Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No Internet Footprints

I very rarely talk about dating on this here blog, mostly because I tend to keep stuff like that pretty private and also because I don't ever know if someone I'm dating is reading what I write.

However, I have come across something that I'd like to share.

I was recently asked for my phone number.  Then, I was recently called and asked out to dinner and a movie.  (BTW, how awesome is it that a man actually called after asking for my number? This seems like such a novelty since it so rarely happens.  What is it with guys not calling?! But that's a whole 'nuther blog post.)

I'm not really going to share any details just yet because you all know that I don't ever say much unless someone has ventured into boyfriend territory, but suffice it to say that I'm kind of looking forward to the evening.

Anyways, what I do want to share is that this guy doesn't have Facebook.  Or Twitter.  And if he has email (surely he has email!),  I don't know it yet.  Goodness, I don't even know if he has a computer.  But he definitely doesn't exist on the internet.

Facebook has kind of become the new first date, don't you think? You meet someone you think you're kind of into, and one of you makes the move of making a friend request.  Then, you scour the profile and the pics... Do you like the same music?  Can you handle his favorite movies?  Do his pictures indicate he's a player, an alcoholic, a druggie, etc.?  Come on... we know that we ALL do it.  I'm willing to bet the guys do it to a certain extent, too.

Honestly, many of my dates have been initiated in the past through Facebook.  I've talked on Facebook chat to a guy I was dating while we were both at work.  It's just become part of our lives, and it affects everything - even dating.  I think there's one guy I dated who only ever asked me out on Facebook or through email.  I think we spoke on the phone only a handful of times.

So it's kind of different to not be able to check out this guy's profile.  It feels a little nostalgic in some ways.  It reminds me of how when I was in high school, the only interaction I had with my first boyfriend aside from our actual dates was on the phone.  He called.  He asked me out.  He picked me up. He made it happen. And I had no interaction with him whatsoever outside of that.

I love social media, but it can almost be just as much of a hindrance as a help when it comes to dating.  There are so many ways to communicate these days, and like Drew Barrymore's character says in He's Just Not That Into You, "it's exhausting!"

I've been there.  He emailed me, so I email back.  But then I might want to comment on something on his Facebook.  Do I, or do I wait and let him make the first move?  Since I'm interacting on Facebook, is it ok if I make the move to suggest hanging out? It IS 2009 after all and women are empowered, blah blah blah.  Wait, he popped up on FB chat, so that means he's thinking about me and wants to say hi.  We went out last night... do I send a message saying thanks for a great time, or do I wait to hear from him again?

I tend to be an old-fashioned girl at heart.  I want the guy to make the moves.  I want to be pursued.  I don't want to have to do anything at first but communicate that his advances are welcome.

It's not that I'm not willing to do my part.  I am.

I just kind of like it when the guy does the legwork in the beginning.  I don't have to question his intentions if he's making most of the moves.  And if there's one thing I know for sure, it's that we girls don't like to have to question a guy's intentions.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's kind of refreshing that I'll only be able to get to know this guy on the phone and in person.  As to whether or not there will be more than one first date? That remains to be seen.  But for now, it's kind of intriguing to be in this place.

I'm curious what everyone else thinks.  Is social media affecting the way that we date?


kilax said...

I will be interested to see everyone's feedback! I never thought of FB in that manner. When I was dating, I found details the old-fashioned way - through talking.

Rachel H. said...

I think it is effecting everyone's world...I mean, employer's look at Facebook and try to find out about people before they considering hiring someone. A teacher loses her job, because there was a picture of her drinking of Facebook. I think that there is no way around it these days! And I love a guy who doesn't have Facebook...Grant doesn't have it, still! And he could care less...he doesn't want it to take over his world, and I understand that. Good Luck on the date, and I'm looking forward to hearing more about it!

Niki said...

I am definitely old school like you! I would want the guy to persue me, call me, etc. I think that's how it should be! Haha.

Patience said...

