Reading some recent blog posts about dating in the age of FACEBOOK, TWITTER and the like, I realized: I am so glad I am not dating anymore.
J doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter account, mind you, so maybe it would have worked out with us anyway, but I see the stress that this kind of extreme-social-networking can bring along these days.
Even though I have come to love Facebook, Twitter, and – still my favorite – the old-fashioned email for keeping in touch with people, I definitely would not like to use it as way of communicating with potential boyfriend material. Oh, the possibilities of misinterpretation and misunderstanding are endless and, even worse, the whole unfolding love story tragedy is potentially publicly pursuable for my whole list of friends!
He sent me a drink! Do I accept? What if I don’t? He might think I am boring, but if I keep accepting drinks, he might think I am a drunk. What to do!?
Now he poked me! Does that mean he wants to have sex? (Seriously, I read somewhere that it could mean just that if you get poked by some guy! Actually, that’s kind of silly, right? But who knows? Who knows the social ins and outs of the ever-evolving online networking?)
See the problem? How do you read between the lines tweets/status updates?
I am totally talking at large here, because I have no dating experience which includes new media-devices whatsoever, but I can only imagine what huge amount of headache those social networking sites can cause for potential and/or young relationships.
Although on second thought, it might expose people that are dating multiple people at the same time and who are not careful with covering and/or managing their online-traces.
But I digress.
Why not just pick up the phone and say “Hello”?
See, when I started dating my first boyfriend, we didn’t have computers, let alone cell phones. (Does that make me sound old? It hasn’t been THAT long ago, I would like to assure you. A while, yes, actually half my lifetime, but whatevs.) He actually had to call my parents’ house to talk to me (oh, the embarrassment to potentially have to talk to somebody else on the other end of the line first, before you could get to your girl/boyfriend). You really had to work up your courage. Do you think you could do that these days?
Isn’t it so much easier to just send a text message or send someone a “hug” on Facebook? Sure. But it’s less effort, too. You just click a button. It’s less creative than coming up with your own words to express what you feel for somebody else and therefore much more impersonal.
J and I, we actually wrote letters to each other. GASP. Just imagine. Letters. On real paper. Sent by the postal service. We drew little hearts and stick-figures, too, even though we were both no good drawers.
Does that sound old-fashioned and cheesy? Maybe. But to be honest, it was much less confusing and a little more honest and sincere than the online-communication, don’t you think?
And even though I am absolutely guilty of sending out hugs through Facebook myself, maybe next time you want to hit that button, you stop yourself and opt for sending a more personal message (even to a friend-friend) this time.
Or, you know, just pick up the phone and say “Hello”. That cannot be misunderstood.