#902 – Text First

#902 – Text First


iphone-4-text-messaging-gevey-sim

Even after spending 15 years working with teenagers I still don’t understand everything about their behavior. I’m actually happy that I don’t understand everything about teenagers like their obsession with Takis, Frappuccinos and the movie White Chicks.

I really don’t understand my students’ obsession with the idea of texting first. I can’t tell you how often I see students tweet about wanting someone to text them first. They’re obsessed with someone reaching out to them first and not wanting to make the initial contact.

I have a hard time wrapping my mind around the “text first” concept. If I want to contact someone then I will go out of my way to contact him or her. If I need information from someone I’ll contact him or her to get that information. If I just want to see how a friend is doing then I have no problem shooting out a text.

Wanting someone to text first taps into the same fear of asking someone out.

I freaked out every time I asked a girl out. There was nothing more intimidating than asking a girl if she wanted to go out on a date. It was terrifying asking girls to dances in high school and it was terrifying when I asked Alycia to go out on our first date. The fear comes from the possibility of rejection. I wasn’t scared to go on a date; I was scared of being turned down.

If someone texts us first then we don’t have to worry about being rejected or having our text go unanswered. If we’re texted first it puts us in the position of rejecting or ignoring someone. But we’ll never have the relationships for which we were created if we’re unwilling to initiate contact.

God created us for relationships in which we can be open and vulnerable. If we’re not even willing to reach out to someone first, then we’ll never have deep, authentic relationships. Obviously reaching out to someone opens us up to rejection, but it also opens us up to so much more. And even when we open ourselves up to rejection, we can always trust that God will accept us no matter what.

What helps you to be open and vulnerable in your relationships?

COMMENTS

  1. Michael Poteet

    August 5

    I had no idea this was a thing. Thanks for giving me an insight into
    "the kids today." I can empathize with not wanting to be rejected (I asked my wife out on our first date via our college's voicemail system, rather than have to talk on the phone live - and yet she married me anyway!), but being reluctant to send a text? My impression with adults is that the text is seen as an unobtrusive alternative to phone calls (not that it always is, but I think some folks think of it that way).

    • scotthiga

      August 5

      Sadly it really is a thing. Adolescents today are very wary of doing anything that could lead to the possibility of being rejected. In terms of romantic relationships they are very hesitant to put a label on anything. If they're "just talking" with someone it's a lot easier if things don't work out than if they say "they're dating."

      It's all of the same things we wrestled with: wanting to fit in and not wanting to be rejected. There are just new means to experience those emotions.

  2. Grandpa

    August 5

    Scott, it's not only teens; jusr ask me. Love ya, guy. God bless you!

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