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Does Analyzing Your Text Messages With Friends Really Help?


Collegiettes are notorious for overanalyzing text messages. When was the last time you sent your crush a text without running it by at least three of your girlfriends? While there is nothing wrong with sharing the development of a relationship with your best friends, relying too heavily on their opinion can be problematic and potentially inhibit your relationship. Alana Massey refers to this trend of group text analysis as “flirting by committee”.

In her article Stop Flirting by Committee recently published in New York Magazine, Massey writes, “…leaning too much on interpretation and replies by friends had removed much of the pleasure of getting to know a person with only my instincts as a filter.”

She concedes that sharing news of your relationship is a way of expressing joy and allows for mental organization. But at the same time, there is a difference between sharing the highlights and “distributing documentation”, which is what we so often find ourselves guilty of.

Massey gets it- the beginning of a relationship is thrilling and we want to present ourselves the best we can, but we need to distance ourselves from external opinions.

By analyzing our text exchanges, Massey points out, we are reducing the importance of a relationship to words rather than emotion. In this text over analysis, we take away that feeling of excitement.

I think we should all take Massey’s advice. As much as we love sharing with our girlfriends, there may be some things that should be kept private. She describes her own journey in following this advice, saying that she is still recovering from having her romantic communication dissected and approved by her “board of directors”. She ends the article by saying, “It is amazing how much time I’ve regained by communicating as myself rather than my much cooler representative.” This is something we can get on board with.

I'm a senior Politics major with English and Women, Gender, and Sexuality studies minors. My passions include reading, writing, and Dunkin Donuts iced coffee. You can find me binge watching Netflix or loudly singing along to my newest music obsession.
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