At the touch of a button; at the command of a few keystrokes – technology has made communication a lot easier and better.  Or has it?

I met my ex-husband at a club in 1995 (shout-out to the old Club 112 in Atlanta!), and although we aren’t together anymore, I will always consider it a truly memorable night.  I was smitten right away!  He wrote his phone number on a paper cocktail napkin (he had perfect handwriting – which was a ++ to me), and on it, he also wrote “Please call me.”  The next day I called him and we met in person at Applebee’s that evening.  We hit it off right away and the rest is history – love and marriage.  I kept the cocktail napkin as a memento of our meeting; and I still have it today.

Now, this was “back in the day”, when entering code *69 on your phone would tell you who just called and hung up when you answered.  You had your own pager code to identify yourself to someone you paged (Beep-beep).  The pre-mobile phones everywhere era.  People actually saw each other and talked to one another rather than stand around staring at their phone screens.

Nowadays, technology, email, texting and “sliding into the DM’s”, etc. has changed the dating scene by activating the perpetual “texter.”  You know, those who will only communicate with you online or via text message or DM.  Now, I’m not too old fashioned that I won’t engage in a good text or email exchange – but that’s after I already know you.  Here’s how I see it – with online dating, you shoot a couple of messages back and forth to see if there’s a connection; if so, you exchange phone numbers and make plans to meet in person.  Yet somehow, and as mentioned in my earlier blog post “Online Dating…Is it for You? Is it for Anybody??”, there are the ones whom you have the greatest conversations with on the phone and online into infinity and beyond, but they just never seem to get around to asking to meet you in person.

I want to meet a guy I’ve met online in person – look into his eyes, hear his voice, feel his energy.  I want to get in his space before I tell all of my business in an email, text or telephone call.  To me, it’s the only genuine way for me to determine if I really like him or not and vice versa – if he really likes me!  How many times have you conversed a kazillion times with someone you met online and when you finally meet him/her in person, it’s a “no”?  At that point, it really makes you wish you never shared all your good business with someone you’re not going to interact with in the future.

Yes, bygone are the days when we wrote our phone numbers on the palm of someone’s hand, on a gum wrapper or a cocktail napkin and hoped that they would call.  Side note: it was also the day we could give a fake phone number to get rid of someone in your face – nowadays men will ask you to call them from your phone to get your digits. Ha!  (Gotcha!)

Because we have the easy access of email and texting and DM’ing…doesn’t mean we now need to forego getting into each other’s physical space.  We don’t need to lose the ability to have face-to-face contact and get our flirt on.  We shouldn’t miss the inter-personalities of eye contact and a smile, gestures and body language.  Watching someone’s lips say “I like you” is wayyyy better than receiving a text message that says it.  Sliding into the DM’s can never replace the experience of the best nonverbal component of interaction – human touch.

The next time you meet someone online, it’s okay to message a few times or maybe have a phone call or two.  But if somewhere in there, you’ve figured out you have an interest, somebody (and the old school part of me thinks it should be him) should arrange a coffee or cocktail date – and the sooner the better.

What do you think?  Are you in agreement with me and have a desire to meet in person early on?  Or are you okay with strictly online and text communications with the opposite sex?

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