Most of the time while being interviewed, regardless of whether it’s for TV, print, radio or the Internet, I find myself saying that as humans we are hardwired to seek, “companionship, love and safety.” I’ve blogged about “Dating, Love and Technology.” I’m going to revisit that topic because of an angry text message I received from a man whom I had never even met in person. To top off the angry text message, he continues to contact me via e-mail. I believe that respect is one of the foundations of all relationships and goes hand in hand with building safety and trust. Let’s face it, to feel safe with someone you have to trust them. And I would think it would be really hard to feel safe with a person where there was no trust or respect. Receiving an angry text message from a man I had never met before is not a good way to start a relationship. That being said… Angry Text Message Guy contacted me from a dating Website about a week before we were going to meet in person for drinks. On the actual day we were supposed to meet I was feeling really busy and getting ready to leave town for business. I sent him a text message first thing that morning letting him know that: “today would not be a good day.” This was his text message response back to me; word for word: “Sure anytime. But maybe u r not ready 2 meet anyone. I am sure half hour for coffee would disrupt your schedule 2 much”. A few days later I received this from the Angry Text Message Guy: Hi there, I am getting discouraged of ever having that drink with you ?Mike 310-999-8888 (name and number has been changed) And then he contacted me again through the same dating Website by sending me an “e-drink” and using the same exact quote as he used before to introduce himself. This whole situation I find fascinating and poignant in that he seems to be somewhat out of touch and hiding behind technology. For me it goes against my hardwiring; the need to feel companionship, loved and safe. Angry Text Message Guy has done nothing in my eyes to create that and I have to wonder, does he even realize how his behavior affects others, and in this case me? I think that ultimately it doesn’t really matter if we are talking about etiquette when it comes to text messaging or etiquette at the dinner table because at the end of the day, etiquette is about being respectful, which in the end makes us all feel safe and trusted.
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