Can you believe we’re almost midway through the Summer of Bloggerly Love? Today’s guest is my buddy Riley Redgate (not her real name) who blogs over at In the Jungle. Except today. Today I blog over there, about young adult fiction, and she blogs here, about young love. After you read her entry, be sure to check out her highly entertaining blog.
Love and the Digital Age
Ah, love. Sighing, swooning, oftentimes-embarrassing love.
I don’t know how many teenagers you’re Facebook-friends with, but if I may hate on some of my peers for a moment . . . jeesh, you’re not missing out on much. Every day is a constant parade of adolescence, from angsty declarations of angst (“I’d be lying if I said I cared.” *hairflip*) to angsty song lyrics about angst (“If the plane goes down, I’ll remember where the love was found…”) to angsty bursts of angst that try to deny their own angstiness (“pissed beyond pissed…!-!!!! dnt wanna talk”). And yes. Those were all real quotes. (I feel like I’ve betrayed my generation, somehow.)
Of course, it’s not ALL misery! But one could argue that declarations of undying love are even worse. Because, you know, they’d be sweet and all, if they didn’t look like this:
2 wEEkz wit mY babY~`~~`! luv u sO mUch!1!
One could easily suggest that the upswing in communication means the cheapening of love to … er, interesting declarations such as the above. The immediacy of the modern era means that our significant other is always at our fingertips, which means that we can text/call/Facebook/otherwise harass them twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Whoopee!
Strangely enough, though, some people take issue with this type of constant contact. Some people can’t stand the idea of a boyfriend or girlfriend texting them every minute. I stand with this crowd.
Why? Well, gentle reader, I am a firm believer in a concept that seems pretty extinct in my generation:
Going a day without obsessing over your crush’s every move. Personal space!
Listening to the rustling of leaves, undrowned by conversation. Personal space!
And appreciating the moments you’re away from the person you love as much as those you spend with them . . . Personal. Space. It’s a beautiful thing.
My personal wishlist includes a book with a protagonist that doesn’t pine. A protagonist that can still be happy without the person they love. Unfortunately, I, er, haven’t encountered this book yet. (Suggestions are most welcome!) Thing is, books are a huge influence on the lives of those who read them. And every time I see a protagonist who’s seemingly addicted to his/her (well, usually her) love interest, it makes me wilt a little. I wonder to myself, Hmm, are YOU the reason so many of my friends think it’s fine to be clingy in a relationship?
What I love is when protagonists in love can think about things . . . well, other than love. It always feels like a breath of fresh air. After all, detaching can often be as important – and far more healthy – than immersion. And though I’m hardly a technophobe, I’ll say that it’s nice to turn off the cellphone every once in a while to get some personal space.
But the computer is a different story. I almost never turn it off. It has Microsoft Word, you see.
Riley Redgate is a a bookstore-and-Starbucks-dwelling 17-year-old writer, devourer of books and destroyer of grammatical errors. When she’s not making up things or viciously slicing words, she plays the piano, sings through books of Broadway music, and pretends to be other people onstage. She spends a lot of time dreading college applications.