This is not a sequel to Gabriel Marquez’ classic ‘Love in the times of Cholera’. But it is nevertheless nothing less important, if I may say so myself . Most of us, who are in the right side of 30 really live in the internet. Social networking sites have taken our lives in the most revolutionary way. And no wonder this extends to our friendships and relationships. There are people who “meet up” on Facebook, orkut or other social networking sites and become friends over the internet. Some of these friendships die an early death, some of them last forever (forever being till the next fascinating or revolutionary thing come around.) Some people actually make an effort to meet up in real and give it a different dimension to their facebook friendship. Yet there are others who know each other, but rarely exchange a word or even pleasantries when they meet face-to-face, but they are such bumchums in the online world. Weird ain’t it? It becomes weirder when it is a romantic relationships. Social networking sites, along with the emails, chat options, and mobile phones make dating easy for the youngsters. Asking a girl out for coffee can be simply done over a text message. There is no stuttering, sweaty palms, pounding heart or going week in the knees. Or even if there is, nobody knows as you get to do it (texting, I mean) in the comforts of your home. There is no trouble of getting the age old “love letter” to the recipient of your affections, no days of wondering if your little brother’s , friends’ cousin delivered the letter to your love or to her dad, no days of anticipation and sleeplessness waiting for a reply. You can direct your message to the right person at the right time and get an immediate reply (unless your recipient chose to do otherwise). Even those who are having long –distance relationships find it easier because they can stay in touch easily.
Just as technology made loving so easy, it has made breaking up that much more difficult. In the olden days, it took courage to fall in love, to be at the receiving end of the parental wrath and flak of the society (apparently good girls from good families don’t fall in love because the bad boys are just taking them for a ride) , the fear of getting caught and all that angst of being in love. Breaking up with your love or even being ditched was so much easier. All you had to do was make sure you don’t bump into the said love. After few days of silence and few nights of weeping into the pillow, you are good to go. Break ups are not so easy today. To begin with, you should control that urge to contact your ditcher (yeah, new word coined by me). The most important step would be to erase your ex-lover from your memory and the first step in this direction would be to make sure you do not see each other. But that is not enough. You need to delete his contact number from your mobile, lest you contact him in a moment of weekness. You are happy about this smart move and give yourself a pat on your back. But the moments of weakness do appear at the most inappropriate times and in that desperation, you frantically search your text messages for his message and find his number in the recipient details. That is when it hits you that you should delete all his messages too. But being the smart woman that you are, you delete them too. But you read every mail you exchanged with each other, every chat conversation you had and cry buckets. That is when you realize that you need to delete the mails and chats too. But only once you deleted them, you realize that you have nothing to hold on to. That is when you start obsessively checking his facebook and orkut for new pics, new updates, new comments etc. When the obsession reaches psychotic levels, you delete him from your social networking sites as well. Loving is easy in the times of facebook, breaking up is not.