Posted on | June 20, 2012 | 7 Comments
When I was dating… the first time… if you wanted to talk to a guy, you had to call him on the phone. It was that simple. That was your only option. You picked up the telephone and you dialed his number or you waited for him to call you. And yeah, it was nerve wracking. Yes, it was a lot of nerves and trembling hands and held breath as you waited to see if he’d call, but it was Avenue A, B, C, and everything else.
Oh. My. God.
When I rode this horse the first time, you were lucky if a guy called you once every few days, and you relished those phone conversations. They were fun and long-winded and they sometimes kept you up later than normal… so you didn’t expect them every day. Sometimes, you met up for coffee or drinks or dinner in between calls … but there wasn’t a constant tether of communication between the two of you.
Now, there’s email. And text. And Instagram. And Facebook. And Twitter.
And ohmygod my head may explode from all the ways that people choose to or not to get in touch.
We now live in the age of instant gratification… why isn’t he texting me back? How come he hasn’t responded to my clever email? Was my facebook message not trendy enough? And the girl who grew up waiting for phone calls is now peppered with a constant stream of conversation in the back of her mind: Should I wait an hour before responding to his text? Is it uncool to respond so quickly? Does this text make me look fat?
I’m a nervous wreck every time my phone buzzes. I’m constantly on edge… wondering how soon is too soon to write back, how much “funny” becomes unfunny, how much time should pass before I assume he’s moved on and is no longer interested.
When we were pigeonholed to the telephone, a week could go by and there was still the chance that someone was still interested. Nowadays, six hours without a response means “move on, sister.” I don’t know how to get used to this new world. I don’t know how kids these days do this all the time… this constant stream of conversation… this constant reminder that you’re not hearing from him.
I sort of wish I could just turn off my phone; just disappear from caring about whether this or that guy thinks I’m worth the time it takes to type “LOL” or “TTYL” or whatever other acronym is hanging out there waiting to be discovered. But of course I can’t do that. I can’t untether myself from my tiny reminder of my single status… not now… not in the world of instant gratification.
Not when I’ve learned that being instantly gratified is intensely gratifying.
Except… you know… when it isn’t.