At the push of a button

GYAN A general SMS or even a joke is a good way to strike a conversation

GYAN A general SMS or even a joke is a good way to strike a conversation   | Photo Credit: Photo: reuters

Gone are the days when you eagerly waited for the postman to turn up at your gate. Now, making or breaking relationships is easy, thanks to SMS

Gone are the days when you would wait endlessly for an intermediary to bring you tidings of joy that the girl you met at Hindi tuition also fancies you! Love letters are a thing of the past and the email is slowly but surely losing the popularity it once garnered, thanks to the Short Messaging Service that has quite conveniently replaced the former means of communication as far as dating is concerned! All it takes is the click of a button to spark off a new romance or to even bury an existing one.

The youth today almost agree wholeheartedly that SMS has changed dating rules. According to Shebaz P., an undergraduate student: “When you have a mobile phone, you don’t need go-betweens and neither do you have to wait too long to get a reply, whether its a favourable one or not. It is convenient in terms of saving time as well as money, after all most of us enjoy the facility of hundred free messages a day.”

“Yet another benefit of SMS dating is that for those who are nervous and need time to think before they talk, SMS is the best method of communication,” Lathika Arulsamy, a Political Science student believes.

While we agree that SMS has indeed changed dating rules, we also need to realise that with this change comes a host of predicaments. Firstly, unlike talking face to face or over the telephone where we can gauge the nature and tone of the person, SMS does not convey tone and might sometimes make you sound all too urgent. Since it is instant there is a danger of messaging too soon and sounding too eager. This could lead to a gross error of misjudgement of character!

On the one hand there is the formidable fear of sounding desperate. And on the other hand a message that takes forever to reach could give us butterflies in our stomachs and for some even excruciating pain! Sneha Solanki, a Psychology student says, “When we don’t get an immediate reply, we begin to assume something is wrong at the other end, either that the person is disinterested or has some other love interest. Waiting for an SMS that should’ve reached long ago makes us pessimistic.”

So are there some specific SMS rules that young people follow? There sure are, we’re told except that “there is no universal or hard and fast rule that we ought to follow,” says Khushali S.M, an etiquette consultant. According to her, “The first text message you send to your love interest shouldn’t be about love or marriage. A general SMS or even a joke is a good way to strike a conversation. Secondly, it is better to have a fair background of the person before asking her out. After all, you need to know if she is in a relationship with another person, you ought to know if she at least likes you and if the two of you seem compatible. After the first date, you needn’t be in a hurry to SMS the other person or to immediately plan the next date. However, if you did enjoy the date, you could let the other person know without sounding madly in love.”

Here are some other rules that young people follow. It isn’t wise to SMS as soon as you’ve exchanged numbers. You might just be termed as a “despo”. It is good to communicate, but remember silence is also a strong communicator. Your silence could give her time to think about you seriously or might even make her miss you. Words like “jaan” and “babe” used in initial messages could ruin your chances of winning over the other party. When you don’t get a reply, don’t keep texting till the other person is forced to tell you to take a hike. Patience is the key! The whole point is to be able to strike a balance between getting what you want and doing it in the simplest and nicest way possible.

As far as break-ups are concerned, the SMS is used far and wide. However, Psychologist Shruthi Ahluwalia says: “Even if you need to call off a relationship, you ought to do it decently. The other party atleast deserves a decent break up if not anything else !”


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