The Effects Of Texting On Relationships

The Effects Of Texting On Relationships

Adults Spend A Total Of 23 Hours A Week Texting, Sending 67 Text Messages Per Day On Average According To USA Today And Business Insider. What Affects Can This Much Texting Daily Have On Our Relationships?
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Texting has become a part of daily life in the American culture. People use texting to communicate with friends, keep in touch with family, and talk to significant others. According to the Pew Research Center's Pew 2010 Internet and American Life Project, about 75 percent of 12 to 17-year-olds own cell phones in the United States. 50 percent of these teens send more than 50 text messages per day, while 33 percent send more than 100 messages per day (Blanchard). Can this heavy amount of texting have any major effects on relationships?

In traditional relationships before texting existed, relationships were started by growing up together, meeting in a social setting, getting a cup of coffee, or connecting through friends. If the first impression is successful, then there is a second date, a third, and so on. Today, the majority of relationships start online through dating sites like eHarmony or social media such as Facebook, and continue through text. If this first date is successful, the couple exchanges phone numbers and text or call from time to time to arrange future dates or just stay connected (DiDonato).

An online survey of 982 people at the University of Plymouth showed some major differences between people who prefer to text, and people who prefer to call, and more specifically, how texting affects their relationships (Reid). The study found that overall “Texters” were more likely to feel lonely and socially anxious than “Talkers.” Texters also developed deeper relationships with the person they texted the most, which was expected. Texters reported that texting helped develop new relationships, while also adding another way to communicate that they felt added something new to the relationships they already had (Reid).

One of the most interesting findings of this study was that if a family member to a Texter read his or her text messages, they would be surprised by what they read. This suggests that Texters may live two different lives to a certain extent. They may act one way around their family, and completely different through text messages to friends or relationship partners. The survey also showed that Texters feel more comfortable saying things through text rather than face to face, which allows them to have more personal conversations than they would usually have in person. Overall, the study found that texting is important to a Texters relationships and their way of life, while texting does not have a big impact on callers as a whole (Reid).

A personal study on how texting affects teenager relationships showed that 90.5 percent of teens between the age of 13 and 19 text daily and 85.7 percent felt that texting benefits their relationships. Although the slight majority believed texting had only positive effects on relationships due to convenience and the ability to keep in contact with family and friends. Those who believed texting has at least some negative impacts said that miscommunication and overuse were the biggest problems with texting.

On the other hand, “researchers at Brigham Young University recently found heavy texting to be associated with relationship dissatisfaction among both men and women” (Gregoire). Their study found that when texting is used for what they called “relationship maintenance,” both parties showed dissatisfaction. Relationship maintenance meaning resolving fights and delicate issues such as “where we are in the relationship” conversations that could have major impacts on the relationship. The researchers also found that having in-person conversations interrupted by texting had a negative effect on the emotional connection in a relationship (Gregoire). According to Theresa DiDonato from Psychology Today, in a study looking into the effects of texting on different genders in relationships “the more men text with a partner, the less happy they tend to be, the less happy their romantic partners tend to be, and the more their partners tend to report considering breaking up with them.” The same study found that women who use texting to monitor their relationships were less happy than those who did not (DiDonato).

A recent Intel survey reflected the findings of both of these studies. The survey, based on young people, found that more than 60 percent of all respondents believed they rely on technology, and called it “dehumanizing,” while at the same time 70 percent of the respondents said that technology improves their relationships. This leads to the conclusion that texting and technology are beneficial to relationships as long as they are used correctly, for the right reasons and are not overused (Gregoire).

Aside from relationships involving an intimate partner, texting also affects family relationships. The biggest role of a parent in their child's life is to act as their teacher and guide them through life, helping them deal with all of the new experiences they have yet to be faced with. This way of life can be disrupted by the new advances in technology. In today’s society, teenagers are much more advanced with technology than their parents are. This can make it difficult for some parents to offer advice and properly guide their children through things like the internet, texting, and social media, which can lead to a disconnect between parents and their kids. Children can develop disrespect towards their parents due to the lack of authority that parents have with technology and on the internet (Taylor).

Technology also provides a way for teenagers to be more independent. Since they are more experienced with technology, it is possible to feel a sense of superiority. This feeling of superiority can help contribute to the loss of respect and unwillingness to listen that teenagers may have towards their parents' rules and restrictions. This loss of respect is not all the children’s fault, though. Since technology can take up large amounts of time throughout the day parents often have significantly more free time from their kids throughout the day. When parents do not have to entertain their children anymore they will often find themselves absorbed in some of today’s technology. For example, while children are playing video games, texting their friends or relationship partners or watching YouTube videos, the parents end up using a lot of their free time “talking on their mobile phones, checking email, or watching TV” (Taylor). At this point, technology has created a family divide as each member of the family ends up using technology more often than they spend time with each other (Taylor).

