Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - technology

A lot of paranormal romances take place in our modern world or just a few decades in the future. This means that technology will play a part in the plot. Characters stay connected with the ease of cell phones and blackberries. A lonely protagonist might try to meet her true love online. A couple might have a fight over a status update on Facebook or a misunderstood tweet. Many people are reliant on technology in their normal every day lives.

The most recent Harlequin Romance Report found some interesting tidbits. Here are some of their findings that snagged my attention:


  • Of all the social media networks, Facebook had the highest percentage of users across all age groups. Those who identified themselves as "heavy Facebook users" (10 hours per week or more) place higher importance (61%) on their love life than occasional Facebook users.



  • 89% of women surveyed spend most of their time on Facebook reading about other people's lives.



  • 52% of women surveyed use Facebook as a research tool to find out information about a prospective first date.



  • Surprisingly, 52% of women surveyed aged 25 to 35 have never participated in online dating. 



  • 43% of all respondents admitted to "sexting" – sending a text message containing suggestive and highly explicit sexual language. Though 65% of those women will "sext" only while in a serious relationship, 36% of casual daters polled admit to sending a risqué message after just a few dates. Twenty-seven percent of all respondents had sent nude photos via emails or text messages.



  • Of the top 5 factors women respondents listed as "deal breakers," 3 were technology-related:
    • Too needy (32%)
    • Dependence on a BlackBerry/ iPhone (31%)
    • Having too many Facebook photos with an ex-girlfriend (29%)
    • Grammatically challenged (24%)
    • Married to his work/ still lives with his parents (20%) 
    Though 91% of women believe the dating rules have become more flexible, the majority still want the man to ask them out, to pay for the first date, and to hold the door for them. The majority also feel pressure to be married or in a committed relationship.

    The paranormal element of the story can add twists to the technological. Imps in the machines, gadgets powered by magic, or the dead communicating through email. The possibilities are endless.

    Romance is also greatly changed by technology. There are several new ways to woo a potential lover, to have an argument, or to find out about that mysterious and hot guy.

    How do you think romance has been changed by technology? 


  • Please join me tomorrow when Cherie Reich is stopping by and chatting about how to run a book blog tour.

    20 comments:

    1. holy (yup, i'm gonna say it) guacamole!
      very interesting poll numbers!
      i love the deal breakers and i bet some of those techie ones are now also marriage breakers! so sad! but addiction is addiction!

      great post!

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      1. Thank you! I agree with you: addiction is addiction. I imagine that we're going to become even more dependent on technology as the years go on. I do wonder how that will make romance change.

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    2. Ha! Once again, I'm in the minority. I don't even have facebook (I can trawl it, but like twitter, it's slow going on dial-up. As for youtube ... forget it).
      Still, I'm not surprised at the numbers. And I can see how the dependence on an item or the multiple photos of ex-girlfriends could be a deal breaker.
      Thank goodness only two of my stories are in the modern world. I'd go crazy trying to keep up with all the new tech. I've only just hopped aboard the eBook train.

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      1. I think you have the right idea of not writing many modern stories! I don't put much tech into my stories, because I don't own a cell or blackberry, and they aren't important to me. I have a Nook, but I haven't gotten that much into it yet. My husband uses it more than I do!

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    3. very interesting facts. It's hard to write a book with current trend incorporated since they're always changing. I don't know if I could write a story that takes place in the future, the kind of technological advances we might make by that point scares me.

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      1. I feel the same way about writing stories in the future. I honestly can't predict how things are going to go. I barely know how to work a cell phone!

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    4. Wow! Those are fascinating stats. And I'd like to agree that being grammatically challenged is a deal breaker.

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      1. Oh yes, grammatically challenged is a deal breaker. Yet someone who is a grammar Nazi is also not attractive! I have a few friends who really get on my nerves for being like that. I need all happy editor friends like you. ;)

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    5. Well, can't say anything about women, but my love for my wife is second only to my love for God and I'm not even on Facebook. Wonder how badly I'd throw the stats?
      Robyn at Life by Chocolate would love those stats.

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      1. Not on Facebook? *gasps* Well, some days, I want to leave it. It can get too "noisy," if that makes sense.

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    6. These are great stats to use in my novels!

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    7. Great info, Christine. I should improve at my FB useage. I try.

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      1. Thanks! I'm on FB, but I'm slowly drifting from it. It gets too crazy sometimes. Blogs are my favorite form of social networking.

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    8. Online dating has definitely changed the dating world. I also think Twitter and Facebook have changed communication between couples and how people hook up. It's scary and fun all at once.

      I'm more of a blogger and Tweeter rather than a FB person. I'm trying, though. ;)

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      1. I'm more of a blogger too. I agree that online dating is exciting and scary at the same time. I met my husband years ago online when it was still creepy.

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    9. Awesome stats... I loved them... Technology has so changed our lives and the way we interact with each other...

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      1. It really has. Makes me wonder how it's going to affect the next generation and what it will be like in 100 years. Technology changes so fast, it's hard to imagine!

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    10. These stats are fascinating and rather humorous.

      I'd be too nervous to send a "sext". I misdirect and/or otherwise mess up text messages regularly. Who knows where my attempts at seduction would land, but this wouldn't likely work to my advantage.

      Anyway, I'm your newest follower thanks to Alex. He pointed me over, given I've done some writing on (failed) romance and personal (b)ads.

      xoRobyn

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      1. I always worry that emails I send out might end up in the wrong inbox. It's happened before! Thanks for stopping by and welcome. I popped by your blog and dropped off some chocolate. :)

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