Over the course of the past week I’ve found myself embroiled in two conversations about texting. Both were with a group of women who hated men that used 140 characters or less as a way to “get to know” them.
Wait, is that so wrong?
People live hectic lives and sometimes it’s hard to get five minutes to grab lunch let alone talk on the phone. So what’s so bad about shooting a quick text or 15 to let someone know you’re thinking about them? Okay, I’m half-kidding but people do have less and less personal time these days and at the end of the day someone you’re “getting to know” is still technically a stranger until you, well, know them.
Speaking for myself, I use up way more text messages and emails on my monthly cell bill than I do actual call minutes. I’ve even found myself wondering if I could just get a data plan and cut the actual phone service off my cell. I don’t even answer my work phone and my voice mail leaves specific instructions to email me because I don’t answer my phone and I won’t check the voice mail. Honestly, I don’t even know how to. On the rare occasion someone actually gets me on the phone I’m usually dead in the middle of something and tell them to email whatever it is they’re talking about so I can reply when my attention is there.
I don’t mean to be anti-social but I can process and comprehend emails, IMs, texts and tweets better than phone calls. Partly because I’m a bad listener when I’m distracted but also because it’s just easier that way. With so many things going on multi-tasking is a way of life for most and having my words sent out through the airwaves allows me the freedom to edit a story, eat lunch, take a bathroom break while I wait for the reply to my “conversation” via text.
This may work for established relationships and work, but I can see how not talking can be frustrating to a woman that’s into the idea of being courted. For the record, smiley faces and LOLs are not substitutes for face-to-face dialogue and the sound of an actual laugh. I mean, honestly, how many times do you write LOL and actually laugh out loud? #Exactly
Hectic schedules aside it appears that social media is making us less social in the general sense. We talk at (or in some cases “@”) each other instead of to each other. While I have met and dated women I’ve met online, it was more of an organic way of getting to know one another:
We’d exchange a few messages on the site of choice here and there, gauging each other’s grasp of the written word and proper diction. Then, progress to personal email addresses and IMs, where instantaneous communication can be tested. Basically, seeing if those articulate email messages can be crafted in a matter of seconds or only possible thanks to the time delay of email. Then, after a certain level of trust has been established I’d offer up my number to have one of those into the wee hours of the night phone conversations, which—if all goes well—would lead to a face-to-face meeting.
In essence that process allowed me to know a woman better—without the distractions of her physical—before meeting her. Still, that’s different than the scenarios my female friends were experiencing. They’d meet guys in various setting, exchange numbers and he’d never call—only text.
I can see how that can be annoying.
Back in the day, before there was thing known as texting, people got phone numbers to talk but somewhere along the line the game changed. Or, more specifically the technology changed, allowing the ability to send messages without vocalizing the words. That’s cool in small doses and moments where you can’t talk, but as the sole means of communication for someone you just met, that kind of sucks.
As busy as I can get and how convenient a text can be (“Hey, I can’t talk, busy at work, but you crossed my mind. Hope you’re well”) I find the best form of communication is face-to-face. It’s the times when I’m not “plugged in” and am just in the moment that the best connections are made. Sure you can flirt or even sext through your phone, texting is not courting. So as a message to the fellas (and a few ladies): Ain’t nothing like the real thing, baby.
Is dating someone who only texts a turn off for you? Do you think that people can really get to know each other if they only talk through social media? Has social media made interpersonal communication more difficult? Do you text more than you actually talk on the phone? Is being busy a good enough excuse for not calling someone? Or are you from the school of thought that people make time for the people they’re really interested in? Have you ever sexted someone? Does texting give people a false sense of communication?
Speak your piece…