Love and relationships in the era of social media
April 19th, 2009

A little while ago, I blogged here on Smart Mobs about this might be a Love story, a multimedia reality web show about a long-distance relationship between myself and a man in New York. Simply by virtue of communicating with many-to-many media like YouTube and Facebook, my long-distance Lover and I could simultaneously produce and distribute our ‘show’ (think reality TV meets web TV meets lifecasting meets Love, kinda). Some folks at CurrentTV fancied the idea and decided to produce a video about it, which just aired. It’s called Video Chat Love Story.

Video Chat Love Story

Now, I’m definitely in a place far removed from where I was while developing the concept for this might be a Love story – I have a new boyfriend (who interestingly also began long-distance, though we now live together); except for the ‘Relationship Status’ field on our Facebook profiles, we’re certainly not performing our relationship; and actually, it’s been an interesting process of negotiating our respective privacy preferences (unsurprisingly, he keeps his settings higher than I do). That said, I still consider the possibility of a reality web show that essentially is the communication between two Lovers, as produced and distributed in real-time by many-to-many media, a compelling one vis-à-vis online entertainment. In fact, I consider it an indicator of the emerging future of online entertainment. A couple will realize the potential here and make something beautiful. Hup and Steph are on their way. More broadly, along with (or perhaps instead of) having one online ‘home base’ for aggregating the content of a particular entertainment property, properties will live and be accessible all over the web. This starts to resemble how we experience our friends online, via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, some of the above, all of the above…

I’m in the process of collaborating with an interactive media shop to build an online community dedicated to Love and relationships. Among other topics, it will touch upon online dating, long-distance relationships, couples who perform their relationships, and in general, Love and relationships in the era of social media. If you have ideas for Le Brainstorme, feel free to get in touch:

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Hey Stephanie — thanks for the mention and for the awesome post! Steph and I have been doing our social media thing for over a year now and it’s amazing what all it has done for us as a couple, for our social life and for our relationship together.

It’s been a great way to not only document how we feel (sometimes to each other), but it’s also been a very powerful way to let others know about how we feel for each other, what we’re up to NOW and what types of people we are even before they meet us in the ‘meat space’

Our blog and videos have helped us get an apartment, have helped us meet amazing people and has probably done even more things that we’re not even aware of. In the Facebook newsfeed world that we live in, we have found a way to capitalize socially on our relationship with each other and like you said…we’re just now getting on our way. :)

I’d love to talk to you more about this and I’m all about brainstorming around the topics of social medias affects on our day to day relationships with one another.

Shoot me an email when you get a chance, I can’t wait to chat!

Ryan (Hup)

Also, just watched the vid on Current — very cool. :)

yeehaw, thanks for the comment Hup.

and indeed, such fascinating questions to explore, given that – as social network site scholar danah boyd says – social network sites enable us to perform our identities *based on our relationships with others.* so, what does it mean to publicly perform a romantic relationship? and of course, what are the implications of taking a relationship public? as I asked in my original post about ‘this might be a Love story’ here on Smart Mobs, “Of course, David and I could maintain channels of communication that were private, just for the two of us. But what if we decided not to?”

looks like you and Stephanie, and David and I, are seeds among seeds. there’s Four-Eyed Monsters, Jakob and Julia, Truth @ 15 Frames per Second, and others: (and please use the performing_Love delicious tag if you know of more.) is relationship performance, explicitly articulated as such, an emerging phenomenon? and if so, what does it teach us about ourselves, and how we co-evolve with our tools?

yes, I would Love to chat. er, videochat. migrating over to email…

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