Couple-surfing by tender electroverts? The 'geeking up' of relationships

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OK, there’s a blog title that makes sense! It’s all to do with how technology and the Internet is changing some couples’ relationships, they say for the better.

We know about the rise in online dating services, but the techie trend continues into committed, long-term relationships – assuming both partners are happy to go geek.

Couple-surfing is the act of conducting large parts of the relationship without actually speaking – choosing instead to use tools like blogs, IM, webcams and web sites, even when they’re sat right next to each other.

A recent CNN article exposes some of these geeks (‘tender electroverts’ as blogger Tim H dubs them) and their behaviour:

  • a man and woman sitting side by side in a New York café, drinking beer, sharing food, not saying a word, but instead typing on a laptop about tunes played through a shared iPod;
  • a couple who, for a while, communicated everything through their blogs, not face to face;
  • a mother from Sweden who suggests breakfast tables should be redesigned to accommodate computers.

Though technology is often blamed for harming relationships, these couples tell a very different story.

It helps resolve differences, sort problems, provide shared virtual
experiences… it even allows men to be manly ("For my birthday, he
upgraded my RAM and I thought it was incredibly romantic," writes Jess.)

However, it only seems to work if both partners are equally
enthusiastic about the technology. Otherwise, it remains a solitary,
dividing activity that can cause problems.

Are you in a tech-centered relationship, or would spending too long on the Net get you into trouble?

Andy Merrett