5 Reasons Why Texting Is the Death of Communication

My aversion to texting is well-documented. But as much as I rail against texting, I don’t think for a minute that it’s going away any time soon. Like any technology that reaches critical mass, all we can do now is figure out how to incorporate it into our lives in the least damaging way.

Which brings me to the article I want to share with you today, which documents five reasons why texting is actually bad for you.

1. The lack of important non-verbal communication tactics.

2. The different ways men and women value texting.

3. The false senses of power.

4. The “Read Receipt”.

5. The creation of bad liars.

Most speak for themselves, but if you want a long read, certainly click on the original piece. All I want to say is that just because you have something doesn’t mean you have to abuse it.

If you don’t like texting as a primary form of communication, tell your man you want to hear his voice on the phone at the end of his work day.

I will admit that I’m quite frustrated with all of my clients who rely on texting as their sole form of communication with their partners…and then complain about texting.

Their excuse: well, men seem to like it, so what choice do I have?

This is akin to the story about all your friends jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge.

If you’re in a relationship and your partner cares about you, you have every right to tell him that you don’t like text as a primary form of communication. It’s great for flirting during the day. It’s great for telling someone you’re running late. It’s great for sweet nothings during boring office meetings. But it is NOT a way to get to know someone new and it is NOT a way to stay in touch with someone special.

You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

Every other goddamn dating expert has a texting product. “How to Make Him Want You By Text!” “Text Him Into Marrying You!” “20 Texts That Will Make Him Go Crazy!”

Fuck that shit. If you don’t like texting as a primary form of communication, tell your man you want to hear his voice on the phone at the end of his work day. If he cares about you, he’ll call you. If it’s too much work to talk with you, he’s not much of a boyfriend, is he?

Your thoughts, below, are appreciated.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    SMC

    I had to grin at this one, Evan.  Being so new to your blog I wasn’t quite aware that you dislike texting so much, but I’m aware now!  🙂  My man and I do text – the good morning texts, a few flirty ones during the day, and perhaps a couple in the early evening, but we talk on the phone every. single. night.  Without fail, right before turning out the lights for about an hour on average.  Yes, in the earlier days of this relationship there were some serious misunderstandings made worse by trying to “text them away,” and that’s when we both realized if either of us had an issue that needed attention, it needed to be handled either on the phone or in person, so if it couldn’t wait we’d talk on the phone right then and there.  That is still our agreement, but since we both work and can’t really chat on the phone throughout the day, we save our real conversations for the evenings.  Still, I love texting.  It’s a useful tool if used correctly, but you’re right – I wouldn’t want it to be my sole form of communication.

  2. 2
    Joe

    I dunno about #5.  I have had several instances where my iPhone just failed in some way, whether receiving a text hours after the sender says it was sent, or failing to send a text itself.

    And a lot of the author’s other arguments–the lady doth protest too much, methinks.

    As long as your relationship includes sufficient time spent together, I don’t see the problem with texting frequently when you’re not together.

    1. 2.1
      Skaramouche

      Hehe, me too.  Sometimes messages just don’t show even though the other party swears they were sent or then they appear hours later.  But it’s so hard to know when someone is lying.  If it’s a new love interest, of course you want to give the benefit of the doubt but when it happens more than once, is it because he/she has a super crappy phone/provider combo or is your new love telling white lies because you’re being overwhelmingly verbose or is the interest just not there?

    2. 2.2
      JB

      Yep it happens to iPhones a lot. After a great Match meet & greet I text a woman to see if she was up for a date 2 and got no response. So I emailed her the next day without mentioning the text and she was very excited about a second date. I showed her the text on the date on my phone and she said she’d never gotten it and showed me our last text to prove it. We ended up dating almost a year but if I didn’t follow up by emailing that would’ve been the end. That all happened because it happened to me one other time and when the woman didn’t return my text after saying she’d love to go out again I emailed her and bitched her out for not just telling me she wasn’t interested. To this day I always wonder when I send a text to ANYONE that doesn’t return in within a reasonable amount of time. A woman last week tied a record for me returning a text 4 days later!!! Nobody is that f****in busy!!….LOL especially her, and you can bet she heard about it! 🙂

  3. 3
    Skaramouche

    100% agreed, for the reasons listed above and many more.  In addition to texting, I feel this applies to other electronic methods of communication also.  I’ve been feeling extremely overwhelmed lately by all the different “apps” I have for communication.  This is kind of ironic given that 1) I work for a software development company, 2) at 33, I’m on the cusp of Gen Y whose bread and butter is e-communication and 3) I’m not really one for talking on the phone…I much prefer e-chatting.

    Having said all of this though, at last count, between friends/family, work and a non-profit board I am chairing this year, there are 7+ different electronic ways of getting in touch with me.  Across Skype, text, whatsapp, email, Slack, Hangouts, FB Messenger and others, I’m about to lose my shit.  I cannot remember who I spoke to where and if I don’t respond right away, this becomes a problem because I simply cannot remember where I should respond later.  All of these are great “multi-taskers” by which I mean that I can check them while doing something else if I want to, thus not paying complete attention to either activity.  Good for when I am purposefully multi-tasking and can handle two independent streams of info at the same time but not so good for communicating something meaningful (beyond jokes, flirtation and quick status updates) with a potential partner.  It’s asking for trouble: for misunderstandings and missed messages.  I’m not a big fan of the phone but if I was dating today, I’d suck it up and choose it over the hundred other “e-tools” available to me.  In-person is even better, of course, but not always practical…

  4. 4
    Caroline

    Interesting article. While I’ve had misunderstandings via text; I’ve learned from them. I don’t convey anything of real importance via text. Other than say I’m “running late”. I have a sister I text with almost daily. She lives 7 hours away and it’s a wonderful tool to stay in touch with each others lives. If its important or I feel she needs to talk; we just pick up the phone. Everything texted between my guy and I is usually flirty, light and silly. It’s more of a “I’m thinking about you” thing.

