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February 20, 2007

Bad People

Kids today!

An October survey commissioned by Samsung Telecommunications America reported that about 11 percent of Americans say breaking up with a boyfriend or girlfriend via text message is okay.

Alright children, come in close: Let's rap. Breaking up via a telecommunications medium with a limit of 160 characters a message is never okay. Indeed, unless you're ending a long distance relationship, the phone is never okay. And since I've not decided on which specific instances allow e-mail, it's probably best to err against that format as well. Oh, and if you do the deed over IM, you should probably be shot.

February 20, 2007 | Permalink


I agree. Far too often people act like they don't owe anyone kindness or decency. When you act badly in a relationship you damage that persons ability to have a functional relationship. If you don't like that, tough. It's a waste of time to pretend it isn't true.

Lets be honest here, this is simply cowardly. People like this are just too chickenshit to deal with anyone elses emotions. They want to sit back and pretend their actions don't have human consequences. Self involved scum, that's all they are.

Posted by: soullite | Feb 20, 2007 2:31:49 PM

Let's see, 11 percent say right out that it's okay. And we can assume that more than that would actually do it if the situation arose, even if they wouldn't admit to it; as a rough assumption, doubling is as good a way to get that number as any. So 22 percent of Americans today would break up by an impersonal and extremely limited medium.

22 percent? That's nothing. If only 22 percent of the American public thought that Saddam was personally involved with 9/11, we'd be thrilled.

Posted by: Cyrus | Feb 20, 2007 2:34:19 PM

Yeah, I mean come on. If I were gonna break up with someone, I'd send an eCard.

Posted by: san antone rose | Feb 20, 2007 2:35:15 PM

I'm not so sure. Many of these relationships happen over test messages - so why not end it so. It's true that one can't do it one last time for the road if you're in two different places. But you'll always have you video fone clips.

Posted by: LowLife | Feb 20, 2007 2:36:05 PM

well it's better than my approach which is passive aggressively let them think they are breaking up with me by changing my behavior once I want out of the relationship.

Posted by: akaison | Feb 20, 2007 2:42:00 PM


Posted by: LowLife | Feb 20, 2007 2:48:01 PM


Posted by: LowLife | Feb 20, 2007 2:48:10 PM

akaison, have we dated?

Posted by: ptm | Feb 20, 2007 2:50:35 PM

Light day today, Ezra?

Posted by: jhupp | Feb 20, 2007 3:00:28 PM

Seriously, this 11% number is really low and gives me the feeling that since only every other word in the article is important, newspapers can publish any salacious stories like this they want

"Studies show 7% of kids think picking their nose is socially acceptable". And the average reader doesn't come away with "93% of frown on this activity".

Also, most of us aren't kids. The meaningfulness of text communication is an incredibly contextual thing, and objectively has no more or less seriousness than the phone or even in person. So is you're part of a culture that takes that communication seriously, why do I care that you would text-msg someone condolences for the death of their mother even?

Posted by: Tony V | Feb 20, 2007 3:02:49 PM

H8! CUL8R! NVR! LOL! :)

Posted by: FWIW | Feb 20, 2007 3:18:55 PM

11 percent of Americans, or 11 percent of kid Americans? Even if it's the former, I bet kids/teens are a majority of the people who agree. And let's be honest about what 'boyfriend' and 'girlfriend' mean to a kid. It means someone your raging hormones have led you to neck next to the dumpsters behind the school every day for a week. High school students change 'loved ones' like socks, and a text message is probably more considerate than average.

Posted by: sidereal | Feb 20, 2007 3:39:16 PM

But it is so efficient!

"Let's just be friends. Seeya. Don't call me, I have new GF (BF).

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Feb 20, 2007 4:13:02 PM

But it is so efficient!

"Let's just be friends. Seeya. Don't call me, I have new GF (BF).

Posted by: JimPortlandOR | Feb 20, 2007 4:14:07 PM


No, and I don't appreciate you attacking me like this.



