“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?”
“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?”
“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