2020: The Year of Long Distance Love?
Is cyber companionship the future?
If the disaster year of 2020 has taught us anything, it's that humans as a species are relatively adaptable in the time of need. Well. Most of them anyway.
Between lockdowns and socially distancing, we have had to relearn communication. For many under 60 t his was perhaps easier than anticipated, the majority of our social life is now online, we are rather lucky in that respect.
A big part of our newfound reliance on technology is the ability to meet new people. No longer can we crowd nightclubs and drunkenly flirt with the first patron we make eye contact with, instead, we have to think about what we say before we send off that first crucial message to the dark stranger on Tinder.
Online relationships are not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination. I myself have been in a long-distance relationship since 2018, even then people were still hesitant to take it seriously. Now only two years later we are seeing a climb in online-based relationships, with multiple platforms compiling lists of activities perfect for online dating. We have browser extensions that ensure people can sync their Netflix shows together, companies cashing in on LDR care packages and Cosmo giving us all of their top tips for online love.
Of course, these are positive moves in the modern world. We have more resources than ever to enjoy ourselves. This could truly be the future of dating, with travelling becoming more and more accessible to people (albeit not during lockdown) Rather than judgement and scoffs at the idea of falling in love halfway across the globe, it could be the beginning of normalisation.
Many are praising the new ability to enjoy far-flung romancing, but they're less eager to consider the reality that comes with being so far from your S/O and the ever-changing laws that come with travelling. And while we may be communicating more, it becomes significantly easier to hide aspects of our lives, flaws and hardships. We may find it harder to trust or trust too easily, and that relies heavily on how much Catfish we have binged on MTV since we got stuck inside. (Hint: A LOT)
Is this truly the sprout of a fruitful generational change that will develop technological advances that will benefit millions of people for years to come? Or will we see a fall in these relationships when the world goes back to it's daily grind without the looming threat of a global pandemic? We will only see the potential when the dust has finally settled.