Posted by: akaison | Feb 20, 2007 4:32:25 PM

Bah, breaking up in an LDR is very, very tough. The phone might be acceptable but it's like getting your heart ripped out from a thousand miles away. And, of course, doing it when the other person finally gets together the time and money to see you in person is out of the question. It is, like LDRs in general, the worst of all worlds.

Posted by: JF | Feb 20, 2007 5:05:36 PM

I prefer to sever relationships via comment boards on blogs that I believe my significant other frequents.

Posted by: Marshall | Feb 20, 2007 5:37:04 PM

Preach it, Ezra!

Posted by: Nicholas Beaudrot | Feb 20, 2007 6:00:05 PM

Funny you posted this, because on Sunday I was forced to end my LDR through voicemail. He didn't call for a week when he said he would call within a day, and I got sick of waiting, since communication problems were the reason I wanted to break up in the first place... ugh.

Posted by: senior | Feb 20, 2007 6:04:44 PM

As, quite possibly, one of them "young people" (or else one of them just-recently-not-so-young people), I would like to share a story: I was broken up with via email. I gave my permission for it, in fact. Via email. We were 16 and had been dating (....ish) for 14 months. We were really awkward. No harm no foul, though, and two and a half years later he's one of my best friends (whom, yes, I text all the time. heh). But text message break-ups? That would not have been okay. That would have crossed the line.

sidereal, I must quibble with the assertion that high school relationships are all about the ass; mine was largely about the Being Really Awkward and wondering if it was okay to hold hands in public and saying really, really, really, really embarrassing things, sometimes in person, sometime via IM (to you older people: you are so lucky that you can't read the things you told your first significant other, you have no idea). Maybe my friends and I are just strange, but I would guess that most relationships I saw in high school lasted at least 6 months, with several lasting more than a year (that's a fourth of your high-school existence! I spent almost half my high school existence dating the same boy--and no, it wasn't the boy mentioned above. Oh, serial monogamy). Most people also felt pretty intensely about their S. O.'s

Posted by: Isabel | Feb 20, 2007 6:08:02 PM

Come on, people. You can't text message breakup.

Posted by: Hamilton Lovecraft | Feb 20, 2007 6:36:48 PM

Didn't K-Fed find out Brittany was divorcing him via text message?

Posted by: Samba00 | Feb 20, 2007 7:47:46 PM

This assumes, of course, that these relationships ever took place in the real world, as opposed to the seriously deranged forms of online relationships.

I mean, if you've only ever had cybersex with your "partner" it's kind of hard to justify flying to Sweatyarmpit, South Dakota to dump them, isn't it?

Posted by: ice weasel | Feb 20, 2007 9:14:51 PM

It seems to me that one of the key reasons the idea of breaking up via text message is bad is that it speaks to the depersonalization of our culture that advances in telecommunications have brought. Sure there are situations where ending contact with someone via text rather than direct interaction are appropriate (for example, restraining orders). But if we're cultivating a generation that is incapable of handling serious human matters in person then we may have a significant problem on our hands. There are numerous aspects of being gainfully employed wherein having some minimum of interpersonal skill is necessary to function well and progress in a career. Personally, I also feel that if you are going to break someone's heart or even just hurt their feelings you should have the spine to do it in person. Avoiding the personal discomfort, and possible informative conversation, that comes from an in-person break-up strikes me as selfish to the extent that you avoid feeling the weight of responsibility for your actions and disrespect the other party by not giving an important action personal time and attention.

Posted by: GCF | Feb 21, 2007 9:22:03 AM

I mean, if you've only ever had cybersex with your "partner" it's kind of hard to justify flying to Sweatyarmpit, South Dakota to dump them, isn't it?

As a former South Dakotan, I'm offended by this statement. Sweatyarmpit doesn't have an airport!

Posted by: mds | Feb 21, 2007 9:34:54 AM

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