Our resident relationship educator, Auketria, dishes on dating and technology. How did these two end up co-mingling? How do you handle technology and dating? Can technology ruin a relationship or can it bring two people closer together? Find out the answers, plus more, in the post below. Grab a coffee because it’s going down in the blog post! Happy Reading!
4 Tips to Bring Old School Normalcy to Your Dating Life in the Age of Technology
Do you remember the high school days when a guy expressed interest in you by passing a note in class through at least two classmates that ended with check boxes labeled, “yes,” “no” and sometimes, “maybe?”
How about the instances where he’d send one of his friends over with the universal line, “my homeboy said what’s up?”
Even in early adulthood, the simplicity of bumping into someone at the grocery store, the park, a party or church seems more like a memory than normalcy. These days, folks will either “like” ten photos at one time on your Instagram, “slide in your DM’s” (Direct Message box via Instagram; for those more seasoned readers 🙂), “poke you” and message you on Facebook or re-tweet all of your intellectual tweets on Twitter in order to get your attention. Please, let us not forget the infamous #MCM (Man Crush Monday) and #WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday) posts of individuals who are the secret object of someone’s affection that occasionally turn into relationships or more unfortunate circumstances, “situation-ships.”
There also used to be a time when dating or being in an exclusive relationship with someone was less of a trend and more of a commitment between two people who were compatible in the areas where it truly matters: spiritually, intellectually, recreationally and financially.
Dating was inclusive of real live phone conversations that lasted into the wee hours of the morning along with actual dates where a couple goes out into public places and experience new things together. Now surely this still exists for so many, but in the age of technology, some men and women alike are doing less to win and maintain the affection of their love interest resorting to communicating through electronic devices the majority of the time or, “Netflix and Chill-ing” (Father why!?) And, need I mention how I’ve witnessed individuals being Facebook friends while dating take a turn for the worse! Someone gets to stalking someone else’s page, comment section, etc. and suddenly someone who may be innocent is now guilty of entertaining other prospects. Before the saturation of social networking, this was not a common problem with dating.
THE POWER & INFLUENCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I have had conversations in the past with one of my favorite debating buddies and he said to me that social media has given men more courage to approach the very woman that they would not approach face-to-face, and, if rejected, he says it is easier to digest (paraphrased). Now I’ve just got to ask you all to weigh in – is this true ladies and gentlemen? Social networking has created more gumption in suitors? Well, if this is the case, fine no sweat, we clearly live in a more tech-savvy age where communication even with family members happens through group texts and emails more than actual verbal exchange. But can we work to refrain from becoming so impersonal and complacent that text messages such as, “Good morning beautiful”, “Wyd” or some emoji that I have to struggle to interpret, replaces a phone call or an evening out playing laser tag or riding go-carts?
Yes, of course, ladies enjoy dates that are not confined to dinner and a movie. Besides you can get to know one another’s personalities a lot better when enjoying recreational activities. Human interaction has always been essential to flourishing relationships of any kind, a dating relationship shouldn’t be any different. By all means yes, send those sweet messages to your beau just because or chit chat a little throughout the day via text but don’t forget to call so that you can hear the sounds of one another’s voices, don’t forget to send flowers from time to time, don’t forget to randomly call and say “get dressed I’ll be there in an hour to pick you up” or let your significant other beat you in the new Madden 17 later this summer. (Disclaimer: gentleman if you are the one sending the message that you’ll be by in an hour to pick up the lady please add an additional hour because there is no realistic way that she will be ready in one hour. This only applies if she’s picking you up impromptu.)
Here are four tips that may bring some old school normalcy to your dating life in the age of technology:
Tip #1: If you truly feel there’s no other opportunity to approach someone you’re interested in besides that person’s social media account, after some exchange, ASK for the phone number. This way, your interest is taken more seriously and you’re not spending a week in-boxing someone online. Now if she says, “no,” keep it pushing, it’s okay if she’s not interested – life goes on. Besides, you’ve likely turned someone down a time or two in your lifetime, it happens.
Tip #2: Instead of the ritualistic and generic good morning text, call instead. It’s nothing more adult-like than verbally conversing on the way to work. Nine times out of ten when you text good morning to him/her, the reply will likely be the exact same which makes for a dry interaction-how boring. (We realize that occasionally busy mornings may not allow this daily.)
Tip #3: When on an actual date, try not to babysit your phone like you’re going to miss the latest breaking news of one of your favorite reality stars. Be more attentive and less distracted.
Tip #4: Remember that electronic communication can often be misinterpreted. Sadly, it can also be used against you. I would highly recommend that you NOT send anything via text message that you would not want on a screenshot. Sad, I know, but this is the world we live in, so be cautious.
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Happy dating my friends!