My grandparents used to write love letters to each other. It was the 1930s - a time when cell phones, e-mail and Facebook weren't affecting relationships. With so many modes of communication now, times have changed. Many might say that the influx of technology is great for mankind, but some might also disagree - especially when it comes to dating.
I decided to analyze my brushes with various modes of communicating with dates, boyfriends, lovers... here's how I fared.
When I was in high school, my boyfriend and I used to write notes to each other when we were in separate classes. We'd pass them in the hallways, take them to the next period, and giggle as we read. Life was so simple back then. In fact, it was so simple, I found some of these old love letters and they all essentially say the same thing - I'm thinking about you, I miss you, I can't wait to see you. Sigh. I wouldn't mind passing a love note now at the age of 29.
When my high school boyfriend broke my heart junior year, I was devastated. I was so depressed, I turned to the illustrious AOL chat room to cheer me up. I wanted to make friends with people other than the gossip-y girls and boys I went to school with. I started "talking" to a guy named Ren. He looked great in his pictures and he was way sweet. Ren and I never did meet even though we "talked" for months. Neither of us had cars. It was like I had a pen pal.
E-mail and AIM
When I finally did get that car, it was too late. My high school ex-boyfriend wanted me back (just in time for college). He was going to school upstate and I was sticking around our 'hood. The only way we were able to stick together was by e-mailing and IMing each other. At the time, cell phones had crazy roaming fees. It wasn't feasible to talk for hours on the phone so we turned to the digital medium.
When cell phones became smaller, my boyfriend and I both got one. Ahhh - joy. Or, so I thought. One day, I was playing around with my boyfriend's new Nokia and I noticed a sinister number. I called it back - innocently - to figure out that my so-called love was a big fat cheater. I walked away right then and there. Some might say the cell phone saved my dignity. I regard it as a good girlfriend slapping you silly after you make a man-mistake. It's the kind of thing that can snap you right out of a bad situation.
And just as cell phones have given me back my dignity, it has also robbed others of theirs. Oh yes - you must've heard of the saucy "sext message," haven't you? In case you were wondering, no, this is not something that I do. Even in my sexy singledom, I can't do it, I'm just not capable to SMS raunchiness and what-not. I feel silly. Not to mention, what if the recipient forwards or shows it to friends? For others (like my friend Jessica), who are not as conservative as me, it helps them nab guys, keep them excited and hooked. Not to mention, it excites the senders just the same.
Social Networking Sites
Just as technology excites, it could also be horrifying. I take it you've heard of sites like Myspace and Facebook breaking up relationships, right? "Who's that commenting on your page?" and "Why won't you give me your password?" come to mind. Said social networking sites can really affect a couple on two completely conflicting spectrums. On the one hand, you have the notion that everything is "out there." It's hard to keep secrets because anyone can comment - whether you want to see it or not. Despite approval filters, your significant other might read over your shoulder and see something he or she doesn't like. On the other hand, these social networking platforms also harbor secrets just the same. With password protections and personal profiles, it's easy for other halves to become apprehensive.