Making Text-Only Friends

talking and textingMy friends and I like to joke about epidemics that are sweeping our college campus. We call current fashion faux-paus  epidemics, we call it an epidemic when several of our other friends enter serious relations, and we call it an epidemic when we all paint our fingernails the same color.

Most of our “epidemics” really are not an epidemic. But one epidemic that actually deserves the title is being felt on college campuses around the country.

Have you ever met a cool guy at a party and then when you see him on campus, neither of you say hi? Or how about the girl who friended you on Facebook but never even looks at you in class?

This is what I’m talking about. We do not actually make friends, but we do make “text friends” or social media friends.

Think about it: You probably have hundreds of friends on Facebook, but how many do you actually know and talk to on a regular basis? Probably not many.

Another similar epidemic is that we ignore people who are standing right in front of us. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Here’s what a student at Tufts University said about her avoidance of others:

“I’ll walk by someone, I’ll have my iPod in, even if it’s not on, and they’ll think I didn’t say hi because I was distracted. So it gives me an excuse.’’

Pretending to look busy when you really aren’t is not the newest habit. But “fauxting” is, and I admit I’ve done it. You know when you pretend to be texting so you look busy or popular, and therefore you don’t have to talk to that person who keeps glancing at you? Well, that’s fake texting, or “fauxting.” By pretending to be busy, you avoid the awkward situation where you say hi, and the other person does not say anything back.

My roommate recently told me about a time she was walking towards a guy she knew, but since she did not want to talk to him, she acted like her phone was ringing and she had to answer it.

“It was really awkward,” she said. “But it would have been worse to talk to him and admit I couldn’t remember his name.”

This is a great way for us to isolate ourselves and end up lonelier than ever before. So next time you see an acquaintance walking towards you, say hi. It’s not that hard, I promise. And I bet you’ll feel less lonely and more connected to the people around you, which can’t be that bad of a thing, right?

Via the Boston Globe








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