Thursday, June 12, 2014

Torture 2.0

The great thing about online media is realtime communication. The bad thing too. What sweet pleasure to always know where your sweetheart is and when they are online. What torture to know they are online at this very moment indeed, but not because they are communicating with you. In happy days your greatest fear is that of no signal or a flat battery that means you would miss a message or not be able to check the online status of your significant other on WhatsApp, Google Hangouts, Skype, you name it. When there's Trouble in Paradise or you've fallen from grace you're almost grateful if you are forcibly offline as you can't trust yourself not to check in 5 minutes intervals if they are still alive and kicking, only to and get a little stab in your heart every time you see them online. And every time you ask yourself why you are sad loser enough to check in the first place...
Remember old films of the La Boum era when the worst thing that could happen was an engaged phone line and lovesick teenagers would pathetically pick up the receiver to check that the line wasn't busy (because their stupid parents dared to use the phone too)? Nowadays' equivalent is refreshing whatever app you can receive communication with, on the odd chance that your "auto-refresh" setting has decided to desert you. M-hm. Right.
I have probably wasted weeks of my life with such futile and self-destructive behaviour and since I can't trust myself to stop doing it if I technically can, the only way is to remove "dangerous" apps from the home-screen (not really effective, but at least reduces the stalking-frequency by about 50%) and also to block or remove the offending contacts so you cannot stare wistfully at their contact pictures, and preferably to delete all conversations to reduce chances of reading them over and over again, trying to find new angles to yesterday's news and getting upset all over again. If there were a world record for re-reading e-mails, both sent and received, I would have broken it, trust me. It's a good thing I'm not on Facebook (and never have been) as I would no doubt make it a full-time job to scrutinise every new friend the object of my obsession makes for potential "new love interest" status. Years ago a colleague confessed reading his ex-girfriend's e-mails for years (he knew her password) after breaking up, thus getting a great insight into the female mind (or so he thought). Part of me was truly shocked by this blatant violation of her privacy, another part of me thought "I'm so glad I don't know anyone's password as I really am not sure if I would not sink so low...".


Anonymous alcessa said...

Not good, no, but at least your obsession awareness is really acute and you can poke fun at yourself - an ability usually not seen in most people! :-)

I am just the opposite: whenever someone falls from my good books, I want to erase them from my life as much as possible - I do take loads of time to start disliking people, longer than necessary, but when it happens, I don't want to be reminded of all the bad times, so out they go. Mind you, I don't own a smart phone or any social media account that would require any erasure messures in such situations, but I am quite able to throw away presents, letters, any objects reminding me of the unpleasant person. Clean slate and then, here we go again, though not as innocent as before: just like you wrote the other day, unpleasant people do leave traces - they help form our future responses to people and even though I have been happily married for almost 12 years, I had some ... abrasion happen to my generally high enthusiasm to learn new people and interact with them, so much, actually, that I nowadays identify with posts describing introverts :-) (maybe I've always been one, not that it matters).

On the whole, I think at our young age, being careful with people is a natural result of so much exposion to the world. No? :-)

6/12/2014 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger onemorehandbag said...

@alcessa, thank you for your long and insightful comment. I have given away expensive gifts (e.g. one from Hermès) myself, but in general I just put things with negative associations away, but know where they are. Unfortunately, I have a very good memory and even if I threw away (love) letters or deleted e-mails I would still remember the content pretty much verbatim...having read them 20 times before, haha.

6/12/2014 03:48:00 PM  

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