Long Distance Relationships in the Digital Age

If you don’t love technology, you may as well break whatever device you’re reading this on right now.

From my bed, I can be watching an episode of House of Cards, paying the rent, ordering a pizza as well as sending a message almost simultaneously. As for checking and replying to email goes, that occurs during sacred time, right after my morning coffee has kicked in.

Technology and the digital age has made so many things possible which were once thought to be beyond reach.

I can watch every single university lecture from the confines of my bedroom, or from another corner of the world. We have access to an unprecedented amount of information almost instantly, giving rise to what is now called the information age.

It is safe to say that like the majority of the world’s population, I became highly dependent on my smartphone and high speed WiFi.

It got worse.

I, like many others nowadays, got myself involved in one of those long distance relationships. Did you know that they’re calling them LDR’s now?

They should be called PDR’s (Pain in Da Rectums).

Okay, so that’s not entirely true.

Technology hasn’t just changed our lives by making every day tasks easier and providing us with funny cat videos – it has brought so many people together. People from separate corners of the globe, people close by, long lost friends, and families that have been torn apart can all use technology and social media to interact with one another.

I owe a shitload to technology.

Without it, I wouldn’t have Karina. We’ve been doing long distance for over a year now. Skype, WhatsApp and scanning flights to the US on a daily basis has been my life for the past 12 months. It can be tough, but I wouldn’t change a thing. That being said, I can’t even imagine what long distance would have been like 10 or 20 years ago.

I honestly ask myself and Karina this question often. If we were living in prehistoric times, or if we drag it forward, to even in the 1990’s, would we survive?

On the one hand, we have it so much easier than those daring enough to get involved in a long distance relationship pre-digital age. I honestly don’t know how so many young women were able to send hand written letters to their loved ones off in the war, not knowing if they would even see the light of day to read it, let alone reply back. Even my parents did long distance for a while, that too involving plenty of letters and expensive international phone calls. I can’t even begin to fathom.

But there is also another way to look at this. Does the fact that we get to talk to each other all the time make it harder? There is nothing worse than being on FaceTime and seeing the person you were just in touching distance of, being nothing more than a pixellated window on your outdated Macbook.

So does the increased interaction make it harder? It sure as hell feels like it. That and the shocking time difference between the United States and Australia makes it a bit of a nightmare sometimes. Then there are times where the WiFi decides to shit itself. Mix that with the fact that I feel my blood boil every time I see other couples together out in public.

But who am I kidding. If it weren’t for technology, this beautiful relationship wouldn’t be possible. We’ve got it pretty good, and I wouldn’t change a thing… unless it was the distance.

Technology has helped keep relationships like ours going, and has facilitated many others all over the world. All you have to do is type LDR on Instagram to see just how many people are doing it tough like us. It is one of the few things that provides comfort in all of this.

Those in relationships, please take the time to be thankful for what you have today. Don’t ever take your relationship or your significant other for granted. Make every day in their presence special, and don’t forget to celebrate those important occasions. It’s Karina’s 21st birthday today, and I wish more than anything that I could be there with her to celebrate this important and monumental occasion.

At the end of the day, I’m extremely grateful for digital technology which allows me to feel like I’m being a half decent boyfriend in this constant struggle against distance.

I’m even more grateful that I’ve found someone so special who is willing to put in the hard yards for me.


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