Instant gratification can lead to heartbreak - Singles

Instant gratification can lead to heartbreak

ESTHER D. KUSTANOWITZ | Posted: Friday, May 13, 2005 12:00 am

In the age of the Internet, who writes love letters anymore? The romantic epistolary tradition has gone high-tech; online love is all about the Instant Message (IM) window, with its unique language of shorthand endearments: BRB (be right back), IMHO (in my humble opinion) and the ultimate phrase representing devotion and commitment potential, the coveted LOL (laughing out loud). But at the end of an e-communication, can we trust our memory of what happened? Absent intonation and physical cues, how do we discern if a sentiment is mutual? And how real is the connection for today's daters?

"Electronic media is a double-edged sword," says Laya, 23, one of the bloggers at Jewlicious. "People can hide behind it or let it empower them." IM, in particular, she says, often functions as a "virtual shield that allows us to express what we might be uncomfortable saying in person," and the resultant ambiguity of meaning "gives us an 'out'; because we didn't have to look them in the eyes when we said it, we can always say 'just kidding.'"

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