Breaking Up Is Hard To Do (on the Web 2.0)


From the archives and for new friends:

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We have all been through a breakup and felt the inevitable pangs of pain, surges of tears and very real mourning period following the end of a relationship.  In today’s world, where social networking and social media can be a significant part of many of our lives, old fashioned heartbreak can be compounded by the “Internet breakup”.

Breaking up with someone with whom you shared your likes and dislikes, sent xoxo’s and matched compatibility quiz results with on sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and of course the uber-popular Youtube, along with the many other social networks brings forth an entirely new set of issues.  For instance, how long does one wait to remove from one’s page the comments, photos, and “gifts” (sent while in the often delusional. blissful cloud of love) that stare back and now haunt you? This person was your No. 1 spot in your top friends for heavens sake! What is one to do?

Once these are removed and the STATUS in the profile changes from any of the oh-so-charming descriptions ranging from “it’s complicated” or “in committed relationship” to “single”, what is the proper etiquette for well wishers and others who will invariably ask how you are coping, what happened and other questions that may be sincere but can burn through the screen like molten lava?  What to do with the bevy of comments left to make sure you “keep your chin up”, that they are “thinking of you” and whatever other trite phrase  delivered in glitter loitering in cyberspace like floating bullets in a Matrix-like freeze frame. Makes one want to pownce directly into a gaping void.

As in the traditional break up there is always the division of “friends”.  The Internet makes that division a blatantly public and often childish process.  Do they “De-friend you?”  Do you “De-friend” them?  Who does what and how long until someone takes action?  There is always that one first friend that is brave enough to make the friend switch. This person simply enjoys the new friendship more than the original friendship, yet inevitably puts themselves into the center of what may turn into a battle of loyalties, criticism and of course the unbearable insult of being De-friended (they also risk negative posts and g-d knows what from the slighted party).  These friends that once felt Linkdin may experience the pain of being blocked, ignored or even… dare I say… spammed.

So as you sit there and ponder the thought “OMG” this could happen to me and your heart goes all a twitter, feeling like drinking a tumblr of whatever is readily available in the house, I ask you, what are the new rules governing this era of Internet everything? How should this go down and how can you emerge relatively unscathed from all the added remnants now gathering in the cloud? How does one go from being the couple of Web 2.0 to …Web no.0?”

I hereby offer a few initial suggestions and I am sure I will come up with many more, but I need to know what you, the tech-lover, thinks.  Perhaps together we can come up with some basic framework for keeping our net presence intact as we navigate the treacherous on-line break up?

Rules of Disengagement for Internet-related break ups

1. Do not post a breakup blog explaining the gory details.  Such things should be private, even in today’s voyeuristic world.

2. Removal of ex should be done gradually. i.e. they did not disappear from the face of the earth, just perhaps from your life or more visibly, your vlog.  This should be adhered to in order to avoid the inevitable onslaught of queries about your separation. Do it for the other person, if not for yourself.

3. Do not post new pictures of yourself with an ex, a new whatever or overtly salacious images in an attempt to inflict additional pain on your ex (no mater how much you think you hate them).4. It is not recommended posting hourly, self-involved mood updates that will not only indulge the voyeurism of others, but cheapen the anguish you both feel. In a nutshell, don’t twit a twitter.

5. While sending angry emails/IM’s in the wake of your break up, do not digg yourself a hole you cannot climb out of.  This means that words on a screen are forever. Permanent. Nothing is ever truly erased from the web.  So pick your jabs wisely and don’t stumbleupon your own immature cruelty.

6. Do not badmouth your ex. You are an adult..

7. Avoid “tracking” your ex’s web activity. This can only lead to obsession and worse, web stalking.

8. Do not refer in any way to your suddenly, even remarkable renewed sex drive, virility, or promiscuity. This is so far beneath you as to be found somewhere deep in the Earth’s mantle.

9. Take a break from social media. We could all use one.

10. Eat, drink, be merry and do not let the bad experience disillusion you as to the viability of another Web-based relationship – we all benefit from social media, both platonic-socially, and if we are careful and a bit lucky, we may fall for another Tech-god  again, with markedly better results.

Written in collaboration with Michelle Oshen

Copyright ©2008 Veronica Romm

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“What can be worse than the total agony of being in love?”


In the spirit of the holiday season…

“What can be worse than the total agony of being in love?”As spoken by an eleven year old from a line in the film, Love Actually. If you pause for one second and think about it, isn’t love the absolute worst thing ever? I mean it is sheer torture yet it is vital and what we all live for ultimately. Some say it’s not Love but Sex that we do all the work for i.e. Sigmund Freud, but I don’t think he had that one quite figured out.

The absence of love can create the most distressing feelings inside. Sadness, loneliness, the shallow feeling of hating the couple walking hand in hand in front of you on the street. What a nightmare. Yet when in love that couple barely exists for the focus is not on them, but on your own hand in that of your loved ones. Total nonsense I think, turns us into absolute jerks doesn’t it?What is it about love that can have you raging in anger and reeling from joy in the matter of minutes? How is it that we, seemingly rational human beings allow ourselves such beastly behavior? I know its chemical and I know we can’t help it, but why do we put ourselves through it time and again?

Why do we let love in, and then let it ravage us so completely often leaving us in tatters and destroyed? Then as time passes we consciously (or not) do it all over again, risking the same awful result? As adults are we not to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them. When we touch the super hot radiator, don’t we actively avoid it so as not to burn again?

