• Dating Technology 22.03.2009

    I’ve sent and received all kinds of text messages before dating, while dating, and after the dating is over. There are definitely some proper and improper uses for text messaging while you are in the dating scene.

    The good news is that text messaging can enhance the dating experience in many ways. The bad news is that text messages can put a serious strain on your relationship of relationship possibilities as well, even if you follow the proper text-etiquette rules, it’s easy for someone to misunderstand or misconstrue your texts, and it’s also easy to send the wrong text to the wrong person at the wrong time – I’ve done it.

    Let’s start with a few annoyances, and a few do nots with text messaging and dating. This certainly will not be a complete list, and I welcome you to add you ideas in the comments section so we can develop a more complete¬† picture of the varying what’s okay in what situation with this relatively new, yet explosive form of intimate and often not so intimate form of communication.

    Texting while on a date. If we are having dinner, or getting close in another intimate situation, let’s agree to stay off the text messaging. I understand if you get to later when we get in the car and one of us is driving, but pausing a conversation while we are on a date so you can dish the latest gossip with friends is disrespectful. I do understand if you have business to deal with or babysitter issues or something, but if there was some kind of emergency, wouldn’t someone call you rather than text?

    I know that texting can become almost a subconscious habit, something we do without even thinking about it. Thank goodness it’s not as obtrusive as talking on the cell phone, especially with a blue tooth headset like people sometimes do in places like in line at a bank. It’s easy to take a quick peek at our cell phone messages and text someone back in 30 seconds or less, however it is quite rude to do this while people are talking to us.

    If it is important, and you must check your texts, I think it is best to tell your date that you have some important information you need to check, give a minute pause, and if you must reply, I believe it is best to tell your date what you are texting. Texting with someone in the middle of a conversation is like adding a third person to that conversation. Keeping it a secret about what you are communicating like using secret hidden sign language to communicate with a third person while you are in a conversation with someone else.

    I have read news stories with people being quoted doing such things as walking out on a date because there were too many text messages going back and forth, and people who decided to ask to see someone’s phone and quickly spied on the text inbox to see what was being said. I do find it immoral to read someone’s cell phone messages, but it is also bad manners to engage in text conversations while you are in the middle of the date. Ask to be excused and run to the bathroom if you must, just don’t do it in while you are in conversation. It definitely costs you points in the dating game.

    Texting with your dates

    Text messages can be a great way to get closer with someone you are interested in spending more time with. The recent relationships I have gotten involved with actually evolved much more using text messages than phone calls, emails, and in person dates than anything else. I’m sure there are plenty of people who will disagree with me, and cite the lack of human intimacy using texts, and I agree that you can lose a lot by messaging as opposed to talking face to face, however in my recent circumstances texting brought us closer, because our situations did not lend themselves well to actually talking on the phone. We were able to expand the amount of time we spent getting to know one another and flirt with each by using text messages, it was not a replacement to our in person interactions, but an enhancement.

    Sending plain text messages can help and hurt however. I really wish there was a way to add italics and bold to the type with cell phone texts. It is so easy to write something that sounds right in your head, but when it is read by other person, without the inflection that you had in your head, many messages can sound just wrong. I have certainly had several messaged returned with “WTF do you mean?”, and I can only imagine how many messages I’ve sent that someone simply misunderstood and did not bother to ask for more details.

    Texting the wrong person or wrong people can be a problem, and it has happened to me on both sides of that coin. I’ve sent the wrong message to the wrong person, and I have been the receiptiant of messages intended for someone else as well. Sure texting makes it easier to flirt with multiple people in the same 5 minutes, but if you reply or send to the wrong person, you make get more than a WTF message back.

    Always realize that text messages can be like diamonds – living forever, and passed along to others. I am amazed at how many women share texts with their friends, I suppose men may do this as much as women, but I don’t have as many male friends. I guess I should say be careful, as many people share texts with their friends, and could forward them to your friends or enemies. Text messages are one the first things private investigators look for if trying to find cheaters, and it;s one of the things that people tend to scout for themselves as well. Even if you or the other person delete your texts, there is an inexpensive device from brickhouse that can pull them out of the phone’s memory and display them on a computer, so don’t send any messages you would not want to have come up in a courtroom. I’m sure there are also ways for someone to pull messages from your phone company as well – so play it safe out there!

    We could discuss the similar issues about sending racy or nude pictures via SMS messages, but I’m sure everyone knows those pictures can be saved, copied and forwarded. Posting on web sties and end up on myspace or facebook within minutes. Sure you may have complete faith that your partner won’t post them online, but what about showing their friends? What happens if you breakup? There are web sites that are quite popular online that specifically focus on posting nude cell phone pics of your ex for the world to see – to get revenge or cool points. So think before you text.

    I do flirt via text messages, I have used texts to flirt with multiple girls at a time, I’ve even typed one message and sent it to multiple girls with the click of the send to many feature. Getting messages about you is available to hookup tonight and who is not. I’ve sent and received pictures, and sent enough texts in a month to end up with a $175 phone bill (and now have the unlimited texting plan). I have also used text messages to get to know my current girlfriend, what she likes and doesn’t like, and texting allowed us to text to each other when other forms of communication were out of the question. It can a great way to get to know one another, and it can also be a great way have you own mis-understood Sienfeld or Three’s Compnay or Jerry Springer episode in your real life.

    Think before you text, and talk in person or at least email about expectations with text messaging. I myself do not mind if I don’t get a text back within 5 minutes. To me the great thing about texts is it’s like email, I could not get a message back for hours or until the next day or night and it would not be shocking to me. Some people are not like that, some people find it disrespectful if you don’t answer a text within a few minutes, and for those people you might want to explain why you couldn’t back to them faster if it’s been more than 10 minutes. A recent study by At&t concluded that 24 percent of people surveyed aid their biggest turn off was when a lover or spouse did not respond to a text message in a timely fashion. With cell networks becoming more reliable, I expect that number to increase in the near future.

    As texting becomes more and more mainstream, it’s etiquette and expectations will change a bit, I would communicate with people I was going out with about expectations. I have had some girls get mad that I used short one or two word answers. I’ve had people get furious that it took so long for e to respond. Some people may have issue with receiving dirty texts, and some people may expect it. I certainly find it a great way to get juices flowing before I’m even with somebody, but no everyone would agree. Communicating about what is acceptable,what is expected and what each person considers their best practices or texting boundaries can certainly save you some serious grief in the future. It may lead to breaking up via text message.

    There is much more to this subject, it may turn into a multiple page discussion. I’ll update later, and look forward to your thoughts and comments.

    Posted by Steven @ 6:20 pm for Dating Technology |

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