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She answered back. “I remember the good times, too,” she tapped on her keyboard. Her husband Will, a Cambridge-educated Silicon Valley entrepreneur, had been neglecting her lately. What could be wrong with a virtual trip down memory lane?. Since Lia and Will MacDonald became one of Match.com‘s first success stories when they met online in 1996 — so long ago that Lia had to mail in a snapshot of herself and Will didn’t even have a home computer — they have become a Silicon Valley social experiment for our times.
Like anthropologists studying the cultures of rare civilizations, so, too, did journalists chronicle the trendsetting digital lifestyle of the MacDonalds, PBS Newshour called them “pioneers in online dating.” Kendall, their firstborn child was dubbed the “Internet baby,” and Lia, a former schoolteacher, an “abundantly connected” mom who was one of the first with a computer on her kitchen counter for storing recipes and setting up play dates, Perhaps no family, including teenagers, grandparents and friends abroad, better personifies the power of technology to redefine our relationships — the latest installment in our series on how technology has redefined our lives, The story of the MacDonalds, in all its cultural touchstones and modern mayhem, reads like “The Truman Show” meets “Real Housewives” meets “Dr, Leakey and the tory burch ballet flats Dawn of Man.”..
But 14 years after their match, the technology that brought the MacDonalds together was threatening to tear them apart. Could this marriage made in Internet heaven be saved?. And it’s not just about love. People are counting among their friends those who may share a passion for pinot noir or the Pittsburgh Steelers, even though they’ve never actually met; a 2011 Pew Research Center study found that 7 percent of the average Facebook user’s friends are strangers. Like so many of us, though, the MacDonalds discovered that all this connectivity can come with a cost. Since it’s so easy to reach across the globe to make our next best friend — or rediscover an old one — we’re stumbling at staying focused on the people who are physically closest to us, in the same house, at the same dinner table, in the same bed.
Parents grumble that their teenagers are so tory burch ballet flats distracted by their gadgets they can’t look up, much less have a real conversation, Children are disappointed that their parents are too busy updating their Facebook status on the sidelines to catch them scoring the big goal, “If we don’t develop some skills moving forward about how to initiate real relationships in real time in seeing and in being with people, it’s going to be too easy to discard them, like Kleenex or a Dixie cup,” said Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University..
Despite all the hand-wringing, however, there is evidence that the most socially active people online are also the most socially active offline. “There is not a displacement going on,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center Internet Project who also co-authored “Networked: The New Social Operating System.” “It’s an addition.”. “They’ll do their dances and sing their songs,” said Lia’s stepmother, Patty Boone, 63. “Now we actually get to see the dance steps. And every time Fiona loses a tooth or gets her braces on, she calls us. We get to see them in real time.”.
When one of Kendall’s friends from the U.K, moved back to the States, the two 15-year-olds barely skipped a beat, They talk “face-to-face” on their smartphones as they get ready for parties, “I would have her there when I was doing my makeup, I would tory burch ballet flats prop her up on my bathroom sink while I was doing it,” said Kendall, who was featured in the Mercury News in 2001 as a 3-year-old with her own computer, “It’s definitely the next best thing to a sleepover.”..
Texting came in handy when it was time for Kendall to end a relationship after two dates with the son of a family friend. “Since it was very new and not very official at all, it would have been kind of weird to end it in a big face-to-face kind of way,” she said. “I could text it and think about what I wanted to say instead of thinking and saying it on the spot. It wasn’t too bad at all.”. It was the summer of 2010. The family was in Los Gatos for summer break and Lia was at the Santa Cruz County coastside resort Pajaro Dunes with friends for a scrapbooking weekend when Will MacDonald received a startling Facebook message.
“Will, sorry to have to do this,” read the message that appeared to be from Lia’s friend, Jenna Wright, “Maybe Lia really shouldn’t have her password out there and maybe not keep her messages, But since you seem to give her the world, I thought you should know this, It just isn’t right.”, Below, she had cut and pasted the tory burch ballet flats illicit messages that Lia was trading with her old boyfriend, Will cringed as he scrolled through them, “I still have all the letters you ever sent to me,” the boyfriend wrote to Lia, “You have sparked a flame in me.”..