Social Networking and the City: A 2013 Look at Sex and the City

I’ve been watching reruns of Sex and the City Season 2 (in which Carrie and Big break up again, Miranda meets Steve, Charlotte keeps pining for “the one” and Samantha just keeps doing what she’s always done best) in hopes to stir up some inspiration for a new blog entry.

See, the problem lately is that there’s been nothing really new in my life to write about. I got home after graduation, started rapid-fire applying for jobs, had one interview, became a contributor to a UK site called “Greatest Films” and began combating — yet again — a serious crop of stomach issues.

Yay me.

And here there’s been a lot going on in the news that deserves a comment: Edward Snowden’s leaking of NSA secrets, the IRS’ less-than-fair practices, the birth of Kanye and Kim’s baby North West (she has nowhere to go but up! And slightly to the left)…

So to get the ball rolling, I thought getting a Carrie Bradshaw voiceover would help. Hence the SATC  marathons each night.

Instead, I came up with some observations about how life has changed since 1999 when the second season aired. Apart from the fact that Will Arnett’s career moved on from just being another guy with whom Miranda gets intimate (La Douleur Exquise!), relationships have changed in every way, from initiation to termination.

Read this in Sarah Jessica Parker’s voice: “As I watched four well-off women gab over $20 salads and $6 coffee about first-world relationship problems, I couldn’t help but wonder: did they have it easier than 2013 audiences?”

Look at how old that Macbook is…and that TV…and, nope, wait, that hair is still in vogue.

My first reaction is: “No.”

Can you imagine the difficulty Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte would have had if every guy they canoodled with suddenly friended them on Facebook? There would have been oodles of episodes just based on the drama we create around how our relationships are presented online. A current member of the single-and-cyber population would find humor in the outdatedness of it all as Stanford cyber-sexes on what looks to be a basic HTML site and Carrie struggles to understand AOL. Can you imagine Charlotte’s Pinterest boards (three alone called “Dream Wedding”)? Samantha’s Four Square? Miranda’s LinkedIn?

But then there are other things that point to how, despite all their griping, the Frisky Four (that’s the best I can do right now — sorry) had it dead easy getting men interested. Carrie goes to a therapist, and bam! Jon Bon Jovi (OK, a guy played by Jon Bon Jovi) asks her to dinner. No Facebook stalking, no coy text messages. Just, “Hey, will you have dinner with me?” the second time he sees her. As far as I know, that doesn’t happen anymore because we’re all scared of showing up for a date without going through the other person’s “likes” on Facebook.

To be fair, a little time searching JBJ’s relationship history online might have tipped Carrie off on his habit of humping-then-dumping. In fact, the power the internet gives us in investigating people would have helped the four of the SATC ladies all the time, even making some of the best episodes completely moot. In other situations, however, social networking would have done nothing to keep problems from happening and might have caused bigger ones. Mr. Big couldn’t tell Carrie he loved her for two seasons. Can you imagine the arguments over whether they should make their relationship “Facebook Official?”*

*Carrie’s relationship status would be permanently set on “It’s Complicated.”

Which takes us full circle to the idea that SATC shows women having different problems, but just as many problems as we have now. Sure, women don’t have to wait until the first date to find out their new conquest is simply “separated,” not divorced, but they also don’t get to reap the benefits of taking a risk on someone they just met in Central Park.

I’d love to hear some feedback on this from anyone: old, young, single, married, dating. Do you think that relationships were easier without Facebook?


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