Seriously. In this article on "romance in the digital age," the notorious cyber-Romeo can't help but wonder, "are we all becoming so in touch with one another that we are in danger of losing touch?"
It used to be that boy met girl and they exchanged phone numbers. Anticipation built. They imagined the entire relationship before a call ever happened. The phone rang. Hearts pounded. "Hello?" Followed by a conversation that lasted two hours but felt like two minutes and would be examined with friends for two weeks. If all went well, a date was arranged. That was then...Whether you like it or not, the digital age has produced a new format for modern romance, and natural selection may be favoring the quick-thumbed quip peddler over the confident, ice-breaking alpha male. Or maybe we are hiding behind the cloak of digital text and spell-check to present superior versions of ourselves while using these less intimate forms of communication to accelerate the courting process. So what's it really good for?
Well, leaving aside cynical utilities like "denying infidelity rumors," "planning public sex dates with wife" and "generally manufacturing a digital image almost more aggressively than anyone in Hollywood," he likes it for flirting. To wit:" There is something fun about sharing secrets with your date while in the company of others. Think of texting as a modern whisper in your lover's ear." And:
Sending sweet nothings on Twitter or Facebook is also fun. In some ways, it's no different than sending flowers to the office: You are declaring your love for everyone to see. Who doesn't like to be publicly adored? Just remember that what you post is out there and there's some stuff you can't unsee.
What? He's the one giving a whole new meaning (speaking of innovation) to "protest too much" with his ongoing public Kutcher-Moore innuendo show! But then he gets very serious.
We haven't lost romance in the digital age, but we may be neglecting it. In doing so, antiquated art forms are taking on new importance. The power of a handwritten letter is greater than ever. It's personal and deliberate and means more than an e-mail or text ever will. It has a unique scent. It requires deciphering. But, most important, it's flawed. There are errors in handwriting, punctuation, grammar, and spelling that show our vulnerability. And vulnerability is the essence of romance. It's the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, "This is me, and I'm interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not."
Well, if it's misspellings he wants, I'd say romance is alive and well in the digital age.
Ashton Kutcher: Has Texting Killed Romance? [Harper's Bazaar]