Love is still in the air despite criticism

Jasper Johnson

Our generation, despite arguments made by petulant and vague articles, still retains one of the most fundamental human emotions: love. It is quite common for older generations to doubt the younger generation, but it’s surprising for me to see my peers absurdly selling each other short by sharing articles on social media such as, “10 Reasons Why This Generation Is Losing The Ability To Be In Love,” or claiming that our generation has “forgotten how to love someone.” 
 
Although they’re well-intentioned, arguments like these are cavalier and flippant about one of the most human and driving forces of our lives. All of the arguments these articles make have two main flaws: a lack of specificity and simple conservative hang-ups. 
 
For starters, many reasons why some people argue that our generation is losing the capacity to love are so vague that they could apply to any generation of humans. This clearly leaves out the explanation for why our generation, specifically, would lose the ability to love. For example, points like “we’re goal driven, but often forget to include our partners in the mix,” or “We are too bitter to let go,” are obviously indistinct. While they may strike a chord with certain individuals who view these traits in their own personalities as a hindrance to love, they in no way explain why a group of people would have difficulty falling in love. Because of this, we can dismiss these vague arguments outright. 
 
The conservative viewpoint is another argument that, even if more solid, still has significant counterpoints. The articles hammer home that “we’ve built a culture driven by drugs and booze,” and “we sleep around — a lot,” claiming that these are both somehow unique to this generation as well as detrimental to love. I contest both points. 
 
Older generations always view younger ones as more sexually promiscuous and drug-fueled. I fail to see how this leads to a lack of love, considering how it has played out historically. Even the radical counterculture movement of the 1960s, with all of its drug use and sexual liberation, did not see a gap in love. 
 
I do observe, however, a potential issue for romance in my generation. It is not grounded in any points made by the articles, and it’s not nearly as melodramatic as saying we are “forgetting how to love.” Rather, it revolves around technology. 
 
For virtually all of human history, the capacity to interact with individuals has been limited to our physical proximity. But today, with smartphones and sophisticated technology, we can be in touch with people from all over the world. This puts romance in quite the predicament.
 
Tinder, OkCupid and various other services require us to ask ourselves some interesting questions. Can we fall in love with someone we have never met? What if they live five miles away? Five thousand miles? If we can’t fall in love with them, why? After all, we have the capacity to see them and talk with them. The only thing missing is the physical proximity. 
 
Our capacity to love is not at all diminishing. It is instead being tested with powerful technologies of interaction, and it will play out in ways previously unseen by humanity.