Losing Touch

I have a friend who lost her phone recently, which deeply upset her, however it was not because of the physical value of the phone. Instead, it was because she felt lost and empty without it. When I heard this, I realised how much we have become attached to some inanimate objects that if we lose them then we will feel like we have lost a friend.

After I heard her story I couldn’t even imagine how I would feel if I lost my phone. I don’t have a particularly amazing phone and I’m even thinking of getting a new one soon, however I think it’s the sentimental value of what is stored on it and also the uncertainty of what I would do without it that makes me feel uneasy. I’ve actually even had dreams of losing my phone before, which is probably quite extreme, but they never end well.

I think our attachment to our phones is quite easy to explain. A lot of people spend a large proportion of their time on their phone every day. It is very rarely a couple of metres away from us and we check on it every so often. The previous sentence could be said by a mother about her baby, and so I think we can develop a similar type of relationship with our phone even though it’s not a living thing that depends on us; it’s the other way around in fact.

Some people would say that it’s unhealthy to develop such a dependent relationship with our phones. I just know that my life would be a lot more difficult without one. I will always remember one time when I was going home from a friend’s house, where I had never previously been. It was late at night and I needed to catch a couple of buses to get home, however halfway through the journey my phone ran out of battery. I desperately tried to read the map and timetable at the bus stop to try to find a route to get me home, however as I didn’t have a watch I didn’t even know how long I had to wait until the next bus would arrive. I somehow made my way home that night, however I know that if my phone had been working then it would’ve told me everything I needed to know without even requiring me to think.

I guess my story shows the good and bad side of being dependent on a phone. The positive side is obviously making our lives easier, and also giving us a reassurance that help is in our pocket if we ever need it. The negative is that we think less and observe the world around us less. We could travel every day on public transport and not even know how to read a bus or train timetable.

Someone found my friend’s phone in the end, however she was not as happy as I thought she would be. After she lost her phone she thought she would never see it again, and so she spoke to some mobile network providers and had prepared to buy a new phone, which was better than her old phone and on a better plan. I’m not saying that what she did and how she now feels is wrong, but it shows that the weakness with our relationship with objects is that as it can become the most important thing in our life, it can just as quickly be forgotten and replaced by a newer version.

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How to Love?

We can love anyone or anything, but usually this differs between people depending on our relationship to them. For example, our love towards our family can be different from our friends and it can even vary between family members and friends. Recently, this has prompted me to consider how I actually love people, and what the criteria for love are.

Firstly, I thought about the love within families. I realised that a lot of the time we love our family unconditionally as we usually do not get to choose who our family are. Even for parents there was a choice of whether to have children, but then what that child will be like is completely out of their control. However not many parents would say that they do not love their child because they’re not as clever or good looking as they had hoped. We love our families because that is who they are, and no matter what they do they will always be our family.

Secondly, I looked into the love between friends. This was a more difficult group as we have many types of friends which vary from aquaintances to best friends, therefore within this group there are also many types of love. Sometimes we even love one friend very differently to another even though we are just as close to both parties.

I found that our love towards our friends can sometimes be very similar to the love we show to our family, hence why some people would call some of their friends ‘family’. For these people, they will often love their closest friends unconditionally as if they were actually their family and so will most likely remain friends with them for life or for a very long time.

I will include the love in boy/girl relationships within the love between friends, because we are able to choose who we want our partner to be as well. I mentioned earlier that we usually do not get to choose who our family are, however with our husband or wife it is one of the only times we actually have a choice (adopting children is the only other time as far as I know). This is something that I feel I have to get right, as it will have a knock-on effect down my family-tree and could be the only time I get to choose a specific person to officially call my family. However I have seen with some married couples that over time they become less close than they were at one point. This could be due to many reasons but it is something that I fear might happen with me in the future as well.

Finally, I will also include the love we have for materialistic things. This love is usually short-lived unless the item has a sentimental value. However if an item has sentimental value would that mean we love it because we love the person or people who gave it the sentiment in the first place? What I find with my love for materialistic things, especially technological products, is that I truly treasure it the moment I get it and perhaps a couple of months after; but over time when it begins to get worn and newer, more improved versions come out, then my love for the product diminishes and I forget why I liked it so much in the first place. Unfortunately I feel like this statement can also be applied to some marriages and relationships, and could be one of the reasons why some couples become less close over time.

I feel like I have still not answered my question on how to love, especially on what the minimum criteria of love is (if there even is one), but I have realised that there is not a set method or criteria of love no matter who we are trying to love. I think loving people is usually something that we can do naturally, and so perhaps trying to find out how we do it is futile as we all know how to anyway.

One in Seven Billion

I consider finding a girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife not too far away from being a miracle, even though most people who want to be in a relationship will one day end up being in one. This is because although there are about seven billion people in the world right now, we can still somehow end up finding ‘the one’.

