When it comes to the relatively new medium of texting, we’re all still trying to figure out what’s right, what’s wrong and what makes us look like idiots (hint: it’s emoticons). The rules of texting are especially precarious in the context of budding romantic relationships. When is it too soon to text? How many texts are too many? And when should you just pick up the darn phone already?
In honour of the release of Textuality, the quirky new romantic comedy starring Sex and the City’s Jason Lewis and Canadian alt-femme bombshell Carly Pope that opens April 22, Wind Mobile brought together a bevy of bloggers (including Sexy Typewriter) to compile the Do’s and Don’ts of Textuality.
Some examples that this esteemed group put together include:
Rules on texting while impaired:
Find a designated wingman, someone who will revoke your right to text until you can walk a straight line.
Text ANYTHING you wouldn’t say in the light of day. There is nothing worse than the digital walk of shame.
Rules on text language etiquette:
Use “haha,” it’s warm and fun.
Use “LOL,” it’s so 2009.
(The rest of the tips can be found on at http://bitly.com/textdos and at Wind Mobile kiosks across the country.)
But what did these experts all agree on? For better or for worse, many people prefer text messaging over calling someone on the phone, especially in romantic situations.
“Texting allows you to say things you might not say on the phone or face to face because there is this safety barrier between you and the other person,” says Simone, one of the contributors to the Do’s and Don’ts document and the blogger behind skinnydip.ca. “(You don’t have) to worry about your voice cracking or sounding nervous.”
And as much as texting can connect us, its flippant nature can sometimes kill off romantic prospects before they have a chance to blossom.
“A text message takes a lot less effort and courage than a phone call,” says Breanna Hughes, another Do’s and Don’ts contributor who blogs at unbrelievable.com. “I’ve been asked out via text. It has become pretty much standard practice, and I will immediately deduct a point. The best way to impress a girl? Call to arrange the date then give a follow up text with the location and time.”
Liam Card, the screenwriter and co-star of “Textuality,” was inspired to write the movie after being struck by how complicated post-modern dating has become, what with our attention divided between our dates and our smartphones.
“How can you ever be present enough?” Card wonders. “What with your phone going off, with e-mails and BBMs and texts and Twitters and someone adding you on Facebook”¦I mean, you’ve got five or six or seven different reasons for your phone to buzz every minute.”
Textuality explores how technology brings us together, but also how it can distract us or even completely interfere with the course of romance.
“When I was in grade 10 or grade 11 and had The Big Crush on a girl, I had to physically pick up the phone and call her with my heart beating out of my chest. How do we get back to that feeling? I don’t know if teenagers today know what that feeling feels like. It’s important”¦it really lets you know how serious you are about someone. You’re never going to have your heart beating out of your chest when you send a text message…”
When it comes to relationships, especially in the early days, texting doesn’t always cut it.
“Text when it’s convenient to and when it’s fun to,” says Card. “But if you’re really trying to connect with someone, pick up the phone and call them.”
Sexy Typewriter blogs about her dating failures – online and otherwise – at Sexytypewriter.com.