    Maybe I’m too simple minded but the author of that article sure seemed to over think the whole process. Sounds like they’ve made texting too important in their life.

  5. 5
    Michelle H

    Yes– I recently had a new relationship “die by the sword”, with a man who chose texting as our primary form of communication/getting to know each other.   I had jokingly expressed my disapproval of it a couple of times, but didn’t realize how serious the ramifications would become.  Now I know.

    Naturally, texting has its boons.  But trying to resolve a misunderstanding/disagreement is not one of them!  (Particularly with an immature individual).

    Evan’s strong feelings about it are valid in my experience.

    Thanks

  6. 6
    SMC

    When my daughter was a freshman in high school (she’s 27 now) I clearly remember many times I’d chauffeur her and her best friend around, and they would sit in the back seat and text away on their cell phones. TO EACH OTHER.  Umm…seriously???  She laughed about it until I’d get the phone bill (no unlimited texting back then) and I’d say “OK, fork it over” out of her allowance.  That backseat texting didn’t last long.

  7. 7
    Dora

    Dead right Evan, thanks for bring it up and say it exactly as it is…!!!

    I cut of people – not only relationships,IF they will be testers from the word go.. IF you do not know how to Talk, really talk- you are not much of a human,are you..?!! Texting is for kids and teens, not for mature individuals..and especially when deciding something serious…..And “future” – is serious thing to blow it by text,as you can never get to know someone that way…And I would add – texting is for Dishonest individuals, in some way…

    1. 7.1
      SMC

      I find that many of the young adults with whom I work have fewer social skills than older adults precisely because they grew up texting instead of talking face-to-face.  Texting instead of face-to-face communicating when they’re young teaches them nothing about real communication when they get older.  They drive me crazy, these young people who can’t seem to make real eye contact in the hallway, grunt when you say good morning. and quickly look away when you catch their eye in the ladies room mirror.  I call them the Facebook Generation – probably great skills online but very few in real life all the while tap tap tapping away at their phones all the time.  Try to engage one in conversation while waiting for the coffee to brew?  Good luck.

      1. 7.1.1
        Christine

        That’s interesting, but is there necessarily a causal relationship between texting and communication skills?  Do you think texting caused these young people to lack communication skills–or do you think these young people lacked communication skills to begin with, then they chose to text and/or use a lot of social media?

        I’m just curious.  It’s a bit of a chicken-and-the-egg thing, just wondering which came first (the lack of communication skills or the texting)

        But it really is amazing how influential texting and social media have become.  My 3 year old nephew is already obsessed with iPhones (loves playing with them at the Apple store)!  In fact, a couple of times he’s grabbed my sister’s phone and sent me blank texts.  She got better about locking her phone after that!  I’m sure in the future I’ll get real texts from him

         

        1. Karl R

          Christine,

          Good communication skills (like any other skills) require practice.  And if you want something to be an ingrained habit, then you practice it constantly … even when it’s not necessary.

          Here’s a personal example.   At work, I work on reports that typically have three to five authors.  In order to make things uniform, we try to all follow the same conventions.  Currently (according to the standards of English grammar), it’s acceptable to use either one -or- two spaces after a period.  But my current boss wants two spaces … so for all my professional -and- personal communications, I’m using two spaces … just to reinforce the habit.

          The boss before that wanted one space after periods … so all my personal and professional communications reinforced that habit.

           

          I write my texts in complete sentences, with proper spelling, with proper grammar … just to continually reinforce the habit.  It’s the practice that’s the critical issue, not the texting.

           

          How many teenagers practice proper grammar and spelling when texting?

        2. Adrian

          Christine,

          Trying being around hordes of them almost all day for 5 days a week and you will think differently.

           

          Definitely not a chicken or egg thing.

           

          By the way, I am not against young people as a whole, they have many great qualities once you get them to open up to you.

        3. Christine

          Karl, I’m glad there’s at least one other person out there who writes full sentences in their texts!  Maybe it’s not the act of texting itself, but “text speak” that leads to poor communication skills (i.e. using “u” instead of “you”, “ur” instead of “you’re”, etc.)

      2. 7.1.2
        Adrian

        SMC,

        If you didn’t already have a boyfriend I would marry you! (^_^)

         

        Finally someone who acknowledges that young people are horrible social communicators (in general). Being surrounded by them all day is torture for a person like me who loves to engage in good conversation.

         

        As I have mentioned before, since I decided to go back to college to work on getting my Masters at age 30, being around 18 year olds who are just socially inexperienced is bad, but what actually angers me is their unwillingness to even try.

         

        I don’t think they live by their phones, but hide behind them.

        1. SMC

          Adrian,

          Thank you for my first grin of the day!  🙂  Where I worked before (investment bank), most of the employees were in their mid-30’s and up (I was in my 40’s).  Very few were in their 20’s.  Here, at the accounting firm, the majority are in their 20’s and very few are close to my age (now 50’s).  Talk about culture shock.  When I’m in the break room making my tea, I make it a point to introduce myself if the young person even half indicates that he/she is willing to engage; otherwise, I’m tired of making the effort and just go about my business, but it bothers me to spend time standing two feet from someone and not try to be polite and say at least SOMETHING.  They don’t have a problem with it at all.