This is where it depends if you believe that things in life happen by chance or fate. When I look at this through the perspective of chance then it does seem like a miracle, because the chance of meeting ‘the one’ really is about one in seven billion theoretically; but then it’s not really. If that was true then most people will never find their perfect partner; or maybe no one actually does. Most likely, the person we end up being with will be someone we cross paths with, and so of course the chance of meeting them will be less than one in seven billion. But how can we be sure that we’ll cross paths with ‘the one’? This is probably not a healthy thought, especially when in a relationship, but what if the person you are with is not the best person in the world you could be with? I guess this is when cheating comes in, when someone finds that there are better people out there.

Then there is fate, which is when we are destined to be or not to be with someone; the more romantic idea. Although this idea does seem more like a fantasy, I do believe that it makes more sense, because just based on chance will mean that it’ll be easier for many people to win the lottery than find a partner. I still think that finding someone to be in a relationship with is still a miraculous event though, even when it happens every day. This is because although it is relatively easy for a person to have a crush, I think that the chances of the other person liking them back is surely so low. Out of everyone in the world, I find it crazy how two people can feel the same way about each other. If they have very similar interests then maybe it does work a bit easier, but it’s still not always the case as opposites can still attract. Perhaps I’m looking at this through the chance perspective though, which is most probably wrong.

I’m sure it takes more than chance for a couple to be together. Perhaps for many couples, it takes more than one look to like a person. Sometimes it will take getting to really know the other person to find out that things could really work out, however what are the chances that they will have similar thoughts and feelings?

It’s hard to explain how relationships work though, because don’t they usually just work? Everything just clicks doesn’t it? I find it hard to explain this ‘click’ though, why do we click with some people and not with others? It’s not just to do with similarities is it?

A Glance

You’re walking down a street. There’s a stranger walking towards you. You glance up at them and in that split second they also decide to glance at you. Whether it’s coincidence or whether there’s some sort of connection between all people, you make eye contact for that instant. Then in that moment their eyes send a message, and suddenly it doesn’t feel like you’re strangers anymore. However, you look away and just carry on walking, probably never to see them again.

Have you ever experienced this before? Whenever I experience this, I find it quite fascinating how two people can connect, yet never speak to each other and only see each other for less than a second. It also shows how effective the eyes are at communicating. What the eyes say about a person, can sometimes never be described by words. It’s hard to explain how the eyes can convey a message, but I believe that they do and I don’t think it requires deep thought to see it. I guess there is that saying that the eyes are the window to a person’s soul. This is why I think every eye contact with a stranger is special in its own positive or negative way; it can sometimes be a summary of that person in a glance.

Do you believe that there is the perfect partner for you out there? Can this be seen in just a glance? In other words, does love at first sight exist? I think it can, as a person’s eyes can show what they think about the person they’re looking at. So if two strangers feel an affection for each other and then catch each other’s eye, they can convey that message to each other without even saying anything.

When you go to a busy place, you might make eye contact with many people during the day; what if one of those contacts felt more special? What if that was actually your perfect partner, and you just walked straight past them, or they just disappeared into a crowd? Will you ever see them again? I sometimes ask myself these questions, but I usually have one answer to console them. I think that if that person was indeed my perfect partner, then we will meet again, because it’s meant to be. This might be over romanticising it, but if we never see each other again then I think we just weren’t meant to be together and it’ll only be futile to force it. I have the same mentality in relationships as well; perhaps it’s just my way to cope if things don’t go the way I want.

Therefore, I think that it is possible to develop a relationship with a stranger, because our brain can sometimes fill in the blanks the way we want them to be filled. This causes us to fantasise about a stranger, but I don’t think that’s a problem. It could just mean that sometimes, some of our best relationships are actually with a person we don’t even know.

Relationships with Objects

I am sure that most people have a personal possession that they love. Perhaps it’s because they spend a lot of time with it, or because it’s worth a lot in terms of monetary or sentimental value.

My most valued possession would be my phone. First of all, it’s because I chose it out of the hundreds of different phones available, making it special. Secondly, and more significantly, I feel that a mobile phone carries a lot of sentimental value, especially as I do not delete my messages. Looking back at messages shows me some key events in my life that my phone has also been part of, making it a sort of memory bank. I also carry my phone everywhere and probably spend more time with it than I do with anything or anyone else. This really makes my phone very personal and I think that if it gets lost then it might be like losing a friend for me. That last sentence might have sounded slightly obsessive, but nowadays mobile phones can know its owner better than anyone else.

However how can people develop relationships with inanimate objects if it cannot talk back or do anything unless prompted to? Doesn’t a relationship largely rely on communication?

