Technology and Dating | The New Rules for RelationshipsDear Kid,

Mashable recently conducted an interesting study about technology and dating. Because I am that kind of a mom, I am summarizing (and might be persuaded to provide a comment or three on) the study.

Phones on a Date
Turns out there are people who think pulling out their cell phone during a date is acceptable behavior. Even during a first date. All I can say is those people better not be related to me. Well… there are a few exceptions.

1. If the building is on fire or someone is experiencing a true medical emergency, you can use your phone to call emergency services.

2. If your parent is supposed to pick you up at the end of the date and you need to coordinate the time the movie ends, you may use your phone.

3. If your date is truly horrible, by all means use that phone and get out.

Otherwise, turn your phone off and put it away. Even if your date has gone to the restroom or something (because it is truly tacky for your date to see you checking your phone when he or she returns from the restroom—it implies you’ve been waiting for something better to turn up).

To call: as in to use the phone to speak with someone not in the same room by a method other than text, email, or social media. As I believe I’ve mentioned before, the technology exists to make phone calls on those things. I promise to show you how if you’re not sure.

Call someone after a first date. Even after a second date. There are people who think sending a text is ok, but the percentage (even among college students) is pretty low.

There is a wide range of opinions on when to announce to the world via Facebook that you are in a relationship. Opinions vary by gender and age (big shocker there) with men generally thinking it’s ok to announce a relationship sooner than women (ooh, that is a surprise…).

In my expert opinion, there is a delicate balance here. You certainly don’t want to announce this too soon and freak out the other person who isn’t ready for you to tell the world. And you don’t want to seem too reluctant to post it if the both of you are in a committed relationship. On the third hand, if it doesn’t last and you change your status back to single there will be lots of questions and comments. I’m going with the 13/G rule: If you don’t want your 13-year-old sister and your grandmother to know, don’t post it. (I KNOW your sister isn’t 13—that’s not the point.)

The answer—the only answer—is no. Not now, not then, not ever. Yes, other people are doing it, but fewer than you think according to this survey. And they shouldn’t. You’re in college—you’re smarter than that.

Go with friexting (pronounced frexting; friend-texting G-rated photos of oneself—I just made it up).

Send a photo of your gorgeous smiling face, or your hands making a heart or spelling I Love You in sign language. Send a photo of the two of you holding hands or the sign on the place where you went on your first date. All say “I’m thinking of you” and none will get you arrested.

Have a wonderful time at college. Remember the quote from the Blind Side (yes, that one) and put your phone away on dates.

Love, Mom