I’m a big fan of text messaging. It’s quick, easy, and relatively painless, mostly because you don’t have to have a twenty minute phone call to ask a 30-second question. So, I text a lot. Every day.
When it comes to dating and relationships however, texting is not such a great idea.
In L.A., it’s easy to walk into a restaurant or bar and see half the people on their cell phones, texting anyone who isn’t sitting next to them. I wonder why people get together for a meal if they’d rather be texting with someone else. Especially when I see a group of teenagers, all on their phones. It’s like it’s not acceptable anymore to actually talk to the people we’re with—we have to have someone more important waiting on the other end of the line. I think it’s created a culture of people who aren’t engaged with real life. We make tentative plans until something better comes along at the last minute, and worse, we seem to expect when we do make plans that they will likely fall through. It’s just too easy to cancel, from the comfort and ease of our handheld devices.
And then there are the drunk and angry texts that get sent, creating unnecessary drama. I think the general rule of thumb is…if you want to discuss something that you are angry about…don’t text it. Please pick up the phone. Oh, and if you know you will be drinking, hand a friend your cell phone. Do it for self respect. I once texted a boyfriend from 10 years previous when I was a little under the influence. I’d had some bad luck with a recent break-up and seemed to be repelling the new guys I did meet, so of course I blamed him as well as all the other single guys in existence. It was not fun to read my texts the next morning. (Oh, you should probably delete exes from your contacts list, too.)
Then there were the times I sent a breezy post-first-date text to let a guy know I’d had a good time and was looking forward to seeing him again. Then, when I got no response, naturally I wondered if my text went into some great black wireless hole because surely he was into me, too. Of course he would have responded had he gotten my text! So, I stupidly texted him again.
And then there is the cowardly text. Like when you want to break up with someone or cancel plans and you don’t really want to have the conversation in person or over the phone. You can hide behind your texts and avoid reactions. Convenient, but crappy.
I guess the bottom line is, texting is a great tool, but it shouldn’t replace a real conversation. Texting can’t convey emotions or personality. If I don’t know a guy and he tries to send me funny texts…this might backfire because I don’t know his sense of humor and maybe I’ll think he is a conceited prick. Hypothetically speaking.
I think texting works for dating and relationships when it’s kept to a minimum…confirming plans, letting someone know you’re running late, or to keep someone interested with flirty banter. (Unless you plan to blow them off of course.)
Are you addicted to texting? Have you broken up with someone over text? Am I overreacting to the whole texting phenomenon?