Writing

Dating, Technology, and You

You’ve been in a threesome before.

It wasn’t that time in high school you got drunk of off 40s with a waitress from Crackle Barrel and her boyfriend out behind the 7-Eleven. Or that night at the bar you mistook two middle-aged men from Bulgaria as two thirds of the Jonas Brothers.

The threesome I’m talking about is you, your partner, and technology.

The gigantic fat and smelly 1200 pound gorilla flingin’ his poop across the room.

It is impossible in this day and age to not have technology and social media dictate at least some fraction of young peoples’ romantic and sexual relationships. Every day we are reminded of the role it plays in our lives. From the positive- Twitter flirting, the changing of the Facebook relationship status, iPhone app or Google map wedding proposals, to the negative- flame wars, stalking, kids killing themselves over leaked sexting or videos.

For bad or for good, technology is here to stay, so it’s probably best that we learn how to offer it a beverage, stroke its hair, remind it how beautiful it is, and then quietly choke it while it’s sleeping and flee into the night.

Dating and Technology Etiquette 101


1.) Give Your Thumbs a Rest and Put Your Wrists to Work– It’s easy, especially in the beginning stages of a courtship, to fall behind the shield of text messaging/IMing/social media commenting instead of having the guts step out on a limb. We’ve all done it before- meet someone, text/IM them a lot, build it up as something different, realize that you’re nervous to actually converse with them in reality again, hang with them in reality, both feel very awkward. Coming from someone who used to be an obsessive texter to someone who now dreads the pop up box on her spider web cracked iPhone screen, replacing text messaging/IMing as a common form of communication in ANY relationship, sexual or non-sexual, is not healthy. Getting info across is ok, telling the person that you a.) love them b.) want to break up with them or c.) think you caught crabs from a “toilet seat” should all be told in person. Also, no matter what your best intentions are, texts/IMs can be easily misconstrued and you will spend a lot of time digging yourself into a deeper hole trying to explain yourself via your keyboard.

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2.) Don’t Kiss and Tell and Blog and Piss Off Your Ex– I discovered the hard way that it is not wise to blog about an ex in where the subject matter is about how he was the worse boyfriend on the planet, but the best ex-boyfriend one could ever have. No matter how nicely the positive statements were worded- with the ex given a proper pseudonym- he will still find out and send you an angry email the next day. There was a time when I could get away with this. A time when I could write extremely jaded essays about the negative traits of my former flames- but those days are gone. If you have friends or more importantly exes that read your blog, do yourself a favor and don’t air your dirty laundry. I know this seems like a given, but let me tell you, there will be so many times you’ll just want to share it all with the world. If that is the case, do what this lovely lady did over at The Loves of My Life and create an anonymous blog to talk about your former loves.

3.) Be Careful What You Tweet– This is another given, but again, in the heat of the moment (a.k.a. when you’re drunk) it’s easy to let this rule fly out the window. I’ve seen some crazy tweets float across my scroll. Everything from not-so-cryptic longing directed towards a beau who no longer wants you, to a full out curse fest to a girl who cheated on you. I dated a gentleman who was on Twitter as frequently as I am. I believe we spent most of our relationship trying to NOT read into each other tweets. Or trying to decipher them.

4.) Don’t Creep and Then Peep– I’ve been on a date or two where I casually mention a trip that I went on or a costume I’ve donned at one point and the other person forgetfully replies with, “Oh yeah, I’ve seen that picture!” You smile, appreciating that they took the time to peruse your Facebook photo albums only to remember that you’re not Facebook friends with them yet. Everyone does “online research” about their date beforehand. You’d be a fool not to. Much like how Vice didn’t think to Google the Hipster Grifter before they gave the fugitive from the law a job at their company. However, make sure you don’t start blabbing on about all your online stalking while on the date. Pretend like you didn’t jerk off to their Spring Break 2010 photo album on Facebook and act like what you’re hearing is new to you.

5.) Don’t Blog About Embarrassing Aspects of Your LifeBecause eventually you will want a meaningful relationship again and using your blog to talk obsessively and sexually about Pee-Wee Herman, or discussing how you’ve temporarily given up on your bikini trimming habits, or how at 22 you used to drink at home alone and cry over episodes of Arrested Development may not be a good idea. You know what? F it. Or you could not give a crap and not apologize for who you are.