I think FB affects everything. People post some of the most intimate details of their life on there and not to mention some of the photos people post. If I were dating, I would totally want to stalk about my new date on FB to learn all about them. I had to learn about my fiance the good old fashioned way. Good luck on your date.

emily said...

you know, i really cant imagine that! it seems as soon as we meet guys these days we log on there-EVEN when i know i shouldnt because i feel creepy!! ha but yeah, i think it totally is changing things, and i think you should take the opportunity and RUN WITH IT! its GREAT that you dont know anything about him- no preconceived notions...that will make it that much more fun and interesting!! i hope it goes great! wait until he finds out you not only have facebook but a blog that you share with the world! HAHA :)

Amy said...

It doesn't affect my world, because I'm one of the last remaining few that doesn't have facebook! But... it does seem it it's affecting EVERYONE else's lives that I know that are on Facebook.

But, there are definitely advantages to facebook... scoping out a guy in advance can sometimes lead to eliminating him from contention early on... and it can always give you an easy in with an "acquaintance". For that last reason... sometimes I wish I had facebook...

Sounds exciting though!!! I hope it goes well and I can't wait to hear about it!

Amanda said...

I didn't know anyone didn't have Facebook these days:) Faceboook wasn't that big when I was on the dating scene, but I can definitely imagine how it has changed dating/getting to know you. Or blowing people can't refuse a date because you've got your grandma's birthday party then update your FB status to something like "Can't wait to shake my booty at Hot New Club tonight." Very interesting, I hope the date goes well!

LPT said...

Hey, Melanie--I'm a longtime reader, but thought I'd finally post a comment!
Facebook/social sites DEFINITELY affect the way people date. The free access to information 1) makes people think that they know someone really well right away, and 2) maybe provides TOO much info all at once... I have a hard-to-find facebook profile, but I also don't take that step unless that person is on his way to being my bf!

Good luck on your date!

Jocelyn said...

What I hate most is someone asking for your number and then they text you! Texting can get so out of context! I wish they would just work up the nerve to call. I hate having a whole conversation via text. I've been single for a while now, and it gets old. Must be refreshing to have someone call you :)

Jackie said...

My husband and I met when Facebook had just come out and was still pretty simple. We first met in a bar, then again at a party a couple weeks later. We were supposed to meet up after the party at a different bar later that night...but he never showed up. So, I facebook friended him the next day to say something mean because I was annoyed that he had stood me up. We ended up messaging through there and since he appologzied like a crazy person I decided to give meeting up a second try. From there it is history.

I secretly hate that our story involves facebook though. And I can't seem to put into words why....but I feel like this post encompasses my reasons. If that makes sense :)

Running and living said...

I agree that the internet changes things. However, I find that having the ability to check someone out on facebook can be good or bad. It can be good because, as you say, you can save time by getting to know him better without having to go through "n" dates (so, time saver). At the same time, I think it is v easy to criticise someone (looks, behaviors, comments) when seeing only his facebook profile, and may miss out on getting to know a great guy. Hope the evening out wiht the boy will go well.

Paul said...

I am soooo glad that the whole internet business was not around when I was dating. It was hard enough in person/on the phone without having to worry about whether not receiving a facebook post back in 10-minutes means they're really not into you!

Sometimes I feel old. Moreover, I just feel sorry for younger folks who need to deal with so much more stuff than we ever did. (For the record, I am 41 and don't really feel old except at times like this!)

At the end of the day it is all about whether you enjoy their company IN PERSON and so all this other stuff is just about getting to the point where you can spend some face-to-face time TOGETHER. It is not a substitute for it.

I am sure you'll have fun along the way!

All the best, Paul :-)
- facebook me if you like ....

courtney903 said...

i feel like you and i are leading some weirdly parallel lives. First we find out we kinda sorta (maybe? ha!) dated the same guy, and then we both find probably the only two men left in the world who are completely indifferent to the internet? It's crazy. I always thought I'd need somebody who understood my insatiable need for the internet, but I have to tell you, it's so nice... refreshing, even... to get to know somebody the "old fashioned" way. Good luck to you, and have fun! :)

hernamewasgrace said...

oh yeah, i definitely think social media is reshaping dating nowadays. i don't think it's necessarily a bad thing though... it's just a different world now.

Quirky said...

I am totally addicted to FB! If someone isn't on there, I wonder what they're hiding...witness protection? Amish? wanted for a felony? (random side thought: I wonder how many criminals are caught because they have FB or law enforcement looking into this?) Of course, I would never think of calling someone on the phone...hope your date with your troglodyte goes well!