For better or worse, the digital revolution over the last 20 years has fundamentally changed the way people communicate. More precisely, the advent of the cellphone is one of the biggest changes in communication since the invention of the telegraph. People are now constantly connected wherever they go. It is easy to overlook that simple but profound fact.
Gone are the days where a husband and wife would go off to work and maybe talk once a day on the phone or when they arrive at home for dinner. Text messaging has change the very nature of relationships. A survey by mobile marketing app CheckPoints shows that 58% of people texted their significant other at least three times a day, while 25% texted 10 or more times a day. Talk about constant contact. Check out the infographic of CheckPoints' survey results below.
CheckPoint's survey was done by its publisher inMarket. It surveyed 2,500 people from Feb. 6 to Feb. 10 who had used the app to scan products in stores. It may not be a large sample size and is skewed by the population of CheckPoints' users but the stats are interesting nonetheless.
Nearly 17% of CheckPoints' users had said, "I love you" for the first time via text message. About 20% have broken up with a significant other over SMS and 40% have deleted a text that they did not want their significant other to see. 42% had checked their partner's phone for inappropriate messages, perhaps from an ex-boyfriend.
Many people, especially those past 30 years old or so, might find these numbers to be outrageous. How do you break up with somebody via text message? What kind of heartless bastard are you, anyway? Nearly one in six people have said "I love you" for the first time via text? How can such a connected and emotional thing be tied to anything as impersonal as a text message?
We can argue the demerits all day for days on end. This is not a new conversation. The fact of the matter is that social mores change on a year-by-year basis as technology gives people new ways to communicate. What we might think absurd or impersonal today might be completely commonplace and accepted 10 years from now. Are the one in five people that have broken up via text the fringe case or the future?
Take a look at your own behavior and think about how it has changed since the first time you held a cellphone. Do you correspond mostly via text these days? Twitter, Facebook, email? Or do you punch in the seemingly random digits that is a person's phone number and make a call? Does that call lead to an in person meeting or a series of text messages? How have you changed your communications methods in the last five to 10 years? Let us know in the comments.
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