Youth and adults who have texted most of their lives have created serious problems with establishing intimate relationships. When one texts, he/she does not express emotions that could be heard if he/she were speaking with the voice, cannot see body language, hear voice inflections and therefore miss thousands of social cues so necessary for intimate relationships later in life. Many of these youth refuse to participate in talk therapy because they simply do not know how to carry on a meaningful conversation. They have few close friends because they are unable to identify their own emotions for sharing. Living together becomes impossible except in what I call “Railroad Relationships” where the two live parallel lives with little compromise or coming together necessary for loving relationship. Marriage is out of the question, unless, again, it is a “Railroad Marriage”.
What is needed in today’s society are seminars or classes to teach boys and girls, men and women to relate emotionally. Sex is possible because it does not require relationship, sexting is a way of expressing some emotion and we are seeing both sexes use dating apps to have sex with a number of partners as a way to feel some closeness.
As a parent, you must teach your child to talk with his/her voice and relate through expression of emotion. Otherwise, what college he/she attends will not be very successful if your child cannot relate to others through connections that require sharing of self.
Lane A. Stokes
Roswell GA 30076