The New York Times wants to hear what you have to say about love. But not just any kind of love—it’s that Facebook relationship status/hook-up culture/text message love they’re interested in. From the Times:
From the hippie culture to the AIDS epidemic to the Internet revolution, love has gone from “free” to fraught to Facebook. What is love now, in this age of 24/7 communication, blurred gender roles and new attitudes about sex and dating?
We invite college students nationwide to submit a personal essay of between 1,500 and 2,000 words that illustrates the current state of love and relationships. The winning author will receive $1,000 and his or her essay will be published in a special “Modern Love” column on May 4, 2008 and on nytimes.com.
For the uninitiated, Modern Love is a weekly column in the Sunday Styles section that tries to portray different aspects of, well, modern love. Once in a while, a writer will get it just right, mixing sentimentality and insight without sounding narcissistic or whiny. But, all too often, I think, the lens through which “modern love” is addressed—in-vitro fertilization, Hurricane Katrina, cancer, finding pictures on MySpace of your ex hanging from hooks—overshadows any substantive discussion of “modern love.” Plus, a lot of the essays just suck.
The Time’s previous college essay contests have turned out pretty well, but I’m worried that this one might not be so successful. Far be it from me to criticize essays I haven’t even read, though. At very least, the winning essay can’t be worse than the average Modern Love column.
So go at it, Hoyas. Writing, I mean. Bonus points for discussing the ambiguity of the phrase “hooking up”, what it means to be in an open relationship on Facebook and what crazy STD the kids are passing around these days.
Image courtesy the New York Times