In a way, inanimate objects can communicate with its user. Objects that people usually like the most are the ones that work the best, or are unique. An object that works well sends out a positive message to the user, making them happier when using it. This makes them use the product more often and so, in a way, develop a stronger relationship with it the more they use it. There can also be negative relationships with objects, if a user has suffered from a bad experience while using it. This could be because the object is annoying to use, or a bad memory is associated with it.

ford-focus-rs-2015-(4)2015 Ford Focus

Some products are even designed to carry an expression, most notably, cars. The front face of cars usually have an expression that can attract a user in different ways. Many more sporty cars have a more menacing look to give an impression to the viewer that the car is fast. This can be seen with the Ford Focus, which has an RS version – standing for ‘Rally Sport’ – shown on the left. This RS version has an exaggerated front grille, with sharper features and darker colours, when compared to the standard Focus on the right. Although it can be seen that the standard Focus design already has a slightly menacing look with its thin, inward slanted headlights and sharp lines that make up all the lights at the front. Cars can be made to carry human expressions, so the viewer can relate to the image the designer wants to portray.

This post may seem weird: relating inanimate objects with humans and even saying how relationships can develop between them. However I think that well designed objects should result in a good relationship forming between it and the user. I think that emotion should be designed into all products, and that the most important element of an object is for the user to feel the emotion it has been designed to carry.

Ticking the Right Boxes

Some people have a checklist for a dream partner. They say that if a person can meet these requirements then they will be amazing, and will instantly fall in love with them; however can this actually be true in reality?

In my opinion, love is the most powerful emotion. It can start and end wars. It can be the most painful and the happiest experience for a person. I also think that it is the most difficult emotion to define. For example, giving a gift to another person does not mean you love them and, similarly, thinking someone is pretty or handsome does not mean you love them. It can also drive people to do positive or negative things, whereas, most other emotions are usually biased on one side. The other emotions can be triggered much easier as well and we tend to experience them more often than love. This is one of the reasons why I think love is special.

So can there be a checklist for true love? I think that if the person truly believes that a person who meets their checklist will be their true love then it could become so. However not everyone has a checklist, and some people just believe that they are destined to meet their true love, if they are meant to have one. On the other hand, someone who ‘ticks the right boxes’ might not always end up being the right one, as they could have more qualities that are not desirable. The dream person who ticks all the boxes could also not exist, or even love the person back. This shows the complicated nature of love, and how it’s difficult to put a finger on.

Therefore, I think that love is more than ‘ticking the right boxes’. In my opinion, I don’t think a person who only strives to show specific qualities can call that love. I think love is going out of one’s way to show care and affection. In other words, it is impossible to be shown by just ticking boxes. It must be more than that and that extra mile is what is difficult to define. All the other emotions can be felt if the right boxes are ticked, but not love. Love is more than that and is a unique emotion.

I think that sometimes after people break up, a person can get over the other person but not the love that they received or even gave. So they could actually end up missing the love, and I think that can be more difficult to get over than a person. I think that it can make people look for another relationship immediately, to restore that special connection. This also shows that love can be different between different people and different relationships. The love between family differs from between a boyfriend or girlfriend, or between friends. This complicates it even more. There are rarely different types of the same emotion for emotions other than love.

All in all, love is difficult. There is no formula for it, or boxes to be ticked for it. So how comes we all know how to love?

Does Wealth Make Someone More Attractive?

The obvious answer is: yes, of course. Wealth can be seen to take away many restrictions in life, as it means that anything in the world that has a price tag on can be owned by you. The entire family can then live a better lifestyle, which theoretically means that they will be happier and enjoy an easier life (and don’t people marry to be happy for the rest of their lives?). Having the cushion of a mass of wealth beneath you also takes away many worries, such as of bills or unexpected payments that may arise. All in all, it theoretically means a much better life, hence why the lottery exists and why most people in the world dream of having more money.

There is the saying that money can’t buy love. I sometimes question this statement when I look at celebrities getting married, footballers especially. Another question that arises is: if the factor of money was not involved, would the couple still be together? Therefore what I am trying to figure out is whether the marriage is due to true love, or whether it is just for the benefit of being able to live a better lifestyle. Some marriages that are for attention or money are obvious and usually end up in a divorce, but can money really hold a relationship together for the rest of a person’s life? Can they live the rest of their life with a person they might not particularly like and pretend to like them for a lifetime? I don’t think any sum of money is worth spending the rest of my life as a lie, and even if I tried to, I think eventually I would crack and the truth would become exposed. However, for a celebrity I realise that sometimes a divorce isn’t as easy as it may seem. If a celebrity divorces, the media will immediately be all over both their lives and they may become scrutinised by the community for the rest of their lives. This means that if a couple were to marry due to wealth, it could just end up being a one way ticket to trouble.

Of course, I think it is possible to marry someone who is wealthy and to truly love them, but I don’t think it is possible to marry someone based on their wealth and to truly love them. This is because I think true love can’t involve anything that can be seen and, as cliché as this is, it really is the inside that counts. But maybe wealth can sometimes convince a person to think that they truly are in love, and it can blind them from any negative characteristics, in the same way love can blind someone. After all, sometimes it only takes a couple of million pounds to keep a marriage intact.