AS new platforms and updates emerge to make communication quicker and more seamless, it is becoming increasingly difficult for some folks to keep up with the technology. Instant messaging and picture sharing, image-enhancing filters, screenshot 'receipts', and a host of social media stories and statuses can either improve the quality of your dating life, or wreak havoc on it — fast.
These readers share how modern technology has either enhanced the quality of their love lives, or shortened the distance between a slip and a slide.
Nick, 29, junior doctor:
I was linking this girl who I met on Instagram, and things were going well for a few months, or so I thought. We only followed each other on IG because I'm not such a huge Twitter fan. But she was always showing me funny tweets, so one day I decided to look her up on Twitter. It was hard to find her account because she didn't use her real name, but I found it through mutual friends. I scrolled a bit until I got to some tweets that bothered me. She was always complaining about men and talking about how no man can tame her, and how handsome men are weak in bed. The one that really got to me was, “Can't believe this guy spent a whole semester studying the female anatomy and still couldn't find my [weak spot].” And that was right after the first time we'd made love.
Khadijah, 29, human resource officer:
I sent nudes in a group chat by accident, and this was before you could delete Whatsapp messages. It was a campus club group, and I didn't know most of the people in it, so I just left the group. Thank God my body stay good!
Sheldon, 26, student:
I've been catfished too many times now so I stopped sliding in girls' DMs. I need to meet a woman in person to approach her, because Snapchat filters are making everybody perfect for the 'Gram' these days. One time I was to meet up with a girl at a party who I'd met on IG, and when I got there I noticed only one girl in the outfit she had posted, staring at her phone and looking around. But I just could not believe it was the same girl I was talking to, so I messaged her that I felt sick and couldn't make it to the party.
Geena, 31, tattoo artist:
My father is in his late 60s and he is still learning his way around the social media platforms and how they work. Beyond the very awkward old people selfies that I see him post on Facebook, I never even thought he was that much into anything… that was until he got a girlfriend. All of a sudden he wanted me to teach him to use Instagram, send voice notes and share picture messages. One day I was going through my friends' statuses on Whatsapp and saw a very unflattering phallus pic with the caption, “can't wait until you come back”, and immediately wondered who could make such a tragic mistake. Only to realise it was my father! I called him and told him to take it down, but the poor thing didn't know how to, and his young girlfriend was clearly far away so it was there for hours until he got help removing it. I'm still traumatised.
Shellicia, 32, stay-at-home mom:
My husband goes abroad frequently for work so I'm extremely grateful for technology. He can still keep an eye on the kids using video chat, for example, and we still talk everyday as if we are in the same room. It also keeps things alive in the bedroom. It was a bit weird at first but mutual titillation is one of the sexiest things a couple can do.
Jamelia, 42, homemaker:
I am talking to this married man who lives overseas who sends me the Western Union control numbers via screenshots after he sends my funds. I don't know what happened, but one day he called, alarmed, because apparently I had uploaded a few of them to my Facebook feed when I was making a new album, and mutual friends had alerted his wife. Even worse, I was in town with no data and no wifi so I had to wait until I returned home hours later to delete them. In the meantime she and her friends had a good time leaving nasty comments under the pictures.
Sonia, 36, school bus driver:
I was arranging to meet my Spoogie when I visited my family in California this past summer, and we were communicating on Whatsapp and making all kinds of salacious plans. I would take screenshots of the messages and then delete the Whatsapp chat history, just in case my husband searched my phone. But what I didn't realise was that while I was trying to be slick, Google is slicker. My husband has my Gmail account on his phone because my account is also the one we use for our business, and all he has to do is go to Google Photos and he would see all the photos that are on my phone. And one day he was browsing and did just that, and saw all my screenshots. I had to just confess that I was doing it because he wasn't treating me right, but I had no intention to actually meet up with the guy.