Lost In Translation: How Poor Communication Is Hindering Our Dating Lives

by John Picciuto

Honestly, who’s going to argue with me that nowadays people just don’t know how to communicate with one another? Texting, emailing, emojis, Facebook, Twitter - every form of communication is now geared towards short, non-intimate communication. Why do you think it’s so hard to make relationships work for our generation?

I think it’s the most frustrating thing in the world when someone texts you, you respond with a phone call, and they don’t answer. Like, what the f*ck? How difficult is it to speak on the phone? I realize when I’m in the middle of having a conversation via text how much I wish we were whisked back to junior high when you actually spoke to women on the phone. It’s bullsh*t. I’m convinced that 90 percent of arguments couples have occur through misunderstanding text messages.

Dating is hard enough. Now we have to wait three to five days, or whatever that dumb-ass rule is, to contact a girl. Now we have to creep on someone’s Facebook picture because, well, sh*t I met her in winter, better know how she looks in a bikini. It’s all a f*cking irritable mess.

When you talk to someone on the phone or in person, you can see their real emotions; you can hear the tone in their voice when they say something. You’re not just over-reacting and jumping to conclusions based on whether they said “Hi” or “Heyy” in a text message. It’s such bullsh*t.

When did communication become so impersonal? When was the ease of communication decided over the effectiveness of it? Sh*t, if I forget my phone when I leave for work one day, I feel lost, naked. It’s as much a part of my everyday routine as brushing my teeth.

Honestly, I do long for the days before text-messaging existed. Text messages are impersonal, short, often times misconstrued, and ultimately, I’d prefer someone just call me to vocalize what they have to say. I’m the worst when it comes to texting, and it’s not because I don’t do it.

It’s because I’ve become so engrained in this instant gratification form of conversation that when someone doesn’t respond as quickly as I would like, I’m thrown off. The worst text-messaging scenario is with iPhones. So you have read receipts on, and you read my message at 11:05AM, it’s now 11:06AM, and you haven’t responded?

Don’t deny that you haven’t done exactly this. The fact of the matter is, whether you’re texting, tweeting, or whatever the f*ck it is you’re doing, it’s just another constant source of anxiety and unease.

One of my resolutions for 2013 was to text less and call more. The only problem is that nobody else seems to want to help me maintain this resolution. The difficulty is getting someone to answer the phone. However, the funny thing is, once you get started talking, that five-minute conversation often runs you 15 to 20 minutes. It’s great. How much easier is it to get to know someone over the phone than via text?

Look, I love texting; everyone loves texting. It’s not going anywhere, and even I would be lost if it did. I admit that. It’s that sometimes you wish people would just call. Sometimes I’d rather have a conversation over the phone than over the course of hundreds of text messages. Interpersonal communication, face-to-face, or even over the phone conversation, is dying.

Our ability to converse with one another is in serious jeopardy. With online dating, and other hookup sites like Tinder, people wonder why it’s becoming more difficult to find a normal person to date. Maybe we should try taking our eyes off of our smartphones and tablets to go out and spark genuine conversation with someone in person.

Top Photo Courtesy: HBO