Cell Phones, IM’s and Email – Oh My!

I was reading Kay’s post Why Doesn’t He Call? and thinking about all the excuses we do make when someone we are interested in isn’t contacting us. Then I started thinking about how completely insane and disconnected I feel should I forget my cell phone one day. I am convinced that all kinds of exciting things are happening, and I just don’t know about it.

This leads me to the question: Have modern day communication devices added more stress to the dating world?

Think about 50 years ago. There was one land line, usually only one phone in the house. No voice mail, no answering machine, no caller ID. If a boy called a girl, and no one answered, she would never know. He would simply call back in hopes of reaching someone to leave her a message.

Fast forward to 20 years ago, now we have the answering machine. They were notoriously unreliable, eating the tapes, garbling messages. So it was easy to write off the fact that you did not have proof positive of a missed call.

Jump ahead another decade, to the 90’s, where we started to become more and more connected. Now we have instant messaging, pagers, voicemail, call forwarding and email. We started to become connected 24/7. Cell phones weren’t as prevalent yet, but they factor in as well.

Now, in 2008 I only have one phone, my cell phone. I have a car charger; I have voicemail and caller ID and of course, my personal crack – the text message. My phone is with me 24/7. I don’t even turn it off in movies, just set it to silent, so I will know if someone called while I was eating popcorn. I have high-speed Internet, and I can check my email from home, work and my phone.

“Great Mandi, thanks for the telecommunications history in a nutshell. How does this change dating?” is what I am sure some of you are thinking.

I see it like this: We are now connected 24/7 – so instead of not thinking about it until we get home, having people know you can’t be reached any time, we have all day to think about what the phone’s not doing. I must look at my phone 50 times a day –

Did it ring?

Was that a text message?

What if I didn’t hear it?

When I am dating someone, it gets worse. So he does text me (it’s very sweet, in the morning, just to see how my day is going.) My heart trills, my eyes light up, and I get a really stupid smile on my face. So I text him back. Now I go through a whole new period of agony when he doesn’t respond. He does eventually, and the whole cycle starts again.

This is just at work, where texting is the only acceptable form of communication. When I get home, I find that I am attuned to the sound of my Instant Messaging program –

Did it bing?

Who’s online?

Crap, it’s not who I was hoping for.

Ultimately, the easy access to communication has just made the whole idea of waiting for a call more painful. The only thing I can do is take a deep breath, relax, and realize that I would be annoyed with someone who was in touch constantly.

I don’t know if that’s going to stop my heart from beating faster when I get a text, and the let down I feel when it’s just a friend from Twitter (follow me http://twitter.com/mandi3939.)

Written by Mandi
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3 Responses to “Cell Phones, IM’s and Email – Oh My!”

  1. sk-rt.com says:

    Cell Phones, IM’s and Email – Oh My!…

    Does the ease and availability of modern day communication make dating more stressful?…

  2. Amy says:

    You don’t want those jerks coming through on the other end anyway! If they don’t call, they’re not worthy anyway.

  3. Jsut want to let you know I found this really interesting :)

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