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Has Technology Ruined Romance For Us?

Conservative columnist David Brooks wrote an essay in the New York Times yesterday about how technology is ruining love and sex for the youngins.

Although Brooks reaches this conclusion based on the testimony of some horndogs who agreed to be "online sex diarists" for New York magazine (he admits it's a pretty unrepresentative demographic), Brooks nevertheless believes their stories tell us something fundamental about love in the age of technology: it's allowed people to treat potential sex partners (and it's significantly limited to this) as if they were products on eBay.

Once upon a time — in what we might think of as the "Happy Days era" — courtship was governed by a set of guardrails. Potential partners generally met within the context of larger social institutions: neighborhoods, schools, workplaces and families. There were certain accepted social scripts. The purpose of these scripts — dating, going steady, delaying sex — was to guide young people on the path from short-term desire to long-term commitment.

Now? People have lots of different kinds of sexual attachments with different people at the same time, and their cellphones help making and canceling plans as easy as rearranging Netflix queues. (I'll take the credit for that last analogy!)

Do you agree with Brooks? Is it true that, "In today’s world, the choice of a Prius can be a more sanctified act than the choice of an erotic partner"?

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