Texts may appear to be appropriate for handling daily conversation, but they are all actually illustrations of how to avoid conflict—from making lying more convenient to avoiding face-to-face confrontation. Our preference for texting over phone conversations and emails results in more interactions, but their quality suffers, hurting our relationships. Indeed, it's a far cry from paying attention to and listening to another person's thoughts and feelings, and it lacks the interpersonal interaction and education that comes from genuine conversations.
Today's romantic relationships appear to be changing subtly, and this deserves our attention. It appears that technology, which formerly helped relationships grow, is now playing a bigger part in relationship formation and maintenance. Couples no longer meet in person. They would rather text or FaceTime each other. In this article, we will be exploring why you should not constantly text your significant other 24/7.
You Can't "Feel" A Text
The main problem with texting as a form of communication is that it takes place in an environment free of context. There is no body language, no facial expressions, no tone of voice, or vocal inflection. It is very simple to misinterpret the meaning of a few words on a small screen. A person might be joking with their partner, and he or she interprets it as their partner being angry. It's impossible to tell the difference between emotions like anger, sadness, sarcasm, and sincerity within a text message. Does your boyfriend actually want to meet up for sushi or does he want to stay home with his Xbox?
These are the kinds of questions we naturally ask while conversing with someone in person and seeing their nonverbal cues, or, in the absence of that, when speaking with someone on the phone, where their tone conveys just as much information as their words. When all you can see are the words, the true meaning is frequently a mystery. That is terrible for effective communication and a healthy relationship.
Autocorrect Can Be Awkward
When you're in a rush, you often send a text without thinking twice or checking that nothing is auto-corrected. This is a fatal mistake that can end your relationship in an instant. You may have typed in an unrecognized word or jargon, which is then changed to another word or capitalized by your operating system. This is then sent to your significant other, resulting in a message that means the total opposite of what you meant to say.
Personal Time Becomes Our Time
When you and your significant other are constantly texting, you will always have your phone on you because you're expecting a text. This leads to them always taking center stage in your mind and life. You won't be able to enjoy the things you used to do in your personal time like you used to because you've absorbed yourself into your "textationship".
It Becomes Simpler to Ignore
Your significant other made a comment that upset or offended you last night on a FaceTime call. They realized it hurt your feelings and apologized. However, you decide not to speak to them for the rest of the week. Every time their name pops up on your screen, you simply swipe the notification away and continue with whatever you were doing. This leads to a game of who can ignore the other for the longest time. Before you know it, you haven't spoken to them in 3 weeks and have no idea whether you're still together or not.
A tad dramatic, but you get my point.
When you're not with someone in person, it becomes easier to brush them off and say "you're busy". This causes strain on all types of relationships due to the uncertainty if we are being ignored or if the other person is actually busy.
You can only connect with someone to a certain extent over the phone. People may get a false sense of connectedness from social networks and online interactions. For our own mental health, we still require physical in-person connections. To avoid loneliness, schedule regular date nights. It doesn't have to be an all-night affair. It could be a 30-minute dance class or a quick movie with dinner at their place or yours after.
After all, humans are social creatures.
Another issue with texting is the expectation that a person's boyfriend or girlfriend—or even someone they're casually dating—will respond to their text right away. The expectation now is that we should be available to our significant others 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and respond immediately to their text messages. When a text is not returned promptly, people become enraged or believe their partner is upset with them. 'You didn't respond to my text for an hour!' However, we are not always available!
This is exacerbated by the technology's unreliability and the occasional text that doesn't arrive until several hours later. Some couples prefer to communicate during the workday, but when there is a delay in responding, it causes conflict.
Manipulation Is Easier
In relationships, emotional manipulation is difficult to detect and overcome. Manipulation in relationships can range from subtle and unconscious to overt and calculated, but regardless of where it falls on the spectrum, it can harm a couple's bond and definitely affect their personal happiness.
When you're not looking into your partner's eyes, it becomes so much easier to lie to them. All it takes is a few minutes to type and send a text that can manipulate and deceive someone.
A few common manipulation tactics include:
- Lying and denial
- Ignoring texts in order to assert a form of control over them
- Playing on your spouse's insecurities
- One word answers (constantly)
Texting is one of the wonderful technological conveniences which we are grateful for. It's critical that we have conversations about how to navigate texting in a healthy way, just as we do with any new aspect of our relationships. So once you've read this article, have a sit down with your partner and set some boundaries regarding texting each other and personal space!