It’s no secret that the cell phone plays an important part of the online and digital dating courting process. From scheduling a first date and listening to his or her voice for the first time, to receiving the first fun flirty text messages, to the wake up texts in the morning from your digital crush, there’s reason to love your smartphone.
A survey of 3,583 women conducted by Huffington Post and Real Simple called Finding Balance in a Wired World shows just how dependent the relationship between social media and cell phones has become.
12 percent of those polled actually keep their phones on the table during dinner. This should NOT be a focal point of your date. A guy wants to think he’s important in your life and on a date. Still, it’s not unusual to see couples on a date with both phones present on the table. A good rule of thumb is to ask the person you’re on a date with if they don’t mind if their mobile phone is on the table, and give a good reason why. Perhaps you’re waiting for a call from your children or from your boss. Some people love taking photos of food and posting them on Instagram, myself included. However you should make sure you mention this to a date if taking photos of food to memorialize your meal is something you enjoy doing. Ask their permission to make sure they don’t mind. Once that photo is taken, make sure to share it with your date, so he’s a part of the experience and then quickly place it back in your purse.
Frequency of Checking your Mobile Phone
76 percent of respondents say they check their smartphones at least once an hour. Of those busy gazing at their mobile phones, 15% said they looked every 15 minutes. How often are you checking your mobile phone? Are you doing this while on your date? If so, you’re sending a message that the next date could be more important than the person you should be focused on.
Almost half of the women in the poll admitted to keeping their smartphones on their nightstands so they can check them when they wake up. Did that cute guy from last night send you a text? Out with the teddy bears and in with the cell phones. Five percent of the women polled admit to sleeping with their phones in bed with them and almost half polled would give up having sex for month to keep their smartphones in their lives during that same one month period.
Are you Addicted to Your Mobile Phone?
At the end of the digital day, almost ¾ of respondents think they aren’t addicted to their digital devices, but just how honest are they being with that answer? With the rise of Social Media Anxiety disorder and an increase in stress when the battery life is depleted in their phones, we’re living in a mobile world, and mobile dating apps, which inform you that your digital crush has contacted you or your sweethearts sends you a text to say good night are still on the top of the digital dating ladder.
How important is your mobile device to you? Would you let it interfere with a date?
Julie Spira is a top online dating expert and founder of CyberDatingExpert.com. She writes about the marriage of love and technology and is the author of the bestseller, The Perils of Cyber-Dating. For almost 20 years, Julie has been helping singles find love on the Internet with her Irresistible Profiles programs.
Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter for online dating advice and sign up for the free Weekly Flirt newsletter.
As one who has studied and coached singles on the intersection of love and technology for 20 years, it was an honor to be called upon by behavior and relationship reporter Sharon Jayson for her in-depth story in Love 2.0: The Tech Effect on Romance.
Appearing as the cover story of the USA Today Weekend edition, Jayson wrote about a recent study conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle in which 1500 singles aged 21-50 shared their thoughts on how mobile phone technology and texting when it comes to matters of the heart.
The USA Today article makes a bold statement. Jayson reports that “Cellphones and texting have blown up the dating culture.”
With the growth of smartphones, popularity of unlimited texting and data plans, it’s no wonder that singles are relying on their mobile phones to set up a date, cancel a date, make dinner reservations, order theater tickets, and yes, unfortunately break up.
In my conversation with Jayson, she asked me how long I believed a person should wait to return a text message. In my expert opinion, I thought 1-4 hours is polite.
The survey showed a surprising amount of singles (25%) believed that a text from a potential date or romantic partner should be returned within one hour. One hour? Think about it. If you’re in a meeting, on a conference call, on an airplane, or your phone is charging, does that mean you’re not interested? My big concern is the growing anxiety associated with response time for text messages, which appears to be shrinking. Another 25% thought 1-3 hours would be appropriate, followed by 12% who believed 4-6 hours would be fine. Responding immediately came in fourth place at 10%.
Does this mean your significant should go into the digital doghouse if you don’t hear from him or her in 1-6 hours?
When I was asked about my thoughts on breaking up in a text message, I was completely against it. However, the survey found that 59% might break up via text and even 24% had no problem breaking up with someone they were exclusively involved with.
Tone doesn’t come through in a text, and that can lead to misunderstandings, especially when a comment gets misconstrued and “your text may not get returned,” suggests cyber-relations and netiquette expert Julie Spira of Los Angeles. She’s author of the 2009 book The Perils of Cyber-Dating, which includes a chapter on netiquette.
The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships.
“There’s so little you know at that point,” Spira says. “You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all — and it’s not.”
Sure, many celebrities have done so, including Russell Brand who notified Katy Perry of their divorce in a text message, but is it right?
Would you break up with someone in a text message? Your comments are welcome.
Julie Spira is an online dating expert and author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating. She writes about the marriage of love and technology and coaches singles on the dating scene. Follow @JulieSpira on Twitter.