Queen of Bows
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When you say you will call someone (flaky people need not respond here), do you call them? Or are you using the word “call” as a catch-all verb for call/text/email/BBM/IM/etc.?

Yesterday a date parted ways with me saying, “I’ll call you later.” Great. I didn’t doubt his intention, I wondered a bit if he would call later that day, and found myself wondering more if “call” was to be interpreted in the literal sense of the word. I’ve had other dates end with similar words and sentiments, but it seems the more we advance with cellular devices and multiple computer communications the word “call” more means “I’ll somehow get in touch with you.”

Perhaps I can come to terms with the meaning of the word “call,” but technology is changing the dating scene in more ways. Last week, a friend asked me the other day if I BBM with boos. What? I didn’t realize texting was in the slow lane compared to BlackBerry Messenger. Which, of course, has its own set of rules and pitfalls as senders can tell if you’ve received and then read a message. Trouble. Beyond this, do I need to carefully edit my BBM status message? How about my gChat status? Even though it’s been almost 2 years since M.I.S.S. posted on text dating, I feel none the wiser.

The date ended up texting me later that day. Which is fine, but even though I live in this technological world, I’m not sure how I feel about text and BBMs replacing phone calls. And I sure didn’t get the memo on how to proceed to get to know somebody via typing on a handheld.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not keeping a rotary phone or even a landline to ring up loved ones and chat. I exchange emails with my grandmother, BBM friends, and text bosses. I online date, so initial steps dating me are going to happen virtually. I do call people when needed, wanted, or appropriate, but a lot of my time is spent on email and text. However, I do not tell people I will call them when I know full well I’m going to send a thumb message via mobile phone. And in terms of dating, there are already so many things we’re getting to know and figure out beyond deciphering code for “call,” that I’m not sure it’s the way to go.

I know I come off harsher and my sarcasm is not properly conveyed via text unless you really know me. Sure, we can court and type exactly what we mean to say and interpret things just as written. Fine, but good luck. If you are not a poet, not wordy, aren’t adding emoticons or drawing symbol flowers, or are cut off at 160 text characters, how do you convey appropriate emotion, inflection, and interest? Not to mention the time delay (it’s just not great when you respond to my sharing 13 hours later with a “haha”), spelling errors (that I find to be a turn off yet mistakenly do myself), or use of ellipses (Is there more to come? Is that a suggestive remark? Or. . . ?).

I’d wonder what Miss Manners’ take on dating through texts, emails, and the like is. I suspect she’d advise us to actually pick up the phone, but experience dating over the past few years leads me to believe there is a fat chance the text aspect of dating is going to diminish. So, what’s your take on technodating? I’d be glad to hear.

Image Layout: Margaret

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4 Responses to “Technodating”

  1. Drea says:

    I feel the same way. Lyk if I’m gonna text I’ll say “I will text you”. If I’m unsure I say “I’ll get in touch with you” which could be by email, text, call, IM, what have you. And if the convo is deeper than a simple “Meet me here” or “I’m gonna be late” u shud really just call and talk to the person since u jus sent them lyk 30 texts

  2. Moonbeam says:

    Well put, Stella! There is absolutely no substitution for a phone call, and I find that it can actually be kinda romantic. That said, I am totally guilty of using “call” as a broad term, which could easily mean text.

  3. Yes there are times a phone call just works better and yes, it can be romantic- hadn’t thought about it like that.
    I think I can get past “call” as a broad term, but I really don’t get how I can be dating someone if we never call each other. . .

  4. Gee Gee says:

    Stella, I couldn’t agree with you more– welcome to the woes of digital dating! Texting becomes a problem when it morphs into your primary way of communicating with said love interest. Sometimes, you just gotta hear the voice on the other end of the mobile device!


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