          Karl R

          I had no idea it was acceptable to leave just one space after a period.  Been doing the two spaces my whole life.  You learn something new every day.  🙂  And yes yes yes on fully typing out the texts!  IMO it conveys a certain type of laziness to go the shorthand route, not to mention it takes me forever to interpret some of it.  I’m guessing the shorthand was invented when texts could only contain a certain number of characters, but it still drives me crazy.  I would send three separate texts if I had to rather than resort to shorthand.

          Christine

          I think there is a direct correlation between the two – texting/social media and lack of communication skills.  We learn our communication skills as children, but when children have parents glued to their phones, who’s teaching them (the children) to communicate?  That daughter of mine, the one who was “allowed” to pay for texting her best friend sitting right next to her, grew up to dislike social media (she and I both have a FB account which neither of us uses), only texts to have short, to-the-point messages (fully typed out, not in texting shorthand), and is a good communicator with excellent spelling and grammar skills and a well-developed vocabulary.  I spent her entire childhood reinforcing the need  for  it, including not allowing her to text or otherwise pay too much attention to her phone when she was with me or anyone else, and certainly not at the dinner table.  (I think it’s rude.) Of course, when I obtained my first smart phone and wanted to play with it around her, she returned the favor.  “Mom, really?”  🙂

        2. Christine

          Adrian, I’m not surrounded by hordes of college students every day and maybe that’s a good thing!  I’m in my mid-30s but am one of the younger people in my workplace.  I sure hope I wasn’t that bad at that age, or we must have tortured our 30-something graduate teaching assistants. 🙂

          SMC, I see what you mean.  Texting and social media have their uses but, it’s important not to let them become substitutes for real social interaction either.  My nephew already wants an iPhone but I hope my sister and brother-in-law hold out on that.  I can’t help thinking, what does a three year old need one for??? But then, I am seeing more and more toddlers with those types of gadgets (who are barely out of babyhood!  It feels like babies will start demanding iPhones right after they come out of the womb–it’s not going away any time soon, for better or worse)

        3. GoWithTheFlow

          Adrian,

          My mid-40s brother is a sales rep that oversees four 20-something assistant reps in his territory.  It’s a sales area that requires a lot of face-time with accounts.  Almost every month he gets a complaint from a customer complaining about one of the assistant reps not returning calls or stopping by.  The ARs are texting instead.  My brother has to constantly remind them that customers “are not your stupid friends” that you can just text and never speak to.

        4. Liza

           

          I am not even a part of your comments to each other, but I grinned also.  This post is one of Evan’s that I can say “Amen’ to truly.  I have agreed with some and strongly disagreed with others, but this one is great.  It is true, hiding behind the messages, as you said Adrian.  What it worse is when that person, with little social skills, claims to “know” you by the messages you’ve exchanged back and forth.

          It is a rut I probably got myself into.  Casually getting to know a guy almost 7 years younger and obsessed with this form of communication.  But what a blow to the ego to have that person then say, I know you, and you and I aren’t compatible with each other.  Ya think??  You think you know me?  Yes, he says.  You don’t know me.  Which is almost as deep as the men who, in dating, claim to “know you” after one phone call.  Which is something different.  But, I am confused by that as well.  Other than they don’t want to get to know you.  What makes you think you know anything about me after that?   I have had this encounter so many times in my life, which I why I wonder about it.

  8. 8
    Amelia

    I just had a “relationship” fizzle over this very issue. He had some great qualities. But at the end of the day we just could not communicate well. Texting was a big part of that problem.

    He was a prolific texter. It was his default way of communicating with people.

    He also had over a dozen social media accounts, all of which he was very active on each day. His social media profile was a big priority to him. He was constantly posting things, and then hitting “refresh” every few minutes to see how many “likes” his posts had gotten. He also spent a lot of time each day formulating the wittiest comments to post on social media that would get him the most attention and validation from people.

    In hindsight, I think all of that probably conditioned him to communicate in short, static bursts (like texting) without giving much thought to things like body language, tone, and developing true conversation, which are important when your goal is to genuinely connect with people.

    As for me, I don’t like texting in interpersonal relationships. In my opinion – and I don’t mean to offend anyone who disagrees with me – it’s lazy communication.

    When texting becomes a mainstay of communication between two people, I feel it lets people get away with not treating others with respect, care, and concern. It also stunts our ability to enhance and strengthen our own communicative abilities, which only happens when we’re put into situations with people where we’re forced to grow and stretch. If texting allows us to avoid all of that – which I honestly think is part of its attraction – how is it really helping us in the end?

    We all say that we want people to break down our barriers, and to really take the time to get to know us and to love us. We all want people to WANT to do that for us. But when we’re so focused on ourselves and our own needs, we forget to reflect upon a very revealing question: who, in our lives, are we taking the time to do that for? How many people? And is texting helping us with that, or helping us AVOID that?

    It could be one or the other.

    I’ll admit that I honestly feel cheated when certain people in my life will text with me, but then at other times they’ll avoid talking with me on the phone. Even when I’m the master of both the 30-second and the 30-minute phone call, depending upon which one the situation calls for.

    I realize that not all people like to talk on the phone or in person. So I try to meet them halfway. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t always work!

    Case in point: this relationship of mine that just fizzled, and how texting kind of did us in…

    This guy and I meet. We seem to converse well when we’re together. He thinks I’m smart, funny and interesting. I think the same about him. We look forward to communicating more, and seeing what develops.

    But then when we’re apart, he texts me. Initially, wanting to be agreeable, I text back. He responds a bit later. A conversation by text develops. I’m wondering why we’re not talking about these things over the phone, or in person? Especially when I reply to his latest text, only to have him not reply at all. I wonder whether he thinks my last comment was not worthy of an acknowledgement?

    As this keeps happening, I begin sensing a power dynamic in our texting that I don’t like. I begin to resent it.

