More Breakups by Text Messages Don't Make It Right

woman texting on her iphoneWith the Wikipedia blackout hanging over us today, our dependence on technology to get through a day is glaringly obvious. By relying on sites that are dark today to dig up free information, we've lost our ability to, say, use a library catalogue properly or read a reference book! But that's not our only problem. By relying on other digital means to communicate with one another (you know, like texting, email, Facebook), we've also lost our manners -- and sensitivity!

Consider the findings from a recent survey: One in 10 people are dumped via text message these days. Whaaaat?! Shouldn't that strike us as obnoxious or, at the very least, really sad?


It used to be that even breaking up with someone over the phone was considered rude and inappropriate, although, of course, it depends on how long you were actually seeing one another. (Two weeks? Phone call seems totally okay. Two years? Hell no, not okay!)

But ever since the majority of us have turned into text junkies, it's as if the rules of the game have changed. Some of us have put our sense of what's decent and right on a shelf and justified our most cowardly instinct -- a break-up message sent via Wi-Fi or 4G -- by thinking, "Well, everyone's doing it now, so why shouldn't I?"

Sadly, leaning on texts and email to do our dirty work is like poison to our most important relationships, romantic or professional, with family members, etc. I speak from experience. Someone who is very dear and close to me, but who happens to be a bit too comfortable with "text convos" (you know, basically using your phone like an instant messenger), approached me recently about a nerve-wracking, upsetting issue via text. I was really disappointed in how she handled it. A face-to-face talk was out of the question due to distance, but she could have and should have talked to me over the phone. That would have been the right thing to do. 

I called her almost immediately and tried to explain how I felt, but later, I realized I almost couldn't get mad, because it's something some of us don't even think about anymore. When we're afraid and want to avoid confrontation, some of us immediately gravitate to text or email without even considering the consequences.

But we've got to get over it. Maybe think about how we'd like to be the person on the receiving end of that text or email. Just because these means of communication have become such an instinctual part of our daily lives doesn't mean they're acceptable ways to have serious, intimate, weighty conversations. We owe it to one another to brave up and pick up the phone instead.

Have you ever been broken up with via text? Do you think texting, email, etc. are appropriate ways to handle tough convos?


Image via Jhaymesiviphotography/Flickr

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