Monday, November 30, 2009

The Downside of Virtual Flirting

When you’re single, social networking often takes on a whole new dimension -- as I discovered not too long ago with a brief Twitter flirtation.

It began with a direct message from Tom, one of my Twitter followers and a Connecticut-based fellow PR practitioner. Our conversation moved quickly from business practices in a down economy to playful banter.

Referencing my Twitter bio, which mentions a previous stint in broadcast news, Tom said --

“Well, you're TV gorgeous.”

A few more direct messages and texts later, we were sharing favorite cocktails and planning to get together in person. Tom asked me when I was Connecticut-bound, and I countered with asking when he was coming to the city.

“Whenever you say yes to letting me buy you drinks,” he replied.

Though our e-flirting didn’t end up materializing into a date, I couldn’t help thinking about how the Internet, text messaging and the like have become a double-edged sword when it comes to romance.

For as much as technology makes it easier to interact with new people, it also makes truly connecting more difficult -- because it has overtaken traditional methods of communication like ye old telephone.

Whatever happened to the ritual of extending a date invitation by phone? Or following up after a great date with an actual conversation instead of a text message? You can say a lot more by using your voice than you can with your Blackberry.

Which is why I’m happy to skip the virtual flirting in favor of making connections through more old fashioned means -- speed dating.

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