    I decide to try and avoid further confusion from texting. So I call him. It goes to voicemail. He texts me back, asking what I needed. I wonder why he didn’t answer the phone. I’m not sure what to think.

    This goes on for a bit.

    We meet in person. Without being confrontational, I share my frustrations with our texting. He agrees, and says he’s frustrated, too. He says he’ll make an effort to call me more. For my part, I agree to meet him halfway. I offer to do a bit of texting in exchange for getting a more phone calls from him.

    He texts me again a few days later, during the day. I’m in a work meeting, so it takes me hours to text him back (when I’m at work, there’s often a delay in my ability to respond to texts because I’m often in meetings with my boss, etc.. He knows this.). Although I apologize and explain the delay, I get the feeling that he thinks I just made an excuse. I feel frustrated.

    It begins to feel like a game. Or, maybe I’m reading too much into it?

    All I know is that he’s now appearing to calculate how long it takes me to respond to his texts, and then waiting exactly that long to respond to mine. This slows down our communication to such an extent that it takes forever to make any kind of plans.

    My frustration builds. I tell him this method of communication isn’t working for me, and that I want us to talk either in person or on the phone from now on.

    He says he’s frustrated, too. I resolve to just begin calling him when I want to talk to him, and to keep any future texts to him very brief.

    My strategy backfires.

    I call, and it goes right to voicemail He texts me back asking why I called. Is he messing with me, I wonder? Does he just hate talking on the phone? Or is this guy just a complete assclown?

    I’m having a hard time reconciling the guy that he is when we’re physically in the same place – ex., funny, interesting, easy to talk to, etc. – with the guy he becomes when we’re NOT physically in the same place – ex., distant, ambiguous, seemingly more than a little immature.

    I wonder if I should be trying harder. Or not.

    I continue with my attempt to make my texts brief. He then tells me it feels like I’m coming off as being aloof, and that I’m upset with him.

    I feel like I can’t win.

    I question, for the hundredth time, why it’s so hard for me to communicate with him. I’ve never experienced anything like this before.

    Before I met him, I thought I was a pretty good communicator – not the best, by any means, but reasonably good at understanding people and being understood myself. But this whole situation makes me re-examine it all.

    Not long afterward, I give up. I realize that we can’t seem to overcome this. And I’m not even going to attempt to have an intimate relationship with someone who I can’t first connect with in other ways.

    As frustrating as this situation was for me, I’m glad it happened. It taught me A LOT. It made me look more closely at my own communicative shortcomings, how I come off to people, and what I need to work on going forward.

    It also made me reflect a lot on the fact that, in some ways, I’m kind of an outlier. I’ve realized that that can be a bit off-putting to people once they discover that about me. I’m a well-adjusted 35 year old doctoral candidate who is fairly extroverted. But I do some things differently than a lot of people. For one, I don’t have much of a social media presence. No, I’m not a freak. I just don’t have time for it.

    Social media is great for many things. But honestly, I don’t want to spend my time trying to make my life look great on Instagram/Facebook just to gain “likes” from people. I’m not that insecure.

    Secondly, as I said above, I don’t want to exclusively text with people. Instead, I want to go have coffee with people. I want to see people, and give them a hug, and for us to laugh together. I want to have a real-time conversation about what ever is going on.

    Thirdly, I want all of the rewards of delayed gratification. I can’t stand the idea of having it all right now in front of me.

    Finally, I want fewer people in my life that I’m very deeply connected with versus having a life that’s teeming with people that I have no real relationship with at all.

    Like everything else, it’s a choice. I’ve made my choice. I have found that excessive texting puts me farther away from the things that I want to have more of in my life.

    For other people, the opposite is true – texting is a wonderful and positive thing for them. I don’t begrudge them that. All that it means is that we’re different. And I need to keep trying to navigate the differences.

     

     

     

    1. 8.1
      Adrian

      Amelia,

       

      It sounds like he was insecure about your relationship and he was trying to manipulate you into showing him how much you desired him.

       

      Insecure men… I mean… people, use tactics like this all the time, it is the default weapon of passive aggressive people.

       

      If I am right, then he was doing what is called “leaning back” from talking to you too much because he did not want to appear needy or too into you, it is also why he intentionally waited before replying to your text. It is a standard Pick up artist tactic.

       

      I’m just curious, for your part, were you communicating your attraction for him? If so how?

       

      I only ask because you sound busy with meetings and work all day. I have had the misfortune to date a few corporate women, and if that is the case, I can understand your ex’s insecurity with you (though I don’t agree with his actions).

       

      Always busy, always having to reschedule plans because something happened last minute at the office, always having to stop by the office really quickly that translated into hours of me wondering and waiting, only free to talk on the phone late at night after a long day at work, slide into every conversation their many accomplishments both academically and professionally without realize that it comes off as braggartly, oh and while in the middle of a text message conversation, replying back to my texts almost a hour later because of being in meetings or talking to the boss.

       

      To be fair, I am NOT saying you are like this Amelia, this was just my experience with professional women. I felt unwanted and unimportant to them. Their words told me otherwise but their actions made me feel more like a casual side hobby than an actual potential boyfriend.

       

      Though, my love language is Physical touch followed very closely (1 point apart) by Quality time, there is a huge gap between those two and the other three love languages for me. So maybe another man would love having a woman always on the move. I am not saying the type of women I described above were bad, they were just not for me.

      Amelia, If you were showing him that you did find him desirable and he was still playing these games, then, my second guess would be that maybe he was with another woman, every time you wanted to talk on the phone.

    2. 8.2
      Joy

      Amelia,

      This intial meeting excitement over a 30 to one hour introductory call or longer for a face to face meeting followed by non- verbal communication is what in part stunted my own relationship and that’s why I am ending it for someone who wants to talk with me. I see a potential for emotional strain for a future spouse who could choose   to text you as a way to avoid critical conversation. Thank you for your post!

