Technology has fundamentally changed the way we seek, nurture, and experience intimacy. Beyond the coy status updates, drunken emails and occasional sexting, we find soulmates on dating sites, we send "I <3 U's" with our thumbs, we fight over IM, make up over email, then go on Facebook to announce to the world our renewed devotion. Gadgets have enhanced our love lives, but they also enable mixed messages, vague sentiments and other bits of intentional or unintentional confusion. Texting Your Way To Love
The questions around protocol are endless: Should I text him or email him? She sounds sad in her blog post—but was that just for show? Should I update my Facebook status to "In a Relationship?" Did I just get a booty text?
What I offer here is not a magic decoder for the ambiguous texts/emails/pokes you will never stop receiving, nor a set of tried-and-true rules. That doesn't exist. These are merely lessons gathered from my own and others' experiences in bumbling with love in our digital age—lessons we hope will help detangle the medium from the message.
1. There is no hierarchy of communication.
(Or: Why "If he liked me more, he would have called, not texted" is a waste of time.)
I know it's hard to believe because there seems to be an order to things: email feels more meaningful than Facebooking. Texting feels casual. A phone call is something to brag about—but not if it's after 1 a.m. on a weekend. But in reality, everyone's order is different.
Our digital behavior is still too varied, sporadic and context-dependent to make any sense of it. If you can accept that there is no universal communication pecking order, you can let go of our expectations of others. That frees everyone to communicate by their own rules. Is Facebook Causing Us To Cheat?