Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Once upon a dysfunctional relationship ago, women would determine unfaithfulness based on the obvious tale tell signs. The lipstick on the shirt, a sudden interest in aftershave and those curious receipts Whitney Huston sung about all those years ago.

Now we have entered the information age however, women no longer need to wait for signs; they can simply dig them up themselves; a love excavation if you will, because no one does research quite like a suspicious woman with unlimited broadband. Which means alongside online dating and we have created the evolution of digital tears and online break ups.

photo 2A few years back, women’s biggest techno-dating-phobe was sending a drunken text to someone after two dates and scaring them off completely. Now we long for such simple days, where a basic “I didn’t text you, the wine did” can fix it all.

With constant access to our dates, boyfriends, husbands and lovers every move can be analysed under a magnifying glass and we all know that too much of that, can start fires.

Years ago it was said that when you date a woman you date her family too, these days an even more uncomfortable type of threesome has arisen and when it comes to dating it’s ‘him’ ‘her’ and ‘the internet’. An explosion of social technologies (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and whatever else out there I have yet to discover) has caused an explosion in sanity too. Just because you can keep tabs on someone throughout the day, doesn’t mean you should.

It starts off innocently, he messages a girl on Twitter and you check to see if she’s attractive. He has his “read receipts” on and you notice he saw your message but took an hour to reply. A picture was uploaded on to Facebook and his female co-worker ‘liked’ it. Completely innocent occurrences to everyone but the girlfriend who has convinced herself that Donell Jones isn’t the only one who knows what’s up.

photo 1Trusting someone in a relationship can be hard enough without purposely looking for evidence of unfaithfulness. Whatever your current use for Google is, checking up on your other half probably shouldn’t be it. Go buy a dress, reply to those work emails you’ve been ignoring for two weeks or look up old friends to see if they’ve gotten fat… anything that doesn’t involve obsessing over the online footprint of your partner.

You should also note that it’s not just his online activity you have to worry about. While you’re walking around with your phone in your hand like it’s puppy you can’t leave unattended, he might be wondering what’s so interesting that you can’t put it down. You might be on Facebook looking at the same photo of your friend’s new hair cut from 17 different angles, but he’s probably trying to work out who you might be texting and if they’re the reason you password protect your phone.

If you ask me, it’s time for a break up; or a break at the very least. Break up with your smart phone before it’s a real break up on the cards. I’m not suggesting you dig out your old Nokia 3210; perhaps just learn to leave it in your pocket or bag every once in a while. Maybe one day you can even pop to the shops without it and let the rest of us know if the world doesn’t end.

After all, we already live in an age where people get broken up with on Facebook, let’s not let it become the age where people break up because of it too.

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I’ve never owned a web-cam, because when I’m at home, truth be told, I enjoy looking like a bit of a hobo, and people just don’t need to be submitted to that. But since ‘ChatRoulette‘ seems to be kind of a big deal, and since I’m not one to let anything pass me by, I stole my sisters cam and had myself a go.

For any of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s a bit like a massive and random world wide msn game. Every time you click the “next” button you are put face to face with a different person from somewhere in the world.

The first guy I met was from Turkey. I’ll admit my Turkish has never been brilliant (what with me being Greek and all) but he seemed to understand what I meant when I said “nasilsin” so it seems having a Turkish best friend has paid off.

I met a police-man from Philadelphia (fully kitted out) usually I love a man in uniform, but since he was bordering on overweight I somehow managed to control my primitive urges. Next came the guy from Belgium who ate a banana suggestively at me, but thanks to the “next” button I didn’t have to endure more than about 5 seconds of that.

Either German people don’t go out much, or ChatRoulette is really happening over there, because every other person I spoke to seemed to be a ‘Mann’ or a ‘Frau’.

