By Gina Bever
A friend of mine recently received a marriage proposal of sorts.
Have we really reached the point where we think it’s OK to ask someone to share our life or declare our undying devotion without voice-on-voice, let alone face-to-face, interaction?
What we’ve got here is a failure to communicate — which is a little scary since we have more ways to communicate with other people today than ever.
No more writing a letter and waiting months for someone to reply. No need to decipher Morse code. No need to pay a messenger to take our message to someone and return with a reply.
Today, we can connect with our friends and family via text message, e-mail, Facebook wall posts and messages, instant messaging, video conferencing, telephone and the now truly archaic face-to-face conversation.
But with so many choices, it seems like we’re all having a little trouble sussing out just which method of communication is appropriate for different situations. And using the wrong communication method when you’re dating could be disastrous.
See, most of the communicating we humans do is nonverbal. It needs to be seen to be understood. Without the advantage of seeing that nonverbal communication, a terse e-mail, Facebook message or text message can easily be misinterpreted, even with those cute little smiley faces.
You should not use electronic written communication to ask someone on a date, declare your undying love (unless it’s an honest-to-goodness poem) or ask them to marry you. Unless of course those are the only methods available to you.
It’s tacky. It can easily be misconstrued. And the nonverbal message it sends is that you don’t care enough to actually talk to the person. This is not an ideal way to start a beautiful relationship.
The power of the written word should be used wisely. Text messages and e-mails are great for quietly asking someone what they are doing or to let someone know you’re thinking of them. Or making weekend plans with your friends, or asking where to go for dinner, etc.
If you want to ask someone out or have a conversation about their day or chat about the “Mad Men” season premiere, call them or talk face-to-face. I know it’s a crazy, old-fashioned idea, but it’s worked pretty well for people for thousands of years. And who knows, your nonverbal communication and their nonverbal communication could spark a whole new form of communication.