Dating in a High Tech Society
Technological advances haven’t just changed how we communicate, they’ve changed courting and relationships. To make things easier, here are the Four C’s for dating these days.
In the past one hundred years we’ve made huge technological advances. These advances have greatly affected how we communicate and subsequently how we court. Only five years ago a word like textual intercourse would’ve seemed like a typo. These rapidly changing shifts in technology greatly affect the world of dating.
It’s important to understand how to navigate in a world of words so you don’t get mislead. A classic UCLA study indicated that only 7 percent of communication is based on words. The other 93% is communicated nonverbally, 38% by tone of voice and 55% by body language.
The tragic part of electronic communication is that its virtual nature makes it virtually impossible to accurately detect what is being said. Therefore, you’ll want to follow the Four C’s when you’re dating in a high tech society.
1. Clear Communication
Emails and texts are easy to misinterpret. By the very nature of how little communication is based on actual words, it’s impossible to accurately assess what someone’s tone is in an email or text message. It’s easy to mistake playful for sarcastic, direct for terse and simply flirtatious for legitimately interested. Sometimes, it’s still best to go old school and reach out and touch someone. In other words, pick up the phone.
2. Cautious Connection
It can get be easy to get caught up in a flurry of texts, chats and emails with a potential love interest before you have spent any real time with someone. The danger of this is that there’s no way to tell if the chemistry you’re creating can live off line. It can be upsetting to feel so connected on the computer and then find face-to-face things fall flat. Don’t spend all of your time cyber corresponding. Instead, meet for a coffee and see if you can chat with your mouth instead of only with typing fingers.
3. Courageous Coward
The privacy of the computer can be like the curtain in front of the ‘Wizard of Oz’. It can make you a little too big for your britches. Don’t be too salacious when you have no intention of being truly available. Don’t write things you’d never have the nerve to say in person. Don’t be a coward. If you decide you’re not interested in someone have the common decency to give the person a little more respect than a text or email.
4. Certain Change
If you’ve been out of the dating world for as little as five years, things have changed. You’re entering a whole new buzzing, beeping, vibrating reality. Five years ago, few people sent text messages and they usually checked email regularly but didn’t have it accessible on the go. If you fall into the category where you don’t know if he’s supposed to text, email or call after your first date you’ll have to get used to using, interpreting and communicating in a totally different way. If you’re new to high tech dating follow the first three C’s more carefully until you develop your own unique rhythm of how to express yourself in cyberspace.
The benefits of technology far outweigh the risks. But be aware of what the risks are, for example instant intimacy, falling in love with a fantasy or as we’ll say again and again -- falling in love with potential. Keep in mind that technology is meant to be a tool to facilitate communication but not to be a substitute for real connection and intimacy. You’d seem like a psycho if you called someone you’d been on one date with twenty-five times in a day but it’s easy to rack up those kinds of numbers between texts and emails. You don’t have to go all black and white on this -- it really is about shades of gray.
Cyber communication can be super fun and flirty to exchange with things like LOL (Laugh Out Loud) WYWH (Wish You Were Here) and the old standard XOXO (Kisses and Hugs). However, you might want to avoid LYLA (Love You Like a Sister) and using emoticons (unless you’re under the age of fourteen). Develop your own style and boundaries in regards to when you will personally use high tech tools in your personal relationships.