  9. 9
    Lisa

    Couldn’t agree with you more!!

  10. 10
    Florrie

    I loved that statement “FUCK THAT SHIT” :). Totally agree with you Evan Marc Katz 🙂

  11. 11
    Nat

    I usually don’t spend more than 5-10 mins a day texting, and this including work texts and texts to family. 🙂 Some guys asking me out did text more than I liked and i frankly admitted like “I can’t help this but I feel less attracted when guys text me often, but hearing his sexy voice on the phone is a turnon”. Most of the guys started calling more and texting less 😉 And the bonus is we often have really good phone chemistry and before we hang up they say “hey this was fun, we got to chat like this more often”. I think it’s better than texting because when we text we’re often multitasking with other things too, and the whole thing can feel exhausting instead of fun!

  12. 12
    SMC

    Amelia,

    I couldn’t have said it better.  AMEN.  The only reason I opened a FB account was to see what all the fuss was about.  Well…I discovered that I would spend hours reading and maybe even posting a little, and what did I have to show at the end of that time?  Not a darned thing.  Nothing tangible (I make things by hand), nothing to enrich my mind (like reading a good book), NOTHING.  Wait, yes, sometimes I would come away angry (reading political back-and-forth), or heartbroken (seeing pictures of abused animals that would show up in the scroll without warning), etc., but I NEVER came away feeling good about my time spent there.  So I dropped it.

  13. 13
    Adrian

    I’m curious about everyone’s opinion on this,

     

    Do you think it is possible to date someone who does not own a cellphone?

     

    Would only being able to speak to someone on their home phone enhance or diminish from the getting to know you process?

     

    Without being able to text conversations with a new boyfriend or girlfriend throughout the day until you both are home and able to call each other, would that affect your attraction for that person in a positive or negative way?

     

    Would lacking the ability to text back and forth with a new or potential partner, slow down the getting to know y0u part of the courtship in your opinion? Affecting the time it would take you to feel comfortable to kiss, have sex, or even decide if you want to be in a relationship with him.

    1. 13.1
      GoWithTheFlow

      Adrian,

      Cell phones didn’t exist until I was in my late 20s, and I was in my early 30s before they became a common form of communication.  So I did a lot of socializing and dating with a landline.  For me, using the landline never slowed things down.  I always found the parties and knew what time my date was arriving to pick me up.  If anything, not being able to communicate until you are at home (or sneaking a call at work) builds anticipation, as in “I can’t wait to tell you something!”  Usually, long phone calls in the evenings were fine for getting to know someone.

      1. 13.1.1
        Adrian

        GoWithTheFlow,

        I thought that to, but whenever I tell someone that I do not have a cellphone and I do not have facebook or any social media, they look at me like I just landed here from another planet.

         

        Like Karl R, I did have to get one for work, but it was the cheapest, most basic phone available; all you could do was make calls on it. Most of my professional communication is through emails, and most of my social communication is through face to face interactions.

         

        I also look forward to long conversations at the end of the day, that is the best part about dating someone new.  Texting a person every little detail throughout the day does relieve boredom, but it leaves very little to talk about and robs the conversation of the anticipation.

        1. GoWithTheFlow

          Adrian,

          I’m required by my group to have a cell phone with text and email capability for work.  But I can tell you I did college, medical school, and residency training with a landline and a digital pager.  No patient ever died or had their care delayed.  Sometimes I miss the days when I wasn’t so accessible.  It creates the expectation that people should be able to get ahold of you RIGHT NOW because _______ (fill in the blank).

          If I met a guy who did not have a cell phone it wouldn’t be a big deal.  Both my brother and my ex-BIL (but like a bio brother to me) don’t like texting at all, and strongly prefer phone calls.  On the other hand, my nutty sister responds to phone messages with rambling, non-sensical texts that she sends at 1 am.  For her, it’s definitely a way to claim she’s staying in touch, but without really communicating.

        2. Adrian

          GoWithTheFlow,

          If I may be so bold to ask? I am curious, since you are a doctor, how is your free time for dating?

           

          I only ask because while I was at the tire store -of all places- a few weeks ago, this man and his son who I assume was either in medical school or preparing to enter medical school; I am not sure if the dad was a doctor .

           

          Anyway, a cute girl walked out and the boys dad saw him looking said, “you had better enjoy dating now, because once you enter med school you won’t have time for dating, and even after you become a doctor you won’t have much free time. It would be better to find someone before you become a doctor, like another med student, someone who will understand your busy schedule.”

           

          After hearing that I thought, wow, no wonder everyone says doctors have, nonexistent social lives, and high divorce rates. Since you said you are the next House I thought I would ask.

           

          Though I probably should be asking you something more important like should I buy the take home brain transplant kit or which is better for broken bones, scotch tape or super glue?

        3. GoWithThe Flow

          Adrian,

          LOL!

          For men and women the process of becoming a doctor, med school and then residency, does not leave a lot of spare time to do as you please.  Not to mention you are likely very broke as well.  That being said, you will find people in established marriages, people extensively dating or hooking up, occasional daters, and are-you-kidding-me-I-barely-have-time-to-shower types at all levels of training.  It depends upon how organized and motivated people are to get out there, and what kind of opportunities they have to interact with potential mates.

          Residency training (i.e. legal hospital slave labor) is much harder and more time consuming than medical school or real world private practice.  Think of it this way:  Med school is basic training, residency is deployment to a war zone, and private practice is what you do stateside after your service commitment is up.

