Shelby Gilbert, 18, says she texts about “Oh my god, everything.” “We would text from as soon as we woke up in the morning until we went to bed,” she said of her relationship with an ex-boyfriend, who lived at a distance.
Text messaging is playing an ever-growing role in the romantic lives of technology-inclined young adults. A survey by AT&T released in October revealed that 64 percent of 18- to 35-year-olds use text messaging as a way of communicating with a significant other or flirting with a prospect.
“I text before I call,” said Thomas Brown, 23, of his gettingto-know-you method. Mr. Brown said he and his girlfriend exchange about 70 text messages a day, including “how is your day” and “I love you.”
According to Alecia Bridgwater, director of messaging for AT&T Mobility, texting has become more prevalent than talking on the phone, especially in the early stages of a relationship.
“The biggest benefit of texting is breaking that barrier of the first contact,” Ms. Bridgwater said. “It establishes a common ground, it alleviates fear. If they meet someone and get a number, they’ll text first. They’ll learn about the person. Conversely, maybe they find they’re not compatible.”
Not everyone agrees. Patrick Corcuera, 23, said he prefers to get to know someone face to face, but he will text to check in or make plans.
While text messaging can be a convenient way to stay in touch, it shouldn’t be considered a viable option for certain topics, users say.
Both Ms. Gilbert and Mr. Brown agree that they don’t like to text about arguments or serious issues in a relationship. Mr. Brown also added that he refrains from text messaging anything too personal.
“People text more than they talk,” said Ms. Bridgwater. “It’s beginning to replace talking because people are really busy. It’s a way to get the message across when people can’t answer the phone.”
Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...