This is part of CNET's "It's Complicated" series about the role technology plays in our relationships.
These days, you can see your crush's face in real time on the other side of the globe via FaceTime. You can flick through thousands of photos to pick your next date on Tinder. And you can google photos of that guy your roommate wants to set you up with -- and in some cases, search databases to see if he has DUIs or parking tickets.
Yet for all the new dating behavior modern technology has made possible, there are others it has killed off and sent to dating heaven. Here, we get nostalgic about six of them.
Calling and hanging up
Back in the day, shy Romeos and Juliets could call the objects of their affection just to hear their voices -- or the voices on their answering machines -- for one glorious moment. Now, the sneaky Missed Calls function gives you away. Plus, you always risk the chance your crush will wonder why the heck you're not texting or (gasp) actually answering.
Sweet, sweet self-denial
The reverse curse of the Missed Calls function: It completely ruins that hopeful state of denial. Before answering machines, we'd stay home in hopes a certain person would call (think Dorothy Parker's timeless " A Telephone Call.") If we ducked out for as few as five minutes, we could console ourselves with the self-delusion our crush called during that one unreachable scrap of time. That probably happened. No, it definitely did. Really.
Getting to know you, getting to know all about you
Back in the day, you generally had to spend time personally interacting with someone to stumble upon the fact they had memorized "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" or seen David Bowie in concert five times. Now, you can stalk your crush on Facebook to discover all those endearing little details. That may backfire, though, if you accidentally like one of their photos from three years ago.
Kodachrome, give us those nice bright colors
It's great we all have camera phones in our pockets all the time, but let's take a minute to mourn the old-fashioned photo process. Snapping dances or date pics; waiting to finish up a roll and eagerly anticipating seeing the developed pictures; carefully arranging them in an actual, paper album, no filter, no Photoshop.
Today, taking and sharing pictures is quick and easy, but there's something undeniably special about those faded paper photographs and meticulously assembled albums with scribbled handwritten notes on the back of each picture. Will anyone in 2100 sit and carefully click through grandma's online wedding photos? Doubt it.
Music hath charms
Back in the day, everybody was a DJ, and there was a special art to designing just the right cassette mix tape for a sweetheart. The songs, their order, the doodles on the paper label -- they all meant something only the two of you understood (there's plenty of Prince, because I WOULD DIE 4 U). Sure, you can make Spotify playlists or CD mixes (for those of us who still have CDs). But they'll never carry that gawky charm of hearing the last few seconds of a DJ blabbing right up to the beginning of the song you were taping off the radio.
"Thank God I made all my youthful mistakes before the internet was here to forever remind me of them," says a meme that occasionally shows up on Facebook. It's funny because it's true.
That horrible breakup in 1986, where it turned out he'd been cheating with your best friend the whole time -- it's just a sore spot somewhere in your memory now. But had that same breakup happened in 2016, it might live on forever in stupid Facebook posts, huggy Instagram images and undeleted tweets or Vines.
Even if you were able to delete all of the digital evidence, hundreds of your friends, co-workers and second-cousins-twice-removed have already shared in the good, the bad and the ugly of your relationship.
So raise a toast to the life we lived before it was documented. And remember, it's OK to keep your personal life personal, no matter what everyone else does.
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