Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Social Media Killed the Dating Star, Part Two

So, texting isn't really social media (or is it?), but I'm lumping it in the same category because it's a technological advancement that keeps us more connected than we ever really wanted to be. Folks, texting has totally changed dating. And I don't really think it's for the better.

A few years back, I was at Brit's Pub with a friend for happy hour. It was a Thursday night in the summer. The patio was packed with young working downtowners. My friend struck up a conversation with a dude in a suit. He was cute and charming and witty. In the end, they exchanged numbers. Awesome. A few days later it was the weekend and I was with this friend at another friend's house for a fun and girly wine party. The wine was from a wine cube, so it was super classy. Anyhow, around 9:00 P.M. the dude in a suit texts my friend. Now, they have had no communication between the first meeting and this party, but the guy texts her "How's your Saturday night going?" How random is that?

I know what you are thinking: Booty text. Maybe it was, but my friend wasn't playing it that way. I think the texting banter went back and forth for a week or more, but the guy never asked her to do anything. He just kept texting her. That's creepy.

I think basic rule of texting is this, if you don't know the person at least a tiny bit, if all you have is their cell phone number, then you should probably never resort to texting. If you are interested call and ask if they want to meet for drinks. If not, don't text. Creepbag.

A second story about texting shows the emotional turmoil it can put people through when starting a relationship. I know the agony of making phone calls when you first begin dating someone, it's terrifying and nerve wracking. Texting seems like a much easier option. However, I actually think texting is more difficult. First, there's the pressure to be witty. When you are writing something you can't just write it straight, you want to be seen as funny and clever and carefree. It's difficult pulling all of that off in a short sentence or two. Secondly, there's the agony of waiting. When you text someone, it's always assumed that they received the text immediately and can write you back immediately. But, that's not always the case. They might be busy, they might be unable to get service, they might not be able to take the time to write something back, they might be agonizing over how to sound clever as well. In the meantime, for the sender, every second is torture. Is the person not interested? Do they hate me? Did they think that my text wasn't clever enough? It really is the dumbest distress you can put yourself through.

Why am I ranting about texting? Because I think it's changed dating and I think we are the worse for it. As I said in Part One...actually talking and communicating is a natural part of building a relationship. You don't get the same thing out of a text.


Katherine said...

I was totally creeped out and not into a "hey-i-just-met-you-but-let's-pretend-we're-super-comfortable-and-chat-via-text" kind of conversation. When you get someone's number... call it.

Or text to set up the date, but don't just text to say "hey." That is not only lame but also a waste of time and texts (for those that have a limited number per month)and it's creepy.

Katherine said...

ps - I really think a new "how-to-date" book need to be written... I've got some ideas on what Not to do...!

Molly said...

I agree with you. For many people a What Not To Do book is needed.