Thursday, October 23, 2008

Don't call me, I'll text you

Yesterday at work I was discussing with a co-worker how texting has completely changed parenting. "I don't worry so much about my sons because I know I can always get in touch with them, even if its just through a quick text message," she said, describing her 7th and 9th graders. "But it has made them more weary to pick up the phone and call their friends. I think my sons are actually nervous to talk on the phone!"

Great, I thought. Just what we need. Another generation of boys who are scared to call girls. But, by the time her boys are in their 20's technology will be so advanced they'll probably be saying things like: "Don't worry, we have a mutual friend who'll help me telepathically message you this week." Yeah, right.

As I saw through my dreadful experience with the Lawyer, texting and facebook have changed relationships as we know them. It is now acceptable not to call someone you are interested in — a text message (or even a facebook message, for the love of God) have become the norm.
To me, texting and facebooking used to be something used in the early stages of the relationship. But, now it seems to be replacing calling all together! (All this being said, I am not a phone talker. In all honesty, after fifteen minutes on the phone I like to make long silent pauses so the other person feels awkward and hangs up). Regardless, because of this forced trend, if you called someone after meeting for the first time the response would be, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa...why is she calling and not texting me? The only person I talk to on the phone is my mom. Stalker..."

For example, my friend CC*met a guy about a month ago through mutual friends. They were into each other and hung out and hooked up a couple weekends in a row. He even told a mutual friend he was really into her. Then, he went out of town, she went out of town, and this past weekend was the first time they were in the City at the same time. "I mean, you think I can text him tonight, or is that too forward?" she asked over drinks last Saturday afternoon.

"Geez, if a text message to a guy (especially one that has proven his interest in you) is too forward, we are all screwed," I told her. Or at least I am, I thought - drunk texting is my forte. It also does not help my phone is from 1980 and does not save outgoing text messages. I either wake up in the morning with a responded message that says, "Umm, who is this?", or just a general feeling of dread.

But, my point is, if texting has replaced calling, and internet dating is slowly replacing meeting people in the "real world," where are we headed next? Telepathy dating? Meet that special someone without either of you leaving your couch! Oh dear - I think I'm going to have to learn to talk on the phone.


elaine* said...

i totally agree! in fact from now on, i'm only giving out my land line number and instructing suitors to only call between 7 and 10pm

Louise said...

haha i like this one too. I agree. not such a fan of texting.... the less nonverbal cues you have to read the situation the more likely your misread the meaning. Face-to-face communication is beginning to break down.

Emily said...

i read an article about second life dating -- a man and his (real) wife are separated b/c she found out he had married a (fake?) wife via second life. when his (real) wife was bringing him food at his computer desk, she found him canoodling with his (fake? she's real somewhere...) second life wife.

three words: lord help us.