skype for a number of cyber dates before consenting to the match. Without the internet these women may have had to choose a husband purely on their parents recommendation.

So I recognize that technology is making it easier but is easier better in the long run?

My sister and I had a discussion the other day about what is an acceptable amount of time for a guy to wait before he sends you a text after he gets your number. I maintain if he doesn’t text in 24hrs he is too lazy / busy for me to consider him proper date material. My sister and plenty of my friends give a guy three days.

I think technology is making men romantically lazy and lowering women’s standards. We have already forgotten the days when a boy would need to be brave enough to call our home phone and ask whomever answered if they could speak to you... AND THEN be brave enough to ask you on the date. These days we are lucky to get a text saying : C U 2nite hu6? And we are meant to get excited by this!

Instead of sending flowers, now a guy just sends you a picture or flowers, or if he is really lazy, an emoticon of one. I remember telling my friend Mero Budda sends me a romantic text nearly every day (this was when we were dating, these days I am lucky if he wastes his credit to tell me important things). She looked at me like i found the Holy Grail of men. Are we seriously that love deprived that a few nice words tapped out while he waits for a tempo passes for romance?

I want real flowers, I want words written in pen or whispered in my ear, I want to go to a movie not watch one pirated from the net. Romance isn’t supposed to be easy. It is about effort and time and care. Call me selfish but now that my husband and I are in the same city I want some old fashioned love.


  1. Interesting post. I have been doing long distance for over 2 years with my Nepali boy (way too long!!!!). Ours plans are to be in the same city this year and some of the things you mention are things I already am a little worried about. After such a long time of long distance I don't know how hard it will be to acclimate to being in the same city. After daily emails, texts, and 3 hour phone convos what will it be like to have dinner together every night? After getting "used" to only getting a real date night once every 4 months, will he think that is acceptable once we are together? I hope not. Your post made me think about lots of things and I think there will be many adjustments to be made by each of us. I think technology has made us lazy in love in many ways...but I know without it my relationship with my Nepali probably wouldn't have survived the miles and time.

  2. amanda'
    m running out of words..
    but i want u to knoe' that i went through each and every word you wrote here..
    more post awesome amanda! ;)

  3. He's gotta text you in 24 hours? You have high standards!
    I count a guy as interested if he hunts me down on facebook and adds me in a week ;)
    (Then again, being in a relationship and all, I try to avoid giving out my number...)

  4. My Nepali friend has been dating a girl he met when she was an exchange student for about three years now. He is in the US and she lives in Germany. They wouldn't have made it this long without technology-- Skype, texting, facebook. Even for us (their friends) its nice, because even though we only see her maybe once or twice a year, we still feel so close from pictures and messages shared on the net. Although obviously they are trying to at least get to the same continent (our friend is moving to Ireland soon for work), and hopefully soon the same country, so that their relationship can move to the next stage.

  5. @PumbaandSimba: I have found this really hard. I didn't imagine the person on the other end of those lovely emails may actually not be able to maintain the level of 'romance' once it was an every day, morning breath, bad hair, flaws and all relationship. It is hard but i think it is worth it to have something real!

  6. @ wanderer: Thanks, I am enjoying your blog too!

    @Taswin: For a long time i was just happy if a guy called but then I thought why am i dating these guys who make no effort to act like i am someone they really want in their lives. I think i am spacial, if they can't see it then why bother dating them? And yeah i am married now so there is anot a whole lot of number handing out... in fact my husband and i share a moblie!

  7. @ americannepali: they only see each other once or twice a year? OMG that is hardcore. I could never do that!

  8. i credit skype for a lot more than keeping me and my hune-wala through the distance, timezone and such. skype freezing over is awesome -especially when we are having a more than trivial "disagreement" (bc his pissed off face only formulates 15 seconds too late). though i do find gchat really confusing - not sure if he's sometimes making a joke, being sarcastic or nothing in between.

    as for making us lazier ... if what you're saying is true i'm glad for it! i personally do not like to think i, as a female, am something to be chased/pursued/woo-ed. i don't like to play hard to get and i think it's so 60s to wait for a guy to do something. (i'm toying with the idea of proposing...ha! can you imagine! in nepal!) so, if i can be honest i think if you want romance you go get it! that's the kind of girl power i was referring to back in 7th grade when i scribbled that know what i mean?

  9. @ Nepaliketi: was Aug 2 a negative day for you? Like six comment where youkilled me! I am a straight down the line kind of girl. I don't do games, I don't play around. BUT i still like to be important to someone and i still like to be surprised with the occasional romantic gesture... i don't think that makes me a 60s house wife.

    I do many romantic things for my husband but you can only ask for some romance and then wait and hope it is returned to you... i don't really see any other option but please tell me if you have suggestions!