One guy was even sitting there with a guitar taking song requests (well that’s one way to label yourself an international talent). He sang “Hey There Delilah” to me, and would you believe he wasn’t half bad. Now all he needs is a millionaire music producer to have a gander on ChatRoulette and he’ll be sorted. Likelihood of that happening? Probably about as likely as me showing my ‘tits’ to the 3 guys that asked.

No girls would talk to me. Clearly I wasn’t what they were looking for. Though, if like I suspect, they were on the search for good-looking guys, they would have probably been better off sticking with me. Actually that’s a lie, one girl did speak to me, she was listening to Bruno Mars and I started singing along. It didn’t occur to me till later that it may have seemed like I was serenading her.

Oh I met a Smurf too, and a guy in a red wig, (they were hanging out together). It worries me that this is the best London had to offer. Really it’s a good thing I logged on tonight to give England a good name.

If nothing else I learnt a lot. Like for example at at 18:40 here it is 10:30 in Oregon. Portuguese people are in fact, not all good looking like I had originally believed, people in Albania smoke a lot of weed (they offered me some but I was strictly business) and it turns out people in the Ukraine don’t have much of a sense of humour.

Also, for first time users, have your cursor poised over the ‘next’ button, because there will always be that one guy, somewhere in the world, with his cock out.

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Technology is a killer. If it hadn’t somehow become an extension of me, I would take my new Kurt Gieger stiletto and drive it through the screen of my blackberry. I deleted Facebook once when it became the cause of a break-up, but eventually I went crawling back. I am a social networking junkie and I’m not afraid to admit it.

I’ve found over time that a lot of people are sarcastically challenged and getting across tone in a text message is a killer. Consider: “I can tell you miss me” and “I can tell you miss me”. One said in a jokey and playful manner, one said in arrogant and patronising one. And I doubt you can tell which is which any more than I can.

The moral of this story? Things get lost in translation, and it doesn’t take much to go from playful conversation to ‘I sent that text three hours ago why hasn’t he replied?!’

The problem is, once the ‘send’ button has been pressed, it’s game over. You can’t take your comment back, you just have to wait and hope his three brain cells manage to conduct a little power and decipher your message was a joke.

And then you sit there, desperately staring at your phone, urging it to buzz, checking to make sure you hadn’t spontaneously lost your hearing and missed the beep-beeping of a text. Looking to see if you have signal, turning your wi-fi on and off and then the ultimate desperation: calling your house phone to double check your phone hasn’t just become faulty.

Then you get annoyed with yourself, you’re a self-sufficient sophisticated woman, if he can’t tell that what you just said was a joke, then perhaps you don’t need him in your life. The self-empowerment mode never lasts long however and you shortly begin contemplating the ‘double-text’. Perhaps you should send a follow up text, to clarify you were joking. Surely that wouldn’t be such a bad idea, would it?

How can I put this mildly? Yes. Yes it bloody is. Worst idea you’ve even had.

Has it come to anyone else’s attention that you can go four days without receiving a single text from a friend or family member and then upon entering a stage of near paranoid-schizophrenia caused by phone watching, the whole world decides to call? You get through seven messages from t-mobile wanting to discuss the changes in your new price plan, beep-beep a message from your mother asking you to pick up milk and a notification from Facebook a Mr Gerald Fitzherbert (no mutual friends) wants to be your friend.

Anyways, he texts eventually, cool, calm and completely oblivious the fact you’ve been waiting by your phone for the last ten hours. And you’re so irrationally relieved that he didn’t reject you for not properly thinking out the content of your text that you forget to hate him like you intended to.

And if only the occasional in-comprehensive text was our biggest worry.

To be completely happy in a relationship, I’ve always believed you have to hold onto the lies. A little bit of delusion never did anyone any harm. If he tells you that when he went out, got drunk with his friends and came home at 6am he was actually thinking of you the whole night, why can’t we just be allowed to hold onto that?

