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Etiquette in the Digital Age

Regular readers have heard me rant and rave about how much I hate it when a guy relies on as his main means of communication with me.  If I give a guy my phone number it means I want him to call me. And if we’re seeing each other on a regular basis and he’s always texting and never calling the message I take from that is that he’s not really interested.

Anyway, Nerve just did an amazing feature on this – The Nerve Debate:  Text or Call?  Etiquette in the Digital Age. It’s freakin brilliant because it shows the fundamentally different ways that men and woman, or rather, one man and one woman, see this issue.

Here’s how it starts:

Etiquette in the Digital Age just a story  dd374c5304ac34b1 nerve.preview


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12 to “Etiquette in the Digital Age”


  1. TheB0y says:

    I love that you brought this up. My arguments & thinking are very much like the Nerve editor’s. I just picture myself getting a call and being put on the spot. I might be in the middle of work stuff, in a meeting, who knows what, and absolutely not in a position to talk or think dating. I don’t know the other person enough to know when a good time to call is, so texting is a good alternative, until we get a feel for each other.

  2. damiella says:

    My $0.02: I think calling to set up the first date is the way to go, but email or text is fine for subsequent dates.

  3. PMFoutofwater says:

    I can’t ask girls out face to face for this very reason – I don’t want to put them on the spot. I did once ask a complete stranger out over the phone though. I was a local reporter and went to a residents’ meeting. This fit 30-something was there and we exchanged looks but nothing more. Anyway I got her number from another contact and rang – she said yes but the date never ended up happened. Was it because I put her on the spot? I’m not sure, but things just kept cropping up. Anyway, I think texting for a first date is best…thereafter it has to be a call.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This would have been a good poll question :)
    Actually, I really hate it when people text me, period–it doesn’t matter if it’s a guy asking me out on a date or a friend telling me she’s going to be late. What’s so hard about just picking up the phone and calling me? It actually takes less time to call than it does to text–at least for me, it does. And it makes me feel like the person who is texting me wants to avoid me. And lastly, my phone plan doesn’t cover texts, so I get charged each time someone sends a “Can’t wait to see you tomorrow!” or some other inane message.

    (the only exception to this rule is my boyfriend, who I talk to on the phone almost every day and email multiple times a day. -we’re in a long distance relationship)

  5. LittleMissAngry says:

    i feel a first date warrants a call. subsequently, it could be a mix of calls and texts. if it is texts all the way, i agree, it does say something about his interest level.

    which kinda sucks for me right now, because the guy i’m into, seems to be really into texting only. sigh.

  6. onedatewonder says:

    Quite frankly, I’m worth the effort. I’m worth the effort to call. I’m worth the risk of rejection. I know this. But if a guy doesn’t know, if he doesn’t think I’m worth it? Then he’s not for me. If you like a girl, then make her worth the effort.

    Besides, if she gave you her number (her REAL number) then she probably isn’t going to be that taken off guard or put on the spot by you asking for a date. Odds are she was expecting it.

  7. sddave says:

    This one blew me away a little bit because both points of view make perfect sense. Luckily onedatewonder set it straight for me with her 2nd paragraph by pointing out that if you have her number, she’s probably considered that you may ask her out and thus won’t really be “on the spot”. I say call and risk the awkwardness.

  8. DateratLarge says:

    I’m with onedatewonder. I give out my number only when I would accept a date if asked. If I wasn’t sure, I would have taken the guy’s number. And I would have them asked them out over the phone, because I think it takes more guts to ask people out directly, and I like guts.

  9. peppermint2 says:

    I think making a phone call de facto indicates greater interest — not because it takes more time or effort or courage. But if he’s into you, he’s gonna want to hear your voice and learn as much about you as he can. A phone conversation is the next best thing to meeting in person.

    The male editor made the point that a first date isn’t that big a deal, why should he make such an effort. i think a lot of guys do that, wait until they’re interested to make a real effort. By the time they decide to step up their game though, it might be too late to change first impressions. Rightly or wrongly, women are looking for clues about a guy’s relationship MO from the very beginning.

  10. michelle-ashley says:

    While I do see where the nerve editor is coming from by trying to keep dating casual by texting, I think it is possible to make things too casual by texting. If you are actually interested in someone, you should be making a real effort to get together (making a phone call, making a plan for the night, making dinner reservations), and not do the same things you would if you were planning to see a friend (text). The whole purpose of dating is to shock, impress and wow, not make your potential dater delete your text message before the first date. Come on men, be bold, make a phone call!

  11. klawless says:

    I think it’s possible to casual a relationship to death. A little bit of effort is nice and BTW — I think it’s funny that we think phone = effort since I’m sure in earlier decades it was their version of texting for a date. The Nerve article is funny b/c it made me realize that my post on how to use technology was entirely from a girl’s POV *LOL* http://klawless.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/using_technology/

    Simone… I was actually talking to a girlfriend last week who won’t give out her number to an online guy until they meet in person. One guy emailed that he wouldn’t meet in person until they had talked on the phone. She laughed at the impasse but refused to budge. She just hates the phone since she’s in sales and is on it all day long. I’m with her on hating the phone but wouldn’t be impressed by a guy text asking me out. Contradictions, contradictions…

  12. Simone Grant says:

    Thanks EVERYONE for your great comments. There’s no need for me to chime in again with my thoughts. I’m not a big fan of chatting on the phone all day, but I’d prefer having a guy call and ask me out for a first date. Texting is just too casual

    But more to the point, I think it’s important that guys realize that many women will react poorly to their texts.