For Christmas this year, my mother got me a Nook. She vacillated between the easy reader and one of the more advanced models, eventually going for the simpler (and cheaper, although she kindly made up the financial difference in a Barnes and Noble gift card) route.
Well, because I have an iPhone that’s pretty much my life. I mean, that baby has a camera, camcorder, calculator, and so on, never mind the internet options. I read the news on my iPhone. I get e-mail and texts on my iPhone. I keep in touch with friends, loved ones, and total strangers via Facebook and Twitter on my iPhone. I got notified about my tax return on my iPhone.
Well, you get the idea.
And so did my mom since she decided that, between the iPhone and my laptop, there was no earthly need to give me yet another internet-enabled device when the Simple Touch would certainly meet my needs as a book equivalent (well, almost-equivalent).
Yup, I’m definitely a card-carrying member of the “Technology Age”, and the things that have been lost along the way only bother me when I think about them.
Like now, as I’m contemplating Chicago Portfolio student Jake Reilly’s self-titled “Amish Project”, the gist of which involved dropping from the world of social networking—in other words, going without “Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, texting, and more for 90 days”.
This is a fascinating story to me, actually, namely because I’m pretty sure that I couldn’t pull it off. (I’m one of those annoying people that inform my Facebook followers know when I wake up in the morning and Tweet about the weather)
What I found relevant to you lovely ZL readers, though, is this: apparently, Reilly’s love life took a turn for the better that clearly coincided with his life change as he recaptured the heart of his long-term girlfriend by stamping a Christmas message into the snow outside her window.
This whole thing kind of, I think, helped us get back together because whenever we were together there was no pressure. It was, OK, we’re just going to enjoy each other right now, because I don’t know when I’m going to see you again. There was no drunken text messaging and jealousy from Facebook. It was just her and I.
So we started seeing each other again, and I did a lot of cheesy stuff like writing a big chalk message on the street in front of her office building and sending her a cookie with a message written in frosting and stuff like that. On the last week that she was in Colorado I went out and wrote Merry Christmas to her — that picture was taken from the roof of the apartment we were staying at.
Awww, that’s so sweet (and no, I’m not being sarcastic!).
Before Reilly became a romantic, though, he was admittedly something of a player. Well, a wannabe player, at least.
Reilly: There were so many missed connections. I mean, at first, I would meet girls out at the bar, and they’d be, like, “Here, take my phone number.” I would have to explain that I didn’t have an email address or Facebook…
Sylvester: …but if they’ll give you their address you’ll stop by sometime?
Reilly: Yeah, and they were, like, “Screw you. If you don’t want to call me just say so.” I’d say “No, no. Tell me where your office is, and I’ll send you a bike courier message or whatever.”
I’m sorry, but that is truly funny. I can just imagine the cries of, “Creeper!”
And am I the only person that thinks this sounds almost fairy tale-like? Boy can’t pick up girls in bars because they won’t give him a chance (almost a Beauty and the Beast-like curse, no?), boy thinks a lot on the proverbial girl he left behind, boy stamps out a Christmas message in the snow to show the depths of his love?
I mean, I have no idea if Jake Reilly and Colorado girl are even still together, but it just sort of melts my heart a little bit.
Perhaps you’re wondering what led Reilly to this, as I know I was. My own proclivity toward obsessive social networking, Words with Friends, and reading random shit on the internet via my iPhone probably should have clued me in, but … no dice.
I live with three guys and we had two of our best friends in visiting from New York City. We only see these guys once a year, maybe every six months. We were at the University of Wisconsin watching a Badgers basketball game or something like that. Every single person had either a laptop or a cell phone. That’s just kind of funny to begin with, then, I was like, “What are we all doing?” I asked everyone what they were doing and somebody’s playing Words with Friends, somebody’s playing Angry Birds, somebody’s playing online trivia. Nobody’s really doing anything, just sitting quiet. It’s like this was what we were all looking forward to and we’re just sitting here numbing our minds.
Very scary … and very true.
But back to the “love life” angle, which I think is key here. I’m glad it worked for Reilly, but I don’t know if it’s necessarily a universal truth.
My boyfriend lives about forty minutes away; scary as this sounds, I think it’d be a struggle for us to have a relationship without social networking. We text all the time (we are actually both far more witty via text message than in reality), probably keep Yahoo Messenger in business, document our almost-six month relationship via Facebook timeline, Tweet news stories of interest to each other, have epic games of Words with Friends where we try to best each other (he’s an English teacher, too), and … yeah.
The picture at the top of this article is the sort of pic I send to him, a drawing made by a student on my classroom SmartBoard during free time that I thought was very cool and that, as a New England Patriots fan, he’d appreciate. (The fact that I have a SmartBoard in my classroom and he doesn’t might have also been part of the message …go, technology, woohoo!)
Does the fact that I probably couldn’t pick his handwriting out of a lineup bother me a little bit? Yes.
Do I think there’s anything wrong in the dependency on technology our relationship has? No, in large part because we see each other several times a week, so the technology-based communications are definitely supplemental.
Still, I admire Nick Reilly’s endeavors, and I think it can teach all of us a valuable lesson.
Definitely couldn’t pull it off myself, though.