How Texting is Affecting Face to Face Relationships

How Texting is Affecting Face to Face Relationships

Michaela Powell, Journalist

When was the last time you and your friend had a real, deep conversation? Not through text, not through joking, but rather actually sitting down face to face talking. It’s fine to have deep conversations only through text messages in order to avoid an awkward conversation right? Wrong. NBC News wrote an article explaining,“written words can hide a great deal of emotion, and if forced to leave a voice message or deliver news in person, your lie could come through because of weak intonation or guilt (or both)”, “conversations that allow me to hear your voice, see your expressions and support true dialogue are still the gold standard for bringing us closer” (Mulqueen). What is true face to face conversation? According to face to face interaction, “allows for a better exchange of information since both speaker and listener are able to see and interpret body language and facial expressions.” Even though texting may seem more convenient than speaking face to face, it can cause problems with having true conversations face-to-face. One should have more conversations and use our resources like facetime. 

Even though we can’t see each other as often due to the pandemic your options shouldn’t be limited to only texting. First, Facetiming friends and family is another great way to keep up face to face conversations which allows each other to see real emotion and have more meaningful conversations. When one looks at “countries like India, Thailand, Mexico, and Brazil, they use some type of video chat application, such as Skype and WhatsApp, in place of texting. The majority of users around the world average only 6 minutes of texting daily. Yes. Seriously” (Carter). When talking about current 7-22 year olds our author, Amanda Mull states, “They text and DM, too, of course, but the generation came of age with online video, and its facility with FaceTime, Skype, and other methods of video chat gives them an opportunity to develop conversational skills that older people might have lost” (Mull).  There shouldn’t be any excuses to not have even an hour of face to face conversation with someone other than your family each day. Secondly, texting will not help improve relationships but can rather damage them. When you text you lose the emotion needed to help create more meaningful relationships causing you to lose out on closer relationships by leaving your conversations dry. Relevant Magazine dove into the statistics from Pew Research Center and International Smartphone Mobility Report and the results showed that, “Letting voice inflections, tonality and other nuances carry your emotion, or visiting in person, providing a warm embrace, facial compliments such as smiles and hugs, and simply some good ol quality time, develops, manages, and strengthens close relationships beyond what any text based communication ever could do alone” (Carter). When one would go out, or see others face to face, we can interpret others body language and emotions to help form a stronger bond. I don’t know how anyone would not take the time out of their day to have real conversations face-to-face. 

Yet there are many reasons why Facetime wouldn’t be as effective as texting. First, when one will Facetime how are we guaranteed to have the other person’s full attention? If one would think about it there are many distractions that could occur when Facetiming a friend.  An article written by the Conversation states that “Sometimes, the faces you’re speaking to aren’t visible at all and there is no guarantee that they are looking at you or even listening to what you’re saying,” (Sul). That is the main issue with Facetime because sometimes we feel like a bother or often feel unheard when we Facetime. Usually we won’t even know if we are getting someone’s full attention, or if they have a show on in the background, muting themselves. Secondly, texting can help improve relationships in different ways then we can think of. According to the Washington Post, “texting can improve interpersonal relationships, help people deal with traumatic events and bridge intergenerational gaps. Research backs this up: A 2012 study conducted by psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley found sending and receiving text messages boosted texters’ moods when they were feeling upset or lonely,” (Natanson). As well as another advantage being, “inexpensive, easy to use, people read them and respond, attachments, leaves record of sent and received, discrete, widely used, no internet connection required, works best for certain types of information, store-and-forward, multiple recipients,” (Goodman). Texts can help brighten someone’s day when they get messages from loved ones. It is also much faster and easier to use and then setting up a scheduled time to talk about something. 

However, just because it may sound easier and more comfortable, it could eventually ruin our socialization as humans if used all the time as a constant method of communication. It may seem like an easier thing to do since this generation seems to want to hide in a corner all the time but really, when you text, “You can do it while you’re doing other things, you’re expected to respond immediately, you’re not expected to use it mindfully and thoughtfully” (Lampen). It’s almost useless. You’re not getting anyone’s full attention. You could be texting someone something very serious and they could be watching the t.v. show “Friends” while writing careless messages to you. When you have more conversations face to face you get more attention and more genuine responses. Facetime gives way to face to face personal connection and allows you to see what is happening around you. The less you text the more you can improve relationships. Try cutting down your texting time and start calling, Facetime, or getting together.  So, when was the last time you had a real, genuine conversation?


Works Cited

Cardone, Justine Alexandra. “The Effects Texting Has on Communication.”, 13  

Sep. 2016, www.The-effects-texting-has-on-communication. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.

Carter, Zack. “Texting is Easier but It Might Be Ruining Your Relationships.” Relevant 

Magazine, Relevant Media Group, 9 Aug. 2017, 

www.texting-is-easier-but-it-might-be-ruining-your-relationships. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021. 

Goodman, Paul. “12 Advantages of Texting.” TurboFuture, A Maven Channel, 24 Dec. 2020,

www.Advantages-of-Texting. Accessed 12 Feb. 2021. 

Lampen, Claire. “7 Ways Texting Affects Your Relationship, According to Science.” Bustle, 17 

Aug. 2018, www.How-texting-affects-your-relationship-according-to-science-10063894

Accessed 12 Feb. 2021. 

Mull, Amanda. ”Talk to People on the Telephone.” The Atlantic, 16 Sep. 2019, www.598129

Accessed 12 Feb. 2021. 

Mulqueen, Maggie. “Texting Really is Ruining Personal Relationships.” NBC News, NBC 

Universal, 7 Dec. 2019, www.texting-really-ruining-personal-relationships-ncna1097461

Accessed 12 Feb. 2021.

Natanson, Hannah. “The Surprisingly Positive Power of Texting According to Science.” 

Washington Post, 24 July 2018

              www.the-surprisingly-positive-power-of-texting-according-to-science. Accessed 12 Feb.     hhhhhhhh2021. 

Sul, Anna and Wuyou. “Why Facetime Can’t Replace Face-to-Face Time During Social 

Distancing.” The Conversation, 14 Jan. 2021,             


Accessed   12 Feb. 2021. 

“The Importance of Face-To-Face Communication in the Modern Workforce.” Lifesize,                                                                                                                     hhhhhhhh         5 March 2021, www.importance-face-to-face-communication. Accessed 12 Feb. hhhhhhhhhhhhhh2021.