Love in the Age of Internet Memes - SunStar

Love in the Age of Internet Memes

By Lisa F. Sabala

EIGHT years. This is how long my significant other and I have been together. Back when we started dating, we kept things simple. On days when we didn’t have work, we sometimes took a trip to the beach to relax on the shore. I would bring a book to read and he would flip through the day’s newspaper. Occasionally, one of us would pause to share something we read that’s interesting. All the while, we would rub our feet against each other. Our conversations were light, arguments were rare and we laughed a lot. That was how we bonded.

Illustration by Geraldine Sypiecco

Both of us grew up in the 90s so it was easy to relate to each other’s childhood stories. We remember eating Bazooka bubble gum, watching Sailormoon and Dragon Ball Z and finding it funny that we memorized the lyrics to Quit Playing Games with My Heart. Kids played patintero and langit-lupa on the street and it was considered a privilege to have a playmate with a game console at home. And if someone said “cassette tape,” we knew what it looked like.

Several years passed, cellular phones evolved into touch screens. Laptops are out and tablets are in. Wifi is everywhere and pictures are no longer taken with film. In fact, many of us spend a large chunk of our time every day scrolling through Facebook and being flooded with pictures taken by friends in real time – where they are right now, what they are doing, who they are with.

Face-to-face conversations are no longer as common as they were before. Try going to the mall and look for families sitting together in a restaurant or a group of friends in a coffee shop. They won’t be talking animatedly with each other, instead, each individual would be fixated over their mobile phone or tablet — scrolling through their social network newsfeeds or playing online games. It makes me feel a little sad that people bond over technology and not as much in person anymore. However, I also feel a little hypocritical, because from time to time, I find myself fixated with my own handheld device. It’s a common guilty pleasure for many of us, including me and my significant other.

As our second wedding anniversary approaches, I compare how much we have changed, how much we have evolved since eight years ago when we started dating. I reflect over our love and whether or not it has withstood the test of time.

I listed the following differences. Our surnames are identical. Our home address is in the same location. Our monthly incomes are now merged. We share a three-month old tiny human that we fondly call our son. The highlight of our week is every Monday when we watch the slightly delayed telecast of The Walking Dead. Then every time we take a trip somewhere, we shoot with our cell phone cameras and we can’t wait to post the pictures online.

And every night before we go to sleep, we sit beside each other while scrolling through our separate touch screen phones. Occasionally, one of us stops from scrolling and shows the other a funny internet meme or an interesting status posted by one of our friends. All the while, we would rub our feet against each other. Our conversations are light, arguments are rare and we still laugh a lot. This easily became the best part of our days.

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