Smartphones and Dating2-22-2020
The introduction of the smartphone, combined with dating websites and apps, has opened up a wide range of choice in the dating world. Dating back in the ‘70s through the ‘90s was pretty much limited to the bar scene and social circles. The arrival of online dating brought with it a never-before-seen opportunity to find someone with whom you are truly compatible.
With all the nice things that technology brings us, there is also the bad. As we are all well aware, smartphones have worked their way into just about everything we do, so much so that many people can’t live without them. Kaspersky, the cybersecurity company, posted an article called “The Pros and Cons of Device Devotion in Relationships” that has some interesting statistics. According to their study, 51% of couples have argued about using a device during a meal or face-to-face conversation. Does this mean that half of all couples are fine with using their smartphone during a meal? Say it isn’t so!
Using your phone during a meal is over-the-top rude. Same goes during a date, especially the first few dates. I see this rampantly in the corporate environment. At lunch with VPs and department directors, at any given time, they can be seen ignoring everyone and fiddling with their phones. It’s a daily occurrence in our age group, and I can’t help but wonder how they survived the ‘80s.
Texting is one of the greatest and the worst forms of communication invented for dating. I’ve been on countless acquaintanceship meetings where the other person is unable to put their phone down. I completely understand single moms needing the phone handy in case there is a problem with one of their kids, but having to actively check for messages every fifteen minutes? Really?
A few years ago, our band was trying out female vocalists. One gal arrived with the phone glued to her ear. She had three songs for the tryout. She checked her phone for messages after each song. In the 30 minutes of the tryout, she checked her phone at least five times. She mentioned her teenage son was at home with the flu, and she needed to make sure he was alright. In between each song? Give. Me. A. Break. Her phone was sitting there on the music stand, and there would have been a visual indication if there were a call. So no, she didn’t make the cut.
What happened to common courtesy? When we meet, phones should be out of the picture. I either silence or turn off my phone when I’m on a date. Then I set it facedown off to the side. I’ve gotten many questions asking why I would turn my phone off, and I always explain that it’s important for me to focus on our conversation. Only in very rare circumstances, like an emergency, is it necessary for anyone to answer a call during a meetup. From a woman’s standpoint, I do get that the phone is a useful tool for escaping a bad date. There are several apps available that will give you a call or text in the middle of your date, giving you an excuse to depart early. Obviously, it would be necessary to alert your date that you might get a call and have to leave early.
Overall, though, 50 Daters respect the time of others. We silence our phones during our dates and during meals with friends and family.