According to Jim Taylor, a writer for Psychology Today, a study looking into how technology affects family relationships found that children were so absorbed in technology that when their working parent got home from work, only 30 percent of children greeted them, while 50 percent completely ignored them. Another study found that “family time” was not affected by technology when used for school, but was affected when used for entertainment purposes. This gives some interesting implications as to how families are spending their time at home. The same source found that the average size of homes has grown by 50 percent in recent years, which provides more space for family members to spread further away from each other if they wanted to. Considering that technology has been found to disrupt family time and relationships, it is reasonable to consider that families do in fact use the extra space of their homes to get away (Taylor).

Overall, texting is both beneficial and harmful to relationships. The benefits being faster communication over long distances, a more private way of communicating, and easier to share information. The negatives being the damage it can cause if used too often or for the wrong reasons, such as talking about relationship changing issues, uncomfortable situations, or as a way to keep tabs on a partner. Family relationships are also damaged and improved by the use of texting. It provides a great and convenient way to communicate with both close and distant family, but also hurts the relationships at home. Phones and computers take up a large majority of a family’s everyday life, which causes them to lose important family time. Phones also can cause a loss of respect from teenagers who are technologically superior to their parents. All of which can cause the family to separate and lose everyday family values.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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Supporting Late-Term Abortion Is Actually The Opposite Of Feminism

Feminism is about gender equality and women supporting women- so shouldn't we support the unborn women of tomorrow?

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Before you read this, if you are someone who feels strongly that abortions are the "right" choice and that supporting late-term abortions is a step for woman anywhere, I do not suggest you read this article. However, I do want to write that I support conditional abortions- situations where the birth can kill the mother or where conception occurred because of rape. If someone rapes you, that is not okay by any means, and a baby conceived of rape can be terminated by the mother to avoid PTSD, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and any other mental health diagnoses. Of course, if a woman can bring a baby into the world to keep or give up for adoption, even if it was the product of rape, she should seek life for the innocent child rather than death. And what a rape victim chooses to do is neither here nor there- and it damn well is not anyone else's business.

So why should it be my business (or anyone's) if women have late-term abortions? Agreeing to murder out of convenience should not be societally accepted as okay. When the law passed in New York for late-term abortions, I did not picture 39-week pregnant women rushing to Planned Parenthood to abort their child because they got cold feet. I highly doubt that is the exact scenario for which the law went into effect for, and that was more so intended for women who did not realize they were pregnant and missed the time period to get a legal abortion.

Not that I support early-term abortion, because all abortion is the same regardless of when it happens during the pregnancy. Killing someone sooner rather than later does not make it less worse.

Excuses about how women are not ready to be mothers, do not have the financial means, would ruin their futures, they would get kicked out, lose their bodies, etc. are just that- excuses. Carrying a child for nine months might be an inconvenience, but killing someone will be on your conscience forever. If murders pleaded their motives to police as a way to justify what they did (excluding self-defense), what difference is it if a woman kills her unborn child?

Planned Parenthood might be taboo and have a stigma attached to it, but it does so much more than kill babies. Planned Parenthood is a place where girls can go to see OB/GYNO, get birth control, and learn about safe sex, protection, STDs, etc. Instead of stigmatizing it, young women should be encouraged to go to this institution for woman and feminism. Let high school health classes plan field trips there so that everyone becomes more educated on female health (boys included!). Female health education is very limited, especially in school, and many women feel that an abortion is their only way out, however, it's not. By becoming more educated, the rate of teen pregnancies can go down, as well as the need for abortions. Women educating other women should be the goal of Planned Parenthood, and abortions should be reserved for those who got raped or whose pregnancy cause death, health complications, etc.

Abortion might be giving women a choice- but who is giving the unborn babies a choice?

And of course the only way to 100% prevent pregnancy is abstinence, and if that is your choice then good for you, and if you choose to have sexual intercourse, good for you too. Be safe. No slut shaming here. Women need to continue supporting other women, regardless of their sex life. Women who have abortions are not "whores" and should not be labeled as such- they are just people whose biology reacted to another person's biology.

If you truly do not want to have a baby, please please please give it up for adoption and do not kill it. It did nothing wrong, and yeah, it might be a little inconvenient to be pregnant, especially if you are in school, but there are hundreds of thousands of people that would love nothing more than to raise your baby. Be a woman supporting other woman and give the gift of motherhood.

If you take away anything from this article it's this:



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