Thursday, July 26, 2012

Text Dating

We live in the age of technology. Everything is internet. Everything is smart phones. It's all about WiFi, 4G, data plans, etc. More and more Shidduchim have moved from phone information which you had to write down yourself, to typed up resumes being faxed to emailed resumes to shidduch websites popping up. There was even a webcam dating service which was started a few years back (though I don't remember the name and I'm not even sure it took off). Shadchanim who I used to call, don't even answer their phones anymore. Answering machines notify the caller to either email or text the message and not to leave any voicemails.
Yet, although I don't agree with not being able to actually speak to someone in terms of redding a shidduch or calling for information, etc. when it's a quick message from a shadchan like 'he'll be picking you up at 7pm', then a text just makes sense (especially whilst you're rushing home to grab a shower, get your nails done and do your hair!).
So, it should come to no surprise that text-dating has become the norm. I remember when I started dating and the shadchanim would ask if I prefer the boy calls before/during or not. I don't think it mattered that much, each guy was different. Some called, some didn't. Some calls were just a 5 minute discussion to set up a time and place, whilst others were 1-2 hours just to 'talk' and 'get to know each other'. Some boys were really talkative, others were able to hold communication, some had those awkward silence moments and some were just not talkative. Yet, I myself find it much easier to communicate through emails/texting. It's easier to be more open, to 'say things you wouldn't normally actually SAY', to express yourself when you don't actually have to SAY it, and when you don't see the person or their reaction. Look at this blog for instance, it's so much easier to say things here than to speak it out. The fact that more and more dates are turning to texting to not only give minor details of the date but instead of the phone calls, is an interesting leap. It brings people closer in a shorter amount of time. It allows people to be more open and express themselves more easily without the awkward silences, without the annoying noise or disturbances, even whilst hanging out with friends and taking a small walk to text whatever it is.
Just wondering if there is a downside? I haven't actually text dated. I've texted and I've dated, but not together. I would miss out on the body language, the sound of the person's voice, the way they would react, the silences or speaking after I would say something. 
What's your opinion?


  1. It is truly ironic that cell phones offer us connectedness, while damaging our skill to converse resourcefully and successfully. Text, e-mail, and instant messaging have substituted face-to-face dialogue and private communication. The short-message system regularly misuses grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation for the sake of easy jargon and shortness.

    With texting, one cannot be sure that the texter possesses the poise and know-how to converse, discuss, and actually be friendly with others. All you see is abbreviated, casual dialogue in place of significant personal conversation. Someone can totally be someone else behind his texting and email. You really have no clue about his/her social skills, or who s/he really is.

    Text messaging is a double-edged sword. While it allows us to quickly and easily communicate with those that we want to communicate with, it also tends to take the personal level of communication out of the situation a bit. Even if one was to consider the video and voice features of IMing available, this kind of communication is still void of face to face contact that is key to our social interactions overall.

    As a communications medium, texting and instant messaging works great as a middle ground between face to face communication and phone conversations. We can keep in touch with texting and instant messaging for free and can hold multiple conversations at once. (The whole concept of multi-tasking and lack of focus on one conversation while on another conversation is a whole other problem altogether). It can be great for making plans with multiple people, catching up with old friends, exchanging information and more, but one has to be careful not to replace old fashioned face to face socializing and phone calls with the faceless communications of instant messaging.

    I think overall though, that texting and instant messaging stands to actually strengthen many existing relationships one has by reducing the problems caused by distance, time, and money. However, I don't like the idea very much of trying to build a relationship solely based on texting.

    As social beings we crave communication and interaction with others, and I think that instant messaging can help satisfy those needs and keep us in touch with those we'd like to be in touch with. The only problem is making sure that instant messaging doesn't become one's only means of communication with those around them.

    You also mention that it's easier to "say" things when you don't actually have to say them. I think that there is a danger in this. There is a reason why you might be shy to say something. Maybe it's not meant to be said. We can get ourselves in big trouble by "saying" things that are not meant to be spoken.

  2. Idk, isn't the point of dating to get to know each other on a personal level? Texting hardly allows for that. What kind of conversation can you have via texting? How can you get to know each other like that? And in agreement with Anonymous, people can be totally different over texting (whether or not they are trying to be). In the end of the day, you have to live with who they are as a person, not their texting persona.
    It might be great to incorporate texting, BBMing, IMing, etc. into a dating/courting relationship, but not solely as the means to create the relationship. Maybe when you guys have met already a couple times you can "date" by text.

  3. I have recently found the cell to be a lifesaver when

    1. Telling a shadchan that I don't want to see a guy again and

    2. Telling a guy I don't want to see him again.

    Believe me, frantic brainstorming occurred before typing up and sending out the text. I assembled a team (my parents) and I spoke the words out loud, made up drafts, then sent of the sentence or two with my heart in my mouth.

    One thing is good is that somehow texting allows the other person to save face as well, not to hear from someone's own lips "Thanks, but no thanks." While some insist that up-front spoken honesty is best, I think what is best is to spare the others' feelings as much as possible.

  4. @PrincessLea - so basically: U Sck. Dnt call me. Bye.

  5. Sometimes it is easier to communicate in writing.
    Writing is easier to edit and control than spoken words.