Texting, sexting, winning and sinning

Ah, it’s a cruel world. Relationships flourish amid a blossoming of emotions that resembles Spring’s fervid fecundity. Then winter chills sweep in and romance withers and dies. True, it was always thus but these days it seems we are making parting such sour sorrow.

The advent of new technologies transforms societies in ways we can scarcely imagine at the outset. The era of mobile phones, smartphones, iPads and all the rest have opened an Aladdin’s Cave of new communication opportunities. Yet, in a bizarre twist to the tale, we are witnessing the death of our ability to communicate well. How could this be?

Well, clearly, the pressure of distraction in contemporary society has created a huge impetus to abbreviate. This compression of thought has been exacerbated by today’s addiction to rapidity. We therefore compound the loss of meaning that departs with abbreviation with a loss of time to think, thanks to a need for speed, and we end up with a new shorthand version of English known as texting.

For a purist, it’s a tragedy. Equally, it’s a reality that is not going to disappear quickly, if at all.

Still, it’s fascinating to see some of the consequences. Seems young lovers these days are taking the easy way out of difficult relationships and ending them by text messages. None of that hideously gut-wrenching, nerve-wracking, sweaty-palm inducing fear that we oldies had to confront when face-to-face was the only viable option for ending most relationships that had slipped into decay.

Guess it had to happen in a world in which one-in-ten young people use a text message to say “I love you” for the first time. Equally, we can hardly be surprised when one-in-seven think it is okay to say “Goodbye” via the same channel.

And if we digress from that aspect of happiness and sadness for a moment, we learn that “getting to know you” is, again, way different to what oldies dared not even dream about decades ago. This is the trend to share yourself intimately via electronic means.

One-in-five has sent or received a risqué photo via a mobile phone. And, in a demonstration that even old blighters can learn new tricks, this includes 10% of over 45s. Dirty old buggers!

One of the most disturbing aspects of this new trend is the growing trend to end relationships not just via text or email but by other social media such as Facebook where even privacy is sacrificed on the altar of expediency. Shallow, heartless, little ba—ards.


Acknowledgement: The Courier-Mail, Pure Profile, Relationships Australia and eHarmony.