SMARTphones are turning us into bad dates.
Just the other day I was reminiscing with a friend about how plans used to be made in advance by landline telephone and stuck to. You had to be on time and you had to stick to the plan. Not turning up was not an option. The New York Times had a piece about this earlier this week, about how texting and instant messaging is turning us into "ill-mannered flakes".
It's true. It's so easy to cancel by text message. On the phone you have to deal with a disappointed or frustrated voice. A text message is tapped out and sent and forgotten about. People don't even apologise properly. And they don't make solid plans like they used to.
My mate David is terrible for this. Every few weeks I'll get a plaintive text message lamenting how long it's been since we last met up. "I never see you any more. Why haven't I seen you?" So I reply and tell him I'm free on Tuesday and he doesn't respond. So I make other plans. I'm a busy lady. Invariably, Tuesday will creep up on us, as Tuesdays do, and he will text around 8pm to ask what I'm doing. That's why I never see him any more.
I think this problem is part of a bigger issue. People are different electronically. You have a Real You and an E You.
I'm always amazed at what folk will share on Facebook and how they will go for the sympathy vote or just PR their life to a ludicrous extent. When you have complete control over which elements others view of your existance it's easy to give the impression you're permanently on holiday, permanently happy and perennially in love, despite the fact you stopped kissing with tongues in 2007 and you only speak to demand the remote.
And why not? Personally, I've always felt I was much better written down. In person I get nervous and tongue tied. I worry I'm taking up too much space or I'm not quick enough or my clothes are inappropriate. It's all that much glossier online.
Still, there is no excuse for allowing your E You to last minute cancel on behalf of your Real You.
Me, I always turn up. I turn up to everything. Even my E You lacks the self-confidence to cancel plans but that's just how it should be.
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