There was a time when a couple nearing the end of their relationship would have a big, dramatic, extremely overblown fight.
Sometimes it would happen in public — expressing their disdain for one another with lots of yelling, screaming and tears. One of the two likely would end up flailing their arms and running off.
You’ve probably seen this happen in the movies, right?
Like the greeting card, checks, shopping and TV show viewing, it seems breaking up has gone digital.
According to UberFacts.com, half of all break ups occur via text message. A 2010 MocoSpace.com survey seems to be the only source for this fact, but the Internet is chock full of do’s and don’ts for handling a break up via text message.
This data isn’t very surprisingly — sadly — considering how people of all ages seemingly are addicted to their smart phones, tablet devices and computers. Sometimes it seems as though we love our iPhones and MacBooks more than people.
Couples spend time together loving each other and not getting enough of time together until one decides the relationship must end. So rather than have the talk in person (you know, that archaic face-to-face communication method), they rattle off a text saying, “U dont luv me lik u used 2 ‘n i need sum1 who will be there 4 me 24/7. were thru” or something equally awful.
But those folks are in their comfort zone, right? They’re lounging on a bed or couch, sitting in the mall or maybe even in the apartment of their new fling. They very clearly don’t want to deal with any in-person repercussions or awkwardness.
And to some extent, we’ve all been there — it’s easier having a conversation with words and not a person. I’m guilty of this, too, as just this weekend I sent what seemed like a book-size reply to a friend who sent three consecutive text messages about an issue.
I try my hardest to have conversations in person, as I’ve always appreciated the human response to tough and awkward situations. In person, I see tears, I see heartache, I see love and compassion. Over an iPhone, I see blue text bubbles and poor grammar. Not really heartfelt.
Admittedly, it is much easier sending a text message because you can do so at your whim. It’s an advantage — sometimes — to be able to delay a response to collect your thoughts rather than shouting back in person.
But I’ve never understood how we want to spend time with individuals whom we claim to know and love and care deeply for, yet the moment an awkward situation arises, we hunker down behind our wall of technology to send cryptic messages.
Breaking up or having any difficult conversation via text messages isn’t healthy.
A 2011 National Academy of Sciences survey found that feeling rejected hurt just as much as physical pain.
"These results give new meaning to the idea that social rejection hurts," University of Michigan social psychologist and lead author of the study Ethan Kross said in a Yahoo story.
"On the surface, spilling a hot cup of coffee on yourself and thinking about how rejected you feel when you look at the picture of a person that you recently experienced an unwanted break-up with may seem to elicit very different types of pain. But this research shows that they may be even more similar than initially thought."
Love hurts. Rejection hurts.
And we’ve all been hurt so hard at one time or another, that it felt as though we had been physically injured.
So, why, if we know all of this, do we continue to beat around the bush with cheap tactics like breaking up via text messages? Fear of reality, maybe?
We can’t blame text messaging for this. Remember the days of AOL Instant Messenger? How many of you broke up with a high school boyfriend or girlfriend over the little running man? And in between AIM’s popularity and the growth of Facebook, e-mail became a “preferred” way to break up … and likely still is.
We’ve got an onslaught of ways to have tough conversations, yet the easiest way to have any talk (face-to-face) is the one we try to hard to avoid.
twoday magazine wants to know: Do you avoid uncomfortable situations by dealing with them virtually instead of face-to-face? Share with us on our Facebook page.