Jun 8, 2009

Its Been Gr8

When my daughter wanted to break up with one of her high school boyfriends she asked me what I thought about doing it over the phone. My response was “NO WAY”. When you break up with somebody, you do it in person. You show them the respect of telling them face-to-face. Breaking up over the phone is the coward’s way out. I think she realized the wisdom of this advice a few years later when she was on the receiving end of a breakup. The self centered jerk did it by phone.

My niece is going through her first breakup right now. Her mother and sister are doing their best to console her, helping her to transition from sorrow to anger to acceptance and finally relief. She should be relieved. You want to know how her boyfriend broke up with her? By AOL instant message. That’s right. He sent her an IM that said… blah, blah, blah…..…. We’ve grown apart…… blah, blah, blah. Do these boys have no honor?

The growing trend of breaking up via IM or text is a symptom of a couple of troubling trends in our society.

#1 We avoid uncomfortable situations at all costs. Who cares how it makes the other person feel? I get to do it in the least painful way for me. And aren’t I really most important in this whole thing?

#2 We are losing our social skills. - Sort of ironic isn’t it that “social networking” is making it easier and more acceptable to act in unsociable ways. It is so much easier to be rude and outrageous when you are behind a keyboard.

I guess you could make the argument that breaking up by IM or text is no different than breaking up by phone. I disagree. At least with a phone call you have to speak the words and you have to hear the response from the other person. There’s a human connection there. That’s what makes us social beings......our ability to connect with people. God help us if we lose that.


  1. Very insightful posting. The other thing I notice is the amount of texting that happens. Isn't it just simpler and quicker to dial a number and say the words in half the time than to thumb them out?

  2. I agree with Rae!

    I also once drove 45 minutes through a snow storm to break up with a guy I only had two dates with, it just seemed wrong doing it over the phone. excellent post, more people should be mindful of how their actions affect everyone. I'm going to add you to my follow list. -kate

  3. I totally agree--and now I must tear myself away from this computer so that I actually talk to my husband today. *grin*

  4. Beiing age old 55 I agree totally...you said it well

  5. Rae - Now, see, I'm a big texter. Got into the habit because my son is much more likely to respond to a text message than a phone call. If it's a text he can pretend it's somebody else..... Mom calls are embarrassing.

    Kate - Yep, it's just how it's done. Visited your site, very nice. I will have to tell my daughter about it too. She is very green. Much more than me. But I'm working on it.

    MHP - Can't you text him in the other room?

    MC - Posts like this always make me feel like my grandmother, starting sentences with "Why, in my day we never (or we always)...." But I just can't help it. These kids today ARE different.

  6. I think you've nailed an important point.
    It began with answering machines..That way,you could call someone you knew wasn't home,and have your say without all that pesky feedback.

  7. I think kids that age have enough problems without dulling their social skills, but I also think that sort of thing has become acceptable to them among their peers. Like piercings and tattoos.
    Hard to say about the break up, it's going to hurt like hell no matter what, and a face to face will end in tears that he'll see...hmmm.

  8. Sling - damn technology. More trouble than it's worth.... except my computer of course, and my DVR and IPOD. Couldn't live without those.

    Jeanna - You are definitely right that they are more accepting of it. Britney put the seal of approval on it when she broke the news about wanting a divorce to K-Fed by text message.