It’s a situation all too familiar to college girls, waiting for hours or days for a text message, only to be disappointed by a one-word response. It can be a frustrating situation, especially when you’re just getting to know someone. Do the short responses and delayed answers mean he’s not interested, or does he just struggle with the constant communication?
“Boys aren’t great at communicating through text message because it seems like they’re more visual creatures,” said Morgan Katz a West Bloomfield First-Year. “Girls probably like texting because it gives us reassurance, but guys aren’t like that they don’t need that reassurance. They just want you to text them when you want to hang out or spend time together but they’re not into the 24/7 communication.”
Texting is a more casual form of communication, and often the rules are more relaxed than other forms of communication. Megan Hill, a communication studies professor here at Albion gave her thoughts on the issue.
“What may be appropriate ‘text speak’ may not be appropriate in an email or in face-to-face communication,” Hill said. “Each situation has its own set of communication rules, so to speak, and it’s important to know not only what these rules are but when they apply.”
Hill also reminds us that during face-to-face communication we derive much of our understanding about tone and emotion from nonverbal communication all of which gets lost while texting.
“Certainly, through the use of emoticons we can try to approximate our nonverbal meanings, but these are only approximations,” Hill said.
Dana Demchak, a Romeo first-year, agreed.
“I know emoticons can seem girly, but they’re a great way to add emotion to what could otherwise be a pretty monotonous text,” Demchak said.
While most agree that emoticons can add personality and emotion to texting, chat speak and abbreviations do nothing to help a boy appear in a flattering light. Many will appreciate the effort of tying out entire words and only using abbreviations sparingly.
“Type out entire words, don’t just put ‘k’ or ‘probs’,” said Candace Cullens, a Grand Rapids sophomore.
“They should use proper spelling and grammar,” said Emily Maule, Iron Mountain first-year. “They should also learn not to take hours to reply.”
Whether it’s for better or worse, texting is a huge part of modern communication. And like any part of communication, it takes some effort and attention to get it right. But don’t let your texting say it all for you, make plans to meet up with the girl you’re talking to, or even try calling her from time to time. In a world of instant and sometimes meaningless communication, changing it up every so often can do wonders to improve your relationship with anyone.
Photo by Alex Carey