Community//

Technology, Dating, and Communication (Or Not)

It seems that when it comes to dating, some guys are overusing social media communication conventions.

It seems that when it comes to dating, some guys are overusing social media communication conventions. Simply, guys are abusing text messaging, over-sharing online, and putting too many acronyms and emoticons in their correspondence with perspective girlfriends. And, those women are none too pleased about it. It might be time to offer some help on this matter.

I was talking with a friend, let’s call her Lola. She’s professional woman in her 30s. Lola was introduced to a dude, “Rick,” via a friend over Facebook. Rick’s in his late 30s/early 40s, is in a post-graduate program and working in the South. They share similar interests—music, cultural activities, among other things. The two of them hit it off, begin chatting daily online. Lola thinks Rick’s nice, interesting, worth conducting a digital courtship with, despite being what I classify as G.U.D. (geographically undesirable). But, he uses emoticons and cute acronyms in every exchange, a grown-assed man communicating like a 16-year old. To the point of annoyance; to the point that she’s may not be willing to consider him as a bro in a different area code (Yes, women do this, too).

Lola is somewhat conflicted. She hates the cutesy bullshit, but wonders is it a big enough violation to end the virtual relationship? I asked if she told him, she said “No, I haven’t. But, I mean, should I have to?” No, she shouldn’t have to tell him, but since so many people communicate via digital/electronic media, and this is a online relationship, I can’t say I’m surprised. Even in an online relationship, dating requires a bit of finesse and patience. And while it may not be a deal breaker for some, I understand why it might be for Lola.

Now, I’m not going to tell you how to run your game, but it seems that the immediacy of smartphones and technology might have some of y’all slipping. And, no, I’m not talking about a certain athlete and his cell phone habits. (Lawd knows there are several) I get that “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” but using digital communications sometimes lacks nuance. I noticed this with email several years back. Texting took it down another level with increase acronyms and abbreviations. Now we’re micro-blogging. At a point in the “getting to know you” process when you should be sharing more information, you’re giving them less, and it’s less romantic. None of the women I spoke with are looking for flowers on their desk or  a serenade, but how about a phone call before sexting? You have an aim, to get to know her better. Communicating like a kid with pimples won’t cut it. So, here’s some advice:

  • Kill the Emoticons: Or abbreviations for that matter. Cut back LMAO, TTFN, or   , too much of it comes across as juvenile. Adult man+teenage lexicon=not getting laid.
  • Say it Like You Were There: Just because you’re not talking in person doesn’t mean normal rules don’t apply. You know, complete sentences; fully formed thoughts. It’s not a message board. Which leads to. . .
  • Call More: While it may be OK for a quick note, texting isn’t how you communicate to someone you’re trying to go out with. One-hundred forty characters only allow so many options to relay meaning, which is why so many use emoticons or acronyms to try to express in electrons what was once conveyed through the human voice or in writing. Setting up a date, changing planes? Just pick up the phone, and call.
  • Just Because the Phone Has a Camera: And speaking of the phone, don’t randomly send photos of your junk (breasts , ladies) to people you’re romantically interested in. I mean, don’t you know what happens to those pictures? Even if the person asks you for a pic, don’t. Save it for in-person.
  • You Still Have to Have A Connection: There are expectations of both sides on how you roll, even in an online relationship. It’s kind of a intimate thing, this dating situation, and people want to feel you get them. If how you interact doesn’t work, your relationship won’t work.
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