What are your experiences with dating and technology/social media. Has it played a positive negative role in your relationships?
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21 Comments

  • Reply Christine Macdonald October 12, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    Although I am a little older than most your readers (I think?) I will say I've definitely had to 'erase' some tweets, blogs etc. I used to drink. A lot. Those nights get you in to trouble. I'm sure someone out there has a boob or two of my also. That, I'm not too ashamed of. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Reply Colleen October 12, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Holy shit, I love this post!

    Technology has put a damper on a few of my relationships, mostly because a friend will ask me to come over (and I will) but they will spend the whole night having a conversation with their phone instead of me (WTF?) or getting on facebook and updating every six seconds!

  • Reply Melanie's Randomness October 12, 2010 at 2:59 pm

    I had thought one day I had my livejournal private & I saved aim conversations me & an ex had. Well I didn't know he would google his obnoxious nickname & my livejournal would come up! I'm starting to be paranoid about my blog & my new bf. Yup I better start editing!!! Thanks for the reminder!!!

  • Reply KeLLy aNN October 12, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Your great for us older readers, because we have the experiences of life before Technology and After Technology, and your writings give us a clear picture of both.
    lol, yes there are quite a few tata shots out there, Hey Christine!,
    and it was a lot easier to just hang up that 2 am phone prior to caller id. and still feel haha!I got you back! I woke you up and now you won't be able to go back to sleep wondering whooo it was…
    Alas, I do keep the conservative on when cyber talkin…which sucks, cause The Real Kelly is pretty f'n cool! but, just don't ask my ex.

  • Reply theTsaritsa October 12, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    I think it's okay to talk about embarrassing things, but yeah dating and dealing with technology can sometimes be little much.

    I love the "Loves of My Life" blog, it's great!

  • Reply Benny October 12, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Agh the talking about exes topic is a tough one. I don't regret doing it but I also probably won't do it again.
    In any case, I'd definitely never plan on/never have written about exes whom I am actually friends with. I definitely follow that rule- I reference friends but never describe and "expose" them. I'm pretty sure I'd never date a girl who blogged about our first date or anything of the sort.
    Your rules are all pretty good. I just realized I could write an entire list of things to consider if you're going to put your relationship status on Facebook. I was about to do that here. Instead I'll do it in a post of my own!

    Oh but there's one positive thing I want to add! I think that texting is good for relationships in one way: it allows you to be cute to each other without exerting much effort. Calling in the middle of the day is awkward. Sending flowers is nice sometimes but it gets pretty clumsy. Texting cute stuff back and forth is a pretty harmless way of saying, "I still want to make you feel admired while I'm busy doing something else."
    Of course it's a pretty bad way of getting just about anything else across!

  • Reply Just Plain Tired October 12, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    Pretty decent advice, but I fall into the category of just simply being who I am, online or offline.

  • Reply jo October 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Oh life in the virtual fishbowl. I love this post, probably because I live with a person who lives and breaths social media and it is the mistress in my relationship.
    I've been there with texting and pic texting things that will probably come back to haunt me or make me a reality star. Also guilty of airing my dirty laundry with angry status updates and tweets. All in all you hit this right on the head.

  • Reply Jenn - There's Your Karma October 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    This guy I was sort-of-seeing started totally ignoring me out of the blue, so I took to the interwebz and wrote this bitter post, which is PRETTY EFFING AMBIGUOUS.

    http://www.theresyourkarma.com/2010/04/07/desperately-seeking-robert-taylor/

    I ran into him a week later. He asked, "That blog post, was it about me?" and when I answered "Yes," I felt like he had won, or something. He won in the battle to see who could care about the other person less.

    Still love that post, though. So he can suck it.

  • Reply Adria October 12, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    99% of the fights that have occurred between my boyfriend and I have been a result of Facebook or text messages. Facebook is an embarrassing thing to even fight about, but unfortunately the role that it holds in our society is too big to be ignored.

    The other 1% is a really good story, but I don't think I can ever write about it. For exactly that reason.

  • Reply Hipstercrite October 12, 2010 at 8:49 pm

    @Christine- HAHAHA! Oh man…I still can't wait for your book!

    @Colleen- That sounds like an ex-boyfriend of mine. I try to hide my phone when in the company of friends/family/paramours. Slap the phone out of your friends hand and demand attention!

