Think relationships today move faster than they did for your parents? You might be right — and we can blame technology for that. No, I'm not talking about sex apps like Grindr and Pure (at least not solely). It's the totality of new technology that's propelling us to coupledom faster.
A new survey from UK electronics company PIXmania shows why today's romances move more quickly. In the survey, baby boomer couples said it took an average of more than two and a half months to start calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend. For Millennials? An average of 24 days.
This much-accelerated path to coupledom is built on our options for constant communication. Once upon a time, "wooing involved face time and phone calls, parceled out over time through the prism of a respectful distance," as co.create's Joe Berkowitz puts it.
If you can remember a time before social media and cell phones—and I can, barely—you'll realize the constraints this put on courting habits. Between dates you could call someone to chat, but quite often you'd get their answering machine (their shared answering machine, where family or roommates would hear any message you left).
Compare that to today. If you want to reach out to your crush between physical meet-ups, you can call their cell phone, which will most likely always be with them. You can leave them a voicemail that only they will hear. You can text them, which they can respond to from wherever—class, the subway, work, India. You can send them an email, a Facebook message or a sexy SnapChat photo. You can chat through any number of platforms. And all this in addition to following their activities, photos and thoughts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Of course that leads to feeling closer faster—but is that a good thing? Are all these tech-mediated methods of communicating really a good proxy for face-to-face time?
According to the survey, it takes an average of 224 tweets, 163 text messages, 70 Facebook messages, 37 emails and 30 phone calls for folks to make it official. Apparently, if you want to know if he loves you so, it's in his @ replies.