MySpace inspires relationship controversy

Danielle R. Swopes

Romantic relationships are difficult. They are also precious, and possibly the most rewarding thing in life. I know my world is made a billion times brighter knowing that my honey bunny will be there when I get home.

Why do people risk these wonderful relationships for stupid things? One of the latest arguments is the battle of MySpace – it’s a whole new arena for jealousy and misunderstandings. Like we need any more of that.

Don’t get me wrong – I like the idea of hooking up with old friends, and it was fun playing with my page. My problem is when the digital world begins to cause problems in the real one, people begin to distrust one another because of a silly comment or the population of their partner’s buddy list.

One of my friends is about to walk down the aisle, and I’ve been helping with preparations. As I have spent time with them, I can see that the love and commitment are obviously there. However, she is becoming increasingly unhappy as she reviews her fianc?’s MySpace page: almost all of the posts are from other girls and friends from high school.

I am sure it is all platonic and harmless. If he wanted to sow a few more wild oats, he probably would have done so before visiting Robbins Bros. Good guys just tend to attract female friends.

Regardless of intentions and reassurances, something about the female (and male!) psyche stiffens when possible competition gets too close to our beloved. It is instinct, a territorial thing. Some of us are less susceptible than others, or better at controlling our impulses. But we all have a line that should not be crossed.

Back to my friend. Her problem is random females coming out of the woodwork trying to get a piece of her fianc?’s time and attention, using pet names and telling him how much they miss him.

Until death do them part, she has the monopoly. At first, I told her to relax, and launched into a lecture about how gender should not impact who our friends are. I stand by that, but I’ll admit that I raised an eyebrow when I checked and found that most of the comments were from girls who I have never heard of.

So they bicker. Which makes me wonder: Is it really worth it, from either side? How sad is it that this or any couple argues over an online community?

There are also those who seem to live or die by their position on their friends’ pages. “Why did they take me off their top eight?!” “Why haven’t they posted a comment on my page? Don’t they love me anymore?” This becomes an issue in both romantic and platonic relationships.

I had a friend visiting for a few days, and was disturbed that she spent so much time on her MySpace. I finally asked her what she was looking for, and discovered that she was hoping for her crush to come online, or leave her a message.

I was confused and somewhat hurt that she could not detach for three days. I was not the only one there who would have appreciated her attention much more than the guy who would not respond to posts or phone calls. I only get to see her for a few days each year, and couldn’t understand why she would waste that time staring into a computer screen hoping to talk to someone she typically saw every day. And she is not the only one.

I have watched several friends fool around with their MySpace accounts rather than participating with the group.

I worry about my generation, and those to follow. Are we losing interpersonal skills and real connections because we spend too much time wrapped up in technology?

I am wary of things that take us away from real people and instead glue us to glowing screens, whether it is MySpace, or the permanent attachment to cell phones or iPods.

The problem is not the technology itself. MySpace is a tool, a distraction.

The problem lies in those who give in to or incite jealousy, those who let insecurities get loose or are too disconnected to pay appropriate attention to those around them.

Some people simply take MySpace too seriously, and it goes from a harmless pastime to a way of life and possibly a threat.

Don’t let the computer get in the way of your real life and real loves.