          Since med school and residency coincide with prime meeting and marrying years, many docs in training pair up with other health professionals they work with because that’s who you meet and it requires little effort.  The AMA recently published statistics that said 70% of married women docs are married to male physicians.  One female surgeon that I did residency with married a police officer whom she met when he accompanied an intoxicated car accident victim to the emergency room.  Come to think of it, a lot of ER nurses wind up with firefighters, paramedics, or cops they meet on the job.  Other classmates/residency-mates married college SOs, or were set up on blind dates.  I once dated a surgeon and people would automatically assume we met in the OR (I’m an anesthesiologist). Nope, we were set up.

          As for the high divorce rates, the time thing is a factor, although when you are done with residency and in private practice, you can work in a way that allows more time off in exchange for making less money.  One thing that does happen though, with some male physicians, is that they use the “I’m at the hospital saving lives!” excuse to avoid interaction and intimacy with their spouses.  It’s a lot more socially acceptable than hanging out in a bar after work.  And, like all helping professions (teaching, police work, nursing) while most people who go into them genuinely like to help others, you also get quite a few narcissists and sociopaths who get off on the control and status that the role provides.

          As for what is best for broken bones:  Duct tape!  That stuff will fix anything.

    2. 13.2
      Haters gonna hate

      If someone doesn’t have a cell phone in this day and age, they likely have bigger problems than missing out on exchanging sexts with a stranger from OKcupid.

    3. 13.3
      Karl R

      Adrian asked:

      “Do you think it is possible to date someone who does not own a cellphone?”

      Of course.  I didn’t have a cellphone until 2008 (when my employer insisted that I have one … and paid for the entire cost).

      Even after I got one, I dated one woman who didn’t have one.

       

      Adrian asked:

      “Would only being able to speak to someone on their home phone enhance or diminish from the getting to know you process?”

      I mostly get to know people face-to-face.

      The big difference is if you plan to meet someone at a venue, and it’s a large venue with a crowd.  It’s a bit more challenging to meet up without a cellphone.

       

      Adrian asked:

      “Without being able to text conversations with a new boyfriend or girlfriend throughout the day until you both are home and able to call each other, would that affect your attraction for that person in a positive or negative way?”

      That seems like a weird question.  I was dating the lady, not the phone.

      Furthermore, nothing is stopping me from sending an email during the day.

       

      Adrian asked:

      “Would lacking the ability to text back and forth with a new or potential partner, slow down the getting to know y0u part of the courtship in your opinion?”

      I would hate to try to get to know someone through texts.  At the very least, I’m going to send a substantive email.

    4. 13.4
      Joy

      No, I think not having a cellphone needs not be a barrier. I dated a guy for almost two years talking on a landline that we used to schedule times for our dates. We spent time visiting at his house or my apartment. The phone was replaced with personal meetings. When he left the state we Skyped. I have to say those conversations were more meaningful than of any of my text dates.

  14. 14
    SMC

    Interesting threads, the one about dating someone without a cell phone.  I, too, did most of my dating before cell phones became the norm, and GoWithTheFlow nailed it when she spoke of the anticipation all day of the nightly phone calls with a sneaky at-work one now and then.  He worked in the same building as I and would take me to lunch most days.  At the time I had young children at home, so we were only able to see each other at lunch and one night a week and then he’d take us all out on Sundays on kid-friendly activities.  Those were lovely times, and we eventually married and I never felt closer to someone than I did to him.  We spent so much time getting to know each other in long conversations that, once we finally were able to spend more quality time together, the living together pieces fell into place seamlessly.

    As for the passive aggressive text games also mentioned above, I watched it firsthand with a former friend.  She had men falling all over her (we would go out dancing 3-4 times a week) and she would wait hours to text them back and would sometimes wait until the next day.  The first few times she did it in front of me I asked why didn’t she respond when the text or call came in, and she’d say “I don’t want them thinking I’m too interested, they need to wait.”  I had no idea that was a whole school of thought, I just thought it was needlessly playing games with their minds.  And no one ever called her out on it, either.  I often wondered how the men put up with it, but she was very pretty and I guess they thought she was worth the wait.  It was pure game-playing on her part.

  15. 15
    Tom10

    I’m going to buck the trend here and admit that I love texting. To the extent that I disagree with the motion of this thread – “5 Reasons Why Texting Is the Death of Communication” – and feel that there should be another thread entitled: “5 Reasons Why Texting is a Great Form of Communication”.
     
    Five reasons why I love texting:
     
    1.  I have a written record of all communications which can be retrieved again should there be any dispute about what was said, or if I simply couldn’t remember what had been agreed.
     
    2. Due to space limitations it forces one to write concisely and precisely. Indeed much of the fun of writing a text is in seeing how much information can be conveyed within 160 characters. Although, admittedly, this challenge doesn’t really exist anymore due to multiple-text-messages and Whatsapp messaging. Indeed, due to Whatsapp I almost never use regular text anymore, and it feels rather quaint when using conventional texts.
     
    3. Due to the fact that there is almost an expectation that the normal rules of spelling and grammar don’t apply it leaves the door open for multiple layers of innuendo, double-entendres and inferences; all of which can be denied afterwards should the wrong intention be conveyed.
     
    4. The pacing of the conversation can be controlled much more readily than other forms of communication by adjusting the time one takes to respond. I.e. sometimes quick replies are suitable, whereas other times a few days seems more appropriate.
     
    This means I can move the conversation in a particular direction much faster or slower depending on the individual woman and how she responds to the hints each time. I.e. it allows you to test her boundaries in a light-hearted manner, and then step back quickly if she doesn’t respond positively to the bait.
     
    5. The fact that there is a limit on the extent of communication forces the conversation to be kept short and to the point, as opposed to no limit on phone calls which can lead to endless, aimless conversations skirting about the issue, or even phone calls which involve no particular issue at all.
     
