*A follow-up to “3 Ways Social Media Affects Your Relationships.” If you haven’t, check that article out.
Once upon a time, people had ringtones for each individual person that would call them, in the hopes of that sound acting as a platform to be heard (I still have “All of the Lights” by Kanye programmed).Yet today, we have replaced Yezzy with some different sort of vibration–Silence. Due to the fact that mass texting has taken over as the sole form of communication between parties, people just don’t communicate over the phone anymore, and understandably so. Who likes spending hours talking on the phone? Nobody got time for that life! But have we ever thought about the major effects texting has on our relationships?
Read it and weep children, read it and weep:
1. Mild (but mostly severe) Misinterpretation
He said “OK?” She ONLY answered with the one-worded yes? Does that short response mean they don’t care? What a long message, they must be interested!
The level of misinterpretation and overthinking that can occur when texting is truly astounding. Because these are just words and phrases being thrown around, you have little to no idea what someone’s emotional state or tone of voice is through a text. This in turn can cause arguments simply because you have no idea what the other person meant. That “OK” takes on a million different meanings, which could easily be solved from hearing one’s voice over the phone or in-person. The great emojis of our era have helped to alleviate the confusion, but who even knows if it’s just the other party trying to show how well they can personify themselves. The overthinking runs rampant. Don’t misinterpret those boring “OK” or short responses for a boring person. Believe it or not, some people are better at expressing themselves in person…who knew?
2. Lengthy response times=panic
OMG did this person die? Why did they take a day and half to answer my simple question? Their phone should be attached to their hip like mine is!
Texting is an addictive beast and with that addiction comes the need for quick and productive responses. When dating, we expect to be in constant contact with this person. If they like us, they should answer our texts within a certain amount of time. Who cares if they’re at work or on vacation in a foreign land–have your phone on you, dammit!
Here’s your reality check: stop panicking at every little non-response. People have lives away from their phones, so stop expecting an immediate response every single time you text them. Obviously, if they never respond, never call you back or make plans to hang out, then they are ignoring you. But, only react when the time calls for it.
3. False Sense of Commitment
We are texting every single day! We are in a relationship! No, it wasn’t discussed, but I mean, clearly we’re committed in some way because our texting game is so strong right now.
Talking to someone often, through the form of texting, can make you feel the need to continue texting, and perhaps never talk on the phone or have in-person interactions. One person can view this as commitment, while the other could just see it as an annoying chore. It really depends on that person’s cell phone and texting habits. While your “significant other” hates texting and rarely checks his/her phone, her/she may now succumb to the pressure of commitment because the other person is constantly messaging him/her. Neither is on the same page, yet you’re both fogging up communication that could be easily solved with in-person or over-the-phone conversations.
Texting was created as a form of shorthand communication that should sometimes be best left at that: shorthand communication. Stop panicking, stop overthinking, and stop stressing over your texts. (Easier said than done…) But to determine the success of a future relationship, stop the one-worded texts and enjoy the beautiful connections and moments that occur naturally while in-person.