Relationships in the new world
I thought I had written everything I could think of, about women and men. Well, perhaps not. I don’t write all that much about relationships. And that’s the whole goddamn can of worms, isn’t it? Well..a new direction for this blog perhaps.
I was in conversation with a blogger…those delightful email conversations where you can say just what you want, whenever you want to and in any order since you don’t really know the person at the other end. Ah, what joy the blogsphere has brought to idle intellectuals too lazy to practice their words!
I was talking about online relationships and realised I should just put it up as a post. Here’s what I think about them: SO?
What is the big deal with people anyway? Who is anyone to dictate what defines a relationship? I have felt a connection to some people. Coldly analysing it, it could be a combination of loneliness, hormones, stress and a whole load of other such seemingly shameful things. But after all no man (or woman) is an island and we are all social animals. I’d say we are all needy animals. We crave attention, validation, security, entertainment, sex, gratification, TLC…oh, so very many things.
Now, does it matter through what medium it reaches us? Isn’t it sufficient that we are having our needs met in a way that we like? Now whoever said that you can’t be in love with a person you’ve never seen..is a jackass. Do the blind never fall in love then? Similarly so about having to hear the person and such-and-such. Okay, physical promixity…and what about sex? Well…I know that’s the reason a lot of people get into relationships, but almost everyone who does, eventually realises that it can’t sustain a relationship on its own steam. Personally I think its nobody’s business where someone else is getting sex, from whom, how often and when and where. Isn’t there a theory about voyeurism having its roots in sexual deprivation? I believe it.
Coming back, I’d say the online world is as alive a medium as any other. We conduct our professional lives, do our shopping, manage our finances even our health online. So why not emotions and relationships? I don’t mean this as a substitute to the so-called real world. On retrospect, what is the real world after all? Most of us in the cities swim through masses of people everyday….how many of them do we talk to, or even make eye contact with? How many of us know our neighbors well? And how much do we know about the people we work everyday with, aside from what they do for a living? I don’t know that we’ve necessarily forgotten how to build relationships. I think we just do it differently from the way it has been done across centuries.
Literature holds numerous instances of grand love stories being conducted on long letters. I really don’t believe the email is impersonal. Maybe I just never was a very good letter-writer and perhaps because I was born to the internet generation….I think the content of writing makes it personal. The same is true of blogs, website, chats, text messages. Some of the really wonderful people I know today, I met them online. These were connections buildt on shared ideas, on wonderful conversations, on common ideals. There are some people I’ve met just a couple of times, some never at all. That doesn’t make them any less ‘real’ to me. They are well and alive and a part of my world and I, a part of theirs. What they think and feel matters to me and I would want to share my emotions with them. Isn’t that what relationships are about?
Who we are is so much more than what we look and sound and feel like. We are more than our bodies, aren’t we? So why restrict our relationships to bodily associations only?