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Text Relationships? IDK

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Text Relationships? IDK

My kids taught me to text. They all have cell phones that they rarely answer except if I am calling, the condition that I set for paying for all their texting. But if I want an immediate response I know better, I text. Texting is actually quite convenient for taking care of the mundane details that can often jam up the works between all the kids and their various schedules. Increasingly I hear about their sorrows and joys over text too, although usually those exchanges put me into autodial on the phone. Come to think of it, most of the “love u’s” come through text now too.

Our basic need to connect and communicate is in the process of another significant face lift. The endless hours that I stretched the cord from the kitchen wall around the dining room table for some privacy and spoke endlessly to a couple of my closest friends is folklore now. Most people don’t even have phones in their kitchens. We still do, just for old time’s sake, but my kids rarely pick it up anyway. They know that no one would call them at that number. They have their own.

The shift to personal phones was just the beginning of cell-phone technology although I am still partial to real voice exchanges. In my memory and my mind, hearing a voice, even when I am far away connects me to that person and gives me a chance to hear an inflection. I can hear my children’s moods on the phone, harder to decipher in a text. Emoticon choices are only a small piece of the communication I have learned, the subtlety of text relationships is being invented among our youth and there are some reasons for concern.

A recent Pew Research Center report found that half of American teenagers 12-17, send 50 or more texts a day, a third send over 100 a day. Two thirds of the teens said they are more likely to text a friend than call, and more concerning still is that less than a third reported talking to their friends face to face. Not surprisingly, another recent study showed that kids between the ages of 8-18 spend 7.5 hours a day using electronic devices. Is all this techno time connecting with friends really substitute for the complexity of what happens in human relationships when people are together without their phones?

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Wendy Strgar

Wendy Strgar, founder and CEO of Good Clean Love, is a loveologist who writes and lectures on Making Love Sustainable, a green philosophy of relationships which teaches the importance of valuing the renewable resources of love, intimacy and family.  In her new book, Love that Works: A Guide to Enduring Intimacy,  she tackles the challenging issues of sustaining relationships and healthy intimacy with an authentic and disarming style and simple yet innovative adviceIt has been called "the essential guide for relationships."  The book is available on ebook.  Wendy has been married for 27 years to her husband, a psychiatrist, and lives with their four children ages 13- 22 in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

74 comments

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5:56PM PDT on Jun 4, 2010

cell fones were created by the devil!

2:20PM PDT on Jun 2, 2010

I am not a fan of texting. I may send one from time to time, but prefer to hear a voice instead of staring down at my phone trying to type everything out on my little keys just to have a conversation! My kids have a play phone that my 5 year old pretends she is texting on-courtesy of our older nieces who are constantly texting when they are over! Ugh! Don't they know that it's rude to come over to somebody's house and constantly be texting?! Where's the etiquette these days? I suppose I'm just more interested in the actual human connection than the electronic connection. By the way, I'm only 30.

1:13AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

sigh. so true.

6:20AM PDT on May 27, 2010

Great article. Thanks Wendy!!

2:06AM PDT on May 27, 2010

We still do, just for the good old days, but my children do not usually pick it up anyway. They know that nobody is going to call this number.
memory card reader

5:24AM PDT on May 26, 2010

i don't like texting because people can write everything they could' tell me face to face

2:13AM PDT on May 26, 2010

Great article, Wendy!
Irrespective of which side of the globe you live, kids are all the same.Although my kids are slightly older and we did not have to buy them cellphones, the cellphone craze has hit everywhere!
With apologies to the poor, we yet see most of them walking around with cellphones!
p,s, Are those lovely kids in the photograph all yours?

9:05AM PDT on May 25, 2010

Im guilty of texting over calling, its something I should really work on changing! Nice article!

8:30PM PDT on May 24, 2010

I'm honestly prefer a face to face conversation any day. Don't get me wrong I love texting but its not the same and its easy to lie that way.

6:49PM PDT on May 24, 2010

very good. ty.
btw...i hate to text....and i also hate phones:) mine is always in silent mode and i have it for emergencies. nothing can be better than to sit and talk.

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