    I.e. if I want to ask out a woman I usually get straight to it after a few texts. No messing about. If she’s not interested, fine. But at least I know fairly quickly.
     
    @ Karl R # 7.1.1.1
    “I write my texts in complete sentences, with proper spelling, with proper grammar … just to continually reinforce the habit.”
     
    I dunno Karl, I think that misses out on a lot of the fun of writing a text message; there’s a certain element of enjoyment and creativity involved in continuously tryin 2condense as much info in2 as shrt a space as poss; AAMOF Im nt sur I cud evn ryt a propr txt nymor!
    D chalnge cums 4rm conveyin as mch info n as fw wrds as pos witout ny meanin bein lst.
     
    No wat I mean? 

    1. 15.1
      Karmic Equation

      LOL. Tom. I agree with you.

      I love texting myself. But I actually have to FORCE myself to “misspell” words on purpose, e.g., ur instead of you’re or your. Good grammar and spelling in text seems so “old fashioned/fuddy duddy-ish” to me. It’s kind of a challenge to try to be hip.

      My bf hates texting. So I’ve compromised and call him instead of texting him 90% of the time. The other 10%, I’ll text him one-sentence text (“On way home.”; “Won my match tonight!”, etc) but I never get mad if he doesn’t reply. Usually he calls in reply to a text lol.

      I think the problem that Evan and many women have with texting is that most women assign MEANING to a text. If a bf takes a long time to reply, she may freak out and wonder if he’s cheating. If a man she’s dating takes a long time to reply, then it means he’s not into her.

      If women stop assigning MEANING to texting and just accept it at face value, then it is the most convenient form of communication. Neither party has to be available “at the same time” to have a conversation.

      Many women use texting to “stay connected” to her guy. Stop using texting that way. Use it convey logistics. Use it as a one-way ticker-tape communication. Use it to flirt, one-way. Don’t use it to ask questions. As long as a woman doesn’t EXPECT a reply to the text, texting is a fine way to communicate non-essential topics.

      1. 15.1.1
        Tom10

        @ Karmic Equation #15.1
        “But I actually have to FORCE myself to “misspell” words on purpose”
         
        Lol, I do that too.
         
        “I think the problem that Evan and many women have with texting is that most women assign MEANING to a text. If a bf takes a long time to reply, she may freak out and wonder if he’s cheating. If a man she’s dating takes a long time to reply, then it means he’s not into her.
        If women stop assigning MEANING to texting and just accept it at face value, then it is the most convenient form of communication. Neither party has to be available “at the same time” to have a conversation.”
         
        I’m actually going to disagree with you there a little bit Karmic (gosh, this must be the first time ever!).
         
        I think many guys are very aware of all the hidden layers of meaning and implications involved in texting and they use this to try and gain the upper hand in relationships, especially in the initial stages where both parties are trying to suss the other out. Some would consider this as immature games; others would consider it sophisticated dating. Take your pick.
         
        So let’s take a simple first text message from a guy to a girl, say, “hey, how r u?”
         
        I mean, it couldn’t get any simpler, right?
         
        Wrong.
         
        This simple text can be dissected on multiple levels:
         
        Intent
        The fact that the guy has simply even texted is a positive. No text is obvious dis-interest (although, astonishingly, I’ve known girls to ask what a guy means when he didn’t text!!).
        But just because he texted doesn’t mean he’s necessarily interested; it could also be because of boredom, politeness, lining up a back-burner option, indirectly letting her know his number for the small possibility that she’ll ring him for sex when she’s horny (it’s been known to happen!).
         
        Timing.
        How soon or long after the initial meeting was the message sent? Sent before 24 hours after first meet can indicate that the guy is keen, perhaps too keen, thus risks losing her interest. Sent within 48 hours is about right: not too keen, not too cool not to care. Sent after 48 hours can indicate ambivalence thus hinting that he might be lining her up as a back-burner option.
         
        Now the timing of her response is crucial. If she responds in less than, say, 30 mins, then it could be perceived that she’s too keen, thus most likely his interest will begin to wane. If she responds between 30 mins and 2 hours later then it feels about right. If she responds more than 24 hours later then she isn’t keen (unless she has a valid excuse) and he will (should) move on.
         
        Tone
        The tone of the message seems about right; it’s casual, displays no neediness and isn’t too cool for school. Substituting “r” for “are” and “u” for “you” displays an amicable, fun, light-hearted disposition which is appropriate for this stage of the dating process. The correct alternative: “Hello, how are you?” seems forced, stuffy and not whimsical enough.
         
        Again, the tone of her response matters. The appropriate response is something like; “hey, Im gr8! Nice 2meet u the other nyt! How r u? 🙂 ?”. This mirrors his tone and language style thus setting him at ease. The reciprocal question is important: if she doesn’t respond with a question then it risks him perceiving her as simply responding out of politeness, thus he will be on alert and might start to lose interest. The smiley face is a nice finishing touch too.
         
        Level of Interest
        Based on my previous two points a person’s interest can often be approximately gauged very quickly in these initial few texts. Gauging this accurately can prevent embarrassment for the more interested party: they should simply let the communication fade away. It’s astonishing how many people over, say, 16, can’t gauge interest and can’t distinguish between genuine interest, vague interest, ambivalence and somebody simply replying out of politeness.
         
        And all of this from just one message!
         
        So yeah, take texting lightly at your peril.
         
