Smartphones and Dating

 

The introduction of the smartphone combined with dating websites and apps have opened up a wide range of choice in the dating world.  Dating back in the ‘70s through the ‘90s was pretty limited to the bar scene and social circles.  It can easily be said that with the arrival of online dating, never has there ever been such a wide-open opportunity to find someone truly compatible.

With all the nice things that technology brings us, there is the bad.  As we are all well aware, smartphones have worked their way into just about everything we do.  So much so that many can’t live without out them.  Kaspersky, the cybersecurity company has posted an article called “The Pros and Cons of Device Devotion in Relationships” that has some interesting statistics.  According to the 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!

Needing the use your phone during a meal is over the top rude.  Same during a date.  Especially during the first few dates.  I see it rampant in the corporate environment.  I’ve been at lunch with VP’s and department directors and at any given time, they can be seen ignoring everyone and fiddling with their phones. It’s a daily occurrence, in our age group, constantly on their phone and I wonder how they survived the ‘80s.

Texting is one of the greatest and worst forms of communication invented to date.  I’ve been on countless Acquaintanceship meetings where the person I’m meeting with 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 her kids.  But having to actively check for messages every fifteen minutes?  Really?

I recall a few years ago when our band was trying out female vocalists.  One gal arrived with the phone glued to her ear upon entering the room.  She had three songs for the tryout.  She checked her phone for messages after each song.  In the 30 minutes during she tryout, checked her phone at least 5 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 be a visual indication if there were a call.  And no, she didn’t make the cut.  Her phone usage being the leading indicator.

What happened to common courtesy?  When we meet, phones should be out of the picture.  When I get to a meetup, I either silence or in some cases even turn off my phone.  Then I set it face down off to the side.  I’ve gotten many questions/comments asking why I would turn my phone off by my date and, I would explain that it was important to me to focus on our conversation.   Only in very rare circumstances, like an emergency would it be necessary for anyone to answer a call during a meetup.  From a woman’s standpoint, I get it that the phone is a useful way to escape a bad date.  There are several apps available that will give you a call or text in the middle of the date, giving you an opportunistic message that gives you the excuse to depart early.  Obviously, it would be necessary to set up a situation where you alert your date that you might get a call during their meetup that may involve you leaving early.

Overall though, 50 Daters respect the time of others.  We make it fundamental to silence our phones during our dates and meals with friends and family.

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