It’s been almost two decades since Carrie Bradshaw was dumped by Berger in a post-it in Sex and the City. Now it appears, even breakups via email are becoming passe and a text message ending has become more popular flavor du jour.
I was interviewed in an article, which appeared on USA Today called Would you break up by sending a text? In the story, relationship writer Sharon Jayson reported that Katy Perry was notified by Russell Brand via text message they’d be getting divorced. Ouch.
Jayson was working on an in-depth article based upon a new survey conducted by online dating sites JDate and Christian Mingle. The study encompassed 1500 singles from 21-50 years of age who were either dating or had been in a relationship for up to two years.
The interesting findings showed the following:
- 59% of daters might break up with someone they are dating via text message
- 24% might end an exclusive relationship by sending a text
- 96% of singles hide their cell phones
- 67% find a way to check their mobile phones during a date
It’s alarming to me that so many singles make the excuse of going on a bathroom break during a date to actually text a friend about their date or to check their emails and voicemails in between the appetizer and the main course.
Where have all the manners gone?
I’m a big lover of technology and even believe that some digital foreplay and casual flirting via text messaging can enhance your dating life. I also believe, as I share in The Rules of Netiquette, that your mobile phone is not an accessory. It should be put in your purse or your pocket while on a date.
However, lately I even find myself breaking my own netiquette rules and using my cell phone on a date from time-to-time. From checking in on Facebook or Twitter, to snapping a photo of each course of my meal on my cell phone to upload to Instagram and share on Facebook, my cell phone seems to resurface, with permission of course, and never on a first date. It can be fun and flirty, but ONLY if you’re on the same digital page as your date.
You must simply ask, “Do you mind if I take a photo of this beautiful meal and share it on Facebook?” Usually, the answer will be no, go right ahead. But there is a huge difference from sharing your mutual enjoyment of memorializing the date together snapping photos of the meal he selected for you, than checking your phone to see who else sent you a text or a tweet. That my friends sends a message that your date isn’t as important as someone else who might pop up in a text message asking you out for dessert.
Back to the subject at hand, the text message break up. How much are we relying on our mobile phones to help us multitask with everyday chores and matters of the heart? More-and-more every day according to this recent survey. About 25% of singles 21-26 will use their mobile phones to seek out information about a date, with a higher number of 38% using their cell phones to schedule and plan their date. But don’t wait too long to respond to his or her text to accept a date. Most singles are expecting a response in 1-3 hours now. That is, unless you’re getting dumped in a text message. In that case, lose his or her number, unfriend him or her on Facebook, and put away your mobile phone and take a good walk with a friend.
If singles are starting their digital courtship by asking someone out on a date via text, it shouldn’t be a huge surprise if the relationship ends the same way it started.
As I shared with USA Today,
“The risk of misinterpreted texts is especially high in new relationships. There’s so little you know at that point. You make all these digital assumptions that it’s one-size-fits-all, and it’s not.”
Another digital breakup study we reported on showed that 30% of singles admitted to initiating a breakup on Facebook, text messaging or email. By now, we think that number is continuing to rise. Dating site WhatsYourPrice.com’s recent survey of 7,500 of its male members and 8,300 of its female members found that an overwhelming 83% of the men had broken up with someone via text message, as compared to only 18% of the women.
So I ask you, would you break up with someone you were dating in a text message? Is that how you’d like someone to end their relationship with you?
Your comments are welcome.