Technology and Dating in 2011

Some Things we’d like to see Changed

Now that technology is so fully integrated into our daily lives, it’s hard to think of how we actually got along before technological advancements swept the world. While browsing the net via your iPhone at the grocery might be something you do with ease today, it wasn’t an option a few shorts years ago. And twenty years ago the Internet wasn’t around at all.

This generation is sitting front row for some truly remarkable advances in the way we communicate, and from shopping to dating, you can do it all online.

Online dating and social networking in general is really at its full peak these days. Even though we’re just starting out in 2011, by the time this year is over it will undoubtedly be the most successful for a wide range of social networking and dating websites.

But now that we’re so accustomed to using this technology, should there be any type of etiquette in place?

People know not to blow smoke in another person’s face because it’s rude. You don’t cut someone off in traffic unless you want a golf club making its way through your windshield. But what about ignoring someone’s messages while still using the net or updating your status every friggin’ two seconds? Is there any etiquette at all online?

Well, if there isn’t there definitely should be. So when we talk about things we’d like to see changed in 2011, we’re certainly not speaking about the technology. We’re speaking about how people conduct themselves online while using it.

Here are a few key changes we’d love to see take place this year and ultimately become part of online etiquette.

Rule 1: Your Text Has Different Settings… Use Them!

Too many people out there are texting with the preview settings turned on. This means every message you receive instantly pops up on the screen, and that means whoever is around you is seeing your private business (more importantly: the sender’s private business) all out on front street! This is something that must be stopped, and we’ll use the death penalty if we must!

Many of us have been victims of the “preview” setting. Unbeknownst to us, we walk down the street, normal as usual, only to find the joke is really on us, egg in our friggin’ faces, because so-and-so caught a little glimpsy-glimpse of our PRIVATE text message.

And if you think you’re a “playa,” dating multiple people, turn this setting off or you’ll end up alone with the quickness.

Rule 2: Don’t Switch the Style

Let’s say you’re trying to catch a fish in the world of online dating and have been sharing text messages for the past few weeks. Well, if you suddenly switch up to email or leaving messages on FB or Twitter instead, how can you expect people to keep up with you?

This is a rule that everyone should be following. Far too many people take it upon themselves to try around 4, 5 or 6 different ways of Inter-communicating every single day. Why? Ugg… we hate you switch-happy people and the laptop you rode in on.

Rule 3: Don’t Press the Issue

Look, not everyone out there is like you. If you’ve met someone via an online dating site, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re as involved in social networking as you. You might personally love to text and tell people what you’re doing on Twitter after every other breath, but that doesn’t mean the person you’ve just met shares the same enthusiasm for texting and all things “Internet.”

Don’t give people a hard time. Remember: the phone still works and phone calls are still the preferred medium.

Rule 4: Take Your PDA and Shove It!

If you use social networking sites at all, then it’s a safe bet that your friends already know exactly when you’re in a relationship. And if you’ve met someone via the Internet and all of your friends are intermingled through these sites, then everyone knows about it.

You do not need to spam up each other’s sites with crazy PDA posts, little faux hearts (<3), annoying low tweets, etc.

You must remember that your friends are updated about this stuff, and if you’re blowing up the spot with 50 messages about nothing but how much “u wubs ur bb,” you’ll be blacklisted by most normal folk.

Rule 5: TMI Really, Really Means TM!

If you think that too much of a good thing is a good thing, think again. You can certainly give away too much information, and many of you do all day, every day. Yeah, you like to tell people vivid details about what you’re doing. You like to visit the kink parlors at Foursquare and let everyone know about. But in terms of etiquette, keep these details to yourself.

If you ever expect to date anyone online, especially someone on your friends list, keep the information to a minimum.

Rule 6: Don’t Ignore Texts if you’re Not Ignoring Everything Else

There’s nothing quite as disturbing as people who will ignore your text while they’re actually online. Oh, you think we can’t see you!? You must be half stupid. We sent you a text 2 minutes ago and can see full well that your FB profile was just updated 1 minute ago – and we even refreshed the page just to make sure our eyes weren’t deceiving us!

Look, we fully understand if you don’t feel like talking. We all have those days. But when you ignore specific people while still using social media to chatter and waste the day away, of course we’re going to take it as a personal affront. Why wouldn’t we? It’s us you’re ignoring!

Wise up and learn some proper etiquette.

Rule 7: Keep Your Skype Private

It’s bad enough when people used to talk on their bulky cell phones in public. Then some yuppies thought that using a Bluetooth was cool, so we had a bunch of loonies walking around appearing to be talking to themselves. But now that Skype is here, it’s a whole new ballgame.

Just don’t Skype in public. No one wants to hear or see any of your conversation. Seriously. And what’s more: no one wants to be involved in your conversation as a star player. You should definitely save that stuff for the privacy of your home, or at least go sit in the corner with your back to a wall. Have some manners.

Rule 8: Cut it out with the Suspicious Minds Crap

This etiquette rule is strictly for dating. Far too many daters will attempt to ignore their phone when it rings. They’ll glance down to look at who is calling, make a funny face, and then play it off like nothing ever happened.

Meanwhile, do you know what your date is thinking? “Oh, so he does have a girlfriend after all, and here he is with me trying to act like nothing’s going on!”

Contrary to popular belief, your phone is actually supposed to ring. Pick it up, tell them you’re busy, and be up front about the phone call. It’s simple.

Rule 9: Mix and Match Your Pickup Lines

Here’s another little etiquette quip for your online daters out there. Believe it or not, a lot of people use online dating sites just like social networking sites. They may have dozens or hundreds of friends they’ve met via online dating. So what does this mean for you? It’s simple; it means sending that ad hoc message to every single person you’re interested in might backfire in your face.

Always try to be original when you’re initially contacting someone. Having two friends receive the same message for you is going to foil your plans quickly.

Rule 10: Adjust Your Status Accordingly

Are you ashamed of the guy or girl you’re dating? Do you make a concerted effort to keep this person hidden from your friends? No? Then why on earth haven’t you changed that “single” status on your social networking pages?

Oh, you can try to play it off like it’s no big deal, but how would you feel to be crazy about a person and find out that they’re still single according to Facebook? It would be the pits and you’d fly off the handle in a jealous rage. Don’t front.