How Texting Totaled My Relationship. ~ Brenda Clevenger

Via on Jun 3, 2012
Ron Chapple

Texting is a train wreck for all mankind.

It began innocently enough. We reconnected on Facebook and dived into what usually are those romantic months when you can get enough of each other and talk until all hours of the night.

We dined, danced, got carnal. Then things took a nosedive.

Texting started replacing our conversations and face time. Then texting progressed into sexting. Our threads grew longer and conversations shorter. The more we texted the more I felt something was missing; I couldn’t put my thumbs on what that something was. They were too busy trying to keep up with Big Tex Texter doing the digital-dialogue dance that I thought was the norm these days.

I playfully kept firing texts back in hopes of getting to hear that deep voice. I wanted to feel the heat of his breath against my ear or have a hard object in my hand other than my G4. What I finally received was weak and flaccid.

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He text-lashed me for my typos and incoherent blunders. I retaliated by giving him the no-text treatment for his time-lapsed responses that made no sense whatsoever and smelled of multi-women texting. Accusations and grammatical barbs flew. Then I paid the biggest price of all.

Texting Penalties Thrown

My Verizon bill arrived. I was penalized for grossly surpassing my texting limit. I was a novice, light-weight texter before this star-crossed love affair. Or should I say *69 love affair, because our attempt at dating was so tech dependent I didn’t know whether to call my shrink or customer support when I was ready to pull the plug.

As a professional communicator, I should have known the sterility of text-dominant dating was the kiss of death for any serious relationship among human primates who depend on five senses to connect. Groping a tiny electronic device to get a read on the vibe of your man that evening is like expecting that watching 60 Minutes can create the same tingle as a good porn flick.

Ironically, language is unique to humans and something we’re putting at risk if we continue to bury our faces in our phones rather than something more pleasurable.

Eleven billion text messages are being sent per second. Human communication is deteriorating. Adults are sending around 10 texts a day and teenagers around 50. Big Tex Texter and I were adults turning into teenagers. I’m embarrassed to say rather than reeling back, like an addict, I double downed.

I upgraded to the next bigger text bundle and allowed our text dependency to chip away at the weak foundation of our relationship even more.

What happened next was unthinkable.

The Ultimate Power Play: Using Texts as Ammo

When our relationship was on its last text, he began using our texts and time stamps as ammo to win arguments. “As you can clearly see I reached out to you at such and such time repeatedly while you chose to remain out of contact.” PLS. That really got me pissed off.

“Texts are perfect for manipulation,” says Sherry Turkle, a psychologist in the program in Science, Technology, and Society at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “We can create anxiety because it’s so intimate.”

The Kiss of Text

Big Tex Texter was a great guy, but I can read between the texts loud and clear—2BZ4UQT. I rarely got the CICU (can I see you) and only twice the CIP (cell it please).

Real d8s (dates) dried up. I’ll spare you the deets (details). I never got the 143 (I love you). I just got the TTTT (too tired to talk). Now it’s 2FB (too freaking bad) because it’s over.

So what began gloriously online ended gorily via email because texting should be the foreplay never the floorshow in a relationship.

LearningLark

Breakups by text are growing in numbers. Thirty percent of people who participated in an iPhone and Android app survey said they’d been dumped by a text; 31 percent adults say the prefer text as primary communications; and 65 percent of adults say they sleep with their phone by or in their bed. Yikes. TMI.

If you want to do something this weekend, call me. I know it’s old-fashioned, but conversation really turns me on.

 

 

Brenda Clevenger has been happily unmarried for 50 years. She enjoys writing, traveling dating, cats, yoga, art, fine wine and deep conversations.  Follow all the juicy adventures of life full speed after 50 at www.midlifemonalisa.com or at www.facebook.com/midlifemonalisa.

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Editor: ShaMecha Simms

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21 Responses to “How Texting Totaled My Relationship. ~ Brenda Clevenger”

  1. Ray In Charlotte says:

    This is clever and full of wisdom, too. Brenda is a great observer of today's social trends. Hope she gets away from texting and blogs more articles like this one.

