On a good thought about being married

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.

  1. I have to say, I’m not that into Facebook and Twitter and all that stuff. I have a Facebook account but just because I was curious when all my surroundings start talking about that. I’m more into writing letters and/or e-mails – so good old fashion style ;)

  2. Oh San, I love you for this post! So true. It makes me wonder how it will change the fundamentals of human society over the NEXT 20 years or so. Also glad I’m not dating on FB!

  3. heh, i can’t believe you said “old-fashioned email” :) but seriously, awesome post. you know i MUCH RATHER pick up the phone and talk to someone instead of typing an email. the real mail thing i’m not that good at though because i don’t think i’m patient enough and email’s just faster. but i do agree with you about the “online dating” thing. i wouldn’t wanna miss C and my hour-long (phone-) talks when we first started daring :)

  4. I met my man on the internet and getting to know each other via emails and talking on the phone has helped me getting to know him! I wouldn’t think that my relationship after almost 5 years with him is any different than those of people who first met “in real life”. It depends on what you make of it, not how you met. There is no right way to fall in love…

  5. yeah no computer here either when I started dating…we just barely got phones. haha. I dont want to be dating either, specially in this country, it is so weird and you can date more than one person at the time until you date exclusively. what? so weird and complicated. haha. we should keep our hubbies :)

  6. @ Silke : Just to clarify something, I was NOT talking about online dating (as in, actually meeting someone on the Internet), but just about communicating with someone new on Twitter, Facebook, and such sites.

  7. i absolutely agree that a lot of people stress themselves out with social networking and i am sure there are a lot of superficial and crazy people out there. but i agree with silke it’s up to you what you make out of it. i guess when you are dating at a certain age, the online thing can be a big plus, because u might not going out that much anymore, nor meet people your age outthere. if you have the chance to meet the people in real life, that’s great. but if you meet someone online and you work it out, why not?

    1. @ Ilka: As I said, I am NOT talking about online dating… I am just talking about communicating with someone that you just met through Facebook and Twitter.

  8. Yeah. That’s why I never ever ever friend anyone I date on Facebook or Twitter. They have tried, but I refuse to ;) Call me, darling, don’t poke me. I am with you on that one.

  9. It’s sort of funny. I have found so many old friends on Facebook. It’s been very nice. But I agree with you. I think that our society, our world has lost something special and personal now that people just email or Facebook or twitter. I mean, I love snail mail letters. I love rereading them. Especially the love letters.
    Some how email just isn’t the same.

  10. Awesome post!!! I love “the old fashioned email”. Collin and I were dating when there was no Facebook or MySpace or Twitter. We also sent each other letters and emails. I guess emails does belong to the old-fashioned way of communicationg now. :) My sister is still in her dating age and oh… the drama: He didn’t reply to my status, he was online but didn’t write me, he changed his profile picture but didn’t post on my Facebook… I guess those are the ‘REAL’ problems these days.

  11. Interesting post. I have thought about this before as well. And I understand you are not talking about meeting someone on the internet, but dating someone and having him on your list of friends on facebook/twitter etc. I think that is tough. First of all, at what point do you add your date/potential boyfriend? Once you did, you can’t give any status updates to all your friends anymore about how the date went, if you really like the guy you are seeing right now etc…. cause he can read all that! Of course there is so much more to this whole dating and social networking topic.

    But let’s not forget about kids growing up. No matter where you go or what you do (class trips, friends birthday parties, hanging out with friends, vacations), your whole life ends up on the internet somehow. My ex-au pair kid is 14 now. On facebook she has over 900 friends, is tagged in over 1200 pictures, 50 videos… where does she have the room to grow up like we did?

    I could go on and on about this… there was an interesting article in the New Yorker about a year or two ago about kids who are starting College. They already “find” each other through facebook groups etc. way before school starts, they add each other as friends, but when it comes to meeting in person many times they don’t even talk to each other.

  12. Love your post.
    And I agree.
    I have Facebook because a lot of my Saouth African friends have it. They invited me and it’s great to keep in touch. But we still write “normal mails” or even sometimes a letter or post card to keep in contact.

  13. haha, that is SO TRUE!!!! great post!

  14. Oh my…love in times of the internet. I agree with you on the love/date thing. On the other hand all these things are great to keep in touch.

    When I was an Au Pair (way back…well 10 years ago) I had to walk to to mailbox and send those really thin blue airmail letters, print paper pictures and send them, spend my money for postage and my phonebill was HUGE! No skypeing via webcam, I was really NOT seeing my boyfriend for a few months at a time.

    Now that I work with soon-to-be Au Pairs I am asked a lot if the AP will have I-net Access at her Host family, they bring their laptops and skype every evening, send each other status updates and post pics online…I wish it would have been that easy back then…might have saved my long-distance relationship (which failed because of not seeing each other for so long).

    Facebook is really great for finding old friends though, but I agree with Jess…my Ex-AP Kid is 19, she is in College and has a million pics posted, even drunk party pics (being underage), she officially unfriended girls online for some teenage drama reasons and much more – so not what I want my daughter to do when growing up.

  15. Hi Irene, My older ex au pair kid is 19 as well and in College. There is so much drama with this whole facebook thing so that she doesn’t even use it that often anymore. Not just drunk party pics (meanwhile her parents are on facebook too), but there is also a pending Multi-Million Dollar lawsuit against her and some friends because of accused cyber-bullying…. Now she hardly posts anything anymore, but of course she gets tagged all the time. Just curious, what do you do? I work for an ap agency as well.

    And for the old friends. Yes, facebook has helped me find a few friends I lost touch with. I wasn’t able to find them anymore because of moves, changes of email addresses over the years, so I was very happy to find them on facebook again!!! But then there are also some people I’ve been friends with in the past, but there is good reason why we are not friends anymore. So why do they send me friends requests? Also, what about all these people you kinda knew from school etc., but didn’t even speak to back then and now they want to be your friend?

  16. Oh and one more thing on au pairs or anybody who spends some time abroad and the internet. I think with all this technology it takes a little bit away from the adventure of living in a foreign country. You are still so much in touch with your folks back home, you pretty much know all the people in your new community over the internet before you even arrive that it does take a lot of the excitement away from it. Looking back I am glad actually that I didn’t have all these social networking sites, skype etc. when I came to the U.S. as an au pair. Most of my family and friends back home didn’t even have an email address yet.

    Ok, that’s it from me now…. haha…

  17. @ Jess

    I work for AIFS in Germany as an Interviewer/Counsellor. I was an AP with EF in 98/99.

    To be honest, I wish I would have had the chance to get to know my first family a little better through Email and such beforehand. I had to rematch because we just didn’t get along. Sometimes you just can’t get to know someone good enough through phonecalls.

    If you are the type to get homesick a lot it might help you to be in touch with the people back home while you are there. But I agree, it takes away some of the excitement of being in a foreign country…I really enjoyed being away from my family for a while (and NOT see them) but knowing about the possibilities you have today it would have been nice if at least there would have been picture-sharing pages like flickr or more people using email to be in contact.

  18. Yeah, I don’t let Twitter/Facebook get in the way of really connecting with someone over the phone or letters or face to face, but it is fun. But when I was younger, I thought I had to have EVERYTHING ONLINE ever, and now-a-days, I want to keep it more private…

  19. I totally agree! My husband and I wrote letters too and I am so, so, so glad to still have all those letters because they remind me of the very beginnings of our relationship. I just don’t think it would have been the same if it was over facebook, or twitter…
    .-= Terra´s last blog ..Ten things, because I have to, and because I’ve got nothing else =-.

Comments are closed.