• Tue, Apr 6 2010

Textual Healing: Why Text At All?

TextingText messaging might be the easiest and most convenient way to send a note to your friends, but when it comes to communicating with a guy, it can be anything but simple. Whether his messages are short and sweet or lengthy and in-depth, you’re usually left wondering: what is he really trying to say? And even worse, how do I respond? Here at Crushable we want to help you sift through all the subtext and emerge, textually healed.

I’ve been doing this column for a few weeks now, and I thought this would be a good opportunity to highlight to some of the comments I’ve been getting from you.

First of all, I want to admit that text messaging is a fairly new phenomenon that has — in just the past few years — totally replaced many people’s reasons to have real, live phone conversations. At least this is what I have seen in my own life and among my circle of friends. I started text messaging on a regular basis for all sorts of things starting in college more than five years ago, and it has spiraled since then. The guys I have dated since have appreciated the texting thing because, I assume, it’s a quick and easy way to have a conversation, especially in situations where you couldn’t have phone conversations, for example, when you’re at work, at a loud bar, in a small group of friends or on the subway.

So, that’s my story, and where I’m coming from when I write these revealing stories every week, in the hopes of imparting my wisdom to you, and educating you a little about how others use and think of the medium. But I have learned, from you, that not everyone agrees with my overuse of texting.

Said one commenter, Conk (my emphasis added):

“I hate telephones! I need to see the person [I'm] talking to. Communication is visual as well. That said, texting is rude when first meeting and dating. It should be used only for things like directions, times, delays, etc. The actual asking out should be done on the phone.”

Another commenter, charlot, responded to when I called texting “unintrusive,” by which I meant it could be done almost anywhere and is generally acceptable even when you’re in a small group of people, in a way making a phone call would not be:

“Unintrusive?? Everywhere I go, I see people texting….while driving, while eating dinner in restaurants, while in line at the supermarket….

Is anyone, anywhere, ever present for anything anymore? Do people seriously need to text their BFF, like OMG, 24/7?

Seriously, people. Put down the electronica, go for a walk and listen to the birds…you know, those living things that make non-electronic noises. Breathe some fresh air, enjoy the moment.”

I agree, charlot. I definitely have my nose to my phone more often than not. I should put it down and enjoy the moment more often. I think that will be my goal this week. However, no matter how much I avoid it, I will end up back to my old text messaging habits. It’s just too easy to avoid. And, as this commenter Savojah points out, it’s helpful when dating, too:

“Text messaging is the best thing to happen to men. Not only can we avoid the awkward pre-date conversations, if we get rejected, we can know that not much time and energy was put in to it. And it’s easier to ask for booty calls lol. But I think you have to play your strengths. For me as an example, I’m a terrible phone guy. I’m much better in person. So being able to text a girl to meet without having to talk on the phone is a huge advantage to me. I know there’s a lot of women out there that don’t mind that at all, and hate the pre-phone screening process.”</blockquote

What are your thoughts about texting? Do you hate it or love it? Do you try to avoid it at all costs or do you view it as a necessary evil? And, as always, if you have any good text message stories to share, send them to submissions AT crushable.com, and you might see them in a future installment of Textual Healing.

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