Written by Bri Phillips. Media by Kristyn Chapman.
Slide to Unlock and the ﬁrst serve has been sent in this game of tennis. He asks about a homework assignment or if you are going to the Blackroom that night. You respond with an answer and a question. He responds with the same until you have been texting all day, creating conversation through a cold, mechanical, unemotional and non-relational object.
But you are interested in that person, so you justify it. You long for interaction with that person. Every time your phone buzzes, that shot of dopamine gives you a high and you’re hooked. Its addicting. He responds again and you text back some creative, witty comment that will evoke a response and vice versa. Back and forth, back and forth, and it never ends. But you have to respond. You don’t want to give this person the wrong idea. You’ve got to keep him hooked and interested, right?
1. Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
When you are texting, you are in constant communication. Yes, you may not respond for an hour but you are there, within reach, 24/7…. always. Because, lets be honest, who actually goes out or does anything without their phone. And if you do, it feels like you’re missing a limb.
2. There is allure in mystery.
If your actively involved in an ongoing text conversation, there is no question about where you are and what you are doing. It is bound to come up. That mystery is gone. You have no time to wonder about them, because you are texting them.
3. Conﬁdence is attractive.
Text conversations feed our insecurity. We don’t have to develop our social skills, be bold and courageous by actually interacting with another person. You avoid learning and growing together. In texting, you can hide behind your phone, say things you wouldn’t say in person and never learn how to respond honestly in real time. With your phone you are able to start things faster and end things faster with less emotion. To walk up to a girl and really communicate your feelings takes conﬁdence, and that my friends, is super attractive.
My perception of the issue at hand is that it is developed partially out of fear. People are not good with just being themself. They want to interact with people and they don’t want to miss any opportunity to do so. It is understandable because we were created for community. However, there is a false sense of intimacy that develops by talking over text message that will ultimately leave you wanting more, which drives us to text back and forth for days.
Similar to the last article I wrote “For Goodness Sake, Just Ask the Girl Out On a Date”, my challenge to you is this:
Talk to people face to face. Put your phone away and spend time with people. Be present and be intentional about time with friends and with those you are interested in. Ask them for coffee. Give them a call instead of texting them. I speak from experience when saying it is well worth it.
The change in my own life concerning texting is due to a Hufﬁngton Post article I read called ‘Teen Texting: the Ruin of Relationships.’ I would encourage you all to read it as it touches on the cultural phenomena that has sent young people into a wild spin of unhealthy relationships.