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The Post Modern Handbook: Call me, Maybe



Pending: Relationship request from Matt Howard

When I was in college, Facebook notified me that the guy I thought I was casually dating had requested to be “In a relationship.” I ignored it for days.

Despite ignoring it, we continued to go out, I just never mentioned anything about the pending request that hovered at the corner of my computer screen. I told my roommates that it felt like he had ambushed me. I told them that it felt fast to be attached to another name and that I wasn’t ready for my profile to describe me as “in a relationship.”

One of my roommate’s eyed me silently, and then noted that I had been with this particular gentleman every day for four months. “Don’t you see,” she said. “In real life, you’re already in a relationship.”

Today, my cell phone is my college boyfriend. Today, your cell phone is my college boyfriend. The heated debates around cell phone culture, the ones that argue their hindrance of our present selves or the ones that champion their noble ability to maintain far away connections, don’t actually matter.

In reality, we’re already in a relationship with our cell phones.

Instead of incessantly judging it or comparing it to “the way we lived before our phones lived with us,” it’s time to accept where we are right now—in a relationship with technology. We’ve established a relationship with our phones, and that’s okay. Obsessing over our digital partners, whether we see our cell phones too much or too little, doesn’t change the fact that they are a real part of our world in whatever way we allow them to be.

Just like human relationships, our relationships with our phones will evolve into somethingdifferent than they once were. When that happens, we’ll redefine our roles.

For now, it’s time to accept that we’re in a committed relationship with our phones—and itdoesn’t have to mean more or less than it already did before we admitted it.

Accepted: Rebecca Marshburn is now in a relationship with Matt Howard

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