Saturday, June 4, 2011

Analog dating, digital marriage

This is a picture of Scott and I around the time we met. That summer, I gave him my phone number, hand-written in pen, on a napkin. And it wasn't my cell phone number. It was my home phone number.

And I didn't tweet "just met the cutest guy!" or friend him on Facebook. There were no "OMG!!" texts to my friends either.

In 1995, texting, Twitter and Facebook did not exist. Email was the "new" form of communication and if you owned a cell phone you were one of just a few. And that cell phone only made phone calls.

We did call each other...long distance. He lived in Colorado, I lived in Kansas. We racked up long distance phone bills...on a landline phone that might have even had a cord. We used pen and paper to write letters, which took about three days to reach each other.

Fast forward 15 years...gone are long distance phone bills and hand-written letters. This is what our conversations look like now:

Me: eta
Scott: 530

Sometimes there are longer conversation. This one is about parent-teacher conferences:

Me: Dont forget PT conf. Z 615. A 645.

Scott: Meet there or home?

Me: home. 6?

Scott: k

I could leave a voice message. But that's a lot of effort. You call the person, wait through the ringing, then the "You have reached..." message, and the beep. Finally you leave your message. The recipient then has to call their voice mail, listen to the message, and call you back. So much easier to just type a few characters. Besides, voicemail is so 2004.

Do we communicate less than we did before? I'd say no, in fact, I think we communicate more. One thing is certain: there's no excuse for not "getting the message" when it was sent via email (to your personal account and work account), voicemail (left on your cell phone, home phone and work phone), text, and Facebook message. I don't leave that many messages, but I could.

Other, wiser couples will tell you that when they first met there were party lines, rotary phones and record players. But look how long it took for technology to change. My parents were married in 1965. Not much changed until maybe 1995. The internet exploded, cell phone technology followed and here we are in 2011. That was 30 years. Scott and I met in 1995. Fast forward only 15 years to social media, smartphones and 3D TVs.

So, what will the world look like in 15 more years? Holograms, smart homes and robots?

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