Photo via istock photo
Love in the age of technology is most decidedly a departure from the days of yore and needless to say, it’s shifted more than just the way we do business. It’s changed the way we love – how we seek it, how we find it and above all, how we keep it. Today, courtship has become a flurry of status messages, e-mail flirtation, Twitter updates and not so uncommonly, breakups that play out publicly for all 400 of your not-so-closest friends.
It used to be that courting, flirting, dating and ultimately love was conducted in public and in real time: in bars, in restaurants, on boardwalks, on moonlit patios at dusk. Lovers once stole kisses and canoodles in plain sight of prying eyes; now, they steal glimpses and glances for hours over cell phones, ichats, text messages and emails. Truth be told, there are people who I communicate with more frequently via BlackBerry Messenger than anything else.
The casualness of e-mail and text messaging has certainly blurred those lines between acceptable and unacceptable. There is space for just a minimal number of characters on that little cell phone screen- not much room for recounting disastrous misunderstandings, sleepless nights and awful embarrassments. Hasty typing and shorthand can cause further difficulty, as it sometimes has to be decoded. Feelings aren’t always easily expressed in such few words. The backspace key has become an all-around superstar.
Text messages can be either a curse or a blessing- especially when it comes to flirting. The question is not simply whether to send a text message, but what to write and when to send it. And after a message is sent, what if there is no reply? The waiting begins.
This whole idea always makes me think of the film He’s Just Not That Into You, which offers a look at relationships and shows just how technology has made the dating game more complicated. Drew Barrymore’s character discusses her frustrations:
“I had this guy leave me a voicemail at work, so I called him at home, and then he e-mailed me to my BlackBerry, and so I texted to his cell, and now you just have to go around checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It’s exhausting.”
Yes, we have a zillion gadgets at our disposal. Overuse and misuse can quickly doom a relationship. Nobody wants to receive hundreds of text messages from someone they just met. A little self-discipline is needed. If used properly and sparingly, technology can be a godsend to someone timidly placing a toe in the dating water.
Thoughts? Experiences? Please share.