Guys… Put Down the Phone
Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
- 2014 Mar 31
I’m not that old, but I can remember the days when young men and women who were interested in each other interacted in ways that were pretty low-tech compared to today’s standards. If a guy liked a girl but wasn’t able speak with her in person he picked up the phone and called her. If he couldn’t do that, he wrote her a letter. Remember those?
Today, though, many guys are relying on a communication tool that’s proving to have its downsides in the dating realm – the text message.
Sure, a text message is great when you’re in a hurry and need to let someone know you’re going to be late, or when you just want to send a quick message of encouragement or affection.
But for many young men these days, text messages have become the preferred (if not sole) means of communicating with young ladies. The problem with texting in the context of dating is the same thing that makes it so attractive – it’s quick and easy.
Quick and easy are aren’t good things if it means a guy can be lazy about communicating with girls in thoughtful and respectful ways.
When you make an effort to actually speak with someone, whether in person or by phone, you are telling that person they’re so valuable that you will put other things aside to concentrate on them. Texting just doesn’t do that.
Texting makes it simple for young men to take the easy road. Rather than stirring guys to more creative personal communication, texts seem to find a lower level. Tapping out “What r u up 2?” may get right to the question, but it’s hardly inspiring.
A guy who sends a late-night text inviting a girl to “hang out” or asking her on a last-minute date may think he is showing his fun, spontaneous side. Instead, he may be sending a different message, whether he means to or not: “I have nothing better to do, so I might as well spend time with you.”
It’s true that texting doesn’t force people to communicate poorly; a guy can certainly ask a girl out on a date on short notice in person or over the phone. But the quickness and ease of texting seem to enable and encourage some guys to approach relationships in ways that appear thoughtless and haphazard.
Young women deserve better than that.
So am I against texting-while-dating? Absolutely not. But guys need to make sure that they don’t substitute thumb-tapping exchanges for phone calls or face-to-face interaction that conveys respect, honor, and value.
I’d love to hear what you think.
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