  2. MaryAnn Fry says:

    As I said before, the method reveals the madness. The problem is intimacy and the dance of distancing.

  3. Sean says:

    That was terrific. Texting is hard. I wish they would invent a way to transmit your voice instead of just words. I'm looking forward to reading more of Brenda's posts.

  4. Chief Curmudgeon says:

    The only texts I receive are ads, meeting appointments (I tell the sender to phone or email me; I don't respond by text), drivel from friends who don't pay attention to my prefs, or an occasional note from my university's sports department. Except for blank "reply" acks to the U, I DON'T TEXT, which I tell folks once they've tried to reach me that way. I can't even convince my damn cell phone company to stop texting me. Sheesh. Whatever happened to communicating in the style preferred by the recipient — which may be seldom used, but remains a communications "best practice"?

  5. Spoken like a true Curmudgeon. Thank you for sharing your adamant opinions in a style only you and Rooney can/could do so well.

  6. Erin says:

    Great article! Real communication is so important in creating and sustaining a genuine relationship. I get disappointed when the men I date make it clear that they prefer texting over talking on the phone or in person. Hopefully, old-fashioned conversation will be in vogue sometime soon!

    • Vanessa Taylor, author of "Text, Love, Power" offered me some great advice. Quit texting back. So simple yet so effective. It forces the other party to talk or be left holding a cold phone. Brilliant.

  7. Cheryl says:

    Grammar police: "… I should have known the sterility of text-dominaNT dating…"
    Not 'dominate'.

  8. Michele says:

    Respectfully must disagree. I think it more depends on the people involved and the level of connectivity both people need at any given time. I have a texting lover, four years now, and some of those sms have been the most honest, loving, and intimate communications I've ever received or given. Because of geography and circumstance we can't see each other and a well timed text is just a way to let each other know – you are still in my heart. It's just another shade on the rainbow of relationships for me. I have other relationships that require more traditional ways of communicating but that is dependent on the dynamics of the people involved, not the method used. I think it's easy to label something a problem with society or young people today but I'm in my forties and know many others in all age groups that find ways to make technology work for them. Again I think it comes down to being mindful of one's own needs and communicating them clearly whether by face to face, phone call, email or text. Namaste & Happy Texting y'all! _/i_ :) <3

  9. Michelel says:

    _/i_ lol!

    • I envy you Michele and agree. If you have the intimacy on another level that is heightened by texting. Amen Sister. My relationship with Big Tex Texter was pretty much text only so very one-dimensional in a three dimensional world. I'm now in a relationship with a man who calls, touches, expresses, makes pancakes in the morning, and then texts as a top off. That's the ticket.

  10. Michele says:

    _/I_

  11. Hali says:

    Brenda, This is a great article and I agree with you. I have had no issues with my boyfriend and now husband that he has never sent a text message. Talking was absolutely the key for us and still is.

  12. sounds like there really wasn't a relationship to destroy. funny article well written and I daresay thought provoking.

    But remember all technology is a tool and it is neither good nor bad it simply is and how we use it or react to it is incumbent on us and nothing more. I find it funny that people say "call" it's better…I say why? at one point a letter was considered the height of great communication but if I send it an email it's impersonal? why??? it's all interpretation.

  13. Ray Brady says:

    Call me old fashion I want to look into your eyes and smell your perfume, and touch your soft skin as I see your sexy smile.

  14. [...] Text messaging allows people to hide and do the things they may never do if they were in person or talking on the phone. Texting has taken the place of dropping off a Dear John letter or email. It has made it easy for some people to sound like they have “game.” It also makes it painfully obvious when someone should try another form of communication, like smoke signals or Morse code. [...]

  15. cathy says:

    I am texting in my comment while on vacation in front of a lovely suntise

  16. Frederick says:

    11 billion a second? So the nearly the entire population of the earth is texting twice a second?

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