Monday, April 19, 2010

Dating in a Digital World

I came across this great blog post from DC Ladies about dating in a digital world and given my current status, thought it was funny and definitely worth sharing.  Enjoy!

Dating in a Digital World

photo credit: digital frontier surf dot com

To quote Drew Barrymore’s character in He’s Just Not That Into You, “Now you just have to go around to checking all these different portals just to get rejected by seven different technologies. It's exhausting.” When I first saw that film, I identified with Drew’s character. Dating in this constantly connected world is more complicated than it should be (or at least than I think it should be). I focused so much on how easy it is for things to go wrong in this era of facebook, twitter, myspace, online dating, smartphones, etc., that I never stopped to think about what I would do if something actually went right.

After roughly six weeks of witty text message banter, entertaining phone calls, and enjoyable dates, my new beau and I decided that we are dating exclusively. Ok, so what now?

In the old days (pre-facebook), I never really thought about what makes a new boyfriend “official.” What does that even mean? Either you date someone exclusively, or you don’t. Now, however, there is a moment when you take that leap and change the facebook relationship status. I have not been so nervous since I had to ask a boy to accompany me to my first formal dance at my all-girls high school. What if he didn’t want to change his status? Is there some greater meaning to that decision? Or is he just not that into having his personal life displayed in a public forum? The answer to all of these questions is that it really does not matter.

I’m beginning to realize that while social networking has become a part of my life almost as much as e-mail, it is important to keep some parts of my life private. Here are some simple guidelines I’ve come up with that might be helpful to other young ladies who are bridging that gap between student and real person:

1) Keep your professional contacts and social contacts separate. Especially in DC where professional networking happens in many social situations, it is easy to let the two circles merge. However, I doubt that my former boss who is my facebook friend wants to see a status update about how romantic it was to spend a day looking at the cherry blossoms with my new boyfriend.

2) Less is always more. If you clog your facebook and twitter with updates, you become the girl who cried wolf. Was that really the best date ever? Does the world even need to know if it was?

3) Relationships deserve some privacy. I’m not just talking about dating here. I’m also talking about friendships and relationships with relatives. If I want to ask my roommate from college how her new job is going, she deserves an actual phone call, not a post on a facebook wall.

~Ms. R

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