The US is one of the largest tech nations in the world. But how do the Americans themselves stand to all this? Which trends inspire you, which are completely ignored? This is precisely what Marinela Potor reports – directly from the USA – from now on at regular intervals in theBASIC thinkingUS Update. This time, she is following a strange technology trend among couples: synchronizing online calendars.
The Midwest in general and Cincinnati in particular are not exactly one of the technological strongholds of the United States. Usually, a trend starts on the coasts, then goes to Europe and then at some point much later finds its way into the middle of the country.
So I was also relatively surprised when I noticed here a tech trend in the circle of friends, of which I had never heard anything: Synchronize online calendar.
That may sound banal now. But behind it is a lot more than it seems.
“How, your calendars are not synchronized !?”
My friend and I talk to a friendly couple. It’s about when we’d best meet next week. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday are in the room. He pulls out his smartphone.
“Honey, so I have time on all days. But you have the doctor’s appointment on Tuesday afternoon at 16 o’clock, on Wednesday you meet with colleagues for after-work beer and Thursday we actually wanted to Ikea … but we can do that on Friday. “
While I still wonder how he has all the appointments of his girlfriend so well in mind, the two ask us already, if Thursday also go with us. My friend thinks briefly and says, in the evening it would go with him. The appointment is also free for me, I say. All this without an online calendar, mind you.
Two pairs of eyebrows are raised, foreheads are wrinkled and both almost simultaneously ask, “How, you have not synchronized your calendars?” My friend and I laugh later about this incident and wonder if our friends really have become such organizational fanatics.
Until the next couple evening – this time with other friends. Her mother calls. Whether the two have time to come over for a barbecue on the weekend. Again, the view on the calendar on the smartphone. She has time, but he has to work on Saturday from 10 to 16 o’clock. So you would come around 17 clock over.
Again, we get the same explanation: The two have – of course! – synchronized their calendars.
One thing is clear: the way it is always emphasized and the strange looks that we reap as a non-synchronized pair are not just about coordinating appointments online.
So what’s up with this strange trend?
Synchronize online calendars as a milestone for couples
Firstly, it’s not just about sharing a calendar in which you record common dates. According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, 14 percent of couples in the US
But that’s not what our friends mean by syncing. Rather, it’s about everyone having their own online calendar, but both have access to each other’s calendars.
So: She can always see what he has for appointments and he can always see her appointments. And of course in real time. Some call this “calender-connected”. There are even special apps for that.
From a technical point of view, this is of course nothing more earth-moving nowadays. From an emotional point of view, however, you have to be willing to get involved in something like that.
After all, the partner basically always knows where you are at the moment and what you are doing and with whom. And alas, you might do something that was not on the calendar! That’s a lot of closeness and control that you allow.
That’s why syncing the calendars in a relationship is not so much about the technology behind it. Because Americans love to analyze, categorize, and weight every level of a relationship.
- Does the key to the other’s apartment mean that you should water the flowers or get married soon?
- If I have never met his parents after six months, does that mean that my partner is not planning a long-term relationship with me?
In Germany, where we formalize and classify relationships much less, that sounds a bit ridiculous. But the question of whether one is now presented as a “Date” or “Girlfriend” can break whole relationships here.
That’s exactly how it is with the calendars. Like the key to the apartment, synchronizing online calendars now counts as a milestone in a relationship. Because “calendar syncing” allegedly also shows whether a couple is “in snyc” – that is, in harmony with each other.
Do not laugh! This is seriously discussed and even taken up in popular TV series. True to the motto: “Do you still date or do you already sync?” The calendar attachment now seems to replace the Facebook relationship status.
Am I too old-fashioned?
Most Americans seem to rate the synchronization of their calendars as a positive sign of their relationship.
Sharing your online calendar with a loved one is: https: //t.co/zop2DpGsOD
– All Tech Considered (@npralltech) March 21, 2016
But if you are not exactly a power couple with 20 appointments a day and I could then even understand the meaning of this calendar-relatedness, I find this trend very strange.
Above all, because it does not seem to be so much about the practical benefits, but rather applies as a relationship test and should also show in a sense of publicity to all others, how connected you are to each other.
Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but is not it more important for a relationship to trust each other – even without having to closely monitor what the other person is doing every single hour?
And, a crazy idea in this networked, calendar-connected online world: If you really want to know what the partner is up to, you could ask him or her, right?
- Huawei ban: what is coming and who is suffering
- Robocalls: Probably the most annoying rip-off in the USA
- Tabletop Tablets: The one marketing tactic that even goes too far for the Americans
- “We appreciate your feedback!” This is really behind the feedback culture in the US
Your job market in the digital world
We do what we love every day. You can do that too! Over 20,000 dream jobs in the IT and digital world are just waiting for you in the BASIC thinking job market. Just take a look and discover!