Love in the Age of SMS

Things were simpler when the only medium for asking someone out was the telephone. Text messaging, Facebook, Twitter and MySpace have complicated romance, if not ruined it, the Washington Post reports.

The trend piece doesn't even get into voicemail, which we've established everyone but old people hates. But it explores the clash between people who text too much and too little. Elizabeth Fishkin, an advertising professional, thought she was a big texter, and dumped a guy who ignored her text messages, until she met a Twitter fanatic:

Nothing obsessive, maybe five times a day — she just likes the ease, the directness, the speed of the medium. Texting is her language.

"I thought, if this is going to be such an issue . . . " she says.

Months later: another date, another guy, another technological incompatibility. This time she was out with someone who wanted to text . . . everyone.

"He kept talking about Twitter." Fishkin rolls her eyes. "Ashton Kutcher. Twitter, Twitter, Twitter."

And what did it mean when Mary, the Drew Barrymore character in He's Just Not That Into You, got asked out via MySpace? That would be a dealbreaker for Marc Houston, another young single profiled in the story:

"No cellphone?" Houston cannot fathom a relationship like this. He would never, for example, date someone who refused to text. And someone who was still on MySpace instead of Facebook? "Oh, that would be an automatic reject," Houston says. "It's kind of like a unibrow." He pauses. "Maybe that's why I'm single."

Yes, that sounds about right. This story isn't really about technology. It's about neurotic thirtysomethings who will find some reason not to be in a relationship. And perhaps that's for the best: If you can't even agree on the medium through which you'll communicate, is there any chance you'll ever be able to work through real issues?