Although technology seems like an integral part of our lives, from banking to schoolwork and correspondence, it is hard to believe it has also affected the dating game.
Before the era of cell phones, Facebook and e-mail, it was harder to read into people’s every action. Many people, stereotypically women, have the tendency to over analyze things that a love interest does, such as how often they hang out, what exactly was meant by words or other nuances.
With the introduction of social media like Twitter, people are practically invited to wonder what someone is doing at all times.
Questions such as “Why won’t he text me back even though he just posted online? Is he ignoring me? Does he not
like me? Has she lost interest already?” might run through someone’s mind.
In the past, people depended on home telephones to communicate, and the “three day rule” was often in place (if someone doesn’t contact you for three days, they’re probably not interested). But with the new obsession of texting and updating social media profiles, it’s difficult to know how the rules have changed.
Some people might feel neglected or like someone is not thinking about them if they don’t send texts often enough. Other people feel suffocated or pressured to constantly talk to someone because of texting. The worst part is this issue can be hard to discuss in fear of seeming “desperate” or “standoffish.”
Other times, people agonize over things like emotions, saying things to themselves like “They put a period at the end. Are they trying to be curt?” or “Are these smiley faces going to make me look fake or soften my words so I sound nice?”
In reality, emotions are very hard to communicate via text. This is why people should save important conversations for face-to-face interactions. There is no such thing as body language via text, which takes out a large chunk of nonverbal communication.
Technology also tends to take a lot of the intimacy out of a budding relationship, and can cause uncomfortable conversations that were not previously necessary. Most people seem to think no one can be in a relationship without making it Facebook official.
In the past, relationships seemed to develop more organically. You’d be “seeing” someone if you went out sometimes. Now, you “talk” to someone – you might not hang out often, but you’re texting on a regular basis.
With everyone’s sudden urge to express what they are doing at all times, people are more likely to feel like they are allowed to know what others are doing. Social networking sites are practically created to “stalk” people, seeing who they are friends with or what pictures they’ve posted.
Before, it was easy to come up with conversation topics because you might not know much about someone. However, Internet web sites often list someone’s birthday, birthplace, siblings, job, school… everything people used to converse about on the first few dates.
In the past, people left a voice message on the answering machine and spoke to them later. Now, if people don’t answer their cell, it is assumed they are ignoring someone. It’s unfortunate that people can get into arguments because someone forgot their phone at home, or their battery died. Urgency is implied.
An easy way to figure out “rules” about texting when in a relationship is to ask how often the other person wants to be contacted. This must be compromised so no one feels nagged or ignored. For those who are “talking” to someone, it can be a little tricky.
If you notice someone is always on the phone when they are around you, this is a sign that they are fast texters. Other people are not as glued to their phone, so don’t take it personally if they don’t answer immediately or at all.
In essence, most people should learn to chill about technological correspondence. Try leaving your phone at home every once in a while, or ask to meet face-to-face instead of having lengthy conversations via text. This can bring some intimacy and closeness to an otherwise emotionless relationship.