Love in the time of social media
Some things must not change, like love. Social media may have allowed today’s young people to connect with ease through online technology, develop relationships, and be confident about themselves, but it has also come to a point where they realize that what people do online may be a bit superficial at times. Forever does not exist in the internet. This is because love is a personal thing. You need to persevere, work very hard, and commit your whole self to the other. You can’t just love a person with the click of a mouse. You will not be able to determine how beautiful a person is by means of a picture, or a post, or a meme. You have to struggle with those questions about life with this one person you so cherish and adore, and be brave enough to know how harsh the answers can be.
Young couples nowadays will desire the whole world to know how much they love each other. In contrast, in times past, two souls who are so in love only wish to be together, away from the world, and feel that the only person that you need to be with in order to live is your one true love. You have to walk kilometers, dream dreams together, feel pain and despair, and hope that love would last until the very end of time. Today, many among the young fear commitment. But being loved has to be permanent because it is about being accepted for what one is, not for what one appears to be. Millennials, as they are called, desire things and travel a lot, and find happiness in their gadgets and apps. But older people don’t because the online world for them cannot be the real world. In the real world you will face real demons. In the virtual world, you simply need to snub anonymous online warriors.
No selfie can capture the beauty of a person. To fall in love is to recognize that someone special is out there. And so, you have to do things together, aspire for the same dreams, and hope that you will be happy doing so, because you know that there cannot be anyone else that you can imagine doing these things with.
It’s said that love is most felt in finding the reason to die for someone. But does love really have to end in tragedy? Maybe love is felt most truly when you have found the only reason why you must live. Indeed, you will only have one fear in life when you are in love. And that is losing the only person you want to spend eternity with.
True love exists, but the harshest thing you need to know about it is that sometimes the people worthy of it don’t. As you grow older, you will begin to look for better things in this world or desire many changes in almost everything that you see, until you realize that having found another person might just mean finding another mistake, such as the life that you have. And so, when you love someone, you will learn that it is not about wanting to make this person the same as you are, or of duplicating the bliss of others who have come before you, or of being celebrated by the whole of humanity, as the love story of Romeo and Juliet.
You can only post what you feel, not how you feel. People can filter their faces, edit ugly posts, but not bad relationships. Two decades or so ago, it was impossible to have a deeper acquaintance of the inner person of, for example, the woman of your life unless you do it the hard way. You have to be patient in everything. You have to actually buy and send her flowers, chocolates, and all. This means that love is not some virtual presence, but the concrete manifestation of one’s person in which not only the warmth of the other is felt, but also the promise of love in those little acts of kindness, like helping a future wife with her math homework.
It is like this: If it does not cause you sleepless nights doing such stupid things over and over again, then just don’t bother. It is not true love.
Christopher Ryan Maboloc teaches philosophy at Ateneo de Davao University and is the author of the three-volume “The Harshest Things You’ll Ever Learn about Love.”
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