Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dating Post #2: Call Me, Beep Me, If You Want to Reach Me.

This is the post in which I'm outing myself as one of those 'older' people who hates all technology.

Remember when you wanted to contact someone and the only way to do that would be to call them on the phone?  Then they invented pagers, but still, all that did was tell the person that they had to call you on the phone.  Same with answering machines:  "hey, this is so-and-so, call me back!"  But now, there's texting, emailing, G-chatting, Facebook messaging, and who knows what else.

All these forms of rapid communication are really confusing in all aspects, but since this is a series about dating, I'm just going to talk about how these things confuse the complete crap out of trying to get a date.

First of all, when did the process of obtaining someone's contact information get to be so terrifying?  Even I, dispenser of logical, rational, "just man up and do it" kind of advice, shrink at the idea of asking a man for his phone number.*  But really, is the intimidation of asking for a phone number greater than the sadness of wishing you were texting the person right now?  Furthermore, is it greater than the awkwardness of potentially having to explain how you got a number that you didn't ask for (I'm looking at you, all you ward-directory stalkers)?  

At least he's being proactive, right?
Now, let's assume that you have at your disposal all possible ways of contacting someone:  phone number, email address, instant messaging contact, Facebook friendship, etc.  How do you actually contact the person?  What are the implications of each form of media?  Let's take a look:

Phone Call:  If you pick up the phone, dial their number (that you asked them for, you brave warrior, you), and invite them do do something, just the two of you, it's unequivocally a date.  Sorry.  This is what society has come to.  (But if you are unequivocally asking them on a date, you really should call them.)

Text Message:  If you text someone, "hey, want to go to lunch this week?" it may or may not be a date.  It could just be lunch.  The probability of an invitation being a date (or being interpreted as such) increases the later the hour.  Also, if you text someone at midnight and invite them on "a walk," THIS WILL NOT BE INTERPRETED AS A PLATONIC MOVE.**

Email:  Unless you've established some serious email rapport with a person, asking them out via email is kind of stodgy and "official" seeming.  But it isn't without merit:  if the activity has lots of details or requires major planning, or if you're just asking out a person who likes paper trails, emailing could be the way to go.

Instant Messaging:  This says one of two things.  Either 1) "hey, I just saw you were online now, and I want to invite you to this totally casual thing," or 2) I HAVE BEEN WAITING AT MY COMPUTER FOR HOURS FOR YOU TO GET ONLINE SO I COULD ASK YOU OUT.  Interpretation rate is 50/50.  Good luck.

Facebook Wall:  Facebook wall posts (timeline posts? is that what it is now?) are for birthday wishes, links to dumb videos, and "What Hogan's Heroes Character are You" quiz results only.

Facebook Message:  Is it instant messaging?  Is it email?  Some sort of lab-grown hybrid and affront to nature?  I don't even know, and then you're just sitting there checking every five minutes to see whether they've seen it because you can because Mark Zuckerberg is a sadist, and oh gosh, they read it ten minutes ago and why haven't they responded yet and this is the worst day of my life.

I think I've covered all basic forms of social media (or at least the ones that I know how to use--see above re: I'm old), but I don't even know if I've scratched the surface for all of the socially-imposed "rules" and protocols.  For instance, do the implications change if it's a second, as opposed to a first, date?  Are the rules different depending on whether the woman or the man is doing the inviting?***  I'd like to hear from all of you in the comments to get your thoughts on this!

Until next time!


*By the way, my "go-to" line is, upon taking out my phone and scrolling through contacts, "Do I have your number?"  This says, "I just have so many numbers in my phone that I can't keep track, and I totally assume that we're already in the 'have each other's phone numbers' stage of our budding relationship."  It also says, "I just want to have your number on hand so I can contact you in the future at some pressure," rather than, "I am going to call you in 24 hours and text you every hour on the :15 until then!"  This line is not copyright protected in any way, so feel free to use it.  You're welcome
**For my non-Mormon readers (or maybe this has reached you guys as well), "go on a walk" is code for "undertake serious developments vis-à-vis our relationship."
***Don't worry, there'll be a post about women doing the inviting in the near future.

1 comment:

  1. it is very good to know the differences, found it very interesting