Love In The Post-Internet, Facebook, Texting World

This evening while running, it struck me that certain movie arcs – for example, the one in An Affair to Remember – wouldn’t be believable in contemporary post-Internet, post-cell phone/smart phone worlds. If the movie were filmed today, no one would believe that Terry (Deborah Kerr) would be able to hide her accident from Nickie (Cary Grant). Even if they weren’t in contact, they would have likely  been Facebook friends and he would have seen her friends’ posts to her wall that would say things like “Oh no! I’m so sorry to hear about your accident!” or “We’ll stop by the hospital tomorrow after work – love you!” And then he would wonder what was up and do a Google search or Facebook message her friends and find out. Plus, they probably wouldn’t have planned to meet on the Empire State Building anyway as they likely would have exchanged phone numbers and/or email addresses and kept in touch. And if they did arrange to meet, he would be able to call her and find out where she was. Or she would have been texting him from a taxi saying “On my way!” or “5 mins”. And then when she didn’t show, he would wonder and – being the smart, caring guy he is – Nickie would use all his resources to find out what happened to her.

In fact, getting stood up – except intentionally and perhaps by dates – is probably mostly a thing of the past, yes? Today, if you’re waiting for someone, you can likely call or text them to find out where they are. Years ago, all you could do was wait with your rose on the table and order another cup of coffee like in that painful scene from You’ve Got Mail (sigh).

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at

  • Kate McCombs

    That scene from You’ve Got Mail was shot in one of my favorite cafes in New York, Cafe Lalo. Best lemon tart I’ve ever had!

  • anonymoose

    These days, do people who are in the initial stages of dating actually check up on each other 5 minutes before the date with texts and such? Isn’t that usually the married stage of a relationship?? To me, that smells of insecurity and desperation.