Texting: Right way to initiate a relationship?

Sully Whitely '14

Welcome to the 21st century where you can visually chat with your friend across the globe, store the entire content of a computer on a Cloud, take and share stunning high definition photos in a click of a single button, and enjoy an entire relationship with a significant other through a cellular device. But, how could genuine human interaction in a relationship be exchanged with mindless abbreviations like “OMG”, “JK” and “LOL” through text message? The answer: it begins in our youth.

To insert a personal anecdote, when I first received a phone in the sixth grade, that orange brick of a phone was my entire life. With thumbs flying at the speed of light, I was able to exchange “flirty” (insert winky face) text messages with the wide array of pre-pubescent boys in my grade. Thoughtless, meaningless and totally grammatically incorrect questions such as “watsup?” and “who do u like?” zoomed through the cellular networks to land in the hot little hands of middle-school children. These questions, when received from someone you “liked” meant only one thing: a boyfriend/girlfriend awaited in the near future.

Fast-forward a few weeks later to the birth of a couple. Sadly, the relationship dynamic does not change from empty communication over the phone. Truthfully, the couple continues on with this communication only increasing the amount of texts sent.

To reiterate, how can genuine human interaction be replaced with texting? My mother inquires, “How can people consider themselves to be ‘going out’ when they don’t even go anywhere?” To that I say, Amen. A “couple” cannot be considered a couple if the basis of their relationship is texting. Texting can be useful and wonderful in many ways but being a backbone of a relationship is not one. If anything, it can make you more distant and unable to fully comprehend each other. You will never get to know your special person until you spend time together, face to face.

So, I encourage you to try and “jc” (just chill) in a physical realm, to let your Facebook be for a moment, to put down your cellular devices and get to know someone in person. Besides, you never know where it could lead.