Thursday, April 28, 2005

Technology: Dating Friend, or Foe?

I need your help, my readers and friends: Does Internet-based technology (email or IM) help or hinder romance?
  1. How far into a relationship do you exchange email/IM info?
  2. Do you think people communicate better or worse over email/IM?
  3. How do you prefer to communicate with potential dates? (Phone, email, IM?) Why do you prefer that method over others?
  4. Have you ever misunderstood someone in IM/email that has led you to heartbreak or disappointment?
  5. Do you think the IM window is a better or worse way to get to know someone?
  6. Have you found that your online impression of someone (through IM or email or even through blogging) is different from how they really are in person? Has that been difficult for you to accept?
Feel free to leave your answers in the comments section, or email me with your response. Please indicate your age, location, profession (especially if you're in a tech field) and whether you'd like to be quoted by name or by a pseudonym. Your help is appreciated!

12 comments:

Lyss said...

One guy came across as weird and mean in email (harassing me about the qualities of my pictures). I met him many moths later (after I'd stopped using jdate) and he seemed weird and nice....until he realized he'd written to me on jdate and began harassing me about picture quality again, this time in person. Overall a nice guy, just needs to learn how to let go of some topics (if I was pissed in my response to his emial chances are it is not going to go much better in person).

Sometimes email is a good tool to weed out the wackos.

One guy came across as wacko in email. We met a while later (mutual friend's house) and he apologized for coming off as 'scary weird'.

It can be tough to express yourself through email (or writing) as it doe not allow for inflection and etc....

Pope Benedict XVI said...

I've never dated, so I might not be the best person to ask.

If I could date, I think I'd want to find a woman of similar interests on a Catholic romance website.

I hope that helps.

Nancy said...

My boyfriend and I met on Jdate, we chatted for awhile through IM and we've been together for almost two years. It's hit or miss, though. Before meeting my boyfriend, there were other people I chatted with and ultimately decided not to pursue anything in person. I think you have to go on a case by case basis and trust your instincts.

Anonymous said...

I'm 23 still single graphic designer/professional portrait artist. I currently live in Mass but I’m originally from Long Island New York.

I usually wait until the third conversation until I give someone my IM name and email. I use the sites system first. I also have a special email just for dating and never give anyone my private information unless we are dating seriously.

I prefer to communicate over IM first, because you are talking to them in real time without having to give away too much personal information like a phone number. You also have the opportunity to block them right away with a hassle.

I have been disappointed by a few guys I have met online. One guy in particular broke my heart in to pieces. I was living over seas for year and was interested in going out with him. We were getting to know each other through IM and then when I came home he told me he had decided to commit to his on again off again girl friend. I knew nothing about this. I guess he thought we were going to wind up just as friends. To be honest I felt like my time was wasted especially staying up to late hours just to talk to him. I’m never going to do that again.

I think the IM window is a great way to get to know somebody but it really depends on the person. IM is just a tool.

I have defiantly gotten the wrong impression of someone through IM.I talked to someone who I thought was a nice guy. He was very funny and sweet. Then when I met him in person he was rude and mean. He nearly knocked me down crossing the street in NYC and didn’t think to say sorry. He was a total freak. I felt so deceived.

I hope that helps some.

Roz

Gatsby said...

Hmm...I've met two girlfriends online (one through chatting, the other through jdate). Neither of the relationships have lasted particularly wrong, but I don't think that's the medium.
The problem with internet conversation is it allows you to have a sort of false intimacy. You talk about emotions and such that you would normally build up to in real life. So you can become "intimate" too quickly, without knowing the person in normal ways.
On the plus side, it's a great way of getting to know someone without looks getting in the way.

IndependentGrl said...

In my experience as a Jdater over the past several years, I have noticed that the guys who chose IM as their means of communicating will be more likely to want to engage in sex talk than guys who email. I have also found that guys who email, in general, tend to be more interested in getting to know you than the IM-er. My friend and I actually were joking about it today, because these IM-ers always start off sweet and innocent, and within 5-10 minutes, they move right into sex. And what I have learned from these IM-ers will make for either a steamy romance novel or a comedy book about dating.

The Jdater said...

I prefer to give out my phone number as soon as possible - a few email exchanges at the most. My problems with emails are that you never know how much time and effort the guy is putting into thinking of the "right" things to say. On the phone, you can get them much more off-the-cuff and can see how well conversations actually flow.

First Dater said...

I'm in software, and am not a big fan of online dating. I find that the majority of men there fall into two categories:

1. Bitter and scary. I have gotten more nastigrams from guys angry because I did not respond to them within a day-and-a-half.
2. Serial daters. I had two relationships that became exclusive (at two separate times). I noticed the first one had gone back online again, and dumped his sweet ass. With the second, I created a phony profile (complete with "I love to laugh! But I also love crying at sad movies!") and busted him.

AfroBlanca said...

Well, to be honest I really, really hate IM. It is no kind of communication medium. It basically strips you of any possible opportunity to project any sort of class or personality. It basically combines the worst elements of email and phone. Like phone, you don't get to compose your response ahead of time, and thus risk the chance of saying something really stupid. Like email, the conversation takes, like 20 times longer than it would over the phone. And then, of course, is the ever-annoying case when an IM conversation gets "crossed," i.e. the person you're talking to starts a new conversation thread while you're busy replying to the last thing they said. I mean, I'm no real fan of email, but at least with email, you can revise your response until you come up with something that sounds at least reasonably witty.

Outside of that, to be honest, I try to put as little time between initial contact and meeting-in-person. Why? Because, from my experience, 70% of online/blind dates do not result in a second date, and there's really no point in spending weeks corresponding with someone who you probably won't like once you meet them. Who knows? Maybe I'm one of those "creepy guys" who deserve to be weeded out, but I actually kinda doubt it.

AfroBlanca said...

Oh yeah, and the "personal" information you requested in the original post:

Me - male, mid 20's, tech worker, ambiguous ties to the online-dating industry

Charlie said...

I've done the online dating thing off and on for a few years and I think a week or so with mixed results.

The sparks will either be there or not, so I think the longer you prolong meeting in person, the more likely you are to build up false expectations of the other person.

That said, you don't want to meet up with a person after a single IM or email exchange, because you need to weed out the weirdos or obviously incompatibles.

I avoid IM entirely since it's too juvenile and a horrible method of communication. I usually email for about a week or so and follow-up with a phone call if I'm interested. As long as there's no red flags raised in the conversation, I make plans for a coffee or bar date.

I keep the conversation relatively short, since if you spend too much emailing/chatting on the phone, you'll find yourself with nothing to talk about when you finally meet up in person.

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