Reflecting back on our childhood, we all can recall the times when we were kids thinking that the opposite sex had cooties and pushing our crush on the playground meant we liked them. As years passed and we grew older, that sensation of disgust turned into interest. Our interest slowly transformed into like, and eventually to the purest emotion we can possess: love. The evolution of our heart is a hodgepodge of trials and tribulations and times of absolute bliss. Just as our heart is in a constant state of motion, both literally and figuratively, new media is also advancing. In today’s world, it has been a widespread concern that media has changed the way we fall in love. Rather than helping people find love, it has been criticized for being the root of many problems in relationships. However, Skype, a form of VoIP technology, has revolutionized communication in long distance relationships. It bridges the separation gap so that long-distance dating is no longer something to fear but to embrace.
Speaking from personal experience, I had always been a love pessimist growing up. I never experienced the allure of having a pre-teen fling, a summer love affair, or a high school sweetheart. Instead, I sat on the sidelines as I watched my friends and sister experience the joys and woes of make-ups and break-ups. I dismissed my mother’s lectures on finding Mr. Right, but one piece of advice that always resonated in me was that when I do find love, to never let it slip by me. Little did I know, I was a 21-year-old stuck with the same childish love mentality that I thought I grew out of years ago. However, mothers know best, and my heart and outlook on love did catch up to me; I found the fairytale ending I always wanted but never knew I could have.
My storybook romance all began when I traveled to Rome, Italy for my college semester abroad. Upon my arrival, I met a man by the name of Joe, and as fate would have it, he happened to be studying in my same program. Before I knew it, our relationship went from two friends exploring the streets of Florence together to a couple standing hand in hand in front of the Trevi Fountain as we exchanged the sweetest sounding three words in the English language: “I love you.” The four blissful months that we spent together flew by, but we cherished each fleeting minute by traveling the world and falling passionately in love. I felt so far removed from reality as I drifted higher and higher on my own cloud 9, but gravity took hold, and at the end of the semester, I was pulled back down to Earth as our departure day arrived.
As I sat on the plane to London, I laced my fingers with his and gripped so tight as if I never wanted to let go for the entirety of the flight. While I struggled to fight back the tears, I stared down at the bracelet that Joe gave me as a reminder of him. As touched as I was by his heartfelt gift, deep down I knew that I did not need a reminder of him because I would never forget him, and thanks to Skype, I could see him as much as my heart desired.
People always say how hard long-distance relationships can be and that the separation strains even the strongest bonds. I do not deny that long-distance relationships require a certain amount of give and take, but that can be said for any relationship regardless of distance. Falling in love is one of the best experiences in life and to give up on it due to separation is no longer a sufficient excuse when the core of our world centers on staying connected thanks to innovative technologies such as Skype.
New media devices are criticized for creating a sense of disconnect from the world as people retreat into cyber bubbles rather than engaging in personal interaction. Skype, on the other hand, blends the two worlds together as it allows you to have that face-to-face interaction via the convenience of a computer screen. Thanks to Skype, my Roman romance remains as strong as ever back on U.S. soil. From halfway around the world, back to my Philly roots, I never have to be without the man I love because when it comes to matters of the heart, love transcends any measure of distance.