Dating and Texting

by Derek Zornizer

Nowadays, it seems that everyone from ‘tweeners’ to the elderly know how to text and use it daily. In a society where immediacy is the norm, texting has its benefits: It’s fast, easy, and an effective form of communication – ‘Communication’ not ‘conversation’. What do I mean? A text can get a message across quickly – like an address or the name of a restaurant. Texting also has its drawbacks as well and it seems now that everyone and specifically daters use texting for actual conversation. Chocked full of pictures, videos, and ‘emoticons’, texting has become the ‘preferred’ way for singles to communicate instead of actually talking to one-another. Frankly, I think that’s a shame.

The problem with texting is that it’s just…Text. You can’t hear the other person’s voice nor can you gauge the other person’s emotions from texts and when you’re trying to get to know someone of the opposite sex, those can be very important. “But what about emoticons? ” Sorry, I don’t think a smiley face can replace a person’s actual vocal inflections and I can’t count how many times I’ve misunderstood a girl’s text because I couldn’t tell if she was seriously upset or just sarcastically joking! As the old adage goes, “it’s not just what someone says that’s important, it’s how they say it.” For daters, it’s really important to get a sense of the other person by listening to what he/she is saying and when two singles rely on texting for the majority of their communication, they are not able too and thus communication is lost.

Another problem with solely texting your romantic interest is that both people can conjure up their texts with no urgency and no stress which allows both people to ‘paint’ the best possible responses to each other instead of just being ‘real’. Over the phone or in person, you can’t pause when you’re asked a question. In person, if you look uncomfortable when asked about that weird birthmark behind your ear, that’ll come through. When texting, none of that does and so you don’t get a true sense of the other person and communication is degraded.

While texting does have its purposes, like almost anything, it can be over-used and abused to the detriment of both people. When you’re just starting to date someone, communication is extremely important so being able to hear and see the other person when you converse with them helps both people get a much more accurate picture of each-other. A guy can be ‘Price Charming’ over text but just a weirdo when put on the spot in person. It happens all the time!

Call me old-fashioned but I don’t believe texting is a good method of communication and if either of you can’t muster up the courage to actually express emotions over the phone or in person, how can you actually survive a real relationship? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

About the author: Derek is a Senior Marketing Manager in charge of mobile and has been with Zoosk for over three years. He enjoys playing guitar, working out, and a good glass of red wine.

Photo via Flickr. Creative Commons license: Attribution-NoDerivs.

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