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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Don’t hide behind

    When used properly, a text message can bring you closer to your friend or lover. Like when they let you know you are loved during class. But when a text message is abused, such as when people ask you out – or worse, your significant other of six months breaks up with you via text – we have let something in our society go terribly wrong.

    However you see it, texting someone instead of calling them constitutes a passive-aggressive gesture – because the intimacy that takes place when one person hears another voice is completely void.

    There are legitimate reasons for text messaging, such as maintaining a quiet office or classroom or a time constraint, and very illegitimate reasons, such as general shyness that translates to phone shyness – or better yet, “”What needs to be communicated is difficult, and I am too scared to tell you in person.””

    Here the bashful and terrified find solace in an impersonal written script: if no response is returned, it can easily be rationalized that it was never received.

    Now the age-old argument that innovation in communication technology actually brings us farther apart than together is evoked. Yet with text messaging, the answer is far more complex.

    It was once a rare phenomenon that a break-up would happen via text, but such stories have become worse and more frequent. We have to end this texting abuse and let it be known that such a passive act is unacceptable.

    This alarming trend is sure to have dire implications for our generation. We will inevitably grow further apart if the certain uncomfortable rites of passage we as adults must endure (i.e., starting and ending relationships) are avoided and made impersonal simply because we are more scared and lazier than our predecessors.

    When serious information has to be shared between people, it should always be done in person or at least on the phone. Yes, sometimes the situations are awkward, uncomfortable or even terrible, but the experience helps builds a level of assertiveness and confidence that, as adults, we need to face even more dire scenarios.

    If you don’t have the ability or courage to communicate with someone whom you have been with for months, where will the courage come from when you find someone you are really in love with?

    If your answer is, “”I’ll send them a text message,”” I might be less forgiving than they are. We all know that a phone call can be as short as 45 seconds or, when important, at least a few minutes. Though not necessarily a fan, the thinking that stems from “”he’s not that into you”” would most likely support the idea that a text message can be interpreted as, “”I am not worth a two-minute phone call.””

    Ultimately, text messaging is a way of avoiding some of the most intimate moments people get to share with each other – and that’s a bad thing.

    It’s an intimate and vulnerable act to tell someone that you either like them or have to end things with them. Very rarely do you hear stories about either situation being easy to deal with, but the older we get, the more important it is that we learn to be assertive and express feelings that are difficult, even if it means rejection.

    Learning the best way to ask someone out or break up with them is a rite of passage into adulthood. Your palms may be sweaty and your ass may be clenched the entire time until the conversation is over, but by that time you have hopefully grown into a more mature person.

    Text-message etiquette is up to personal preference, but if you are one of those blessed with the gift of hearing and speaking, use it accordingly. Even if it is a two-minute phone call, you acknowledged the fact that whoever it is means enough for you to take a chance.

    Lila Burgos is an international studies junior. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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