I should have had a date today. A second date. Since matching on tinder 12 days ago we have messaged everyday on WhatsApp and spoken every day on the phone.
On Thursday we went for a ‘quick drink’ after work and spent the evening chatting and laughing and getting to know each other face to face. It was amazing, and made me really look forward to our planned date today. We should have been meeting early afternoon, strolling into town, day drinking and then watching the man united game. Possibility of back to mine, few more drinks and an adult sleepover. All in all, a perfect day planned out.
I was excited. I haven’t been excited about a date for a long time. This guy isn’t like the others, I think. He’s not after one thing, despite knowing that that is on offer. He’s been pretty old school, the phone contact has been refreshing. No messing about with leaving hours between messages. No game playing, just good, old fashioned getting to know each other and taking our time about it.
I get a message saying he would be here at 2. I get ready. I wait. I wait some more. An hour goes by and I start to get irritated. I don’t deal well with lateness, I think it’s rude and poor form. I try and call, this in itself isn’t usual form for me. I never call. I never chase. But something didn’t feel right about the no show. No answer. No answer for the following 3 hours either. His WhatsApp shows last seen as an when he sent me the message saying he was on his way.
Irrational me starts googling road traffic accidents between here and where he lives. Rational me realised that the likelihood of this happening as opposed to me just having been stood up is slim to none. The rational brain wins. I’m in full anger mode now. How bloody dare he stand me up. It’s the first day after dry January and the depression that was us leaving the EU yesterday. I was so looking forward to a day with a potential new partner, fun and laughs and alcohol to forget the state of the world.
Fuck it, I’m going in on Facebook. I’ve sent a lovely WhatsApp expressing concern; but now the anger (and a touch of gin) is real and I’m going to send him a message telling him to fuck himself. Off I go to Facebook to find him and message him. Good old Facebook messenger as an alternative communication option.
Oops. There’s a message from him. Clearly slid into my filtered messages along with all the random DM slides, there he is. He’s dropped his phone on his was to my place. Driven home to message me on the computer. He has no way of ringing me, no way of messaging me and no way of finding out where I live as he can’t read the message with my address, and also no way of finding me as his phone is more than likely his sat nav too. I see the message nearly 3 hours after he sent it. I reply; but there’s no way he’s sitting by his computer now waiting for me.
It’s got me to thinking about modern technology and how heavily we reply upon it for everything. I’m old enough to remember life before the internet and smart phones, so what did we used to do!? How did we date and what has this technology done to us to make us irrational and needy!?
Were things easier back in the day? I remember talking for hours on the landline, sending letters to boys I liked on the bus, and more importantly never jumping to the conclusion that someone had been in a fatal car accident before other rational thoughts. Without our smart phones are we really nothing? In this instance, yes. He can’t contact me, I can’t contact him. Even the backup option requires social media. Ok, if we were further along he would know where I lived, I would know where he lived and we could just go round and talk to each other. But up until that point all we have is phones and messages and apps and paranoia.
Not to go all Black Mirror on your asses, but I’m craving a simpler time. Maybe a social media detox is in order? Maybe I’ll start writing love letters again (I realise the irony of this, as I sit, writing this blog post on my smart phone, reaching out to a bunch of unknowns on twitter and Instagram for a readership, but still….)
Imagine, back in the day of the period dramas where you would invite a girl to a dance via horse and cart, take three weeks to get there and another three weeks to get a reply. Did the men and women sit around driving themselves crazy!? No, they cracked on with their piano lessons, embroidery class and reading the Greek classics. They could stalk 15 different social media platforms or see when someone was last online. Was the world a better place? Probably. Was mental health among adults lower? Almost definitely.
Simplicity is definitely the key to happiness, so simplicity is what I need. Shall we start an anti smart phone revolution?