On the digital cloud, the parts that overlap in our collective memory are made to be as large as possible. To do this, the cloud sends love data through pipelines, duplicating and distributing it across multiple servers around the world to guarantee immediate and lossless retrieval. Photos, chat logs, and email threads of the past are preserved by default, and the process of forgetting doesn't start until I delete a file or account. I don't need to remember anything for anyone, and no one has to remember anything for me. Looking through an ever-growing past on the cloud is fun, but I wonder if I've been depending too much on the automatic memory of digital love. It could be nice to try to remember love more on my own, or split it between me and others.
Love is hard. Remember the line from Jerry Maguire? Not “show me the money” but the other one: “You complete me.” It’s nonsense. Love doesn’t make a person whole. It undermines ones stability and understanding of oneself. It tortures you and causes you to feel all sorts of volatile emotions. You suddenly can’t live without someone, and that someone has the power to induce total psychosis. That’s what makes love so powerful: it’s hard.
Intimacy shifts alongside attention span. The instant gratification–or alleviation–of today’s social networking systems often override the physical presence. While watching a film with friends I realize everyone’s staring at their phones, and I’m alone with the movie...
...There are subtle ways in which we press those hearts, thumbs up or down: passive aggressively, or with sexual interest, genuine concern, flirtation, admiration, attention…with fear, anticipation, joy or total mindlessness.
I am wondering if it’s even possible to create a space where narcissism doesn’t reign supreme. Wondering if this time in history is any different, or if we’ve just exploited or amplified those human qualities that were there already.
He enjoyed the company of artists, writers, and entertainers whose desires were not fixed by the coordinates of identity.
You can see the inequities in how someone was loved based on how they treat people. I’m not going to condemn a plant for being brown. It had the ability to be green, it had the ability to be healthy. If I have the ability to nurture it, I’m going to nurture it. —Sterling Toles