C U L8R.

Ok people, we need to deal with something and we need to deal with it now. I've said it before and I'll say it again: technology will be the downfall of modern dating.

I know, it seems so convenient. Text someone, ask them out, Myspace them and drop them a line. But as much as technology has hurried our ability to contact (and dare I say, stalk) one another, I think it's a swift kick to the ass of the daters of the world.

Granted, I can only imagine what it would have been like to date in an era where people did their romantic business/appointment setting either in person or on the phone. But I imagine it had to be better than this.

How many friends can I watch annoyedly (yes, that's a word now) looking down at their fancy schmancy cell phones in dismay? If I got a ruble for every time I saw that look of disappointment, I'd be a rich woman. So then that begs the question- did he get your message? Did he get your text? Did he get the email? Were his filtered out by the evil internet gods that clear the screen after I've written my wittiest correspondence? How many times have I heard a friend say "I don't know- I texted him but I never heard from him after that..."

After great thought I can assure you that technodating problems arise in a few key categories. Beware ye modern dater! I caution you regarding the following:


PRO: Quick, easy way to reach people. Ability to impersonate Prince on the regular 4U can do it 2. You can write them when you feel like sending and they can answer at leisure. See also: mass texting. I have heard of guys texting a group of women, and whoever answered first would get his company for the night (O lucky girls!). It's a good way to give/get status updates ("which bar are U at?") and to keep the communication going without a significant time investment quotient.

CON: Once you have crossed the line into text messaging as a main form of communication, it's hard to go back. Why talk on the phone if you can just text your thoughts and get back to what you're doing? People assume that if there's something to be said it can be said via text. This quickly supplants any other communication, so basically you're on an email relationship before you know it. But not even that good because you're limited to 100 characters or whatever it is.

PRO: Ability to avoid people. Ok, so maybe at this point you're moving out of the dating of said person -- the denouement if you will, then this is a great way to do your own thing and let them down easily. Unless you're a guy I went on a lunch date with who proceeded to text me (I kid you not) that he "was sorry about what happened between us" (which, dear reader, was a turkey sandwich and a whole side order of bored out of my effing mind) and that he knew he "had issues". Now, personally, that's not stuff I'd want in writing of any form. But texting it? So sad for him!

CON: Word texting. You know, where you just hit the keys and a suggestion of words comes up. Gotta be careful with this one. For example, my friend was joking with a guy she had just met about weddings, a topic he had brought up. She meant to write "big wedding" and wrote 'bed wedding". And never heard from him again.

PRO: You can ease INTO communication with someone you're interested in without directly calling them. A flirt here and a flirt there and there is the possibility of growing into full-fledged (gasp!) phone conversation or, hey, a date. On that note, though, I'm still in the balance about being asked out on dates via text. Something about it feels weird to me but I have been assured that I'm just slow on the times.

CON: Lost text messages. Can I get a "whoop whoop" from people who are fellow Sprint customers? Awaiting a response, you wait and wait. But they never got yours in the first place. Annoying. All that self-doubting for nothing.


PRO: You can express yourself via the written word. You're not limited in characters. You can email away at work and look like you're being productive. You can crack witty jokes ad nauseum. Impress her with your written stylings.

CON: Email filters. Some of us have an email address that involves "persianlilly", and some of us end up in the spam filter along with "PersianKitty" and some other slightly suggestive monikers.

PRO: You can put yourself out there without really putting yourself out there. For some reason people find it easy to say things on email that they would never in a million years say in person. Shyness just evaporates behind the electronic curtain. Granted, this is a double-edged sword in that you run the risk of presenting your 'representative', a guy (or girl) who is just way wittier or more interesting than you are in person. Because, granted, you did have two days to write an email that comes off as a breezy communique. This is the correspondence equivalent of the "just got out of bed" look that women spend 2 hours before their bathroom mirror cultivating.

CON: Tone. My scientific evidence notes many problems with this angle of emailage. While some people express themselves better via email, a lot of people write emails that just don't convey the tone they meant. So emails come across with a bitchy/assholish tone when they're not meant to be that way. "Yeah, I hate fat girls" just doesn't have the same ring it does in person, when you can run damage control and explain your sarcasm and or say it in some way that would not be construed as an insult against self-conscious women in general.

For me and mine, a group of notably sarcastic folks, this tone situation presents a problem of the highest degree. We spend all day writing and many of our jobs involve perfecting the ability to communicate exactly what it is we're thinking -- and assume everyone else can do this too. We will then proceed to read the worst possible interpretative tone into the notes we receive, and make ourselves miserable in doing so.

Bonus round of CON: people who are generally well spoken will send off an email rife with grammatical mistakes revealing that they never quite got the difference between its and it's or their and there. Survival of the fittest will take hold.


PRO: Cyberstalking! Yay! You can see what people are up to, and generally monitor their whereabouts. That girlfriend he said it was over with? Why has he checked his page every day in the past three days yet not changed his status to single? Eau de bad liar! That sort of thing. Likewise you can see photos of their lifestyle and apply autofails as needed ("are those... TEVAS?"). You can have a great personality, but if you're posting pics of your abs in the bathroom mirror, Lilly don't want none of that.

CON: Ability to know that someone has read your email and not responded. Were they just busy? Did they accidentally click and not read it? Was your joke about your feet just not as funny as you thought it was? Are you being rejected passively? It's a downward spiral, people.

PRO: Swapping flirty comments with friends to elicit jealousy in the object of your affection. I know of many people doing this (unfortunately I am not among them. My friends tend to make fun of me on Myspace more than anything else.)

CON: Ability to check that someone has been on myspace and yet not HOW DARE HE called you like he was supposed to. Also, ability to preruse your beloved's site and see that a bikini-clad slut has commented about his whereabouts the previous night. You can fall prey to other people's machinations (such as the revenge tactics of the jealous Bikini Clad Slut). If he has time to change his 'mood' on myspace, he has time to call you back... right?

PRO: Fan mail. Your day can be brightened by the fact that at least SDLover ("being married doesn't mean you're happy..." -- directly quoted from an email I got this week) wants to get together with you.

Short of instituting a class action suit for broken hearts against Sprint and/or Rupert Murdoch, we need to bring some human interaction back into this stuff people. I know that face to face (or ear to phone) communication is stressful for our generation, it being so foreign and all, but I hear they did it back in the stone ages and it worked for them. I mean, we're here, aren't we?