Ayo, technology…

It used to be that you’d meet a guy, say through friends, he’d like you, ask for your number, and then you’d wait. He’d hopefully call, take you to dinner, then maybe a movie, then dinner again, and you’d smoothly transition into dating, getting to know each other little by little. Kissing and sex would happen somewhere in there too. Some of the fun parts would be discovering common interests, friends, and past experiences.

Now things are changing. And I don’t mean like: Oh guys are assholes now, or anything like that. Not true. Guys are as lovely and as awful as they always were, thank God. But technology is changing the initial phase of dating. You meet a guy, you like each other, you simultaneously add each other on facebook, bbm, what’s app, google talk, skype, msn (does anyone still use msn?!), email, and maybe even follow each on twitter. So before you even have an actual proper date, you’ve seen a hundred pictures of him and know who all his friends are. It’s WEIRD. You’ve seen his bad hair days, you’ve seen him at the beach, you know his taste in music, movies, his date of birth, his hobbies, where he studied, where he works… You get the picture. These are the things that are supposed to populate all those first candle-lit conversations and walks. You might even find pictures of his ex-girlfriends on his profile, which you shouldn’t be seeing in the first week of knowing him- if ever.

No more waiting for an sms or a call. ‘Will he call?’ Nope. Now he can just say ‘hey’ on any of your chat outlets, at any hour. He doesn’t need to have anything to say, or even try to make plans to see you. ‘Hey’. So maybe you date, but you likely have never heard his voice on the phone, and never gotten an sms from him. ‘What’s the difference between an IM and an sms?’ you ask. Big difference. In an sms, he actually has to think of what to write. And sometimes the sms’s are sweet and you save them and re-read them (yes we are girls). An sms actually has to be coherent, with an end and a beginning (at least in the beginning- later in a relationship an sms can simply say ‘tree’, make perfect sense, and give you a warm fuzzy feeling). Phone calls also require an effort at logic. Whereas a chat conversation has no beginning (except for the aforementioned ‘hey’) and no end. It just goes on and on, over days and weeks, with no real greetings or goodbyes, just a word inserted here and there. It take guts to call a girl, to figure out what to say or what to write in an sms… Most of that is gone.

Instead you get to see that he’s online (a green dot on gchat or facebook) and wonder why he isn’t talking to you. Bbm is even worse. You can’t sign out.

You also somehow know each other too much thanks to all this tech, without actually knowing each other at all. You feel this false familiarity and closeness because you’ve bbm’ed all day and stalked each other’s facebook profiles, and just ‘get’ each other sooo much. But then you see each other and you think; is that what he looks like? See, fb pictures aren’t the real thing, and regardless whether they’re better or worse than real life, they don’t have anything to do with the breathing, flesh and blood being that’s suddenly in front of you. You liked his style on facebook, but do you like the feel and smell of his skin?

It feels awkward when you’re face to face with someone whom you’ve previously been chatting with. On your devices you both had so much to say and both felt so funny, witty and daring, with sexy IM flirting, saying racy things you probably wouldn’t dare say in person. And suddenly he’s there, it’s clumsy, no one has anything to say, and it feels strange when your arm accidentally touches his.

Ayo, I’m tired of using technologyyy, why don’t ya sit down on top of me?
(50 Cent and Justin Timberlake)

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16 thoughts on “Ayo, technology…

  1. all of a sudden I’m out of words after reading this, I’m looking for the “LIKE” button to push it cause it’s becoming so easy to like something or someone without having to really say it!
    Blushing, i think your words are words of wisdom said in a very smooth, light and funny way, and i really like your writings…

  2. woohoo ! Blushing… Blushing… Blushing… you keep amazing us with your wonderful insights into how we are currently leading our lives while reminding of us of the things we are missing out on now that most of us have started their new parallel lives in virtual world, creating and projecting and most of all “controlling” (or that’s what we think) our avatars. That movie called “the surrogate” comes to my mind with all the images of us order restraining ourselves into our physical cages (homes/rooms/desks/beds) and unleashing into the world the child that once never feared saying, speaking but most importantly, dreaming and thinking freely.
    I’ve seen an interesting ad recently, i think it was the one by Clorets, which very bluntly denounced the anti-social aspect of facebooking and called upon us to make that extra step of stepping outside of the self constructed protection walls of the e-world and meeting people and interacting with them, making mistakes and having fun, just experiencing things and simply… act, be, and feel alive… (Jean-Paul Chami… Blushing’s colleague for life and life colleague)

