Lifestyle

Saturday 30 August 2014

Guys beware, texting is a social minefield

A few weeks ago, feeling bored and a couple of glasses into a bottle of wine, I texted a man who I used to see (very casually) and can still be relied upon for a bit of flirty text action (a couple of times he tried to step this up into flirty sext action, but I shot him down, because there's nothing less sexy than sexting unless at least one of you is a former poet laureate)

True to form, he quickly responded, and started flirting away (I say 'flirting', he made some crack about needing a visit from the nurse, and stuck a winky face emoticon on the end of everything ... that's flirting, right?). He then followed this barrage of Shakespearean amour with: 'I'm really sorry, but I've lost all the numbers on my phone, who is this?' Yep – he had no idea who I was, and just put it out there to EVERYONE. ALL THE TIME. I'm not even sure when he lost my number – he could have been blithely textually winking to a total stranger for months.

At the same time, I was receiving a constant stream of messages from a man I'd made a vague commitment to go for a coffee with. Coffee man ended every text with a stream of questions, sent a follow-up message if I didn't respond within a few hours, and replied to my increasingly monosyllabic responses instantly, with more questions. The whole thing started to feel like a serious obligation and in the end, I told him I couldn't make the coffee and asked him to stop contacting me. His texts were, essentially, romantic napalm.

Time magazine has just published an article entitled: 'Textual Relations: Couples Who Text Too Much Aren't As In Love As They Want You To Think.'

The piece stated that while couples who sent each other loving texts reported higher levels of satisfaction with their relationships, men who sent high numbers of texts to a woman reported lower relationship quality than men who sent less (this wasn't the case for women). The article speculated: "as men disconnect from a relationship, or consider a break-up, they replace face-to-face interactions with less intimate communication in the form of increased texting".

If you're one of those people who is comedy gold on text, email and Facebook, but suck life out of the room in person, then text away.

But chances are you're far more engaging and funny in real life (almost no-one is as funny as they think they are in texts), then pick up the phone and save the rambling texts for your mum. Mums LOVE it.

Irish Independent

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