illusions, passions, psychobabble

Love in The Time of Internet, Part I

"It's Complicated" is an understatement.

One of the things I love the most about teaching at the university is that I am mentoring young minds at the most critical and vulnerable period in their life. (Of course, I’m psyched about summer breaks, but that’s another story.) College kids are so open and so trusting that I end up being privy to certain issues that I’d really rather not know about. Unfortunately, when I said that they can come to me for advice (I meant in terms of career decisions), they took it to heart. (No pun here.) Surprisingly, the teacher became the learner…


  • Apparently, the status logo is the new “He loves me, he loves me not…” I’ve learned that if you’re not quite sure how a “special friend” feels about you, try signing in as “invisible.” Take note: Not “offline”– INVISIBLE. Then, if he’s “online,” give it a couple of minutes before changing your status to “online.” If he immediately switches to “busy” and sends you a message, you should feel like you just got exempted from taking the finals. Now, if he changes to “away,” that’s not a good sign. If he disappears, that’s even worse. That’s the last petal falling at “…he loves me not.”
  • Offline 101 – The Role of the “Call” Button in Modern Romance. By the end of this course, the student should be able to determine whether the “special friend” is really offline or just in hiding, in which case the student should be able to explain why it is unwise to pursue the one-sided pseudo-relationship.  I’m tempted to write an entire course outline, but it’s almost 11:oo P.M., and I’ve got a report to write up. As a result, here’s How to Know He’s Absolutely Not Into You–in a nutshell:
  1. Send a message first. Do you see a spiral going ’round and round right next to the time the message was sent? Good. That means he’s really offline, which still doesn’t mean he likes you as much as you like him. It just means that at least, he’s not chatting up some other girl and is just hiding from you, in particular. That should make you feel like you passed the mid-terms, but you know the more complex theories will be covered in the finals. Simply put: You’re hanging by a thread.
  2. No spiral? Call. Go ahead, you’re already being foolish anyway, so what’s another act, right? Hit the “call” button, and see what happens. Does your call get dropped immediately? Followed by the message “Call Failed.” That’s actually good news! He’s not online. Does it ring? Bummer, girl, you just got dropped from the roster.

Drat! Why didn’t they teach us these in college? Yeah, yeah, when I was in college, the cool kids were wearing bright-colored Jaz pagers as fashion accessories. And the 3210 was the iPad. There, I had just dated myself. I think I’ll go back inside my time capsule now. Good night!


4 thoughts on “Love in The Time of Internet, Part I

  1. grich says:

    and the 3210 was the IPad! i almost fell off my chair! i suddenly feel ancient! :p

    i’ve always thought that being in the academe, especially when you’re the teacher, preserves the “youthful vibrancy” in everyone. i mean, these younglings with their petty love concerns and problems makes time stand still for us. the excitement, the thrill, the fun. sarap lang mag-reminisce talaga. 🙂

  2. We didn’t even have cellphones back in my college days in UP….so it was a simpler life. I met my husband thru an online dating agency but we didn’t Skype…..hehehe….we talked on the phone.

    • Yeah, I know what you mean by “simpler life.” In my freshman year, group members would agree to meet at the Main Lib steps and actually show up on time! In case of a sudden change in plan, we’d just leave each other Post-It notes on one of the columns and still manage to find each other somewhere else. Good ol’ days! I wonder how today’s students cope? Now, it seems like people can’t leave home without a mobile for fear that they won’t meet who they’re supposed to meet. Maybe you can blog about how people still fail to communicate in the period of communication gadgets. (I read your blog about these paradoxes in “Mixed Messages Cause Discombobulation,” but maybe, just maybe, you could write another one and focus on communication tools? Puh-leassse?)

      P.S. Thanks for sharing how you and your husband met. (Heeey… why do I suddenly feel so encouraged? :P)

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