This year I’m determined to fall in love with a person rather than with my phone.
I want to meet a person- actually in person. I don’t want to swipe through perfectly-staged photographs and sentence long bios that are supposed to charm or amuse me. I want to actually see a person, maybe in my favorite coffee shop, or when I’m out with my friends, or when I’m in a bookstore. I want to strike up a conversation, and go with an impulse decision of whether or not I want to know them better.
I don’t want to go home, get online, and try to search them out on the internet. I don’t want to add them as a virtual “friend” and try to piece together the kind of person they are through statuses and gather their interests through “likes.” I want to hear about the things they typically don’t post online. Like what scares them the most, or what was the best day of their life, or what do they think the world is going to look like 10 years from now?
I want to fall for the sound of their voice- not the message tone blaring. I want to to fall for their facial expressions, not their emojis. I want to feel their hand in mine, not the disappointment after not getting a text back. It’s clear that over time, we have slowly began to fall in love with our phones-and who we think is on the other side of the screen- rather than the actual messy, unpredictable, interesting people they truly are. We pretended that phones made things easier, because it’s less “pressure” not being face-to-face, getting to know a person in a less intimidating kind of way.
We didn’t make things any easier, though, did we? Now we’ve made rules that we must sift through every time we interact with a potential love interest.
Do I text them first? How long do I have to wait before I reply? Is sending more than one text in a row okay? How many pictures can I post of us online before we become “that couple?” If they don’t “like” my posts, are they really that into me? What does it mean if they have Tinder? (but really, we all know what it means if they have Tinder).
We could’ve used phones as a nice way to send a text saying we were thinking about someone in the middle of the day- now it’s just our main means of communication. Social media could’ve been a nice way to share bits and pieces of our lives with the ones we don’t see all the time- but we turned it into the standard measurement to determine how much we like the person we’re with. We quickly took things that could’ve simply elevated the experience, and made them the experiences.
And honestly, I’m not falling for it anymore.
I’m not going to waste my time day dreaming about a person who I interact with 99% of the time through my phone. I’m not going to keep falling for the digital version of people and pretend I’m satisfied with that.
I’m ready to fall for a person, in real life, in real time.
I want a love that means we spend more face time together, instead of Facetime. I want a love that means we spend an afternoon grabbing coffee and talking about life, rather than shooting a few texts and trying to encompass our days- all the little moments, all the things you can’t explain in a few shorts sentences. I would rather look into someone’s eyes and tell them how much I appreciate them, rather than crafting the perfect caption for a photo telling everyone else the way I feel about them. I want something real, and the only way I know I’m going to find it is if I put down the phone, and actually look up once in awhile.
And maybe, this year, I’ll find a pair of eyes searching for the same things I am, too.