Last night I went out with some friends. On our way back to the car, they spotted some people they knew so we stopped and talked for a while.
It was well after last call and I wasn’t really interested, so I kinda stood off to the side. Naturally, some guy noticed this and decided it was a good time to talk to me. I told him that I firmly believe that nothing good happens after midnight, but he wasn’t budging.
He told me he was a marketing professor at a local university. I’m not inclined to believe anyone I meet outside a bar at 2 a.m. so I told him that I was also in marketing and did my best to drop all the buzzwords I could think of. His only response was: “Wow… you just got all professional and stuff” and said that maybe I could come talk to his class next semester. Okay, whatever. I still don’t believe him, but what the hell–it’s kinda fun to play along. I think he could tell I was skeptical so he told me his full name and said:
Not “Here’s my card” or “Can I have your number?” but “Google me.” Which, of course, I did. If I’d had an iPhone, I would’ve done it right there, but I had to wait until I got home. And, believe it or not… he wasn’t lying. He really is a visiting professor at the local university. He also got my friend’s number before he started talking to me, so he’s not Future Mr. Carich potential, but it made me think about how technology has changed the way we meet and interact with people*
- I can’t tell you the last time I actually gave someone my number. Long gone are the days of scouring the bar for a sharpie and a random piece of paper to give someone your digits. Now you just put the person’s number in your phone. Or, better yet, you call them from your phone so that you have their number AND they have yours.
- Texting has introduced a whole new layer to the flirting/calling/dating continuum. It used to be that if a guy liked you, he’d call the next day (or in 2 days or whatever that dumb rule is.) Now, it’s likely you’ll get a text first. Texts are a LOT less anxiety-producing than phone calls. Yeah, it’s best if you can come up with something witty and charming to say in 45 characters or less, but you don’t have to deal with awkward silences, or coming up with something to say. You can also have extended back-and-forth conversations without having to drop everything else you’re doing.
- Although texting is less scary than a phone call, it’s also less of a commitment. You miss a lot of the nuances of someone’s voice when you’re texting. Plus it feels more casual, which makes it even more exciting once you move to actual calls. As much as I dislike talking on the phone, there’s nothing quite like that first all-night phone conversation where you learn all kinds of tidbits about the person you’re interested in.
- Technology has also made it easier to do some “research” on people before you decide to date them. In addition to the basic googling, you can check out someone’s facebook and mySpace pages. Where I live, you can also check out their criminal history and make sure they’re not a sex offender or a deadbeat dad (or mom–there are deadbeat moms.)