Relationships: Real or Virtually Real?

Mate debate: Is monogamy realistic? –

Take a minute to read this incredibly eye-opening, yet completely unsurprisingly article by CNN.

While we can look at numerous factors that might lead to the complete disintegration of the monogamous relationship, I thought of one particular one that really intrigued me. In the article, a French author, Jaques Attali, writes this about the declining state of monogamy, “Monogamy, which is really no more than a useful social convention, will not survive. It has rarely been honored in practice; soon, it will vanish even as an ideal.” Then we have suggestions from authors like Judith Eve Lipton & David Barash who wrote the book, “The Myth of Monogamy”, suggesting a serial monogamy as an alternative to the traditional mode of monogamy. Not only that, but there seems to be a dating website now called, “The Ashley Madison Agency”, a dating site for married men and women, which claims 4.5 million members and greets visitors with the motto, “Life is short. Have an affair.”

Then it hit me… Monogamy is disintegrating because it is quite literally vanishing. We have no real point of contact in relationships anymore with the onset of social media giants like facebook & twitter, and the proliferation of portable devices hooking you into these mirage-like relational medias has only perpetuated the problem. Could the unrealistic state of monogamy be due to the virtual reality we’ve planted ourselves in? We no longer have real friends, but facebook friends. We no longer have real conversations, but g-chats. We no longer see one another, because we’re too busy looking at our iphone and checking on the twitter update of the friend you happen to be in the same room with. With the disintegration of the reality of relationship, no wonder we’ve lost any reality of the monogamous marriage relationship. Husbands and wives, individually tied to their blackberrys, no longer communicating, because it’s easier to send an email, when convenient.

Yes, we can very well attribute the breakdown of the monogamous relationship with a declining moral ethic, a loss of the reality of God, a confused sexual ethic, the increased consumer mentality, and many more contributors. But let’s just sit on this one for a bit. How real are your current relationships? And for the married folk, when’s the last time you sat and talked, done relationship the old-fashioned way?

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for social media and technological advances that aid our communication. But as one of my professors rightly points out, “With the addition of every new advancement in technology, we very well lose something real”. Everything is virtual – virtually invisible. The lines of reality and virtual reality are being blurred by the minute. And I don’t think it to be a stretch to see a world one day like we see in the prophetic movie, Wall-E.

Come down from the high clouds and blurry fogs of virtual reality and ground yourself in the reality of God’s very Word. We’ve extrapolated and abstracted everything and everyone to the point where nothing really exists anymore. But when we return to the ground of God’s Word, we root ourselves in a timeless truth that instructs us that a monogamous relationship is the design for humanity.


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