Is Technology Ruining our Dating Lives?
At the risk of sounding like an out-of-touch “old head”, I must confess something. I’m not always thrilled about the strides we’ve taken over the years. Don’t get me wrong, technology can be a wonderful thing. No longer can I imagine a world without a DVR or the option to stream my favorite TV shows. More importantly, advancements in technology have allowed me to share my thoughts and feelings with you dear readers so freely. But for every step forward, something special gets left behind.
As much as I don’t want to sound like the cranky old lady who says things like, “Back in My Day…” I can’t help but to harken back to a simpler time...that golden age of just a generation ago, when people thought MC Hammer and Vanilla Ice were cool. Well, no one ever thought they were cool, but we still rocked their music. I know Millennials would disagree (as they should), but I argue that these revolutionary inventions have actually ruined our dating lives! “Ruined” is probably a strong word and the exclamation point may be a little extra, but I still say that they’ve done damage. During this political season, I’m acutely aware of providing “equal time”, so I’ll be sharing how technology has actually helped our dating lives in my next post. Now, onto the bad stuff:
Texting – Doesn’t anybody just talk anymore??? I’m not mad at texting, but it seems like it has completely replaced real conversation. This generation will never know the joy of play-arguing with their significant others about who’s going to hang up first. “You hang up.” “No, you hang up!” “Okay, on the count of three, we’ll hang up together. 1, 2, 3!” “You didn’t hang up!!!” That stuff was so darn cute! Tone of voice, inflection and cadence are all things that can get lost in translation from your mind to your device and onto theirs’. Those marathon conversations used to be how you really got to know the soul of a person. (Just watch The Truth About Cats and Dogs.) Emojis don’t accurately convey emotion! While texting can be incredibly convenient, it’s robbing us of the kind of romantic pay-off that only comes from putting the work in.
SnapChat, Skype, FaceTime – Remember when you could have spontaneous phone sex? Your man calls up in his sexy voice, asks you what you’re wearing. Even if you’re sporting holey flannel pajamas and a pair of bunny slippers, you’re either gonna describe in naughty detail your latest Victoria Secret purchase or tell him that you’re wearing nothing at all. These damn apps killed all that!
iPhone – Steve Jobs was a genius. A diabolical one! Between the lock codes and fingerprint authentication and all of the other features created to protect cheaters or would-be cheaters, Apple has gone above and beyond. Heck, they even battled the US government! You know, that huge federal entity working to save us all from ISIS and other terrorist groups. Apple may tell you it’s because of some honorable cause like protecting our inalienable right to privacy, but I know better.
Call Block – We’ve lost the God-given right to be heard and acknowledged. If someone doesn’t want to hear your rants about all the ways they did you wrong, now they don’t have to. They can simply press a code and silence you forever.
Google and Social Media – We used to joke about how on those first few dates, “It’s not me, it’s my representative.” We can’t lie or withhold anymore. The air of mystery is completely gone. Now, even before the entrée arrives, your date already knows things about you that you were going to tell him one day…after he put a ring on it. How do you have a real first date when the other person already feels like they know you?
Instagram Models – There was a time when only a select number of people could be deemed a “celebrity”. Most regular folks couldn’t dream of landing one. Now, there are so many Instagram Models out there, in all their fakery (#NoFilter is a LIE! The Basement Booty Shot business is booming), that men think these Kardashian wannabes are totally accessible. Mostly because they are. This puts a tremendous amount of pressure on those of us who are unwilling or unable to play the game.
As I write this post, there’s probably some new app storming onto the scene to wreak further havoc on our dating lives. While I know I can’t stop the revolution, in true old-head fashion, I’ll complain about these new-fangled inventions and reminisce about the good old days and go yell at some kids to “Get off my lawn!”