So yesterday I went to see the movie, Her, which is now one of my top three favorite movies that make you think. I like quirky movies, and this is perfectly lined up along with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Lost in Translation. I could write a review, but I won’t…if you do not like the other two aforementioned movies you probably will not like this one.
It did make me think about technology and how our society is so consumed with it. Often times it takes the place of real face to face relationships. In some ways this is a huge advantage as we get to meet and communicate with people that are seemingly a world away. New friendships are formed with people we may never had the opportunity to meet in our day to day lives. However, it is also a hindrance. People are breaking up with one another via text messages, our cellphones have become an addiction, and we do not know how to disconnect.
I realized that there is a direct correlation between how we handle technology and how we hand our interpersonal relationships. If you are one of those people that cannot put your phone down for an hour to enjoy a dinner with someone, you are going to struggle to devote time to a partner. Everything becomes secondary to staying connected and a part of you is exposing yourself to more and more people that may make your current relationship less desirable.
Those of us who find it easier to unplug are emotionally more available and a little more willing to put in extra work to make time with our special someone. The problem is finding someone who is on the same level of connectivity…or lack there of. When most of your conversations are via text, it probably isn’t a great relationship.
Although, I can’t blame Theodore (the main character of Her) for his involvement in a relationship that felt real. He couldn’t connect to his fellow humans with their complex emotions and needs all the while dealing with his own. It also took me back to a time in my younger years of finding connections via a very slow dial up connection. The need for intelligent (or at least semi-intelligent depending on who you are) is great, but our standards aren’t as high for finding it. We are emotional creatures and need some kind of connection, and sometimes that translates into long distance or online relationships. It is easy to trick our brains into believing that this relationship is true love, because everything is simple. We get mostly the good of another person or the facade of who they are without dealing with household chores, responsibilities, or finances.
How much of our own selfishness plays into this as well? Are online relationships easier because we are selfish? I mean if you take out the need for responsibility in the relationship it is kind of an even playing field. They essentially get the same thing that you do from it…your time when you provide it, but never all the complications that come along with it. Our need to filter out drama puts us in a position to want to have our cake and eat it to. Which is truly the lesser of two evils? If you find yourself in less than desirable relationships it is far too easy to fall into the falsehood of an online relationship. When we do this, doesn’t that essentially mean that we are also taking time away from going out and meeting people to find something real? Only time will tell how our exposure to technology and the desire to have everything at our fingertips in a moments instance will translate into the future development of our relationships with others.