#342 – Technology dependence and the dating paradox.
One of my biggest pet peeves is the use of technology on a date. It takes no effort at all to look around and see couples sitting across from each other in a restaurant or coffee shop with their faces buried in their phones.
Yes, I understand that they may be searching for tickets to the hottest show in town. Or they may be searching for directions to a local attraction.
Odds are that’s not the case though. It’s more likely that they’re checking or posting on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or whatever other social media platforms they’re on.
I’m sure you have friends on social media that are continually posting pictures of some fabulous meal, going live at a local night club, or some other everyday life activity.
Are these posts all that important, much less all that interesting? I’ll let you decide for yourself. As for me, I couldn’t care less.
But is technology having a positive or negative impact on dating and relationships?
When I was in my teens and starting to date, I had to ask a girl out in person or at the very least I had to call her on the phone.
For most of us, that was a brutal task. Even though she already knew who I was, calling someone you didn’t know was almost certain rejection…or at least that’s what I thought.
Back in the day, most phones were attached to the wall with a 3-foot cord. There was NO privacy for most conversations if your family was home.
If you were really lucky, you might have a table model or maybe even a princess phone for the girls.
This was the first bit of telephone freedom because there was usually a long enough cord to be able to take it to another room and close the door behind you.
On a date, you had to focus on your date and try to have meaningful conversations. When I think back, what kind of meaningful conversations does a 16-year-old have? LOL
The first smart phone was the Simon Personal Communicator invented by IBM in 1992. But it wouldn’t be until almost 2012 that smart phones would dominate telecommunication.
Along this same timeframe, online dating gained popularity. No longer did you have to be out and be social to meet someone.
Early online dating sights had a certain stigma and it wasn’t socially acceptable to meet your future spouse online.
Most of the stigma has now gone away and it has become a fairly reputable way to meet people today. It still takes some skill and discernment to not be drawn in by scammers though.
Technology is a double edge sword.
Technology has made it easier to meet people and to have initial conversations without having to meet in person right away.
Technology has also made it harder to connect on a personal level. It’s so much easier to just text back and forth rather than talk on the phone or even meet face to face.
Most of us are addicted to our phones. In that little device we carry not only a phone book of the people we talk to, but also GPS, our favorite music, weather, social media, dating apps, and anything else you might want to know on the internet.
Why do you need someone to talk to when you have all that stuff at your fingertips?
Technology does allow us to stay connected to people we wouldn’t normally be in touch with on a day-to-day basis. It allows us to explore the world around us without leaving the comfort of our homes.
It’s stripping us of our ability to socialize in any meaningful way. It’s allowing us to hide behind our devices in anonymity.
Texting seems to have become the preferred form of communication.
Personally, I hate texting for anything other than very short exchanges. I can cover so much more ground in a 5-minute phone conversation than in any 20-minute text exchange.
It’s an interruption and a distraction during the day. Studies show that it takes between 11 and 20 minutes to get refocused after you were interrupted. That can be a lot of lost time and productivity each day.
Texting and email are both flat forms of communication. Nearly 93% of the context of any conversation is lost because there are no auditory or physical cues to pick up on.
Cues such as tone, volume, speed, plus facial and body language are all lost in any form of written communication.
Texting can also be a coward’s way out of a relationship that they want to end. If you’ve dated much at all you’ve undoubtedly been dumped via text. It’s cold and gutless.
Overall technology has provided some amazing advancements in our lives. We can talk to each other from almost anyplace in the world. We can send pictures and share stories.
But we’re losing our ability to connect on a personal level. That connection comes from spending time face to face, not phone to phone, especially when you’re sitting directly across the table from each other.
Learn to put your phone away. When you’re on a date or spending time with a loved one, keep your phone in your purse or pocked…and turned off.
Spend some undistracted quality time with your date, your lover, your husband, your wife, your children, or your friends. They’ll appreciate it and so will you.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas to make healthier dating and relationship decisions today. I’ll see you next week. Until then, have a great and blessed day.