In defense of texting.

Is texting ruining dating? How you’re killing chances of a meaningful relationship by texting. Why texting is the worst. Why never to use Emojis.

Way back when, in the faraway land of college circa 2006, texting was a somewhat new concept making the rounds in the mobile world. My trusty Motorola flip phone had neither a keyboard, nor T9 (original autocorrect), and sending something as simple as “what’s up” took serious effort. Yet between coordinating mealtimes with my entire orientation group, confirming the exact location of that off-campus party and occasionally something about class, I somehow managed to average 200+ texts per month. And to think, comparatively speaking, I wasn’t even texting that much.

Wise words, Aziz.

Wise words, Aziz.

Fast forward to now, and I really don’t want to know how often I send and receive texts. Between friends, coworkers, family and the “hey-just-heard-you’re-single-let’s-hang-out” former college acquaintances (yup), I’m on the phone a lot without really speaking to anyone. News/interest sites are flooded lately with articles which now pinpoint the demise of human interaction on a romantic level at texting, but I have to respectfully disagree. In fact, I’d prefer people get to know me by text.

As someone completely new to the dating scene, I’m in full support of a medium that allows me to ignore someone, should I choose, or take a few minutes to craft a pithy yet witty response to the classic “sup” opener. (Aside: guys, please type the full “what’s up.” It makes you look smarter and more interested in our response. End aside.) In person, when I’m nervous, I speak quickly. Occasionally I can’t keep up with my own thoughts, so I end up rambling, tripping over my words or laughing maniacally. Sometimes all three at once. The fact that via text, I can ponder my response, write it out, read it back and then revise accordingly, is, well, pretty bitchin’. It’s not that I’m changing my personality while texting vs. in real life; rather, I’m getting the chance to say what nerves generally override with distracting, nervous habits.

There’s also nothing quite like checking your phone to see you have a new message, whether it’s a friend who really needed you to know their roommate accidentally saw them naked at 2am (again), or the guy you met last month who wants to know if you got the new job. Conversations can move in a million different directions, from actual getting-to-know-you thoughts into a heated debate about tacos. Some of the embarrassment around asking certain questions is removed when you’re not interacting face-to-face. You stop trying to anticipate their reaction and just get it all out there with “but seriously, what’s your opinion on One Direction?”

Schooled.

Schooled.

True, texting while drinking is a hazard of the trade. But if someone can’t handle getting “DOOOOD YOU LAME CAPS LOCK HOW TO TURN THIS OFF ALSO SHOTS” from me at midnight, followed by a picture of my shoes and maybe even a little voicemail karaoke, then they probably can’t handle me in person either. In fact, it’s a good way to weed out the bad ones, because as I’m quickly learning, the good ones play along.

(Aside: yes that’s a true story. His response was “I want Doritos” and then “How many times did you fall in those shoes?” It was twice. End aside.)

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3 thoughts on “In defense of texting.

  1. Hmmm, I first read the name of your blog as Chronicle of a 20-WHEELER and it’s early in the day and I can’t blame the martini. But thanks for confirming my resistance to adding texting to my life, despite Elder Daughter’s urging me to the contrary. At least I now have a better idea of what’s really going on with both kids.
    By the way, considering the speed you’re running at, 20 wheels might not be a bad idea … just keep ’em all heading the same direction.

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