What makes love different? I want to know what you think. I am clearly at a loss because I am responsible for the horrid behavior I speak of. Please share your thoughts with me. Maybe together we can solve this Love thing once and for all? Highly unlikely but worth a shot, no?

End Quote

” Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. How on earth can you explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love? Put your hand on a stove for a minute and it seems like an hour. Sit with that special girl for an hour and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”

Albert Einstein

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Romance is back!


Original post date 1/31/2008

Reposted 8/14/10

The Veteran’s Day Classic:

Since it is Veteran’s Day  Nov. 11, this post seems to be getting very popular again. I love the story behind the image as much as I like the image. A powerful moment captured on film, timeless and timely.

Glenn Edward McDuffie knows why the sailor kissing a white-clad nurse in that famous photo has his wrist bent back in an awkward position. Taken August 14, 1945 in New York City’s Times Square moments after the crowd there heard World War II had ended, that photo has epitomized the jubilant mood of a nation who had won our hard fought victory. Glenn knows why that sailor has his wrist twisted because he is that sailor. Glenn had come to New York after coming off the SS Alexander Lillinton with Jack Holmes (from Pittsburg), the sailor in the dark uniform seen laughing in that same photo. Glenn also knows the sailor in the white uniform’s name is Bob Little from Buffalo, New York since he also served on the same ship.

Now ready to turn 80 this August 3rd, Glenn wants to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of his kiss of an overjoyed nurse by setting the record straight. Though numerous would-be kissing sailors have tried to lay claim to being the man in the photo, none know what Glenn McDuffie knows because they are not the man in the photo. Glenn not only knows the names and home towns of the only other sailors seen in the photo. He knows why the sailor smooching the nurse has his hand in such an unnatural position. Glenn tells it like this,

“I rode the subway into Times Square, got off, and when I walked up the stairs, a woman at the top said she was so happy for me. I ask hey ‘Why?’ and she said ‘the war is over, you can go home now!’ I was so excited I started jumping up and down and hollering because my oldest brother was a Japanese prisoner of war. He was there when the Philippines fell. Then this nurse held out her arms and I just looked up because I thought we were going to get run over. When I saw it was a photographer, I bent my hand back so you could see the lady’s face…”

Glenn McDuffie’s chivalrous act is the only explanation that makes sense when one views the photo. Not only does Glenn know why the strange hand position and the names of every sailor in the photo, he is the only man claiming to be the “kissing sailor” who has taken and passed a lie detector test on that subject. In fact, Glenn has passed 10 polygraph examinations proving his claims of being the man in the photo are truthful. In September 1980, he took two polygraph examinations administered by Smiths Security Agency for ABC Channel 13 (Houston, TX) at the behest of reporters John Davenport and Marvin Zindler. On February 14, 1981, the took a series of five tests, all by different operators, for F. Lee Baily’s syndicated Lie Detector show. Finally, on August 13, 2005, David Raney, Houston’s premier polygraph expert tested Glenn, and he passed with flying colors. Raney has a large poster of the famous photo in this lobby, signed by the man he is certain is in the photo: Glenn McDuffie.

Glenn was shipboard in the middle of the Atlantic on August 27, 1945, when the photo of him and the nurse in a jubilant embrace came out in print for the elated American public. Glenn never saw it till years later. During the summer of 1945 he was more worried about whether his brother, Willie Durant McDuffie, would be liberated from the Japanese. Over the years, McDuffie has tolerated men who did not know the names of the other sailors in the photo and who did not pass, or even agree to offers, of lie detector tests, making frivolous claims they were the man in the photo. None of these men even mention the chivalrous bended hand to show the nurse’s face. This plausible reason for the pose proves his first hand experience that day.

The only man who knows everything about the photo is a hero who fought for our country and deserves his due. The young nurse held out her arms right after hearing the war was won and Glenn McDuffie delivered a passionate kiss, chivalrously twisting his hand to show a photographer her face. This country owes Glenn some chivalry now.

Original post. Romance it dead.

This photo is not as romantic as you think… On August 14, 1945 the news of Japan’s surrender was announced in the United States, signaling the end of World War II. Riotous celebrations erupted in the streets, but perhaps none were more relieved than those in uniform. Although many of them had recently returned from victory in Europe, they faced the prospect of having to ship out yet again, this time to the bloody Pacific.

Among the overjoyed masses gathered in Times Square that day was one of the most talented photojournalists of the 20th century, a German immigrant named Alfred Eisenstaedt. While snapping pictures of the celebration, he spotted a sailor “running along the street grabbing any and every girl in sight.” He later explained that, “whether she was a grandmother, stout, thin, old, didn’t make any difference.”  Of course, a photo of the sailor planting a wet one on a senior citizen wouldn’t have made the cover of Life, but when he locked lips with an attractive nurse, the image was circulated in newspapers across the country. Needless to say, “V-J Day” didn’t capture a highly anticipated embrace by long-lost lovers, but it also wasn’t staged, as many critics have claimed. In any case, the image remains an enduring symbol of America’s exuberance at the end of a long struggle.



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The long distance kiss.


Repost from 2007

She blew him a kiss
It was shaped like her lips
He caught it with pride
For it had made quite a trip.
Over the cities
And the great sea.
A wondrous voyage
It had turned out to be.
So once it arrived
It was placed with great care
On the forehead belonging
To a most royal heir.
He smiled as he felt it
Rush through his veins.
This kiss that brought with it
The cure for his pains.
 

Copyright ©2007 Veronica Romm

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