    @Melanie- Ha! How random! Probably best though…

    @Kelly Ann- I remember the days before social media too! I miss those days. The days when I wasn't afraid to pick up the phone and call someone.

    @Tsaritsa- Isn't that blog great? I hope she's ok…

    @Benny- You have a point and most of the time flirty text messaging is sweet and adorable. HOWEVER, I think we begin to rely on it too much and then become lazy partners!

    @Just Plain Tired- Good for you!

    @Jo- "Mistress" in the relationship. I like that metaphor a lot.

    @Jenn- Can't wait to read your post!

    @Adria- I want to hear about the 1%!!!

  • Reply Annabell October 13, 2010 at 1:48 am

    I sent this to all my gal pals!!

  • Reply Christopher October 13, 2010 at 4:09 am

    I was in one of those I'm-passing-the-time-and-she'll-touch-my-naughty-parts relationship few months ago in a relationship that I thought was pretty casual, and when discussed was supposed to be pretty casual but then that little "in-a-relationship" invite thing popped up. I just pretended I didn't see it and stopped using facebook for the next few weeks until the relationship collapsed.

  • Reply Jessica Druck October 13, 2010 at 4:12 am

    There is this guy I know that keeps saying "When am I going to end up on your blog?"

    I have to keep reiterating that I only blog about petty relationships/dating extravaganza's…it's bad enough half of my friends think that I am writing about their dating woe's.

    And yes, drunken tweet's/status updates as well as "i just broke up with my bf or this guy doesn't like me back" pity updates are kind of pathetic…social networks aren't a place for self loathing…we're all guilty but come on people! If you want your ex to look at you in good light, you have to play the part!

  • Reply Pie October 13, 2010 at 5:28 am

    I LOVE your personal posts. They crack me up on 24 different levels. I'll miss them now that your blog is so big ๐Ÿ™

  • Reply Hipstercrite October 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    @Annabell- Awesome! Thanks!

    @Christopher!- The way you worded that comment…! Ha! Makes you sound like a… douchebag. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    @Jessica- Your blog is one of my all-time faves on dating and being a young person. You tell it straight and I love your voice that comes through the blog. You do it effortlessly.

    @Pie- Pie! What makes you think I'll stop with the personal posts? I never will be able to do that (as hard as I may try!) ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply girluntitled October 13, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    i have the most dynamic, most disoriented family out there and i LOVE them to bits but would LOVE to blog about each and every one of them…

    …and then i remember they're the only ones that read my blog…

    catch 22?

  • Reply Sydney October 13, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    So I'm all metaphorical about guys in my posts. It's fun. The guy I'm dating now knows that my "open letter to skydiving" was really about him. But he's smarter than the average bear. I made a personal note to never blog about boyfriends, but I've found that I have a hard time remembering shit, so I'm likely going to write about them and then make little private notes to myself somewhere that the post about a book/reading was really about Brennan, not my love for Nicholas Sparks books.

    When I write about metaphors and shit, sometimes they're so good (not like, I'm awesome, but like, they read like they're actually about the metaphor not what the metaphor stands for) that my readers will be like "dude, I totally love reading too" when really, reading = a boy.

    Whatever.

    Just don't be an asshat and you won't have to dig yourself out of anything.

  • Reply Claggie October 14, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Love this post! I'm with you on this!

  • Reply Tabs A. Geek October 19, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    This is actually the first time I've been in a relationship since the really big onslaught of social media.

    My last relationship, Facebook was just becoming a craze, and I'm not even sure if Twitter was around yet.

    So this whole dating in the technology world thing is new to me.

    Texting plays an off and on prominent role in our relationship. My boyfriend and I tend to text a lot sometimes because we work opposing shifts and don't always get to see one another. But even then, I would say texting is not exactly a BIG thing. Maybe 20 texts on an average day.

    Facebook, we don't even talk to each other on it. Once in a while we might post to one-another's pages if its something important we don't want them to forget; or something silly we think each other would like. But as far as relationship statuses, we don't even have that.

    On my end, it's mostly due to how 'young' our relationship is. Being only three months in, I don't think it's necessarily smart to advertise we're in a relationship together. It's still young and could go either way.

    As far as blogging about him, well, he knows I blog, and he knows I mention him once in a while, but he doesn't read it and really doesn't care.He knows I wouldn't post anything that I shouldn't, and it's nice to have that freedom.

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