This is the first entry in my blog’s category of #apagsibig, or love reflections from Apags.
And no, I’m not trying to be an advice giver, or a love hater or any sort of way. I’m merely writing some reflections I’ll have about courtship. Which has been a lot in the past few months. Which has changed in the past few years. Maybe this can be a healthy discussion. Or maybe magkaka haters ako. Ok lang. Hahaha. Haters gonna hate.
Anyway, this piece will be a comparison between courtship in the early 2000’s (when I was in high school and college) and today (that I have a job). I’m also incorporating some things that I’ve learned from listening to my students today who have much more experience with this entire concept of courtship hulabaloo. I’m hoping this brings out a few memories, and some new reflections about love and courtship today. Hope you guys have fun with this! I will be discussing certain categories of comparison. If you can relate, gimme a shout out, and I’ll definitely read your comment. (Here is me in my hs class and me a few years ago – and a recent photo by the awesome Gracie Vergara, with Pong Ignacio’s camera hahaha!)
Target Market of this article: 16-30 years old, Male and Female, who are interested in the concept of courtship. (Sorry this will be a lengthy piece)
COURTSHIP IN THE YEAR 2000 vs COURTSHIP IN THE YEAR 2015
There is a major difference in the channels of communication from back then to now. I think this is a major difference. Does anybody remember the non smart phone texting age? We used old nokia phones. That was limited in terms of txt chrctrs. And we used to press zero twice because it was a faster “0”. And we had to delete messages when that envelope icon would flash at the top right of our nokia phones. When there was no unli text or call. When we had to make graphics using characters like /#&*(%(#? Kids nowadays will never experience that lack of resources in terms of texting. Speaking of kids never experiencing something communications related, do you guys remember the landline? When was the last time you used the term “telebabad”? When was the last time you used a “fonkard” or a pay phone for that matter?
Kids today will never experience the “mini heart attack” that was calling their love interest in the landline. I remember calling one girl I was really into back in high school. I would always wish that her dad or kuya doesn’t answer the phone. Today, wala nang ganoon. May unli text na eh! Kung trip kita, tatawagan kita sa cellphone. Para sure na ikaw sasagot. Today is the age of the FB chat, the emoticon, the whatsapp and viber, the hyperlink, etc. Which I feel has made people less expressive, more lazy. Want to tell a story about what you’re doing in the 2000’s? you had to use words, metaphors, very detailed descriptions, etc. Today, that is reduced to sending a picture. Sending a link to your instagram. Sending a youtube link. Dati, when you wanted to tell a story about your weekend, hand gestures at body language lang meron ka. Ngayon, “check mo instagram ko pre. Ganda nung beach na pinuntahan ko. No filter pare.”
I was talking to my friend, Kristoff, and he said something very interesting. “Ang landline ang nagtuturo sa iyong makipag usap sa tao. Kasi hindi siya parang chat na pwede mong pag-isipan at magdelay ng response. Pag olats ka makipag-usap, ‘di ka papansinin nung girl. Dead air is death.” Kailan niyo last ginamit ang salitang dead air? Wala ng ganyan ngayon. It’s lazy talk.
Wala ng kayang mag present sa class nila ngayon with an Overhead projector or with a piece of information filled big manila paper. Kailangan powerpoint, para madali. Madali sa nag ppresent at umiintindi. No one uses the blackboard. Can you imagine the time when there was no powerpoint? You had to rely on your own words, body language, etc. You think you can present that report on political systems without diagrams? That was a much bigger challenge.
II. COURAGE, THE INFORMATION AGE and SOCIAL MEDIA
Do you remember MIRC? I guess it was the first social media I remember. Yun ang mga unang hashtag. #boo #tops #mchs #obmc. Channels pa ang tawag sa kanila noon. Pag mapasama mo ang crush mo noon sa channel mo, alam mong you’ve made it na.
“Social Media has made people braver.” I once said that. Then a breath later I said, “But it also made people more cowardly.” Let me explain.
How does the information age make us braver? Simple lang. It gives us information that prepares us for possible difficulties and challenges. Let’s say you like this person. What do you do? Of course, you talk to them, attempt to spend time with them. Then in your private time, you check out their facebook profile. “Oh she likes the Beatles!”. Boom. Social Media fueled courage. Of course, you’re gonna post something Beatles related, and hope she notices. Actions now have reason. What are their like pages? Oh she likes the illuminati. “Punyemas ano ba yung illuminati?” Kung ikaw si kuya, “wiggle” ka hanggang magka knowledge ka (wiggle is a term i made up for wikipedia-ing and googling). Then present yourself to ate girl as someone with the same interests as her. Information age equals bala na pwedeng gamitin para lumandi.
But how does social media make us cowardly? For the same reason. Because we find out things. You kuya, you hate the Cleveland Cavaliers, kasi nandoon si Lebron. Eh si Ate girl sobrang Lebron fan. So mag-baback out ka na. Magkaiba kayo eh! I’ve seen a lot of these. Because of social media incongruence, aatras na.
Ikaw, ate girl, marami kang nababasang facebook articles about how being single is ok. And then comes kuya guy, who you really like, but you won’t give him a chance because of all those stories you read on facebook about girls who gave guys a chance, and got hurt. So you ignore kuya guy because iniisip mo he’s just the same as other guys you’ve read about. Na he’s just after one thing. So you practice self-preservation. Ok lang naman! Trulaloo. It’s a bad thing to be hurt, that’s true. But maybe, missing out hurts more.
Before, when we didn’t have social media, how did people find out about their love interests? Well, the simplest thing is they ask. I remember my girlfriend before, when I met her, I was playing counterstrike. Then this one player was creaming one player after another. I’m angry. I say “WHO THE HELL IS THAT COUNTER TERRORIST SNIPER? BAKIT AYAW GUMALAW. LAGYAN KO NG BOMBA SA TUMBONG YAN EH.” This happened while I was buying buko juice right outside the computer shop. A voice says from behind me, “Ah, ako yon. Bakit?” I turn my head and see the most beautiful girl I’ve seen. And you know how I courted her? I walked her home every time we played in the computer shop. Walang facebook. Walang twitter. Walang IG. When I wanted to know stuff about her, I’d ask her while walking home. I guess that doesn’t seem too common nowadays.
It’s true, much has changed since before. But what is the one thing that hasn’t changed. Courtship is still about knowing another person. Courtship is still about letting another person know about you.
Telebabads might have transformed into immensely long chat logs.
Threeway calls might have turned to Chat groups. (Dati YM conference call yan!)
Walking a person home might have changed into “I’ll instagram this S**t”
Love notes passed by mga taong “naglalakad” might have turned to “selfie tayo!”.
Dates have turned into “Hohol.” Yuck. Ang safe masiyado.
But one thing will never change. People still look for other people to connect with. And that’s the important thing I guess. Always connect with other people. No matter what the means. Because there is no greater tragedy than loneliness. Everyone deserves to feel connected to someone else. And whatever fears or problems we have, if we have someone to hold our hand during those times, then maybe, life won’t be as difficult as what we feel it to be.
(almost all images are from google search. But you know that already.)