the way you keep your distance is keeping my interest so i’ll keep it persistent
so we all know my weird obsession with communication theory, and using said theories to rationalize my emotions that spiral while riding the dating roller coaster. but it seems, as i’ve said before, that we are constantly entering muddy territory when it comes to the way we communicate in romantic relationships these days. and it’s been postulated that email and technology is creating a whole new range of miscommunications in the workplace. but what about technology in the romanticalplace?
for once i’m not going to talk about social media. i’m gonna go simple this time and ask… what is texting doing to our relationships?? i have had a few specific conversations lately with people who have intensely fallen for someone via text. um, myself included. and keep weighing the pros and cons of this little piece of mobile technological advancement and again, it seems that there is this weird catch 22 about texting in the beginning stages of dating… or even getting to know someone non romantically.
so, my cynical mood lately means i’ll start with a con. i mean, honestly, texting is an outright loop hole in accountability. it’s cheating. it’s easy. there are no voices involved. there are no pre phone call jitters. and texts can be flat out scripted. you can ask your friends if a text is “cute and clever” prior to sending. they can tell you that you sound desperate, or passive aggressive, or perfectly flirty, or appropriately vulnerable. and as i am writing this i realize. this is exactly WHY it seems that so many people i know ‘fall’ over text. because it IS scripted. you can make sure to ‘write’ exactly what you hope to be. rather than saying what comes out right then. text relationships are built on showing our ideal self. we try to be the most witty, the most nonchalant, the most cute, the most interesting, open, amazing person we can be. because we have time to plan. to scheme. to think about what we want to say, and how we want to say it. and so do they. so i suppose it makes sense that so many people i know have really felt connected to another romantically strictly via text conversations.
and i mean. i guess this isn’t bad. some people are shy. and texting allows these people to maybe say things they normally wouldn’t to someone’s face or through the phone lines/waves. because they can plan what they want to say they actually say it rather than letting shyness overcome them. it allows people to overcome time zones and scheduling conflicts. and it allows little bits of unexpected communication to come through. but does it allow people to be cowardly when a phone conversation is in fact appropriate? and now a days, with picture texts we don’t even need to verbalize what we are doing to someone, we just need to send a photo. a picture says a thousand words right?
but don’t words, spoken words, still serve a purpose when getting to know someone. isn’t the point of having a vulnerable conversation ‘verbally’ because you are connecting over the mere fact that you are opening up and putting yourself out there as well as the subject you are actually talking about?
so i’m torn on how i feel about texting and dating. in some cases it allows you to get to know someone in a less vulnerable way, encouraging you to open up more with out such consequences. get to know someone that is possible unavailable to see physically, or talk to on the phone. get to know someone when you may have been too shy to otherwise.
but it also allows you to create this fantastical relationship with the person on the other end of texting. because you can script what you want to say. you can wait before replying. you can ask other’s opinions. and to me… this seems dangerously unfortunate. because it’s obvious why texting has become a tried and true method of getting to know someone. there is less rejection. there is less vulnerability. there is more romance. there is more ability to be the person we hope to be (not just reacting to our environment).
and the rules of texting are really unclear. you can say you mistexted something if you feel embarrassed that you said it. you can claim to have never received a text if you want to avoid the subject. you can reply when ever you want, minutes or hours later. or never. and never touch the subject of the unanswered text, because god knows the person looking for an answer is not going to bring it up out of shear embarrassment of no response. smiley faces and exclamation points carry immense amount of weight, and less can be more or a very bad sign.
and i will most certainly not even begin to speak about drunk texting.
so my attempt to analyze the pros and cons of texting in dating has, yet again, turned into a clusterfuck of positive and negative uses of communication technology creating the ever eloquent and romantic catch 22 of information sharing enroute to connection. sigh.