Fights are inevitable in every relationship. Though it comes in many ways, having an argument with your partner commonly happens through text messages. This is due to the fact that communicating digitally has become a normal part of our daily life since it's just convenient and easier to express your feelings via text. Not to mention that arguing face-to-face can be overwhelming for a lot of people.
For some, arguing via text messages might be easier because it feels like they're not facing a direct confrontation. While it may seem like a practical solution, fighting over text-also known as fexting might affect your relationship negatively. Mainly, because this method of communication can lead to misunderstandings, misinterpretations, and disconnection.
Fexting can bring out the worst in people. Words can quickly trigger negative reactions and emotions, and it's just easy to quickly type away any messages you want, including long-forgotten grudges. This is problematic because texting is a communication tool that involves nonverbal cues which makes the other person at the end of the line become more prone to misinterpret the message someone is trying to convey since they cannot hear the sender's tone of voice.
Emotions are obviously harder to discern via text. What we're communicating with are just flat, scrambles of words. Moreover, many things in writing can be taken differently, so it's easier to assume the worst in someone and their intentions. Hence, it also increases the chance of coming across as harsh and blunt without any intention. Whereas in face-to-face communication, you can tell how serious or light the message is by our tone.
Another reason why fexting is potentially harmful is because it's impossible to look at our body languages. Apart from vocal cues, humans also communicate through facial expressions and body language. How we act physically lets other people know how we feel. They cannot lie.
When you see how upset the person gets in an argument, till the point they'd cry, you'd quickly pause from spewing out words just to make sure they are okay. You'd get a sudden thought like, "Was I too harsh?" In texting, such things are just hard to acknowledge unless they communicate it.
Additionally, emojis, stickers, and gifs may be a fun and harmless thing to send in chats. However, when it comes to disagreements, they can make things much worse.
All in all, fexting is a quick back and forth exchange that can make you become less rational when you're consumed with anger. This can quickly snowball into a much worse situation where resolving things isn't the goal you both have in mind. It is common to view fexting as a boxing match between two people, where there is always one winner when in fact, that's not how arguments in relationships work.
It's easy to get caught up in the moment when fexting. Arguments happen, yet it doesn't necessarily need to happen via text. Also, problems don't need to be solved right away. If the argument gets too heated, and the other person isn't listening to you, the best thing you can do is to distance yourself from your phone to take five and calm down.
Once you're clear that the exchange no longer feels like an effective communication, you could also suggest other alternatives to overcome the argument by scheduling a phone call or a meet-up.(HAI/alm)