  3. Oh my goodness this is SO TRUE!!!!! I can’t help but feel i’m going through every single line! I just recently started seeing someone a week ago and we’ve been whatsapping like non-stop around the clock :P Ok, so HE doesn’t have a fb account, but if he did undoubtedly we’d be combing through every single inch of information, posts, and pictures on both ends! Loved the part about saving sms and girls being girls, also 110% spot on!! Great article, TRUTH BE TOLD! :)))

  4. i think so many guys out there if not most just wana get some easy booty without having to go through the whole courtship part (and so many gurls r encouraging that indirectly by willing to play along which only reinforces the way the guys are acting)…and i personally feel this digital divide too in relation to friendships even…….and it sux
    Ghassan

  5. Its so weird how much your post is true, I have had the same kind of debate going in my head.
    It really is shameful how things we created to make our lives easy, are makign us lose our humanity!
    I simply love the way you put it. I have even started few months ago a new novel about an issue that is very much related to this one. Would love to share it with you one day.

  6. YESSSSSS! First i want to welcome you to the blogging world as far as i knew you are new into blogging?! anyway awesome post can’t wait to read more blog posts from you! and this post is SO TRUE! but it’s cool to not have your date on your every communication platform , to keep some mystery

  7. Just “WOW”, hits 100 and wins a yummmmy choco brownie with a mug of hot choco :D

    keep it up and Let’s SHARE POSITIVE SPIRIT, let such positive energetic articles fill not only our @walls, but our “heart walls” :)

  8. Blushing, this was a great posting, I enjoyed reading it and it resonated with me very much. It made me even more proud of myself for deactivating my Facebook account a couple of year ago, and not upgrading to a fancy phone that means I can be contact every second of my life. No one needs to see every picture I think I look attractive in, no one needs to see how popular I am by all the party photos that get updated, and no one needs to get to know me- or what they think is me- by what I decide to post, or not post, on my Facebook page.

    There’s something terribly sad about not being able to discover every little detail about a person in person, slowly, with time. I think there is a foundation to a relationship that cannot be built without time and energy and thought- your blog captures that wonderfully.

    • I’m thrilled that it resonated with you. And I am impressed and almost envious of you not having facebook or a smart phone. You must feel so free, and it must be much more fun getting to know people- including friends.

  9. Hi there (that’s a kind of a “hey”) !

    great post ! It seems that you have a lot of questions, curiosity and wonders when having a contact with a new person (guy ?). I like that ! It makes you sensitive and hopeful.

    I believe that our parents (I assume that we are at about the same age – 30’ish – it gives parents from the 50’/60′ generation) probably *hate* sms. Our moms would have prefer a call because “the guy has guts and don’t hide behind 160 characters”. Our little sisters will probably prefer a facebook message (which is less intrusive and that she can block when she wants) than an new waved-moduled kind of instant message with the new google-alpha-thingy that will exists in 2025.

    It is just a matter of what you have been using when you turned to be 20. You will always prefer the piece of technology that has boomed when you started to discover how to build your social network (in the litteral sense). For our parents, it was the landline phone, for you, the mobile, for your little sister (in her early 20’s) the facebook message.

    Stalking someone on facebook does not make things weird or awkward because you discover the guy through his own eyes. Through what he has decided to publish (or let published) about himself. And you say : when you meet, you may have nothing to say. Well, it would have been the same without facebook. Yes, you would have exchanged a bit on “who I am / who you are” subject, but beyond that, the conversation would have faded.

    I think that this technology can actually help people to get in touch. It only depends on how people use it. It doesn’t have to be all the time, but it is a great way to get reminded, to send a tiny bit of attention in the moments where you can’t be physically present. The danger is to do it with no purpose.

    Moreover, stalking people can incredibly increase your interest in the person (and your sexual desire too !). Think about a guy that stalk a girl and vice versa, and they meet, and they already like each other and the flame is here. Boom ! It will be a great date !

    Because, beyond the technology, we still have something pretty genuine when we meet. It is called “chemistry” and this is not about to change any time soon.

    • You make some good points, about using whatever technology you are used to. And I’m not against technology. Chatting sometimes allows me to say things I’d be too shy to say live. And sometimes that’s nice :-)

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