Love in the 21st Century

So this happened.

marriage equality

While this is incredible and I am very enthused about the families that will finally be recognized and granted the associated rights, I am a little upset that the Supreme Court didn’t take up one of the cases to allow marriage equality in the entire nation as opposed to the current 30 states that have legalized the freedom to marry. Also, marriage isn’t the only thing we are denied through discrimination. We still need protections in the workplace and housing. Not to mention that trans* and gender non-conforming people are still especially vulnerable to many other forms of bullying, harassment, and persecution. Marriage equality in 30 states is great, but we still have a long way to go.

And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Because this also happened last week.

CAM00473

Forgive the horrible quality on the pictures. Neon Trees came and played for the last of Provo’s Summer Rooftop Concert Series. Apart from really enjoying their music, I also really respect them. They started out in Provo oh so many years ago and still come back and respect their roots; I really appreciate that. The Blue Aces and Fictionist opened for them and they were also impressive.

They started playing some of their songs from past albums (Animal, 1983, Mad Love). As they transitioned into songs from their newest album, Pop Psychology, Tyler Glenn shared a thought. Something like what he did at this other concert. He said that once there was a “beautiful man of God” that he matched with on Tinder. Shortly thereafter he received a four letter message from aforementioned man reading, “Woof.” All the window-shopping love of Tinder came down to that one word. He said he then uninstalled the app and threw his phone across the room. He encouraged everyone to uninstall such apps (Tinder, Grindr, etc) and started into “Love in the 21st Century.”

Is this really what love has become in the 21st century? Passing through countless people swiping right or left without ever being accountable for the judgments we make from four photos and a tagline. It is so easy to hide behind technology. Digital words are easy. I am just as guilty of this as anyone. Here I am adding more digital words to a digital world from the safety of my computer screen. We’ve created a life and love without consequence.

The “broken-heart technology” of today has made it so easy to have a completely different presence in person versus via technology. What we do in person doesn’t match what we say hiding behind our texts, posts, and comments. It’s easier when “your kisses taste so sweet, but then you click delete” without ever having to see the face of the person you are hurting. What if our text behavior was more congruent with our physical behavior? It can go either way; sometimes people are affectionate and bold online and in person they are closed off and other times warm and encouraging behavior in person, but via technology they are distant or completely silent.

I’m sick of wondering if you would ever call me back.
I check my four different accounts just to end up mad.

Wish I could dissect your brain apart.
It takes a vivisection just to understand your heart.
If we could just own up, get wound up, messed up.

“Love in the 21st Century” by Neon Trees

Personally, I can’t say that I’ve felt this “love” thing. Crushes? Sure. But love? The thing that inspires countless songs and movies and poems and other pieces of art. I’ve no experience with that. And though I haven’t experienced it, I know that 21st century love in all its in-congruence is not what I want. I would rather foolish behavior.

We don’t need to indulge in “21st century love.” We can choose to be authentic no matter the medium and convey what we feel.

-Daniel

Hey look! A post that isn’t all about being gay. Just the marriage thing at the beginning, but I could hardly ignore that piece of history.

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