Dating Via Technology
Gone are the days of handwritten love letters and serenades under the window
Technology has changed how we communicate with one another. The carefully selected snail mail birthday card with the witty Hallmark greeting is replaced with an e-card of singing kittens wearing hula skirts. Instead of meeting a friend for coffee to look through her latest European vacation photos we just quickly scan Facebook for tagged images and type in a quick comment “Love you in that beret” to prove that we paid attention. And long phone conversations are overhauled with a plethora of communication options such texts and chats that allow us to stay connected without really connecting at all.
The problem with all this new technology is that it has made us lazy. Especially in dating. When was the last time you had an old-fashioned love letter or serenade at your window? Right. Now when was the last time you were asked out on a date via text message with a smiley face? Nowadays courting is done in 160-character increments that encourage bad grammar and discourage any real effort. “Hey-U out 2nite?” has become the commonplace line of romance.
In fact, many times the act of texting replaces the date completely. I technically wasn’t dating Jeff but did have ten texts from him. I needed advice. Thus, I called my group of girls for a real live chat session. We went out to the local wine bar and hastily put away our iPhones and BlackBerries to have a focused conversation about what technology has done to our love lives.
Recalls my friend Ana, “I met this man Nathan in a bar. We had instant chemistry and so I was ecstatic when he asked for my phone number. He texted me immediately to say how much he enjoyed meeting me. But sadly it never went anywhere else. We texted back and forth about various interests for a few weeks before we stopped communicating. We never went out. Not even once.”
My friend Debbie immediately comments, “A few weeks? That’s nothing! I was texting Matt for three months! It went something like this – Message: RU out? In Russian hill eating sushi. Reply: In the Mission eating a burrito. Message: How is burrito? Reply: Spicy. Message: I like spice. This would go on every Saturday night around 9 p.m. We never ended up in the same neighborhood and thus never met. I mean seriously? Why can’t he just ask me out? Was he not interested? Or just lazy?”
Says Alexis, who is a bit of a romantic, “I miss the phone call. It was a simpler time – if a man liked you he called … and asked you out. If he didn’t, you assumed either he wasn’t interested or AT&T had a major service outage in your area for the week. Either way, much clearer cut on the course of action required.”
Personally, I hate texting. It takes me three hours to draft an “easy breezy” response about something as mundane as a burrito. So, determined to not become a texting victim myself, I decided to throw “The Rules” handbook out the window and just call my latest text crush. I quickly drafted up an outline of what I would say – friendly, inviting, open. But sadly all I got voicemail. And then a text the next day: Thnx 4 UR message … U out2nite? Sigh. Back to square one.