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Looking for Love in Letters

posted by Chris Valentine

The modern world has given us a lot of new ways to communicate. We are bombarded with constant contact with everyone around us: phone calls, text messages, e-mails, Skype, Morse code and carrier pigeons (just kidding). It is becoming more and more difficult to tune out or take five as we constantly answer questions and keep an open stream of communication (in fact the first thing 70% of people do when they open their eyes in the morning is check Facebook). SO it is surprising to learn that we are actually having a harder time than ever in meeting new people and making new relationships.

So how is it in this social world we are become more isolated and alone? The physical barrier that prevents us from forging and maintaining new relationships has manifested itself in the shape of mobile phones and laptop screens. We are only remotely connected to each other, and as such, we are finding it hard to stabilize those connections. The other problem facing us is an error in transmissions: that is to say, it is much more difficult to understand a person and pick up their meaning when you cannot read their body language.

But all of this has not stopped us in the quest to find love and companionship. In fact, it has made people all the more creative. In a world where you can no longer say hello to a stranger because they are absorbed in an MP3 player, kindle or iPad, people are shouting more loudly to get the attention of that special someone. In stunts that are hailed as both eccentric and creepy, here are some people who found romance in less traditional manner:

In an almost advertisement like fashion, Courtney, in her mid-thirties from Old Town Alexandria North America, plastered her small town in flyers looking for her “Ben”. She had met him briefly at a bar in town, but left without any contact information, so she appealed on a wider scale. A combination of flyers posted around the town and tweets she sent out, eventually led to Ben responding to her pleas. Only time will tell if the romance will last, but it has a nice (albeit bizarre) beginning.

This is not the first time such tactics have been used. In the London Underground system, commuters too to advertising who their crushes were in the “Metro”. The “Metro” is the free newspaper that anyone can pick up at any stop on the tube line, and most commuters at least flick through it. Enamoured men took to describing the women who caught their eye on a regular basis, including what they were wearing and the tube route and time they rode the tube at.

The tube has become such a popular place for finding a partner, that there is now even an app. The app has been designed as a convenient ice breaker between commuters, so that you do not have to face public humiliation if you are rejected. Love@Tube uses our GPS to identify your phone to other users, and so that you can find the person you want. It is not free, but cheap to use, costing just 59p to download. However, it is 50p to send a message to someone, and 10p to unlock a message from someone else, but there really is no price on love or creepiness! The service does rely on 3G or Wi-Fi, which understandably causes problems in the underground. However, it has a high success rate and a lot of users, so presumably they receive little love letters at some point.

And if all else fails, you could just try a simple old-fashioned “hello”.

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