Texting has altered the dynamics of dating

We’ve all played it. You know, the stare-at-your-phone-flip-it-over-throw-it-across-the-room-put-it-away-pull-it-back-out-why-hasn’t-he-texted-me-back game. Fun, huh?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we didn’t have cell phones? If we didn’t have Facebooks, Twitters and Instagrams to stalk our potential and ex significant others?  Only kidding, that would be horrible – then I couldn’t post that awesome picture of myself at the bars from last weekend to show my ex how much fun I’m having and what he’s really missing.

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Seriously, though. Texting itself has completely altered the dynamics of dating — and made an already complicated game, that much harder.

In a recent (and hilarious, I might add) infographic in TIME Magazine, it lays out the new rules of dating, based on texting. For example, you know when you wait and wait for that text, can’t stand it anymore, and finally decide you have to say something? Let me guess. You send a “coy complaint rather than asking about any plans.”

Oh yes, I’m guilty. “Ugh, my hair is still sticky from that beer you spilt on me last night!” AKA: I couldn’t stand the suspense of waiting for you to text me anymore, so I tried to be clever/cute/whiny/funny to start a conversation.

Sound familiar?

Then there’s those tricky one word texters. Even worse, receiving the dreaded “K” in response to a three page text. And no, I haven’t forgot about you — the 15 texts in a row senders, because maybe just one more will make him/her respond? Yeah, just send that last thought, if they didn’t respond to the last 14 this one will surely get ’em.

We all have our texting flaws, either we’re too much or not enough. We’re over the top or we can’t remember where we left our phone last. We’ve all got our own texting personality.

It’s hard enough finding a person we connect with face-to-face, and nowadays we need to find one with a personality in person, social media and text message that just clicks.

Alex Sousa wrote in the UVU Review earlier this week: “In an age defined by the ease and access of communication — where there are more ways to connect than there are religions — somehow, people are still getting it wrong.”

We are literally surrounded by ways to communicate with one another, the lines are open — always. Maybe they’re too open.

The problem with this never ending communication via text, is that you don’t get to hang up. You don’t get to tell someone you “have to go”, because they know you’re not leaving your phone at home — you just don’t want to talk anymore. You don’t get to stop texting without somebody being at least slightly offended.

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You don’t get to do anything on your own, because even if you’d like to use the excuse that your phone broke — “you could’ve at least sent a Facebook message.” We can’t even go to the restroom  without being bombarded with a call, text, Facebook notification or email anymore. Honestly.

Talk. In person and about texting. Use your wonderful meta-communication skills and communicate about communicating. I’m serious. Tell someone you’re dating “I’m a psycho texter, I’m not a psycho, I just like to text a lot” or “I hate texting. I’m really horrible at it.” Find a happy medium.

The truth is that we simply can’t ignore texting as a factor that plays into a relationship anymore. It’s here, and as far as we know — here to stay.

So I leave you with this: Follow the unspoken rules. Talk about texting, don’t send 39 texts in a row, respond when texted and do not — and I mean do not — send that drunk text. If you want to send it, send it at 8 a.m. the following morning. If you’re not up by 8 a.m., well then that just speaks for itself.

Oh, and don’t use the new cat emoji on iOS 6, it’s just creepy.

Copy Editor Lauren Stieritz is a senior communication studies major. Her columns appear Fridays in the Collegian. She can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @laurenstieritz.