SOCIAL STUDIES Where Have All the Cowboys Gone Bridey Elliott

What the heck is romantic these days? Is it when you get a text instead of an e-mail? Is being a romantic someone who wants a man to friend her on Facebook before she friends him? Our technology has brought us together but at the same time pulled us far, far apart. Hell, I may as well live in the desert for how often I see other people. Getting to know one another has evolved into stalking who we seem to be on the old information highway. It is scary to think of all the ideas formed about you through pictures, videos and junk you write (not that YOU write junk, that’s MY job, haha, kidding about that too. God, this is great) .

I, for one, worry about being dragged by my ankles out of bed into an insane asylum. Technology makes it ever so hard to read someone else. Are we supposed to dissect text messages as though there is a golden nugget of truth that will end our starved of meaning lives or are we supposed to take whatever our cell phone tells us at face value? My new idea is that I don’t want to psychoanalyze any more texts or emails or the spacing of them. It’s sad how much importance I place on the promptness of when someone replies to me and judge that as though it says something about our “relationship”. My iPhone sure is capitalizing on my confused state of being.

When I was in middle school, it was simple. “So and so” likes you. We would all just let our feelings hang out. There was no “who is more clever?” battles or “who can be more cryptic than the other?” contests. We wanted each other to know how we felt. We wrote love notes, drew each other pictures – things that are so personal in a romantic relationship and that I haven’t really experienced since I was a child. Even committing “I love you” to paper is 20,000 times more sacred to me than seeing it on my phone where it becomes standard, like a period at the end of a sentence.

I am lucky enough to be in a very wonderful relationship. However, our rocky roads have a lot to do with lack of romance. Since we are long distance, phone calls, texts and the occasional GChat are the only access to each other we have. Technology facilitates and complicates our relationship and that is why sometimes I want to throw my iPhone into a dumpster and scream at the top of my lungs “Where Have All The Cowboys Gone!” ya know? I finally know what Paula Cole was saying!

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  1. where have all the cowboys gone? i’m not too sure, but i know i don’t want to wait for our lives to be over to find out…sorry, had to do it!

  2. Paula Cole knew her shit.

  3. PREACH IT, SISTA!

  4. First off, thanks for the ear worm. :S Second, this is a topic that’s been an ongoing discussion in the last couple of weeks with various friends. When someone sends me a text that I find insulting, and then I hear, “come on, I was joking”. Well, I can’t see your face, or hear the tone of your voice.

    We need more contact. And yeah, romance is truly dead in the age of technology. A friend of mine had a guy show up for a date, and instead of buying her flowers, he showed her a picture of them on his iPhone.

    We need more contact with each other, to avoid becoming braindead zombies of the technological kind (hey – that’s a great title for a book – back off, it’s MINE!)

  5. Oh great! Now I’ve got to hear this song!

  6. I had no idea what Paula Cole was talking about until now. I just figured she really liked Westerns. I completely agree that technology, while making communication easier in the way that it is more immediate, it has made us cold and disconnected. All these social network sites as well. It seems like the more “connected” we are, the more disconnected to the actual human connection we are. Technology is so cold. I agree that an “I love you” is somehow more special on a written note, than on a text, or end of an email. I believe technology has also made it easier, and sort of in a way encouraged, for people to be mean and nasty with each other. People feel brave when they are hiding behind technology. And I don’t just mean on a blog comment, or email. I had a real bad experience of a former “BFF” break up our friendship through texts. And she was so mean, the way I had never imagined she’d be had she been telling me in person. Or maybe she would’ve been. I dunno. I responded to her with a heartfelt letter, but she was also mean about that. So maybe she’s just a mean person. ha. P.S. I cannot get this Paula song out of my head. P.P.S. and really, now the relevant question has become “Where has Paula Cole gone?”

  7. I’m married, so i’m not on the dating scene…but when a single friend says she “heard from that guy” and thats means he sent her a text?? Come on..what happen to calling to ask a girl out!