What would ‘Notes from Venus’ be without addressing love and all of its nuances? With all of the advances in science, research, and the largest connection to people across the globe through social media- love still seems to evade us. Often viewed as the common language that connects us all, this rhetoric can’t be more deceiving. Though it’s an experience that we have across cultures and socioeconomic status- this four letter word means something different to everyone. Because figuring this out from a global stance would be maddening, I have since committed to study love as it pertains to my experience. I have committed to reviewing the way my views on love were structured in my childhood, the subconscious cultural messages that were present, and the way I act on these messages as an adult. I don’t aim to address everything I have uncovered in this one post, but I aim to share these discoveries over time. I truly hope that through my healing I can heal others and create a dialogue that repairs us and aids in evolution. Lofty, I know, but such is the thoughts and the heart of a hopeless romantic. 🙂
First things first, I’m Black, 32 years old, Single, and Dating (whatever that means-right?). One of my favorites pastimes is people watching. I love seeing the way people interact and guessing their conversation or connections based on non-verbals. Over the past few years, my past-time has become quite saddening. I have observed that people no longer connect. Glances at eat other across the table, flirtatious grins, excitement in dialogue- it has all been replaced with cell phones/social media. I just observed a couple the other night literally sit on cell phones their entire dinner, even while eating. I never saw them speak. They left happily hand in hand, but didn’t seem to notice they spent a night out with no dialogue and no connection. Let’s not even talk about cell phones and dating!! If it’s not an abbreviated text (GM, WYD, etc.), it’s a potential partner that wants to have entire conversations through text. The art of conversation is diminishing. With the added social media apps, we still can’t connect with each other. Enter the battle of the heart eyes, Facebook posts with no text back, and studying/dissecting each other through virtual interactions so-much-so that connections in person aren’t as important (or as validating).
If I feel like this now, I can only imagine how this impacts future generations as well as current generations born in the 90s or 2000s. I recently read an article about millennials and their entitlement and impending issues in love and relationships. I was nodding my head in tandem with every syllable and every word until the author had the audacity to include 80’s babies in the millennial subgroup. For me, a millennial should be classified as someone born when the internet was accessible to all, this then advances to cell phones and etc. For my 80s babies I think I have figured out part of our issue. When you think back to middle school and high school puppy love in the 90s, it was laced with love letters folded cleverly and given to you during 5th period. It was tying up the house phone until you kill the battery on the wireless phone and switch out with the other phone you were saving for the moment. Even before the wireless house phone, no one knows love like sitting on a phone for hours that’s attached to a cord! That’s real love. Requesting music on the radio when R&B ruled the airwaves and love was cool. Actual dates. What we are experiencing now is not a true absence of love and romance- it’s disequilibirum. It’s the effects of a culture that tells us that connecting to people miles away is more important than connecting to the people in our corner, that quick texts are conversation and can compare to inflection/debate/voices, and that ‘likes’ are enough. Totally opposite of the collectivist culture embedded in our DNA- this assimilation challenges the very thing that provided sanctuary and balance: LOVE.
So using the same vessel that has caused this breach–I challenge this. We’re equipped with everything it takes to keep love alive. Will you arm yourself? Take the journey with me as I chronicle the very thing that evades us.