We know that the scenario he presented us with was a complete fabrication, and he probably spent half the night buying drinks for a table of blonde Russian belly dancers. And while I’ve always been enough of a realist to live by the ‘look but don’t touch’ rule in relationships; that doesn’t mean however that I want to see 200-tagged photos of him on Facebook with Alena, Sveta and Vanya the next day.

I envy the people who lived in the pre-technology days, where people’s laptops weren’t ruining their love lives and mobile phones weren’t the cause of minor mental breakdowns.

You know it’s true what they say (and while I have no clue who exactly ‘they’ is) whoever it was who decided ‘ignorance is bliss’ deserves a beer on me, because boy was he onto something.

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I’m think I’m being stalked by a little man who lives in my computer. He keeps sending me emails and throwing me pops up that are just a little bit too coincidental.

“Bored of being single?” (How did he know?!)

“Backless, bodycon Asos dress, buy it now” (Funny, I was looking at that yesterday)

“Need cash fast” (Hell yes I do… but no, I’m not doing that!)

“Dull, lifeless hair? Try L’Oreal Nutrisse” (Okay, I get the hint, I need to colour my hair. In the mean time I wish people would have a little common courtesy and pretend they hadn’t noticed the two-inch roots).

“Jeans feeling a little tight…” (That’s it. My laptop’s stalking me).

Either my computer is trying to tease me, or it has cleverly regurgitated all the information I’ve input into it this last month and is now trying to tell me I’m stuck in a rut. Denial has always been a beautiful coping mechanism for me. Bottling up all my emotions for a year or so then snapping one day in KFC when the man behind the counter forgets to give me my gravy.

Since, however even my Dell is sending me subliminal messages to get my life in order, I’ve decided to do something rare: listen.

I say it’s rare not because I think I know it all (which coincidentally, I do), but because I’m stubborn by nature. And I love to blame this on the whole Greek thing. It’s always nice to be a little culturally different, because it serves well as an excuse for… well pretty much everything. When my friends point out that I eat faster than anyone else they know I just say: “I’m Greek, family dinner on Sunday consists of 30 people… I’ve learnt to eat fast, or have it eaten for me”.

Anyways, these past few weeks I’ve realised that life is a lot like being on a train. Every day you get from A to B, but not a lot happens in the process. You sit there, sometimes you sleep a little, you fix your makeup between stops, you read the paper, eat a banana. And after a while the days blend into one, and eventually even your laptop starts to pity you.

Then, yesterday, like every day, I got on the Piccadilly line. Hadn’t so much as bothered to wash my hair because, lets face it – who do I have to impress? I stood by the door, holding onto the rail, but making no real effort to stop the train from throwing me about a little. At Caledonian Road, a boy came on. Or a man? I’m never really sure at what age they stop being one and start being the other. My mum says never, though that may be her cynicism talking.

He was tanned, wore a name badge, his name was Eren, tall. He was no Mark Salling but he was attractive enough. He looked at me and I pretended not to notice. I turned away from him and quickly applied some lip-gloss, who cares about subtlety; I needed quick compensation for my messy hair. Why-oh-why had I not sprayed myself with the usual Jean Paul Gaultier that morning, and no eyeliner… what was I thinking?

The thing is, I had made the classic error and forgotten that while life can be a little repetitive, and a little bland, you never know when someone interesting is going to step into your carriage. I had gotten it all wrong, life is like a train ride: not a pointless journey, but a random collaboration of people. Sometimes you’ll go days without anything more interesting than a little shoulder knocking and then other times you come into collision with someone who reminds you what it’s all about.

He stayed on all the way to Oakwood. We got off at the same time; both took out our Blackberry’s (his a black curve, mine a while bold) to call our parents for a lift. We walked out the station, unintentionally side by side, then walked off in completely the opposite direction.

I went home and immediately coloured my hair. Black: a bold move. I hate to say it but my computer had a point. I was being ridiculous. And you know what, I will buy that bodycon dress. It was time for a change.

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