Digital Flirting – Its Not Just for Politicians

Do you participate in digital flirting? That includes a myriad of activities such as texting (and for some – sexting), Facebook, Twitter, email and even Skype. An article in yesterday’s NY Times explained how the activity is more prevalent than you might think. But, its not really the teens who are participating heavily – its people 18-29 and older too.

We are certainly hyper-aware of how this is a favorite pastime among many politicians, sort of a bi-partisan activity if you will.

The article goes on to quote therapists, “Anecdotally, therapists report that electronic contact via Facebook, e-mail and text messages has allowed women in particular to form more intimate relationships.” What does this mean? Are women more involved with digital flirting? If women form more intimate relationship digitally, is that really intimate?

Perhaps I need to ask the NY Times for their definition of intimacy…

This is one of those articles that capitalizes on a flurry of news stories and curiosity about a newer phenomenon – digital communication between the sexes, a surge of interest brought on by the Weiner story. But it really doesn’t say anything or draw any conclusions. Let’s call it a fluff piece with a lot of research thrown in from the PEW study and universities as well.  The main purpose is to keep the subject in play and curiosity alive.

As a dating coach for women over 40, one thing I have heard from many female clients is that they don’t like when men set up dates via new technology. They want to hear a man’s voice. They want a real connection. They want a phone call, even if its a quick one.

Texting, email, twitter, Facebook – this can all be a lot of fun for the “in between” communication or to start something up. However, when it comes to building a real relationship with true intimacy, women tend to want more old fashion and traditional means of communication.  That’s MY anecdotal evidence.

My women dating coaching clients tend to complain when a man insists on texting or emailing between dates and interpret this as laziness or a way the guy is conveying the message “I’m just not that into you.” I must agree. Reliance on texting is a super fast, efficient means to communicate and has little or no romantic quality.

OK, on the other hand I do know women who have been completely sucked in by men who text sweet little messages a few times a day. This is more like romantic fantasy though because often these men have never met the women and probably never will. So I guess some women do like it and feel it has meaning.

Perhaps its as simple as saying that digital flirting is on the uptick and is something you’ll need to make your own decision about. Just remember, as the article pointed out and Congressman Weiner has made abundantly clear, digital flirting leaves a huge trail that someone is likely to find. If you want to keep your flirting private, don’t put it on the Internet.

Duh, I know.  Maybe the politicians will catch on soon – and get back to work. You know, to do what we pay them for. Go ahead, call me Pollyanna – you won’t be the first.

2 thoughts on “Digital Flirting – Its Not Just for Politicians”

  1. I think for too many men (politicians aside) it becomes a means of extended foreplay: email, IM, text. Never to be followed up by an actual meeting. I don’t trust or like anyone who hides behind digital technology and takes too long to set up a face-to-face meeting. Makes me feel like they’re hiding, or hiding something (like a wedding ring, perhaps?).

    Reply
    • I agree with you Cynthia! Too many of my clients tell me stories of extended virtual relationships with promises of meeting. Why bother? It’s strictly fantasy. Any man interested in meeting you wants to do so within 1-2 weeks, no matter how busy he is. Don’t fall for the technology trap ladies.

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