October 26th, 2008

Loch Icon

I think they missed the boat

Feministing has a post up about, "local dating' which is making reference to a post about The Case Against Long Distance Relationships at Slate.

I am conflicted. Being in an LDR at the moment, I can see some of the complaints. But what I see is a strange blindness. The cost of the LDRs is a problem of the benefits of the net. People fall for people because of who they are. It used to be LDRs were, more often than not, because one person left the area (usually for a known period, they went to colllege, joined the Navy, took a job wintering over the S. Pole, something) and the trick was to keep the spark from dying out.

But there were the pen-pals, and the common interest groups, and the like. People fall for other people. Yeah, carbonating hormones and the warm aftreglow of a great romp can lead to relationships, but in my experience, that's not the usual way of it.

And that's where the internet comes in. I know lots of people on Lj, whom I would never know in real life. I have a sense that I know them, and they have a sense they know me.

I see the same pattern happning in other blogs. Those which foster community, cause friendships. Some of those are really strong. Making Light just did an impromptu comfort gifting to two of it's members who took ill. It wasn't to cover their bills, it was to cheer them up. That's an LDR.

They are also working to raise funds for another habitue, who had a stroke, and is self-employed. That's the power of community. People have made long trips to go and help out.

The entirety of, "the netroots" which has so invigorated politics, is the same thing.

I don't see people condeming that. I don't see them saying the people who flew to Connecticut to campaign for Ned Lamont were bad people; because they were adding to the Carbon Load. There is no way to have those things, without the other. People fall for each other.

Which makes it seem the real problem isn't:

... spending all their free time out of town or staring at a webcam--that is, in their apartments or airline cabins, rather than in parks, bowling alleys, and pubs--long-distance lovers erode civic commitment and social support networks. They have fewer chances to meet new people.

Because those self-same sorts of things are seen as invigorating the national debate, sense of social connectedness (we have a better appreciation of how other parts of the country, and the world, live their lives, make their decisions and go about their business. We are said to be more connected as a result) are praised... so long as there's no sex involved.

Is an LDR hard? Yep. Is it immoral? No.

It's human.