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Technology and dating — a happy couple?

Posted on Monday, May 3, 2010 in dating, Happiness, hookups, Kat, love, Men, Relationships, Singles

“What’s wrong?” I asked The Kid as he sat on the couch staring at his cell phone for what seemed like an eternity. “Isn’t it working?”

“It’s fine.”

“Then what are you doing?” I asked, which is a ridiculous question to ask a teenage boy, first because they generally act before the even know what they’re doing (and later often realize, “Wow, I could have gotten killed!”) and second, because teens live a world shrouded in more secrecy than than the CIA.     

“I’m trying to decide if I should go to the prom with Natalie.”

“And, does your cell phone have a Magic Ball app?” I joked.

“No, I’m going to text her back.” He rolled his eyes.

“She asked you to the prom … by texting?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Nothing,” I sighed.

I didn’t see any point in trying to explain why you shouldn’t ask someone to the prom by texting when I — a middle-aged women — have been guilty of accepting a date by texting (but never sexting! I’d rather see a guy’s naked parts up close and personal, thank you very much).

I like technology as much as the next person, but something seems to be missing — courtesy and romance. Or maybe I’m just old fashioned, or getting old and nostalgic. I understand that those things happen once you hit midlife and grouse about “kids nowadays.”

All of us have been using technology to make dating fast and easy: Asking someone on a date? Just text, “Wanna hang?” (but first Google his name, check out his Facebook page and follow him on Twitter and text back and forth for weeks finagling a date and time). The date’s boring? Constantly look at your cell phone/PDA to enteratin yourself (he’s probably doing it, too). Need to dump him after all? Shoot off an e-mail! Realize he’s at least OK for a booty call? Just text, “Wanna hang?” (no need to finagle a date and time).

The days of being courted — slowly, sweetly, innocently — and seduced — slowly, but hopefully not so sweetly and innocently — are gone, and I think that’s sad. Technology has changed that. Maybe they’ll come back, like the Slow Food movement is trying to reclaim mealtime as a time to slow down, savor life, surrounded by real people and real food. But I doubt it.

I think we need a Slow Romance movement, too!

Some times demand that, like getting asked to the prom. It should be in person. It’s almost like a marriage proposal — you tend to remember who asked, when and how.

Of course, now my kid can save that text forever — so there’s an upside, too.

And you can’t beat technology for busting liars — just ask Mrs. Tiger Woods.

How has technology changed your love life, or the search for one?

Photo © Eric Simard – Fotolia.com

Bring on the comments

  1. Don says:

    Technology is good and bad for the love life. You can meet and get in touch with that someone special quicker and easier, but temptations are also texting and contacting you just as easy…

    Just like people…there is good and bad in everything!
    .-= Don´s last blog ..Ducklings and children… =-.

  2. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog
    says:

    Wait a sec – I thought you were online dating’s biggest proponent.

    Your tune has changed now that you see your kid using technology to date.

    I can’t think of a worst way for my daughter to date boys than to do it though technology. I hope she sticks to the face-to-face route for a long time.

  3. Kat Wilder says:

    Don — I think it’s how you use the technology. People who text and talk on cell phones on dates are rude. People who ask for a date by texting? Hmmmm…

    I am a fan on online dating, Dads. As a way to meet people.
    I guess Facebook and Twitter also are good for that.
    But, I am not a fan of using texting as a way to ask for a date, especially a prom!
    I don’t see how one voids the other, do you?

  4. Steve says:

    Forget the technology. Teenage girls doing the asking?

    IMHO texting to ask for a date is probably okay once a relationship has been established. Otherwise it is like showing up at the door grubby.

  5. Mike says:

    Keeping in contact is easier. Honestly it was the only way to get me to text.

    It has also help detect red flags. Since nowadays there is NO reason not be able to contact someone. I don’t care where you are or when it is you have the ability to communicate with someone. Whether it be by phone, email, or text and usually all from the same device. So the old line of I didn’t have anyway to contact you is total BS. Quick way to know how much a person is invested in the relationship.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Earth Day =-.

  6. Kat Wilder says:

    What's next — texting a marriage proposal? http://tinyurl.com/2e2fg69

  7. KC says:

    Sorry, just a quick note.
    I’m old fashioned about dating.. but I do like to get to know someone through email. It’s a great way to write your feelings and to read someone else’s along with getting to know them by their words without the pressure of face to face contact… of course, I prefer face to face but there is something erotic about having a potential connection writing about all the things she wants to do to me the next time she sees me… VERY HOT!

    Mike, believe it or not, there are STILL places where cell phones don’t work! We have a ranch in the no man’s land between Milpitas and Livermore as the crow flies.. I can be on top of the ridge, I can see San Jose and in the distance, SF but my cell phone (ATT) won’t work. Sprint cell phones don’t work. The only one that does is Verizon and Verizon sucks where I live. Sometimes it’s nice to have a place where there isn’t any technology… everyone should try it sometime.
    Write a letter!
    .-= KC´s last blog ..A weekend at the ranch =-.

  8. dadshouse
    Twitter: dadshouseblog
    says:

    Kat – how does someone ask you out after they meet online? Through email?

    How will you feel if your kid starts meeting all his prospective dates on Facebook?

    I think you’re cutting a fine line here. Sure, it’s the prom. What if it was just a dance? What if it was just a movie? What if it was just a milk shake? Where do you draw the line for when it’s okay to use technology, vs. it’s not okay. Seems you’re saying what’s good for the goose isn’t good for the gander (or vice versa)

    Steve – my teen daughter is going through the same thing. She’s attractive and has lots of friends, but boys aren’t asking her out because she’s smart and confident, so she has to ask them. (Or maybe she’s not giving them bjs, or whatever else they demand these days)
    .-= dadshouse´s last blog ..Online Un-Date =-.

  9. Kat Wilder says:

    Dads — Well, they get down on one knee and beg, of course!

    Oh, OK. That was just a fantasy …

    Initially, there’s an e-mail exchange and then phone calls and I think generally, after we’ve spoken, we’ve decided at that point whether we want to meet in person and make a “date.” I don’t have an issue with people using technology for dating; all I’m saying is that I do think young people nowadays are missing out on some of the thrill of courtship. I’m old enough to remember it. If you never experienced something, well, you don’t know what you’re missing. And, I can’t be totally objective because I can’t help but make a comparison between the “old days” and now.

    You’re reading waaaaay more into this. I do think a prom is a little more special than a date, but who knows — maybe it isn’t nowadays. And it would be ridiculous for me to shield my kid from how his generation communicates (although, in all honesty, I use technology much more than he does .. because I blog and Tweet and he doesn’t).

  10. Anavar says:

    I like personal contact more! However, me and my boyfriend met in a bar, he took my number and our first conversation was via messages. I just hope our next generations won’t forget how to speak and act on a date, if they’ll communicate only by phones!

  11. Steve says:

    Where do you draw the line for when it’s okay to use technology,

    Telephony is technology too :).

    I’m told by a friend who likes to read sociology books that “dating” as we know it didn’t come to exist until automobiles and a large wave of immigration. People wanted to get out of the house to be alone and cars were how they did it.

    Before the early/mid 20th century “courting” involved having someone formally introduce you, asking the parents for permission to date their daughter (no phones, you sent a messenger or went in person ) and the first date was in the parents home, in the “parlor” ( as in “parlor talk” ).