SMS text a popular way of ending romances
Updated: 2005-10-18 08:50
Breaking up is supposed to be
hard to do, but young Australian couples have found an easy solution ¡ª send a
text message and move on.
Research shows young romantics are increasingly using SMS text messages to
manage, and even end their relationships.
Macquarie University researcher Natalie Robinson studied the texting habits
of 100 young people aged 18-35 and found SMS messaging increased when
relationships were beginning or going through a rocky period.
Robinson said couples, fearing rejection, wanted to avoid direct contact when
their relationships were strained.
"People used text messages to show their negative feelings rather than
talking face-to-face," she said. "This might be because text messages were less
confrontational and more distant."
The clinical psychologist said she was surprised to find 15 percent of
participants had dumped a partner via text messages.
Robinson said one of her friends had been ditched in a text message and found
it an unpleasant experience.
"She was very angry because it was so impersonal and because they had been
together for a couple of years," she said.
Overall, women were more likely to send texts telling their partner how they
were feeling, while men were more comfortable with practical texts such as "I¡¯ll
pick up dinner on the way home."
Robinson said people often used texts to keep tabs on partners who were out
socializing with friends, creating the potential for friction.
"The receiver of this message may interpret this in a number of ways, such
as, 'my partner cares about me and just wants to know what I am doing' or
alternatively, 'my partner is suspicious and doesn't trust me and wants to know
what I am doing,'" she said.