Hiding Behind Textnology

We’ve talked a great deal about how texting is changing the dating game.  We’ve theorized on the “instant” and “false” intimacy created by social media relationships.  Well…now we have the research to back our suspicians.

Christian Mingle and JDate recently conducted a survey of 1500 smartphone users aged 21-50, who are dating or have been in a relationship less than two years and studied their texting behavior.

The results are surprising…

Among the findings from USA Today:

•Approximately one-third of men (31%) and women (33%) agree it’s less intimidating to ask for a date via text vs. a phone call.

•One in four say an hour is the longest acceptable response time to a text to someone you are dating or interested in dating; one in 10 expect a response instantly or within a few minutes.

•More men (44%) than women (37%) say mobile devices make it easier to flirt and get acquainted.

“Texting is kind of an ongoing conversation. It does make it easier to flirt. Maybe you’re talking every day,” says Alex Pulda, 27, who works in product research in San Francisco. “It’s not like text conveys a ton of emotion, but you are getting a little more comfortable with each other.”

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According to Ruthie Dean, co-author Real Men Don’t Text (published in September) guys use text messages to send the same message to multiple women. ‘Hey, do you want to hang out tonight.’ They’re kind of fishing for a response,” she says.

Dean, 28, notices that millenials— generally born 1982 to 2000 —have a “a huge handicap in communication. We have our heads down in our smartphones a lot. We don’t know how to express our emotions, and we tend to hide behind technology, computers and social media.”

“People are uncomfortable using the phone. A text message is easier. You can think exactly what you want to say and how to craft it. When they are face-to-face or over the phone, there’s this awkwardness,” she says.

She says telephone calls are often thought of as an intrusion, while texting affords a way of “controlling the volume,” a term she uses to describe the sense of control that text gives users that they can’t get with a voice conversation.

“We tell ourselves we don’t want to disturb someone. Sometimes it’s true, but more often, it’s because we can’t get them off the phone,” she says.

In texting, “we don’t have to talk to people or listen to what another person has to say. We decide how we want to encounter or whether we want to encounter other people. Technology gives us tools for controlling our relationships.”

How is texting changing the way you date?

Comments

  1. I hate it! As I can only speak from a guys perspective, I’ve noticed that girls I’ve met and gotten phone numbers from don’t answer phone calls, making the text message necessary if the guy wants to arrange a date. Something I could accomplish in 2 min on a phone call, arranging a date, could take all day over text messages. I think girls use it to keep their options open and not commit, and it’s easier for them to flake on plans via text than it is to via a phone call.
    But in Latin America people still answer phone calls (for now)!
    P.S.- I’m sure guys are guilty of our own texting sins, I just don’t know what they are.

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