Does texting make communicating less personal? Yes.

By Colin Remes

Texting hasn’t made things more impersonal. It’s given boring people a chance to be funny at the beginning of relationships. The massive technological advances we have made as a society over the years have changed the way we communicate, but it has not made it more impersonal. Yes, men used to have to call the ladies they charmed enough to talk a phone number out of (actually call, not text). Now, the primary first contact is through texting. This does not mean communication is less personal. This just means the social rules are changing.

If a man were to call a woman before texting her first these days-and the two are under 30-the woman may find it too forward. Texting after meeting someone may not be as personal as talking over the phone, but this has allowed couples starting out to better deal with their nervousness. A guy or girl may be terrified to call someone for the first time because they think that they may say something wrong, or try to make a joke and fail miserably. Texting allows fledgling couples to hide how boring and unfunny they are by giving them more time to figure out their responses and edit them accordingly because they are written.

Here’s the truth: Most people are uninteresting and unfunny in person either because that’s just how they are, or they are too nervous to be themselves properly with someone they initially really like.

Texting has just slowed down the process of social penetration, which is exactly what it sounds like, but to be clear, it’s the process by which two or more people get to know each other over time. Some women may have an idea that they would fall head-over-heels for a guy who wrote them a handwritten letter expressing their desire to court said woman with grand poetry and lovely metaphors. Most modern men or women would think that person was completely insane and get a restraining order. So don’t pine for something that you would probably react to negatively, anyway.

What has changed as a result of texting is an increase in the lack of formality, and I assure you, that annoys me to no end. So here are a few tips to not look like a badly educated 13-year-old when writing in other forms, such as e-mails or letters (if anyone sends those anymore):

Start with a proper greeting in the top left corner to whomever your writing to. It can be as simple as this: “Professor Smith -“. Then leave a space or two and write the message. An abbreviation like, “lol”, “brb”, “ttyl”, “txt” and “2” in place of “too” or “to” means your e-mail should be immediately ignored and deleted, especially if it is to a professor or co-worker. Always express gratitude, especially when you’re asking for something, and then end the letter/email with your name in the bottom right of the message.

Texting has not made things more impersonal in romantic relationships. It has made people forget how to properly write something other than a text. In general, leave the texting type of writing to texting and texting alone. It is a tragedy and, honestly, pathetic, that so many people have forgotten how to talk to each other respectfully and with proper formality when appropriate.

You wouldn’t respond to one of your girlfriend’s dad’s jokes with, “Lmfao Pops!” unless you wanted to get banned from the man’s house and have him dislike you forever.