Texting Is Not Communicating

One of the ways you can date a movie is by observing the telephone usage of the characters.  For instance, how many chick flicks have you seen where Mom answers the phone and it’s, swoon!, Bobby from the football game calling to speak with Megan.  Does Meg play hard to get and pretend like she’s not home?  Will Mom jot down a message and stick it to the fridge?  Maybe Megan grabs the phone up in her room and excitedly twirls the cord around her finger as she accepts Bobby’s invitation to dinner.

In every dorm room and apartment I’ve shared with friends, I’ve wanted to get a communal landline and implement the message corkboard.  Of course I never voiced my desires, but it all seemed so…quaint.  In my head I pictured us all going out to the bar on Friday night and waking up Saturday afternoon to a barrage of post-its sporting guys’ names and numbers.  Maybe we’d even have a color-coded system.  Red for hottie, blue nottie, pink for potentially gay.

In reality, Saturday afternoons were spent on the couch watching Housewives marathons and being jarred out of a trance as our cell phones vibrated and beeped.  Todd says: “Nice 2 meet U last nite.  Going out agn?”  Mark says: “Wut up?”

I’ve been there, and I’d bet ten dollar-beers that you’ve been there, too.  The sad part is, we’ll respond, albeit halfheartedly, knowing exactly what they’re getting at.  “Going out again?” is code for “Wanna make out tonight if we happen to be wasted at the same place at the same time?” and a seemingly innocent “What’s up?” is the product of a moronic mind who has nothing more interesting to say to the goddess of a woman he met over Long Islands.

Even worse is the moment when you get a text-friendly guy physically in front of you.  Ted Koppel has more personality!  He was a big hotshot when he had his phone to do the wooing (“I kno the bouncr, brews on me”; “You looked so hott in that top”) but now he’s all sweaty hands shoved in pockets and shuffling feet.  Being the mature adult you are, you ask his major, maybe where he’s from.  One-word answers and glassy eyes, that’s what you get in response.  And to think, you wasted a good 15 texts on this guy.


Now, the Huffington Post is reporting that text messaging is quickly replacing spoken communication. WTF, peeps? What has texting done to us?  I know it’s easier, quicker, and less awkward than a phone call, but come on!  Do you think Angelina got Brad by pix-messaging him pictures of her boobs?  You better believe she knows the power of a flirtatious touch and a well-timed batting of her eyelashes.  And that world famous lip pucker doesn’t translate via cell.

Nearly every woman dreams of possessing the wiles of Ange, ScarJo, Halle, or Miss Diaz.  You chase the dream of being one of these universally drooled-upon sexual icons.  In the name of self improvement, you drop hundreds of dollars every year on magazines just to get tips on how to impress quality guys and “find out what they’re really thinking.”  Have you ever stopped to consider maybe the real 10s think you’re a future cat lady who needs to ditch the Blackberry and learn to flirt in real time?  Or that maybe you’ve already got what it takes if you would just get out from behind that little key pad and pick up the phone when face time isn’t an option.  Picture all the women you admire sitting in their sweatpants agonizing over whether to text “CUlater” or “CUlater babe”.  It’s not happening.  In all likelihood, the girls getting the guys aren’t the ones with bed head and rapid-type thumbs, they’re the ones out there using their humor and well-timed hair flips to make it happen.

Now I know some of you are out there crying out how you had an intense heart-to-heart with a guy just last week!  Please look back and reassess the situation: were you sitting on a curb or porch, smoking a cigarette, holding a beer in one hand your heels in another?  Drunken admissions do not count for quality conversation.

To all you text-aholics this probably sounds harsh, but sometimes tough love is the best kind.  Texting is not communicating – it’s avoiding real communication. If you want to build relationships you’ve got to put down the phone and talk to someone already!



  1. Catherine says:

    My guy doesn't seem to understand this! I hate relying on texting!

  2. Mae says:

    I agree 100%!!

  3. Mandie says:

    I think texts should be used as sparingly as possible. It is true that you aren't going to know who they really are until you have a conversation in real time, no editing, and maybe some awkward pauses. It also shows that you have some guts, rather than taking the weaker approach and sending a message. I would appreciate a call from a guy so much more than a text. Great article, Alex!

  4. Amy says:

    This is very true. My last boyfriend seemed to feel that it was ok to only ever communicate with me via text. If I ever called him, he was really uncomfortable, and would ask why I didn't just want to text. Needless to say, such poor communication quickly led to a breakup.

  5. Jenn says:

    I had a D&M with my BFF over text while she was in the bathroom during a date with a guy she really liked that was going really badly. I am saying this because it is possible to have a meaningful conversation in text but only when you know the person SO well that you don't have to decipher the emotion behind the words you just 'know'

  6. Ely says:

    I could not agree more. Every boy I have ever been seeing/dating/hooking up with/talking to/whatever people call it these days, I let them know that I hate texting and prefer talking on the phone for communication outside seeing each other. I know they are genuinely interested when they listen to that one simple statement and pick up the phone to call me, even if it means texting me to see what time they should call to talk. I know it isn't the real deal when that statement means nothing to a guy and he continues to text me–and of course the worst is when we have an actual texting conversation (my biggest pet peeve) but have nothing to say to each other in person.

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  8. Ugochi @ Beauty 365 says:

    i'm so adamant about this!

    my fav line from the article is "Texting is not communicating – it’s avoiding real communication"

    i'm glad to see that there are other people who realize what texting is doing to relationships.


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