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And their numbers are saved on my phone and in my i Cloud and probably engraved on my spleen until the end of time.In a world where we can stay in touch with anyone we ever meet, indefinitely, it’s easy for quality control to go.Emma Weighill-Baskerville believes we risk becoming emotionally stunted by our reliance on texting and instant messaging.‘As a nation we’re learning that it’s better to dismiss uncomfortable feelings and take an avoidant approach.
But I’d missed this fact entirely because I’d read what I wanted to into his messages – and because we were in constant communication. Plenty of couples owe their entire relationships to technology.I am not in a relationship – or in what someone 20 years older than me would consider a relationship – yet rarely am I definitively single. Our vocabulary is straining as much as we are to encompass the world of modern dating. Recently The New York Times questioned whether traditional courtship was over, and whether ‘hanging out’ had replaced ‘dating’. Last Friday night I met four girlfriends for drinks after work. We’d met at a mutual friend’s party around Christmas, and had seen each other a couple of times since with friends. We follow the new rules as assiduously as they do, are just as uneasy about being pinned down, just as likely to be the texter as the textee. Why make a phone-call or suggest a date when you can send a non-committal text that merely dangles the possibility of meeting?All week we’d been texting, messaging and emailing. If, like me, you’re a ‘millennial’ (born between 19) you will have never known adulthood – or adult relationships – without a mobile phone. Instead of dating (an American term anyway) we might be ‘seeing someone’, ‘having a thing’, ‘hooking up’. ) let the rest of the world into our online world with gay abandon: you’d like to see 50 pictures of me on a bikini on the beach? If they’re keen, you’ll see each other; if not, they’ll plead prior plans. But at least one of you can end up feeling confused.Yet even without an official ‘boyfriend’ there are normally several text conversations with potential beaus buzzing away on my phone.I also tend to have a few guys on a low-level stalk on Facebook, and there’s always that frisson of excitement when an attractive man retweets one of my ‘LOLz-ier’ status updates. I wasn’t the only one of my girlfriends to leave early that night.
Some experts worry that technology and the ‘hook-up’ culture it supports are producing a generation that doesn’t know how to form proper relationships.