June 4, 2012

How Texting Totaled My Relationship. ~ Brenda Clevenger

Texting is a train wreck for all mankind.

It began innocently enough. We reconnected on Facebook and dove into what usually are those romantic months when you can’t get enough of each other and talk at 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.

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.

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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