Modern maiden

22:03, Aug 09 2012

Today, we kick off a new blog, Modern Maiden, from Taryn Utiger, a young Witt journalism student with a refreshing take on life. We hope you enjoy what she has to say. But firstly, we asked her to tell us a little about herself.

"The lunatic, the lover and the poet" - that's going to be the title of my autobiography when I write it. Emma Stone will play me in the movie and Colin Firth will jump at the chance to be one of my partners. I'm Taryn. Born and bred in the Naki. My mother tells me the world became a brighter place when I was born 26 years ago, but I think that's only because I appeared with a flaming mop of red hair.

Despite what my mother says, I'm just a woman with a weakness for red wine, who likes to muse on the modern world and quote Shakespeare. Oh, and buy dresses. A girl can never have too many dresses.

I spent half of my life growing up on farms with my parents, the other half growing up with my grandparents in town. It's fair to say that's made me look at things in a rather interesting way.

My blog Modern Maiden will be gracing the Taranaki Daily News website every Friday. I will be writing about, well ... me, and the changing world of a young woman. Brace yourself for my insights into what I am learning about dating, careers, becoming an adult and shoes. Pencil Modern Maiden into your diaries because I'm looking forward to our Friday dates.

Taryn X

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All it takes is a visit to your grandparents and it's clear - the digital age has ruined romance. We have all sat eager eyed to hear the stories. Great grandad walked six miles in the snow to visit his beloved, giving her a photo of him before he went off to war to fight for freedom.

They got married before their twentieth year and had children. Those children, our grandparents, met their love at a local dance. Hair curled and hands dressed in little white gloves.

Then our parents met, at a music festival, arms linked, daisy chains in their hair, singing 'Imagine all the people, living life in peace.'

I know you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one. My generation is lamenting the loss of romance. Growing up with Disney movies us girls have romanticized the idea of romance, and yet we have swapped our little white gloves for manicures, stomped our high heels to demand independence, and now...well now we feel like we are missing out.

I had yet another birthday last week, and perhaps I'm just getting old and cynical, but I wanted to trade in my youth in exchange for hand written love notes and memories of holding a gentleman's hand while he walked on the outside of me on a sidewalk. Not seedy emails from a dating website and text messages riddled with english I can't even read.

Most things in our digital age are available at the flick of a switch, the click of a mouse or in an inbox of some sort. This technology, cooked up to make our lives easier, is feeding our ability to have much more meaningless contact, with many more meaningless people, all at the same time. Leaving us starving for a simple hand written love letter.

We know everything about an acquaintance being cheated on by her 'boyfriend' of two weeks. They aired their dirty laundry on Facebook, rivaling Shortland Street for drama. Yet, we know very little about our friends who are not online. The way we communicate and therefore the way we grow to love someone, has changed, and some of us haven't quite figured it out yet.

If by chance a young woman meets someone special in real life, or RL as it's commonly known online, it's not long before they have to fight the preconceived digital-aged idea that all women want to jump in to bed immediately, and behave like internet porn-stars. It almost makes you swear off men entirely.

But, as I write this, in the last few minutes I have updated my Facebook status, checked my interactions on Twitter, won an auction on Trademe, text my Mum and set up recordings of two movies on MySky, all while having a glass of Merlot. Alone.

Maybe it's me. Maybe I've fallen in love with technology and traded my romantic ideals for gadgets.

Perhaps someone will email me a picture of a single red rose. I'll make sure I keep it for my grandkids.

Who knows, in their day my emailed flower may be as rare as hand written love letters are today.

Taranaki Daily News