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4th November 2013

Why I hate texting

Texting is many people’s preferred form of communication. But, says Emmanuel Demuren, it adds nothing to romance.

Call me cynical if you like, but I absolutely detest texting. Not texting generally as a means of communication, but as a means to an end – that end being forming some kind of lasting, tangible bond with a member of the opposite sex (or same sex if you are that way inclined), and to find out whether you are romantically compatible through the medium of words on a screen.

Small talk by text is boring. I cannot, for the life of me, keep up the façade that I actually give a shit what they’re eating for dinner, what they’re doing in the day tomorrow (when you know full well that they’ll be in the library), or what their favourite colour is (OK this never happens, but you get the point). Not because I don’t care, but because these small, trivial (yet important) points should be discussed when you actually see the person.

There is a positive motive behind this rant, I promise. There just seems to be something missing when flirting by text, and in person is always better. The fact that you can’t see how the other person is responding is a crucial problem; body language is a massive part of any interaction, not to mention something as complicated and potentially frustrating as a romantic one. My worry is that the phenomenon of text flirting is part of a wider culture of social regression in which we have become so unashamedly absorbed in technology that we are losing elements of our culture that we cherished in the past. It represents a process of desensitisation that ultimately makes our society less and less concerned with truly human interaction. As novelist Aldous Huxley writes, “technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards.” Written many years ago, this statement is disturbingly relevant to modern day society. I’m not suggesting that flirting by text is going to completely replace actual interaction, but we should keep an eye on our usage of technology in romantic situations, as it can create an unnecessary superficial boundary between two people.

Romance isn’t dead just yet, but as members of a generation that is becoming alarmingly obsessed with technology, we must be careful not to be accomplices in its demise.

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