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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Pick up the phone to call, not text

    “So, I met this guy last week and I thought he really liked me, because he was texting me all the time, and then suddenly he started taking longer to respond. I think he’s not interested anymore. You better believe, I am not texting him until he texts me first. I can’t believe he led me on like that.”

    Does that sound familiar? That’s because you’ve probably heard someone say it or have said it yourself. Perhaps not word for word, but please raise your hand if you’ve ever made assumptions at the beginning of a relationship, based solely on texts? My hand just hit the ceiling.

    Once upon a time, people pursuing potential mates evaluated each other on personality, looks, lifestyle and how the person felt he or she was being treated. People always will base their opinions on the categories listed above, but now, a more relevant and scrutinized trait is a person’s texting habits. People, especially us college students, rely on texting to get to know someone. Both men and women are equally guilty of this. We are all busy, and texting is quick and convenient and facilitates communication throughout the day. I’ve used those arguments too. But instead of spending three hours on Facebook or watching TV, pick up the damn phone, call and meet in person.

    For budding relationships, texting is not only used as a screening device, but also as a deal-breaker. It sounds absolutely ridiculous because it is. From simply looking to get some action to embarking on a long-lasting romantic journey, cellular discourse is now crucial in the process. Take my starting quote, for example. The pothetical girl first assumed the hypothetical guy liked her and then assumed he didn’t based only on his texting frequency. What if the poor guy was having phone issues or was working? You’re just getting started, don’t expect him to drop the whole world just to send back a response to your simple “hey” text message.

    This example addresses some aspects of texting: You don’t know what the person is physically doing and you cannot tell the person’s mood (emoticons do not count). Therefore, one of every student’s favorite forms of interaction is inherently deceiving. At the start of a relationship, why do we communicate and subsequently put so much emphasis on texting, when it’s not a reliable source to get to know someone?

    As I mentioned before, texting can be a deal-breaker. Let’s classify some different types of texters and how they might mislead people:

    First up, we have Lazy Texters. Lazy Texters often initiate the conversation, and then leave the responsibility of carrying on the conversation with the other person, rarely asking questions and usually responding with one-word answers.

    Then we have the Minimalists. Minimalists make their texts short, concise, and often take longer to respond. They are also notorious for ignoring people, but you would never know this, because you didn’t call. This leads us to another bittersweet characteristic of texting: you really don’t know if someone has seen your text or not (unless you have Blackberry Messenger, then your cover is blown).

    The next type is the Stage Five Clinger, who will constantly blow up your phone wanting to know what you’re doing, where you’re going, and where you live. This texter sometimes sends text after text, even when you’re not responding. Creepy.

    A less creepy yet still consistent type of texter is the Text-a-holic. They are constantly texting — regardless of who it is — and they experience separation anxiety when away from their phones.

    The use of texting to get acquainted with someone is really just a small portion of humanity’s increasing problem of becoming socially inept. I said socially inept, not social networking inept, as in not being able to communicate with someone face to face. The next time you meet someone and get that warm and fuzzy feeling in your tummy, break through the technological barricade and get to know the person in person. And, please refrain from sending the emoticon with hearts for its eyes.

    _— Kelly Hultgren is a journalism junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu. _

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