I seem to remember just a week ago posting a column taking tech to task for its ill effects on dating and society. And I stand by that. Mostly.
But I’m also one of the heavier digital daters I know, and I think that, done right, the technology we all have at our fingertips 24-7-365 can actually help a budding relationship bear fruit.
The digital domain is certainly rife with the danger: over-communicating – diarrhea of the fingers perhaps; committing an error in judgment and texting when you should call; posting errantly on the Facebook wall of a potential partner who’s not yet ready to go public with the hook-up.
However, there is a delicate balance that can be struck between the digital dance and good old-fashioned human interaction. And, when done correctly – when there’s mutual agreement on what’s appropriate and how often it’s cool – this can be a magical thing.
You see, texting, emailing, Facebook-ing and tweeting can all take place in a much different way than traditional face to face or phone communication. For one thing, they’re more passive – that is, you don’t need to be engaged with your partner at the same time in order for them to work.
Send a text one minute, and get a reply in 10 minutes. It’s a self-serve communications menu that lets both parties think about witty replies, take fun photos (fun photos ≠ DICK PICS), share songs (more on this next week), and more. Reply right away with the perfect pithy pun, and you’re that much more impressive in his or her eyes than you were just moments ago – and all without so much as a phone call.
I feel like I’ve been able to get to know someone so much better during a week where we were both busy for 5 or 6 days and couldn’t get together in-person, and by the time we saw each other we had come a long way since we were last together. We texted non-stop, and the thrill of getting that quick reply and sharing laughs and learning about each other was pretty incredible.
This is, of course, a best-case scenario I think… But I wouldn’t run from the techy side of getting to know someone – just don’t use it as a substitute, and for God’s sake, if she doesn’t reply quickly enough for your tastes, shut the fuck up man and take a hint. The alternative could sink you – and this goes for the phone too by the way. This is Mike.