        Mwah ha ha. 😉

        1. SMC

          Tom,

          It must definitely be a generational thing then, because (and this is said with all due respect) there is no way in the world I’d text something like that: “hey, Im gr8! Nice 2meet u the other nyt! How r u? ?”.  First it would take entirely too long to have to figure out how to convert to text speak, and second, well, it looks extremely juvenile, at least to this “seasoned vet’s” eyes.  Your generation calls it lighthearted and whimsical, and honestly, that’s great.  Er…gr8.  My generation just wants to have a mini-convo and not have to figure out what in the heck’s being said by the other party.  The good thing is, I’m only interested in guys from my generation anyway, so I don’t have to worry about coming across as stilted and stuffy.  The one time I was texted like that by a new guy, my first reaction was “What, are you 12?”  He was 10 years my junior (mid-40’s at the time) and I just couldn’t take him seriously.  Fun guy, but not boyfriend material.  (That, and he was too grabby on the first date.  Good dancer though. 🙂 )

          I don’t want to have to analyze every little character in a text to gauge interest of the guy texting me.  I’m fully aware of that “wait a long time” business and MY interest will fade in a flash if I suspect he’s playing it.  And the timing, as in 30 minutes conveys too needy but 2 hours is good?  Well, it’s clear that there’s a lot of game playing incorporated into the act of texting.  Again, maybe it’s a generational thing.  I respond within a few minutes when I receive a text (if possible), and guys who text me do (and did) the same.  It’s respectful.  It’s interesting, though, to see how texting is interpreted by different generations.  I’m glad I don’t have to worry about being “hip.”  🙂

        2. Tom10

          @ SMC
          Hello SMC, it’s nice to talk to you. 🙂
           
          “It must definitely be a generational thing then, because (and this is said with all due respect) there is no way in the world I’d text something like that”
           
          Don’t worry SMC, all of your comments are very respectful.
           
          In fact I tend to agree with you that part of it is a generational thing. I came of age just as text messages were becoming ubiquitous; therefore it was the communication medium around which most of my earliest dating experiences were formed. Learning to read and write text speak was a big part of the fun. However, I believe that conventional texts themselves have since become nearly obsolete in terms of what the young “hip” people use now.
           
          “I don’t want to have to analyze every little character in a text to gauge interest of the guy texting me.”
           
          This is a fair point: if one was to analyze every communication in this manner then they would have no time to do anything else in life!
           
          However, I intentionally over-analyzed the simple text to make a point: that dating is a subtle little dance and it is in the interest of people who want to date successfully to be aware of this, if even subconsciously. Once somebody learns the basics tenets of how to communicate the correct amount of interest (not too much, not too little) to their prospective date, and also learns how to accurately gauge the interest level of their date (not too much, not too little) then communicating appropriately will become second nature.
           
          This principle extends to texting. People who are on the end of many fade-aways and disappearing acts would do well to analyse the reasons why. And one of the main culprits is poor skills in displaying/interpreting the appropriate level of interest to/from their prospective date. In my humble opinion.
           
          By the way, I’m far from hip myself. I just try to do what works. 🙂

        3. SMC

          Tom,

          Right back at you re: the respectful comments.  I appreciate your insight, and in fact, it’s because of this particular comment of yours, “People who are on the end of many fade-aways and disappearing acts would do well to analyse the reasons why.” is EXACTLY the reason why I sought out a dating coach and lucked into finding EMK’s site (and products).  My man of nearly 11 months was about to “fade away” and I knew it was somehow tied to what I was doing but I had no clue.  It actually did involve texting, in part, because I took certain things too seriously and tried to “fix” problems via text, which is a huge mistake.  That has since been replaced by only lighthearted flirting or bullet-style notes to convey short messages.  (I’ve worked on taking things too seriously, too, and just…don’t anymore.)  People who experience those disappearing acts would indeed do well to look inward and try to either figure it out or get help.

          BTW, the other coach from whom I purchased products also has sound advice from a female point of view, but there is often a little too much estrogen in the comment section.  One of the primary reasons I’m so interested in THIS blog is both because I’m getting EMK’s (male) point of view but also because many of the commenters are men, too, and there is much to be learned from you all.  Or… “y’all” as we say around here.  🙂

          Thanks for the lovely response.  I’m off to go spend the rest of the weekend up my man’s place and go dancing tonight.  Have a great weekend yourself!  🙂

  16. 16
    SMC

    Call me an old-fashioned fuddy duddy then, but to me, the extreme version of text speak looks and reads grade schoolish at best, somewhat ignorant at worst.  Only had one guy text me like that and it was an instant turnoff.  C u l8r?  It would take me longer to type that than it does “see you later.”  I want to be able to read texts, not have to decipher them.

    1. 16.1
      SMC

      Meant to add a smiley at the end of that one.  🙂

  17. 17
    Annie

    You dutch the bullet!

  18. 18
    SparklingEmerald

    http://www.anewmode.com/dating-relationships/guys-think-about-texting/

    I don’t care much for texting except in the cases of “On my way, see you soon” or “Running late, see you in about 20 mins”  but I hate texting for actually trying to set up a date.

    I think setting up a date should happen in one quick phone call, or be set up face to face.  It’s a process that should take minutes, not all day, or or several days. If this date MUST be set up by text, it shouldn’t be an all day back and forth convo.

    Of course, the male author of this article doesn’t seem to think so, and this is probably something in the battle of the sexes that will never be resolved.

     

     

     

  19. 19
    judy

    I think texting is a cop out.  It’s fine to send a “love you” or “miss you”.  Personally, I prefer to meet and speak with a man not a phone.  If he can’t be bothered to call me, or go out with me, what’s the point? (ditto women)

  20. 20
    Brenda

    Evan,  I so appreciate and love your straight forward no nonsense way with words and explaining men to us ladies, me at least!  Thank you for bring ( out) there for us.  I  am enjoying your podcasts, too!  Thanks.  When I do meet my Mr. Right I will send a note !

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