I wonder sometimes how much technology has effected, or perhaps AFFECTED relationships; particularly in the last 5-10 years. Texting is just an understood form of communication now. When I was in high school, if you could text on your phone, you were probably pulling a pretty hefty salary.
Or you were a spy.
Back in those days, you couldn’t escape communication. That is to say, you couldn’t just ignore your phone all day and claim you were “busy” if your significant other wanted to talk. You usually had made plans a few days in advance. If you wanted to break them off, you had to phone them. That direct link to the person made it so much more difficult to not express full sentences or thoughts. Nowadays, it’s just as simple as a few keystrokes and you could be Scot free.
You also lose a lot of context. Verbal context is important. Inflections and tones are crucial. This often gets lost in texts and can sometimes spiral into the most ridiculous arguments. There are ways to try and insinuate tone, but they just come off all wrong in my opinion. JK, the use of quote-asterisks (you know, where you put a word inside asterisks to give it *EXTRA* emphasis, or to denote an action), and if you’re super L337, you’ve figured out how to text in italics.
I’ve been lucky enough to find an amazing girl with whom communication has not been a problem. We still text a lot. It’s a matter of convenience, mostly. We’re really good at making sure we understand the other person’s intent with words though. We don’t hide behind acronyms or fancy fonts to disguise what we mean, we just mean it. We hash things out…sometimes WITH #hashtags. I wonder sometimes though…
Would things be different without this modern technology? When I lay awake at night thinking about her, things I want to say, I know I can just send them to her and she can read them in the morning.
Is that helpful?
Is it detrimental?
I sit there sometimes thinking cyclically over whether or not I should pick up my phone. Should I send an email? Facebook? Does it matter more what I say, or what I don’t say? I usually just end up closing my eyes and drifting off to sleep. I’m trying to make a concentrated effort to say these things to her face.
Tone, intent, inflection. Those things are important.
I owe technology a great deal in regards to this relationship. It wouldn’t be there otherwise. Yet some nights, I think back to the days when it wasn’t so easy. I think about where we would be without the ease and convenience of the text message. I wonder a lot of nights whether she thinks about these same things.
Does her cellphone sitting on the desk tempt her as much as mine does me?
Most nights though, I just drift away, smile, and think about when that digital curtain gets drawn back.
I’m a lucky guy to be able to live on both sides of it.