I had a chat with my friend earlier about how cringey we were in high school when it came to boys. It’s led to me basically thinking back to 2005/6/7 all day, helped along by seeing a young teenage girl on the tube putting concealer on her lips. Who knew that was still a thing? Romance has sort of evolved hasn’t it? I mean, online dating is massive and we use phone apps to meet people.
I remember when the way to get noticed by a boy was to log in and out of MSN while he was online. The next step was to make sure you had a really cool MSN name and listened to really cool music so it showed up on the main screen. Then there was learning how to angle the webcam to take a perfect, grainy selfie of you in your computer chair looking really fit with your poker straight hair. That was great, wasn’t it? “Oh I’ll meet you on MSN tonight at 6:30 yeah?” The height of romance. Of course it was always possible your parents might ruin your only chance of happiness by having a long phone call with auntie Mary meaning the dial-up was out of action for two hours and you’ve missed your instant messaging date and OMG MUM WHY? Love has it’s challenges, that’s for sure.
We have definitely become a lot more frantic from the days of £5 credit and Bebo. REMEMBER BEBO. You would put some sort of cryptic bio up about yourself with a further grainy webcam picture and then select a background that made you stand out from the crowd. It was also nice to head on over to someone’s Myspace page to take a look through their photos and be greeted by some God awful song that you can’t work out how to turn off. I actually quite miss 2006.
These days I have a boyfriend. I have had for four years so lets call it long term. I’m also extremely happy about this and wouldn’t change it for the world. I am out of the dating game, but there are times I wish, purely for the hilarity factor, that I could just delve in for a laugh (sorry Dan, obviously I won’t) because it just seems like a laugh a minute in 2015. Sitting around on Friday nights drinking wine with my housemates and listening to them hysterically giggle over who they have matched with on Tinder makes me slightly jealous that I can’t really join in on the conversation, having never swiped right. Then I see a picture of someone staring into space with a hawk on their shoulder, topless, on a mountain ledge, and remember how lucky I am. Sorting through these people must be a chore, but it’s a really bloody comical chore if you let it be.
At least everything now is instant. I can’t really imagine trying to orchestrate true love with a pay-as-you-go phone. I think everyone from the generation of Facebook, Whatsapp and phone contracts is impatient to the point where waiting four minutes for anything is unacceptable. Having unlimited texts and using Whatsapp also means you can share unlimited information (in all forms of media) with your potential suitor. ‘Just had cornflakes.’ ‘Here is a photo of me naked.’ It’s amazing how much people share on Whatsapp.
Now when I see friends who are having a bit of trouble in the love department, It’s usually some kind of upset about information that would be best left out. Being able to see that someone has read your message and not responded for near on 24 hours is enough to drive you to distraction and throw your phone in a blender. Ten years ago, you would have just assumed they ran out of credit or have just been busy or something. Another classic is extreme Facebook stalking. You see a photo of your love interest with someone really good looking from 2009, then spend ages wondering if you could look more like them, or who they are, or where they are now, or how much they weigh. SO MANY QUESTIONS. Maybe you can find them on Twitter. Can you just Whatsapp and ask about them? Er no, unless you want to be put down as a psycho stalker with mental issues, but I think we are all now stalkers to some extent anyway, so what does it matter?
When you really think about it though, we stalked on Myspace and on Bebo. We accepted strangers when they added us on MSN and chatted to them. We freaked out to our friends before school that so and so hadn’t messaged back on MSN despite them definitely being online. Maybe it hasn’t evolved much at all. We just have unlimited data, texts and we can give someone the green light simply with a swipe.