Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Problem or Reality?: The Girl Who's Never Heard a Man's Voice Ask Her Out
I spoke to a young woman the other day (23-24-year-old range) who told me something I found totally and completely shocking.
Never in her roughly 10 years of having guys ask her out on dates has she actually received said invite via the man's voice. They've come via text, gchat, Facebook message and direct message tweet, but never through the actual mouth of the actual man - zero in person requests, zero phone calls. She has only ever read the words, "want to hang out Friday" on a screen of varying sizes.
I was like - OH MY GOD THAT IS OUTRAGEOUS AND TERRIBLE AND SAD. What is this digital world coming to?? How are we all going to survive?? No one should ever accept a date request over a text ever again! Boycott it all! Voice date requests only! Damn the men!!!
Then I brought this very topic up at a recent event attended by like aged individuals. And by "brought it up" I mean halted all conversation and shared my story with shaking rage. Much to my dismay, nobody else was particularly upset. "Makes sense," they said, and, "this is the world we live in," and, "20-something just need to learn to be appropriate inside that structure." They weren't agreeing with this recent development, but they weren't suggesting we revolt either.
It was - in a re-written cliche - "you can't beat them, so learn how to handle them."
I realize we can't go back in time to the days when men had to show up at your house to ask you out.
"Imagine how pissed girls were once the telephone was invented and guys didn't have to ride their horse up to your log cabin to request a date," one friend said.
But to me the problem with the shield that texting and other digital communication provides is that it delays your understanding of whether or not the person doing the asking is an actual adult worth your time. You can edit and re-edit a text ten times before you send. You can lie about your entire person in an e-mail before the first date. Yes, you can lie on the phone too, but there's something about making the effort to place that nerve-wracking phone call that separates the man/women from the boys/girls. I want that layer of protection - that personal moment. I don't want the first time I hear someone's voice to be when I'm sitting across the table from them over drinks.
I guess the question is, how totally out of touch am I? Is the digital age actually good for the "ask out" process in ways my granny brain can't understand? And who among you have also never heard a person's voice ask you on a date?