Texting
A sweet conversation gone wrong. (Janelle Moncada/Xpress Magazine)

Have you ever walked onto BART or MUNI and noticed that one person smiling at his or her phone? Or for that matter, have you noticed how most people are quickly typing away on their phones, probably sending a quick text to whoever they are communicating with? Perhaps it could be their significant other?

Since the first SMS (short message service) message was sent in 1992, texting has become a more popular way of staying in touch with people and their partners.

In a 2011 study about the usage of text messages between individuals in romantic relationships, the common reason why couples use this form of media to connect with their partners is to express affection.

The process of texting keeps getting easier and easier. It is constantly evolving with new smartphones and updates that are being released. For example, the recent update for the iPhone, iOS 8, allows a person to text without having to quit the application that they are in. This makes multi-tasking all the more simple.

However, while texting is made easier, does it also help improve the relationship between two people?

Texting is a popular outlet for speaking to others. It is not uncommon in this day and age for distance to affect those who are in romantic relationships. In order to keep in contact, texting is the easiest source for staying close.

According to the Pew Research Internet Project, sending and receiving text messages is high at 81 percent.

Researchers state that “it is likely that technology has increased the ease with which affection can be expressed.” Sending a quick text, such as “I miss you,” before a class or after a meeting can easily bring affection and love toward each partner.

Strong communication is important, especially for those who want to keep the relationship going. It builds trust and respect for one another. In addition, it creates a connection between two people as the expression for one another can easily be said within one short text.

“Because of my texts, I was able to stay in contact with my girlfriend,” says Orr Kotzky, a student from Irvine Community College. “It’s simple, but it takes practice. It was pretty much how we talked everyday and it probably saved our relationship.”

For Kotzky, staying in touch with his girlfriend when she was in northern California for the summer was essential. He was able to connect and understand their relationship in a different way. For example, by being able to communicate with her via text, he was capable of learning how to decipher texts that came off as sarcasm.

However, while there are many advantages to texting, there are also the disadvantages — one of which is the potential “misunderstanding” of a text.

The misinterpretation of a text can occur because the receiver is only reading the text. A form of miscommunication can occur from the lack of tone and facial expression that the person would receive when talking to the sender in person. In other words, the message could be interpreted in a negative manner when the sender meant it in an entirely different way.

In Kotzky’s case, he explained that his girlfriend is very sarcastic. During the first couple weeks of being separated, he would read some of his girlfriend’s texts and get a bit irritated. He took her messages in an unfavorable manner when his girlfriend meant the total opposite. His girlfriend then would have to tell him that she was simply joking. Because he only read her text, he was not able to hear the tone of her voice which could signify her sarcasm.

Regardless of this particular disadvantage, the art of texting  somehow still plays an important role on connecting people with their partners. The advancement of texting will continue to grow, especially in today’s society.

Contacting close loved ones was a bit hard back in the day; however, with the advancement of texting and other forms of communication, keeping contact with others is becoming extremely easy.

But the question is, is technology starting to slowly take over how we form relationships with one another?

It is, as it seems that texting is having an affect on relationships and not just technology. Texting is a platform of communication that can be either good or bad.

With texting made easier and continuing to grow, it is quite easy to keep in touch with significant others. Though, it may not be a good way to continue the development of a growing relationship with them.

Texting is a good way to express one’s feelings in just a few words and it is good for sending quick updates. For the more serious matters, however, it may be best to contact the individual in person or even over the phone. Hearing their tone of voice or seeing their facial expression is key in order to understand what they mean.

Despite whether or not the text seen on the screen of a cell phone actually mean something, it is really up to the person receiving it to decipher the understanding of it.