Has social media killed romance ?

People are no longer leaving love down to serendipitous encounters.  Instead they are actively looking for it.  Dating apps abound.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat all provide opportunities to find ‘love’.  But has social media killed romance ?

All information about a prospective date is laid out before us.  Name, age, height, occupation, an inspirational quote and a few posed photos make up a typical dating profile.  Once swiped off the screen, our prospective date is replaced by another, and another, and another.  Amongst a sea of opportunity, each individual profile fades into insignificance. 

Modern technology has made life smaller and easier, but at the same time, it has diminished life’s mysteries and with it some sense of romance. 

social media killed romance

Not so long ago, I found bundles of letters from old boyfriends.  I found letters from a holiday romance which started on a caravan site in Newquay when I was 18.  For about three weeks after the end of the holiday we sent each other passionate letters. He sent me rose petals (which in the intervening 15 or so years have disintegrated and have turned the paper a mouldy grey). My Royal Mail romance faded as quickly as my rather pathetic UK suntan. 

I found a bundle of beautiful letters from the time of my relationship with a cartoonist and graphic designer.  He wrote weekly during my first year of University.  Every letter was a work of art.  His handwriting was exquisite and each page was decorated with hand drawn cartoon images.  He shared his feelings, his fears, his musings and his mind.  In his absence his letters were my window into his soul.  I yearned for him. 

As I read through these letters, I was reminded that it is only in absence, in a total isolation from our partner, that we truly realise the connection that we feel. 

This was the old fashioned way of falling in love.     

social media killed romance

It wouldn’t happen these days.  These days our phones ring in our pockets.  WhatsApp pings.  Twitter tweets and Facebook updates.  We are forever connected.  Our daily agenda is captured in social media.  We bore our partners to death with snapshots of food, sunny days, flowers, inspirational quotes and ironic memes. 

Even when we are together, we are connected by social media.  On a date, our mobile phones buzz, they distract us with non-essential chatter. Our eyes are cast downwards looking at our newsfeed.  We are connected, but we don’t connect. 

I remember how this letter writing made me feel. I remember the excitement of receiving a new letter, the enjoyment of taking time out to write a letter.  It makes me a bit sad that good old fashioned letter writing, the romance of putting pen to paper has died.

Grand romantic gestures feel redundant when we can connect via WhatsApp, when we can connect via Twitter. Our emotions are boiled down to emojis.  Our likes and dislikes are counted and shared.  Our thoughts are no longer personal secrets shared in a romantic way, but they are captured on our wall with the potential to go viral, or to get lost in the ether.  I think social media killed romance .

I mourn the death of romance. I resent social media for killing it.   I want to return to the love notes, and the longing for an absent partner. 

Romance deserves to be so much more than a 140-character tweet. 

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Rhyming with Wine

31 Comments

  1. June 26, 2017 / 8:23 pm

    I met my husband online 15 years ago, when I was half a world away and been married 13 years, albeit before social media and finding someone wasn’t my aim. So I have mixed opinions about social media and romance.
    #RVHT

    • thesingleswan
      June 28, 2017 / 9:38 pm

      Ah, that’s a nice story. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  2. June 28, 2017 / 5:41 am

    I so agree. People also seem to rule a prospective partner out over very minor things when getting to know them via social media. Nothing beats building a raport face to face! #dreamteam

    • thesingleswan
      June 28, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      I agree. It is hard to meet people face to face. Pen x

  3. June 28, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    I met my partner on a dating website. We handpicked each other: that is special 🙂 but we have none of our early messages to each other because they were all through the site which we have now left (obviously!) #RV&HT

    • thesingleswan
      June 28, 2017 / 9:36 pm

      Ah, that’s nice. Congratulations. Pen x

  4. June 29, 2017 / 10:32 am

    well it depends.. u can meet someone online and it works ..and you can also meet someone online and get hurt also..one needs to be careful

    • thesingleswan
      June 29, 2017 / 9:33 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  5. June 30, 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Gone are the days when people (couples) used to spend time together. Now, the day begins with “hello” (text) and ends with “Good night” (text again.) It might be true…social media has killed everything.

    • thesingleswan
      June 30, 2017 / 8:52 pm

      Thanks for your comment Stephanie. Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      June 30, 2017 / 8:51 pm

      Thanks Vicki. Lovely to hear from you. Pen x

  6. July 1, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    Those letters from the cartoonist sound lovely! I’ve never had a relationship where we write to one another, but my fiance is a man I met and got to know in real life, over several years and before social media was so abundant. I can’t imagine looking for love in these time. I think if this relationship were to end, I just wouldn’t bother!

    #RVHT
    Jenny (Accidental Hipster Mum) recently posted…Humble #MumGoalsMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 2, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      The letters from the cartoonist were lovely, in fact the letters were probably the best bit about the relationship… Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 2, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      x

  7. July 2, 2017 / 9:28 am

    How lovely to have found a pile of written notes from the past. I remember having stacks of these too. There is nothing like the (hand) written word is there. Because even the quality of the paper and pressure of the writing tool can tell so much more than just the words written. Opps… and there unleashes the writer in me. LOL I have a thing for typography and the printed/written word. On-screen just can’t compare. Bring back old fashioned romance I say. #DreamTeam xx
    Annette, 3 Little Buttons recently posted…#HappyLittleButtons June 2017 Round-upMy Profile

    • thesingleswan
      July 2, 2017 / 9:52 pm

      I absolutely love a hand-written note. there is something so personal about them. Pen x

  8. July 3, 2017 / 5:21 pm

    I’ve experienced both and although I do love a great penned letter with doodles, my hubby was discovered online. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time and display the badge

    • thesingleswan
      July 3, 2017 / 10:13 pm

      Good for you Helena. Pen x

  9. July 5, 2017 / 3:00 am

    I think in a lot of ways you are right. I’ve been out of the game for a while now, but it seems that the art of flirting is gone. It seems to me that social media makes it too easy to find people and to hook up. The thrill of the chase and those early moments is gone. #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      July 5, 2017 / 9:16 pm

      I know, it is such a shame, the flirting and the chase are the best bits. Everyone is missing out these days! Pen x

    • thesingleswan
      July 6, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Thank you. Pen x

  10. July 9, 2017 / 7:27 pm

    Ok, I’m not a big one for romance. It makes me a little uncomfortable. However, I am very much a fan of letters. If I have something on my mind thats bothering me, I write a letter. I have a file of letters from my best friends at school still stowed away in the loft. I love reading through them now and laughing at the random crap we spoke about, when life consisted of annoying teachers, bitchy girls and fit boys. Romance or not, I love a good letter and Social Media is definitely taking over that. #KCACOLS

    • thesingleswan
      July 9, 2017 / 9:53 pm

      Hi Becky,

      Yes, you’re right, social media has killed more than just romance. Thanks for your comment. Pen x

  11. July 11, 2017 / 11:45 am

    I can see how social media cm disconnect you from “life”So to speak. My hubby sends me lovely text messages every day and I love them. Not the same as the letters I know, but I love knowing that he thinks of me during the day x
    #KCACOLS
    Ali Duke recently posted…June Review and July GoalsMy Profile

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