No Words

I don’t know when it became socially acceptable to stop communicating with the important people in your life. Instead of a man walking to your doorstep and ringing the bell: he texts you from his car. Instead of calling just to see how your best friend’s day went: we send them an email or write on their Facebook wall. Instead of getting to know someone by verbal communication: We hide our emotions and pretend that all is well but never actually take the time to know one another.

I used to talk on the phone regularly. At some point we decided that calling could be interpreted as rude or inconvenient to loved ones.  Worse, we consider it inconvenient. We see it as a waste of time.  Why bother calling someone when I can just text them my address. This needs to change. We need to realize that it is not the same to receive hundreds of Birthday wishes virtually, sending a card is so much better. Furthermore there is no excuse for not knowing peoples addresses. You have their number, their e-mail and perhaps a few more ways to communicate with them. So communicate. Ask for their address when you want to send them snail-mail. Take the time to write them a Birthday letter.

With so many forms of communication we should be better at it. We’ve replaced calling and talking with texting. What does this say about how much we care? Do we even care? It certainly doesn’t seem like it. The past couple of men I’ve dated seem to think that texting should be a primary form of communication. It’s easy, fun and convenient to text. I won’t deny that. However, sometimes I want more than words. I like to hear the person as they say whatever they are going to say. I like to know how long it’s taken them to come up with what they are saying.

You can’t sense tone in a text. There is no inflection to a text. They are only words. These words don’t tell the story. Things that are meant as a suggestion begin to sound unkind or insensitive. Both men became defensive when I’ve suggested we talk on the phone. In fact it’s why I am no longer dating the first. Why can’t we talk? Am I honestly that horrible to talk to? Is it really that hard to find a time to talk even once a week? I’m not asking for the moon. I never said you couldn’t text me. I asked to talk on the phone because I want to know this guy and now he’s made me feel like he doesn’t want to know me.

Perhaps the worst part about texting is when you start to fight. It’s horrible because each person keeps trying to defend themselves and answer whatever the other person just sent. Eventually, both people are upset and usually someone just decides to ignore whatever the other person is saying. You are left confused and angry but nothing gets resolved. Pretty soon when you spend an entire relationship on texting it becomes your worst enemy. What started as fun and casual becomes cold and unavailable.

There is nothing worse than being broken up with in a text message. Taylor Swift is attractive and successful, yet someone broke up with her in a text message. It’s so tacky. I don’t understand why people my age somehow think they can say all that needs to be said in a text. I’m furious that anyone could think it’s acceptable to use this as a sole form of communication.

Do yourself a favor and stop seeing the phone as a scary object. What can be said in a text can be said on the phone. It can be said better on the phone because the person you are talking to can give you feedback. Phones were created so people could communicate faster than in a letter. Texting should be used only for the times when a phone call is not possible.

In conclusion, let me just say that there is a time and a place for texting. It can be appropriate to use texting in place of a phone call. However, texting is shallow. There isn’t any way to enthusiastically congratulate someone through a text. All the shortcuts (lol, brb, idk), are really just saying: “I don’t have time to tell you how I feel, I’ve only got 160 characters to explain and I’m doing this at work so you’ll have to wait two hours for my response.” As I face the possibility of a second relationship ending because for whatever reason this man doesn’t think the phone is a necessary part of communication I’m lost as to whether I should stick it out or demand that my side be seen whatever the cost.

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