Friday, April 13, 2012

Is texting a game?

So lets be real, we all play the “texting game.” We like a boy/girl, text them, and the game begins. Who’s going to answer first? What are they going to say back? Was I too forward? This is a constant game that we take part in, that many don’t even realize they are participating

in. I started to think about this, this past weekend when my friend was hesitant about sending a text to a boy. When she did, the game of texting began. Although she wanted to get his attention, she tried to be subtle, hoping in the end that would spark his interest in the whole, “hard to get” way. However, we do this even without playing that specific game. Whether it be saying “Hi” with one I, two I’s, three I’s, is what essentially changes the context of the text, to the way we sign out with a “bye” or “talk to you later” that we can’t help but over analyze. Yes, maybe I’m a little crazy and analyze this a bit too much, but I know, many girls, maybe not as many boys, do the same. We play this constant match because texting has become so prevalent in our communication within the sexes. We avoid in person contact, phone calls, and instant messaging, only to let autocorrect and slang rule our lives. In the direction

we are going, do you think relationships, as a whole will become more of a game? And, will this texting game worsen our relationships?



  1. I definitely agree with you that people (including me) constantly analyze the messages they put forth. The funny thing to notice is how much you make sure every text you message someone you are hesitant about is scrutinized vs. simply sending texts back and forth with your good friends. But this way of texting is at odds with what texting was meant to be in the first place...just a simple, quick way to communicate to someone without much thought. But, we have instead turned into art form all together different and it only adds another layer and another hurdle to the dating game that is already daunting as it is.

  2. Texting is for sure a game. Not even just with dating though. Now with blackberrys and iPhones you can see when your text was delivered and when the person opens the message and read it. I have seen people purposely not open a text from someone because they don't want the person to know they looked at the text and didn't want to respond. Also, I have seen peopel get mad at eachother because someone did open a text and read it and not respond for hours or even days. This not only makes talking to the opposite sex more difficult, it potentially puts a strain on friendships too. Texting is evolving and is turning ever more into a game.

  3. Claudia--

    I loved this post because there are so many times when I catch myself playing games and I always wonder why. Do I really think that the boy on the other end will notice the difference between "heyy" or "hi" and which accurately gets my message across. As cliche as it sounds, without the same amount of face to face communication, one misinterpreted text can go a long way to ruining something good. The last thing we want is to have the other person think we're being cold, clingy, sensitive, you name it.

    Technology makes it even easier now. The new blackberry messaging made it so you could read the history of the text without marking it as read, and the iphone now has delivered but not read. We can see when the person is typing, how long it takes to respond, and it makes it even easier to analyze the littlest things.

    As dumb as we sound for caring so much, when this is the interaction we have with people most of the time, it seems normal to care. If it was the same conversation happening in person, it would not be as ambiguous, however we would want to come off just as flirty and cool as we would over text... we just have less time to think about our answers.

  4. Drawing from Goffman's analysis of theory of performance (yes I know this is nerdy), I think that the verbal symbols that are applied in the article to actors, are very much at play in the world of text messaging. Especially considering the fact that there are no other cues other than the text that can signal any sort of response from the person receiving the text, this results in an intense focus on the message itself, in which the concepts of "feigning" and "deceit" certainly apply. For example, the all-too-common use of "lol" is a perfect example of feigning, considering almost 100% of the time, the person who uses the abbreviation is not laughing.

    -Alexander Chen

  5. I could not agree with you more! In a society that relies so much on texting and other technologies that take away the ancient purpose of a phone call or face to face interaction, I feel that there are many factors of this new technology that create more a "game" or uncertainty with what one truly wants to get across. Because the person on the receiving side of the text is unable to pick up on social cues, tone, or facial expressions, it is essentially impossible to interpret the correct meaning the one sending the text is trying to get across all the time. Let's face it, we have all experienced a time when we have incorrectly understood a text that we have received. In regards to texting "romantically," it is therefore inevitable to misread signals or read between the lines of what has been sent, essentially "deceiving" the receiver, as Goffman puts it, of true honesty. Because of this, it can hurt relationships. For example, when someone understands "hi" as a "colder" or shorter response as opposed to "Heyy," it may cause them to think that the person they are texting is not really interested in talking to them. While the person may have just responded with a "hi" without this implication attached to it, it can essentially create assumptions that are simply not true. Therefore, it causes us to create endless mind games within ourselves in trying to constantly interpret the implications of every text message. While it is great that we have new technologies the make it easier to communicate from far distances, society is forced to play more and more mind games, making it more frustrating to manage our relationships.