Relationships Happen Via Text Message Now – Here’s How To Play It Right
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Computers rule our world now, whether we like it or not. I’m not one of those fossils who refuses to embrace technology by sticking to my landline and shunning “the grid”. I’m all for the social media and rapid text communication because, as someone who works in media, this is a very significant part of my job. However, I have to remember that some people are not as cool with their phone running their lives.
The other morning, a man I will refer to as “The Biker” and I were in bed, enjoying each other’s company, and he told me to put my phone on silent because it was crying like a baby on an airplane. So, I put it on silent – for about 15 minutes – then I turned it back on again, remembering I had some work deadlines to attend to and did not want to be late on my emails. When my phone started beeping again, he threatening to throw it out the window (lovingly, of course). At that point, I had to decide. Great sex or emails answered in a timely fashion? (Sex always wins.)
Besides the mood-killer that a beeping phone can be during intimate moments, texting with a partner can also bring up issues. Amanda Klein of The Huffington Post kind of said it best in a quick study on texting she conducted in 2012: “Texting is a relatively new medium, and there is an absence of rules and guidelines for interaction,” Klein wrote. “This absence of expectations may ultimately cause conflict or disappointment in relationships, specifically those romantic in nature.”
Basically, we are all running on our own blueprints for the social etiquette of texting. One partner’s expectation of acceptable message length, response time or frequency of interaction may not match up with their partner’s, and if the relationship is relatively new (and thus, an understanding of the relationship’s security might not be established yet) one partner may read into these cues far more than they should.
Texting leaves a lot open to interpretation, and this is where things can get really messy and finish before they have even started; it leaves room to overanalyse every conversation. Even just the fact that our iPhones document the entire discussion allows one to scroll, interpret, scroll, and interpret again (differently, this time). It’s crazy. You don’t need a strong memory to recall a discussion; it’s all right there.