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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"?

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
MeiGaku MeiGaku 7 years
technology has made it more interesting. sure it is easier to break up with someone over facebook by changing the relationship status, but i think it also makes connecting with people easier. my bf and i don't live super close to each other, so we only meet up once or twice a week, but we constantly send sweet texts to each other and talk on the phone at night after a long day. without cell phones and texting, i wouldn't get the dorky messages or the romantic spur of the moment poems that he writes. =)
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
I agree with leslievanhout. it's all about what your goal is at all. People will do whatever they want to.
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
it depends on how you want to date -- I was long-distance with my boyfriend the first six months or so of us dating, and we'd shoot each other emails here and there but we spent at least an hour on the phone every day. we wouldn't have conversations on text, we'd send 'sweet nothings' type things. its a way to stay in touch, but I have standards for myself,and even before he and I met, if a guy wanted to take me out, he'd call me and make a plan. maybe I'm "old fashioned" in that sense, but I won't let that be the way I interact with people
kittykat83 kittykat83 7 years
I think technology is opening the way for more relationship opportunities that regular encounters don't always afford. I've met people in passing and then reconnected in facebook, only to have gained a boyfriend or good friend.
leslievanhouten leslievanhouten 7 years
right. nothing like technology in a post feminist world to bring about the end of the halcyon era of fifties courtship rules. My response is, so what? culture and society is constantly changing and evolving. That is not inherently a bad thing. The idea of marriage for romantic love is still fairly new in the grand scheme of things. Does technology give a person more options? sure. Does it make it easier to cheat? I think so. But people who want to cheat and have casual sex partners will always find a way, technology just makes it more efficient. And if someone wanted to find a serious committed partner, technology can help with that as well. It's not all bad.
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