Social technology ruining chances of real relationships

I have a bone to pick with technology. I am the first person to admit that I have become addicted to many of the 21st century tech advancements: iTunes, texting and Facebook. But I have noticed, while we are connected 24/7, we have become disconnected from each other.

I started thinking about this last night. When was the last time I had a face-to-face conversation with a friend where all I did was talk? I can’t remember. While I do rack up a hefty cell phone bill every month, I am usually checking e-mail, IMing or playing Speedy Bubbles while I’m on the phone.

Now when I happen to be in the same room with the person I am talking to, there are many moments of awkward silence until I leap for my cell and immediately respond to the new text in my inbox. It gives me something else to do besides carry on an actual conversation.

This new inability to talk face-to-face has made talking to the opposite sex even more difficult than it already was. Over the last year, every time I made plans to hang out with a guy, whether it was a date or not, the invite came via text, IM or e-mail. And the worst part about that is I didn’t think twice about it. When did asking a girl out on Facebook become common practice?

In the olden days, a guy would meet a girl in a bar or at a ballgame and phone numbers would be exchanged. Or if he really liked her, he would actually make plans right then and there to see her again.

Maybe this is just me, but now when I meet a new guy he would rather Facebook stalk me the next day instead of ask for my number that night. The next few days are filled with random profile posts and comments, until he forgets what I look like in 3D and he loses interest.

I can’t throw all the blame on the guys because I am just as guilty of this. I almost always make plans via Facebook or text; it’s just easier. But that made me wonder; if I’m taking the easy way out when I talk to these guys does that mean that they aren’t worth the trouble or discomfort of a phone call? If that’s true and they aren’t worth the time or energy to call, are they worth spending time with in the first place? This whole thought process makes my head spin.

Dating is hard. There’s no doubt about that. And yet, we are making it harder on ourselves by not putting forth a decent effort. Technology has become a way of keeping a guy at arms length and not giving him a fair chance.

He can’t get too close or learn too much about me from a Skype conversation. There is a difference between being “Facebook friends” and being “real” friends. My phobia of relationships and my inability to commit has only been amplified by technology.
I know chivalry is dead; feminism killed it. Girls no longer expect a guy to open a door, pull out a chair or show up at the door with flowers for a first date. It just doesn’t happen anymore and I have accepted that. But has face-to-face contact become too much to ask for? Before we know it, marriage proposals will come via iChat and marriage licenses will be applied for online (or has that already happened and no one told me?).

This revelation has caused me to set a challenge for myself and all of you can bear witness to it. The next guy I become Twitter-pated with will receive an actual phone call and a face-to-face chat. No text messages, I’m going old school.

We’ll see how long this will actually last, but I have set this goal and I challenge you all to try it too.

I’m sure I will inevitably send him a text when I’m bored in class, but I want to see if I can actually survive those awkward moments of silence when I sit across the table from him.

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