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Sex + Relationships

I Didn’t Text My SO for a Week & Here’s What Happened

Cell phones and social media practically take over our lives. Whether we want it to suck us in or not, it will. Technology doesn’t discriminate, it’s at our beck and call, 24/7.

Since I’m constantly texting and scrolling through my Insta-feed, most of my day is taken up. It doesn’t matter if I’m in class, hanging out with friends and unfortunately even while hanging out with my boyfriend. I will sit on my phone for hours on end and so will he. I find that it puts a barrier between us and we communicate less. We will simultaneously sit there and watch videos or check out posts that pertain to our own interests: Fortnite for him, animal videos for me.

It has gotten to the point where I will literally sit next to him and instead of interrupting what he’s doing on his phone to show him what’s going on on mine, I will DM him anything from memes to viral Tweets. Even when I’m not with him, I do this. I also text him every time I have a thought I’d like to share or after something not-so-significant happens. Whether he answers throughout the day or not, I will send, send, send until I run out of things to talk about.

What’s even worse is that I often tell him so much through text that I run out of fresh topics to speak about in person. Most of our conversations could and should be done in person, but I often catch myself jotting down significant events into my memos to bring up later on, as if I’m about to give a presentation. In reality, normal human behaviors and communication should come naturally and I shouldn’t feel the need to take note of every little event or thought I have in life.

With that being said, I wanted to try a little experiment with my boyfriend. Operation, no texting. The rules are simple, no texts for a week, phone calls only when necessary and limiting the screen time when hanging out. Seems easy right? Wrong.

At the beginning of the week, I was completely convinced I would fail at this mini challenge. I found myself wanting so badly to text him, while almost hitting send a few times by accident. Texting has become such a mindless activity that I nearly forgot I wasn’t supposed to be doing it. Essentially, he ended up doing the same thing when he went for a snack run before we hung out on Monday night.

Naturally, I responded because snacks.

On Tuesday, I had exciting things going on that I wanted to text him about. I held off for a few hours then found a loophole and sent him a Snapchat, vaguely informing him on the status of my test for the school radio station. Despite my efforts to cheat the system, this is most definitely unacceptable and not at all in contingency with what the experiment entails.

I started off poorly but alas, the day was not yet over. I managed to keep myself busy with homework assignments, Netflix and class. The real struggle began when I was lying in bed at night with restless thoughts. I wondered how his day was. Did he care we weren’t texting? Am I insane? Should I call him and organize our Halloween plans at this very moment? My class was just cancelled Friday morning, should I tell him?

By the means of the Universe, I managed to not text or call him the entire day. Well, except maybe when I called him to let him know I got lost on my way to my doctors appointment earlier that morning but that doesn’t even count, I was having a crisis, duh. Besides, calling was allowed so long as it was kept to a minimum. I digress.

By the time Wednesday and Thursday rolled around, I was unbothered by the fact I hadn’t texted him all week. At this point, it felt normal to not speak every second of the day. Come to think of it, half the time we text it’s like I’m sending messages into the abyss because he’s not much of a texter to begin with.

The entire week I found myself expecting to wake up to a string of text conversations, carried on from the night before but they were never there. He was good at this game but I was getting even better. I began to convince myself I was better off alone and I didn’t need to text a guy ever, not even the one I’ve been dating for four years. I was a certified independent women all of the sudden. I was on my own agenda and I was totally fine not texting. Not now, not ever. The drama has ensued.

I quickly snapped back to reality as my tumultuous mind waned in and out of this love/hate relationship between texting and I. My boyfriend had hockey games to play in this weekend which made it a lot easier to cease all forms of wireless communication.

I wanted to text him throughout the day but if I had something quick I needed to bring up, I would call him. It was nice to hear his voice and so much easier to pick up the phone, get my point across, hang up and be on my merry way. With texting, sometimes there is no closure. It can be hard to pinpoint the start or the end of any conversation. It’s like we send messages to fill a void, just because we can.

We ended up going to a few Halloweekend parties that ultimately took us away from our phone screens and put us into a favored social setting for the both of us. When we woke up Sunday morning though, it was back to the usual groove of phones before all else.

For the most part, we did a pretty okay job of not texting each other throughout the week. I noticed I was able to get more done, not check up on my phone as much and we definitely had a lot more to speak about face-to-face. We typically have great conversations together regardless and are open and understanding  people when it comes to each other, so it’s not like we’re awkward and can’t communicate. Not texting just makes it easier for us to have EVEN MORE to talk about.

I got used to not texting and I kind of enjoy the absence of it better than the slow moving back and forth messages we typically pass around. I honestly could survive with either scenario but I don’t feel the need to be texting all day long now. It’s only fun if the conversation has consistency and we’re not responding hours later at a time when the topic has already lost its pizzazz.

The general consensus is that if we continued to limit the amount of texting each day, we will begin to notice more of a difference.

Cassidy Lunney is a fashion studies and journalism student at Montclair State! She is also the fashion + beauty editor for HerCampus Montclair. Aside from fashion, some of her favorite things are her dog, buffalo dip and comedy. Check out some of her content on Instagram: @cassidylunney
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